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Top 10 NFL Draft prospects from Michigan-based collegiate programs

The 2016 NFL Draft takes place on April 28th through the 30th at the Auditorium Theatre in Chicago, Illinois. As with any NFL Draft, plenty of athletes from different schools and different states will be showcased.

Here is a look at the Top 10 NFL Draft prospects from Michigan based collegiate programs:

 

10: Kavon Frazier (Free Safety – Central Michigan University)

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Bold Prediction: The NFC North will have tough competition

Pros
Kavon Frazier showed a good skill set and leadership in the Chippewas secondary over the last three years of his collegiate career. The 6-foot, 213-pound safety features an intimidating presence for any opposing receiver running down the field. Frazier also showcases a set of intangibles and football ‘smarts’ that are immeasurable.

Cons
Frazier’s size does deplete him a little bit in the speed department. Should he make an NFL roster in the near future, he could condition himself more to make him more agile and mobile in the secondary, allowing him to cover more ground. A respectable speed and quickness given his size is quite the combination.

Projected draft position
As of right now, Frazier projects to be drafted somewhere in the sixth round on day three of the draft.

 

9: Graham Glasgow (Offensive Guard/Center – University of Michigan)

Pros
Graham Glasgow has been a pleasant story and surprise to many, given his troubled past. Having said that, he has been an above-adequate offensive lineman (at multiple positions) that has displayed some tools to give him enough upside. As a center, Glasgow was quick to snap the ball to his quarterback and ready to engage with any defensive lineman in a timely manner. His ability to be able to move downfield and block as the play does.

Cons
Which ever teams consider drafting him to be a part of their franchise will have to do some homework on Glasgow’s non-football life. While he is on record saying he has matured and moved on from his previous drinking problems that have resulted in arrests and extended probation, any NFL team will have perform due diligence.

For Glasgow the football player, if he wants to have a long-term career, he should beef up some so he can hold his own with the best defensive front monsters in the game.

Projected draft position
Like Kavon Frazier, Glasgow projects early on to be a sixth round with potential to move up into the fifth round, should an opportunity present itself.

 

8: Matt Judon (Defensive End/Outside Linebacker – Grand Valley State)

Pros
Matt Judon is gradually becoming a very underrated prospect. He was invited to this year’s East-West Shrine Game, but did not play due to injury.

Judon is a tank. The 6-foot-4, 225-pound West Bloomfield product led all of Division-II football in sacks this past season with 21, including 17 solo sacks. He’s slotted somewhere between a defensive end and a linebacker, giving him some options moving forward. Regardless of the position, his ability to rush the passer gives a lot of offensive line coaches problems.

Cons
The cons with Judon come with depending on how he will be used at the pro level. Should he stick in the trenches, he might need to beef up a bit. However, if he wants to stay at the linebacker role, Judon needs to work on his range and coverage, be prepared for those short passes down the field.

Projected draft position
Judon would be quite a steal if some team snagged him on day three, preferably early in the sixth round.

 

7: Daniel Braverman (Wide Receiver – Western Michigan University)

Pros
Daniel Braverman put together a junior year that not only gave him the confidence to declare for the pro’s, but will certainly get him draft on day three. He does every thing right if you’re a receiver – he has some quickness, good hands, above-average route runner, elusive feet. His 1,367 receiving yards were good for top 10 in the nation. In fact, he and his teammate Corey Davis both ranked in the top ten nationally in receiving yardage, as Western Michigan was one of three schools to feature a duo of pass-catchers that eclipsed the 1,000 mark in receiving.

Cons
Despite the ‘Swiss Army Knife’ Braverman appears to be, he lacks in one thing: size. He is just 5-foot-10 and weighs 177 pounds.

Projected draft position
Braverman decided to declare on a high note at the college level and has plenty of his upside. If he were bigger and bulkier, he’d probably project as a day two pick. Because he resembles a Wes Welker or Julian Edelman, not that those are bad comparisons, but the thought of he being injury-prone pushes him back a day in the draft.

 

6: Aaron Burbridge (Wide Receiver – Michigan State University)

Pros
The 2015-16 Big Ten Wide Receiver of the Year had a breakout senior year after the departures of Bennie Fowler and Tony Lippett from a season before. Aaron Burbridge displays a much more unselfish and secondary skill set that is not as recognized nationally. His 85 balls caught and 1,258 receiving yards were both tops in the conference this past season. The 6-foot-1, 208-pound Burbridge has a good first step off the line of scrimmage, allowing him to get by those defenders that press him early.

Cons
His size is average at best for the college level, but does not have enough tools to quite get away with it at the pro level. He will also need to improve on his rout running. While that initial burst of acceleration is good for getting open early, a good receiver can get open in virtually any situation.

Projected draft position
Burbridge has some work to do but presents a high ceiling, which puts him in the third or fourth round pre-Combine.

