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April 12, 2013

Spring game mock draft: Spath vs. Reid

On the eve of the spring game, staff writers Michael Spath and Andy Reid conducted a mock draft of the Wolverines. Reid won the coin toss and was given the first overall pick, which he of course used on U-M's lone healthy scholarship QB, Devin Gardner.

Here is a look at how the teams stack up next to each other.

Michael Spath's Pick
Andy Reid's Pick
Brian Cleary
Devin Gardner
Running Back
Dennis Norfleet
Justice Hayes
Wide Receiver
Drew Dileo
Joe Reynolds
Jeremy Gallon
Amara Darboh
Jehu Chesson
Tight End
Devin Funchess
Jake Butt
A.J. Williams
Offensive Line
LT Taylor Lewan
LG Ben Braden
OC Jack Miller
RG Blake Bars
RT Erik Magnuson
LT Erik Gunderson
LG Kyle Bosch
OC Joey Burzynski
RG Kyle Kalis
RT Michael Schofield
Defensive End
Frank Clark
Keith Heitzman
Chris Wormley
Mario Ojemudia
Defensive Tackle
Ondre Pipkins
Jibreel Black
Quinton Washington
Willie Henry
James Ross III
Brennen Beyer
Royce Jenkins-Stone
Desmond Morgan
Joe Bolden
Cam Gordon
Raymon Taylor
Dymonte Thomas
Courtney Avery
Terry Richardson
Thomas Gordon
Jeremy Clark
Jarrod Wilson
Marvin Robinson
Matt Wile
Brendan Gibbons

Quarterback - Advantage: Reid

"Gardner was a no-brainer for me. Not only did the redshirt junior torch defenses in the second half of 2012, he is the Wolverines' lone scholarship option this spring (after the injury to Russell Bellomy). Quarterback is such an important position, and I feel really good about getting Gardner on my side." -- Reid

Running Back - Advantage: Reid

"There wasn't a single running back taken off the board until very late into the draft. With presumable starter Fitzgerald Toussaint injured and big-time recruit Derrick Green not yet on campus, the options were slim. I chose Hayes, and I would put him against Norfleet any day. Coaches have been impressed with his ability out of the backfield, and he's up to about 190 pounds, meaning he is much more capable of handling himself between the tackles." -- Reid

Wide Receiver - Advantage: Reid

"Once I picked up Gardner, I knew Gallon was going to be a high priority. The two have an excellent rapport, connecting 31 times for 511 yards and three touchdowns in just five games last season. He's the Wolverines' No. 1 option, and he is poised for an enormous year. Darboh and Chesson have each had terrific springs, and they will be able to stretch the field for some big-play ability." -- Reid

Tight End - Advantage: Spath

"With Brian Cleary at quarterback, I can't expect to game plan for a down-field passing game. Instead, my focus is on exploiting mismatches and in Funchess and Butt my team has two athletic tight ends that should be able to break away from their linebacker and safety defenders, creating enough open space for Cleary to make a routine pass that could have big-play potential." -- Spath

Offensive Line - Advantage: Spath

"The moment Gardner came off the board I realized I had to change strategy so I immediately decided I needed the far superior offensive line, drafting players early and often to give me a decided edge. With this line, I can better run the football (especially in the harsh wintry conditions expected Saturday) while I should be able to keep my quarterback upright against an unproven pass rush." -- Spath

Defensive End - Advantage: Spath

"Gardner may be off-limits but that works even more to my advantage because the play will be blown dead the moment a defender gets near him. Knowing Reid's line isn't as stout or as experienced as mine, I snatched up the best pass rusher on the team and a burgeoning talent in Heitzman, who was a spring-game star in 2012." -- Spath

Defensive Tackle - Advantage: Spath

"Gardner thrives off play-action passing, but if my team can stuff the run game early in the scrimmage, then the aerial attack won't be as effective, and the best way to achieve such a goal is to overwhelm the opposing offensive line. Pipkins is a monster and he and Black feature a combination of power and quickness that will flummox the novice interior linemen Reid's team features." -- Spath

Linebacker - Advantage: Reid

"With SAM linebacker Jake Ryan on the sideline with an ACL injury, Gordon becomes a huge asset. He's going to be a big piece to the defensive puzzle, and if he plays as well as the coaches think he can, he'll have a breakout year. Morgan may not be the biggest or most athletic guy, but he is a reliable playmaker. He and Bolden can be used interchangeably at MIKE or WILL." -- Reid

Cornerback - Advantage: Spath

"Gallon is a stud wideout and both Darboh and Chesson could be breakout performers, giving my secondary trouble. There is a premium on corners that can cover man-to-man, and Taylor was the Maize and Blue's best a year ago. Thomas, meanwhile, has earned rave reviews this spring and is expected to compete to start at the nickel in the fall. He gives me a starting tandem that won't make it easy on Gardner and Co. to move down the field." -- Spath

Safety - Advantage: Reid

Three players have been getting the majority of snaps at the two safety positions, and I picked up two of them: Wilson and Robinson. I like Robinson and his big-hit ability in the box at strong safety. And Wilson's excellent field vision will serve him well at free safety." -- Reid

Kicker/Punter - Advantage: Spath

"This one is simple. Sure, Gibbons is the more proven kicker, but he hasn't attempted one punt in his career. Wile has done it all - kick field goals, punt and kickoff. My guy is more versatile. He wins." -- Spath

So who wins? Vote here.

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