It is still unclear what NFL team former Michigan star Braylon Edwards will be suiting up for next year, but it's practically a certainty that it will be for one of the teams with a pick in the top seven of this year's draft. The Chicago Bears will be selecting fourth and they reportedly have not been as deterred by the error they made in picking former Wolverine wide out David Terrell as some might think. The signing of Mushin Muhammed gives the Bears steady production for another year or two, which would ease Edwards' transition if he fell to them.
San Diego has always been a player and their interest is not going away. With their two picks in the first round (#12 and #28), the Chargers could move up into the top portion of the draft. The Cleveland Browns appear to be a prime candidate for such a scenario, as they are looking to trade down. The Chargers with the now regrettable move of selecting Phillip Rivers last year, will need a potential game breaking receiver to boost a receiving corps that contains average talent.
The third team that seems most viable in the Edwards sweepstakes at this point is Minnesota. The Vikings have an obvious void on the flanks after trading Randy Moss. A lot of things would have to go Mike Tice's way for the draft's best receiver to slip to him, but it is definitely possible. The San Francisco 49ers and Miami Dolphins will probably go quarterback with the first two picks. If Cleveland stands pat at #3 they may choose to focus on their porous defense. Tampa Bay has more pressing needs at #5, while the Titans (who pick 6th) have another favorite at wide receiver. New offensive coordinator Norm Chow certainly wouldn't mind seeing his former pupil, Mike Williams, in a Tennessee uniform next year. If Chicago doesn't grab Edwards at four and San Diego doesn't trade up, Mr. Edwards very well could be playing pro football in the twin cities.
The next Wolverine to go will probably be defensive back Marlin Jackson. Jackson's pro day was pretty solid. The high 4.4s and low 4.5s he posted for NFL scouts eased the impact of his numbers from the combine. Many had moved him out of the first round after his stint in Indianapolis, but expect him to possibly go late in the first round after his performance in Ann Arbor. If he slips out of round one, he will provide great 2nd round value. His experience at free safety will be key considering the talent pool at that position is very poor this year.
Speaking of safeties, Ernest Shazor's pro day was met with mixed reactions according to scouts I spoke with yesterday. Some feel that his potential is too great to pass up on, while others feel that it is a red flag regarding his ability at the next level. In general, Shazor is sliding down most boards. A good number of teams have moved him down to a 3rd rounder…some even into day two. Even so, he still will probably end up being a late 2nd round/early third round selection. His workouts haven't helped him, but his potential is too tempting for him to slide that far.
David Baas hasn't really seen his stock change much at all. His workouts have been solid and he hasn't done anything to warrant concern. In the past, lineman that can multiple positions have higher draft stock, especially at guard and center. Given the rate at which injuries occur in the NFL, being an interchangeable player will helps a prospects draft stock quite a bit. The fact that David can play center and guard will likely put him in the top five to ten picks of round two, but I wouldn't be surprised if he goes in the very late portion of round one.
Fullback Kevin Dudley's stock still remains at a later stage level. Look for him to go in round seven. Cornerback Markus Curry will probably be the other Wolverine drafted; most likely in the seventh round as well. Look for running back David Underwood, wide receiver Jermaine Gonzales, defensive lineman Alex Ofili, linebacker Roy Manning, and punter Adam Finley to get undrafted free agent considerations.