 

5: Willie Beavers (Offensive Tackle – Western Michigan University)

Pros
Offensive lineman Willie Beavers has the size and the potential to play anywhere in the trenches on the offensive side of the ball. He’s been an integral part of that Bronco line that, in the last three seasons, produced the Mid-American Conference’s best running back and two 1,000-yard receivers this past season. You have to appreciate a big man that is not only versatile, but also reliable.

Cons
While he has proven to be more than capable of knocking any opposing defender off his balance, the jury is still out on whether Beavers is able to hold his own on a consistent basis. If a veteran defensive end rushes at him seeking to expose that weakness, can he recover without forcing a mental mistake?

Projected draft position
A team can never have enough depth on the offensive line. Beavers’ durability at Western Michigan has him going in the mid to late third, possibly fourth round early on.

 

4: Jack Allen (Center – Michigan State University)

Pros
It is hard to imagine where the Spartans would have been the last few seasons without Jack Allen solidifying that offensive line. He showcases a level of toughness and a high IQ for the game that is simply unmatched, making him suitable for just about any situation. Over the last few seasons, MSU head coach Mark Dantonio has had to shuffle his line here and there, and Allen has come through regardless of were he’s positioned.

Cons
If there something to knock Allen down regarding his game, it would be that he toughness could cause him to be a bit overaggressive when making a block or a tackle, thus impeding his balance a little, much like Beavers. Allen is a tad bit underweight for NFL offensive linemen standards, checking in at a tick or two under 300 pounds.

Projected draft position
Right now, Allen is projected to go within the first two days, more likely in day two in the second or third round. An impressive outing at the NFL Combine could make the difference between positioning in the second round, or even push him back to early fourth if it’s a poor display.

 

3: Shilique Calhoun (Defensive End – Michigan State University)

Pros
A three-time first team All-Big Ten and three-time second team All-American Shilique Calhoun surprised many, including some Spartan faithful, when he decided to return for his senior season. Calhoun has been a menace his entire collegiate career, capping it with career highs in sacks (10.5), tackles for loss (15 for 82 total yards) and quarterback hurries (18). His speed of the edge and ability to find the backfield made him a very disruptive presence.

Cons
Like Judon of Grand Valley State, Calhoun is a bit under-sized for being a defensive lineman at 6-foot-5, 250 pounds. It may be possible he could transition to the linebacker core of a team because of his above-average speed for his size and success over the years with it. Oddly enough, the only other red flag, albeit minor, for Calhoun may be himself. Sometimes he may find himself overcompensating and trying to do too much, leaving an original assignment for an unobtainable one.

Projected draft position
The positives vastly outweigh the negatives for Calhoun, making him a second round projection before the Combine.

 

2: Connor Cook (Quarterback – Michigan State University)

Pros
While it ended in the worst possible way for him and his team after such an impressive and resilient season, Connor Cook finished his collegiate career breaking the school record for passing yards (9,194) and passing touchdowns (71) for a career. Cook fits the physical prototype for a pro quarterback, listed at 6-foot-4, 220 pounds. Throughout his career, he has displayed a certain toughness, poise, calmness and confidence in the pocket, and is able to fit a ball in the tightest of windows when needed.

Cons
Cook’s mobility is average at best, nothing stellar but he can escape the pocket and throw on the run if need be. However, the production in that scenario is hit or miss and he tends to sometimes panic, leading to a head-scratching mistake. Also, there have been some whispers of what Cook is like off the field. Is he about the team or more so himself?

He’s never gotten into serious trouble, but for some reason, his attitude has come into question, which could potentially lead to some teams doing a little bit of homework.

Projected draft position
It’s not the deepest and most impressive class of quarterbacks entering the draft this year, but a lot of the big names, barring any major setbacks along the way, project to go within the first three rounds. Cook right now can go anywhere between late in the first round and possible early third round.

 

1: Jack Conklin (Offensive Tackle – Michigan State University)

Pros
Jack Conklin is a pro-ready offensive lineman. The junior left a year early knowing that he is ready to help grow and have a long-term career in the trenches for one happy club. Conklin has incredible upper body strength and is able to take on any defender, no matter the size or quickness. His vision to spot oncoming traffic on the defensive side shows he is ready for anything and those quick reactions skills certainly pay off in the long haul. Got a good back to carry the rock? Run behind this guy.

Cons
Despite being a wall on the front line, Conklin could work on his foot work that allows him to be even more mobile when picking up an extra block or moving downfield to multiple levels. This is key if he is gonna be anchoring left tackle and protecting the blind side of his quarterback.

Projected draft position
Conklin is listed as one of the best offensive lineman prospects coming into the draft. His skill set combined with intangibles make him a early to mid draft pick in the first round.

 

What do you think, Nation? Are there names omitted from this Michigan-based list that are worthy of the recognition.

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