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Tuesday, April 7, 2020

NFL Draft Roundup: Players from state of Michigan who were drafted or signed


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Alex Mullerhttps://lxandrthegr8.wordpress.com/
MSU Graduate. Just a city boy born and raised in south Detroit. Baseball is life, a pitcher at heart. Freelance writer for MIPrepZone (News-Herald, Press & Guide).

The NFL Draft has come and gone. Of the 256 draft selections made from Thursday through Saturday, a total of seven players from schools in the state of Michigan were formally drafted this weekend, plus a whole host of others who went undrafted later signed with teams.

Add in all the players from the mitten that went undrafted and we have 20 former Michigan college football players embarking on their journey to have a professional career in the NFL.

[Note: Actively updating list]

DRAFT SELECTIONS

(Players listed in order of draft selection)

Chukwuma Okorafor, OL – Western Michigan

  • 3rd Round, 92nd overall – Pittsburgh Steelers
  • The man they called “Chukes” was the first mitten-made player taken off the board. Okorafor, a former Southfield High School grad, appeared in 51 games during his four years at Western Michigan, including starts in his final 39. The Outland Trophy (best interior lineman) finalist and two-time first-team All-MAC player earned All-American honors in 2017 from various outlets, ranging anywhere from first-team to an honorable mention.

Mason Cole, OL – Michigan

  • 3rd Round, 97th overall – Arizona Cardinals
  • Mason Cole was a consistent iron man during his four years at Michigan. He started right away as a freshman, becoming the first ever Michigan offensive lineman to do so, and started in all 51 games. Of those 51, 38 came at the left tackle position; he lined up at center for all 13 games as a junior in 2016. Cole earned All-Big Ten honors for a third straight season in 2017, making the second team from both coaches and media personnel.

Brian Allen, OL – Michigan State

  • 4th Round, 111th overall – Los Angeles Rams
  • Brian Allen was the lone Spartan draftee, but it was enough to extend a streak of 78 years with at least one MSU player drafted, second ever to only Southern Cal and aforementioned Michigan. The latest “Allen” offensive lineman in the family lineage played in 51 career games, 38 of which he started. He started all 13 games at center in 2017 but his other 21 starts came at the guard positions. To put it lightly, Allen was stoked when he received a phone call from the Rams.

Maurice Hurst, DL – Michigan

  • 5th Round, 140th overall – Oakland Raiders
  • Maurice Hurst had to wait longer than most had expected before earning a phone call from the Raiders. Once viewed as a potential first-round pick after a monster senior season in 2017, Hurst’s stock plummeted after it was discovered at the NFL Scouting Combine that he had a heart condition, causing him to skip all drills and workout. Recent news surrounding Hurst, however, was positive when he was reportedly cleared by doctors to resume football activities. If everything checks out, the All-American and All-Big Ten standout could prove to be a steal for Oakland.

Ty Conklin, TE – Central Michigan

  • 5th Round, 157th overall – Minnesota Vikings
  • Central Michigan tight end Ty Conklin was limited to just eight games in 2017 due to injury but started 26 straight in the two seasons prior. The Chesterfield native and L’Anse Creuse North product earned third-team MAC honors after hauling in 35 catches for just over 500 yards and five scores. Conklin was also twice tabbed to the John Mackey Award (top tight end) watch list twice in his CMU career.

Darius Phillips, DB – Western Michigan

  • 5th Round, 170th overall – Cincinnati Bengals
  • Western Michigan defensive back Darius Phillips made hay in college for his versatility. The former Dearborn Heights Robichaud standout totaled 14 touchdowns in his career, scoring them in five different ways. His 12 non-offensive touchdowns rank most in FBS history, which includes five kickoff returns for scores and five pick-sixes. Phillips finished his career earning consecutive first-team All-MAC Defense honors and being named the conferences’ special teams player of the year as both a junior and senior.

Zach Sieler, DE – Ferris State

  • 7th Round, 238th overall – Baltimore Ravens
  • The list of Michigan-made football draftees in 2018 ends with history being made. Defensive end Zach Sieler becomes the first ever Ferris State footballer to be formally selected in the NFL Draft. A former walk-on from Pinckney High School, Sieler was a two-time unanimous All-American at the Division II level in college football, earning the GLIAC Defensive Lineman of the Year award twice as well. He was the heartbeat of a Ferris defense that helped guide the Bulldogs to back-to-back appearances in the quarterfinals of the D-II playoffs.

SIGNED AS UDFA

(Players listed alphabetically by school, then last name)

CENTRAL MICHIGAN

FERRIS STATE

  • Tavierre Thomas, DB
    • Allen Academy (Detroit)
    • Signed with Arizona Cardinals

GRAND VALLEY STATE

MICHIGAN

MICHIGAN STATE

WESTERN MICHIGAN

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