Mike Morris is flying up NFL Draft boards

Mike Mulholland | MLive.com

Mike Morris is flying up NFL Draft boards

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Mike Morris is flying up NFL Draft boards

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The Michigan Wolverines lost both Aidan Hutchinson and David Ojabo to the NFL this past offseason. The two made for one of college football’s best one-two punches off the edge, and their newfound absence left behind lots of vacant production. That’s where Mike Morris steps in. He’s enjoyed a breakout Senior campaign, becoming Michigan’s go-to guy in the front seven. First, let’s take a look at his scouting report.

Strengths

-Great frame at 6’6”, 292 pounds and plenty of length

-Lots of upper-body strength. Attacks blockers, controls the point of attack, and sheds blockers effectively. Sets a hard edge against the run

-Solid lateral quickness to flip rushing lanes and finesse-rush past blockers at non-sharp angles

-Keeps eyes in the backfield. Alert on misdirections and quarterback movement. Gets his hands up to bat passes down at the line

-Surplus of versatility. Primarily a stand-up edge rusher, while also possessing the size to rush with his hand in the dirt. Can be kicked inside to play some 4i/3-tech. Gets involved on stunts, and has enough athleticism to occasionally drop into coverage

-Has flashed a nice arsenal of pass-rushing moves. Good instincts and active hands, just needs more in-game reps to really get them down. Improvement has been evident

-High-motor player that competes with a drive

 

Weaknesses

-Not super-twitchy. Plays fairly upright, doesn’t possess a ton of bend off the edge

-Arsenal of pass-rushing moves is still fairly raw

-Versatility doesn’t stretch into the A-Gap despite his size. Versatility is still impressive, but he can’t hold up against double teams on the interior

Morris projects as a very solid, well-rounded player in the NFL. The versatility I alluded to will be extremely appealing to NFL teams, and I love his ability against the run. Morris plays a very under control style of football, while remaining aggressive as a puncher. It’s a big reason as to why he’s so effective against the run. Morris is able to control the point of attack and keep his head alert in the backfield. He’s even got the size to slide inside as a 4i/3-tech.

As a pass-rusher, Morris doesn’t offer much bend around the edge, and his portfolio of moves is still a little underdeveloped. With that being said, he still has plenty to offer in this department, hence why he’s become the Wolverines top pass-rusher this season. Combine his strength, size, motor, active hands, and instincts, you’ve got some juice. The next step for Morris will be hammering down his arsenal of pass-rushing moves, which will come with more reps. Between his instincts, active hands, and game-by-game improvement, I believe we’ll see Morris make those strides.

He’s not quite the level of prospect as Aidan Hutchinson or Kwity Paye from last year’s draft class of edge prospects out of Michigan, but that’s a very high bar to hit. For the past month, Morris has hardly played due to a nagging ankle injury, which has definitely slowed down the hype. But pre-injury, Morris was rising up draft boards on a weekly basis. Once he returns from injury for the pre-draft process, I anticipate the buzz to build back up. Morris is locking himself in as a rising day two selection this spring.

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