Draft News & Notes: Praise For Hill, Ruiz Receives Highest Projection Yet
The April 23-25 NFL draft appears to be a full-go, with as many as 13 former Michigan Wolverines football players hoping to hear their names called during it. Center Cesar Ruiz's stock continues to skyrocket, with a draft analyst from CBS Sports recently giving the Camden, N.J., native his highest projection to date.
Cornerback Lavert Hill, on the other hand, is expected to be a later round pick, but received some significant praise from Pro Football Focus that could perhaps boost his stock a bit.
That and more below, along with the latest news and notes surrounding Michigan's players in the NFL draft:
Cesar Ruiz Receives his Highest Projection yet
CBS put out an interesting display that lined up seven different prognosticators' (Ryan Wilson, Chris Trapasso, Pete Prisco, Will Brinson, Josh Edwards, R.J. White and Tom Fornelli) mock drafts side by side, and only three of the seven had Ruiz going in the first round.
What was most unique, however, was where Prisco projected the center to land. While Wilson and Trapasso pegged Ruiz to come off the board at No. 27 overall to the Seattle Seahawks and No. 28 to the Baltimore Ravens, respectively, Prisco had him going No. 17 to the Dallas Cowboys, the highest projections we'd seen for him yet.
"With [former Dallas center] Travis Frederick retiring, why not grab a replacement?" Prisco wrote. "This kid has a real chance to be special for a long time."
NFL.com's Daniel Jeremiah, meanwhile, had Ruiz tabbed as his No. 37 overall prospect during the NFL combine in late February/early March, but had the former Wolverine center coming off the board slightly higher than that in the mock draft he released today.
"The Chiefs could have their choice of the top running backs, but they also need to get younger/better along the interior of their offensive line," Jeremiah explained after projecting Ruiz to go No. 32 overall to the Kansas City in the final pick of the first round.
Pro Football Focus Tabs Lavert Hill as Fifth Best 'Man Coverage' Cornerback in the Draft
Mock drafts haven't been kind to Hill (projected to go anywhere from fifth to the seventh round), but Pro Football Focus (PFF) recently dished out significant praise for the former Wolverine cornerback.
They pegged him as the draft's fifth best cornerback in man coverage, sitting only behind Louisiana Tech's Amik Robertson, Alabama's Trevon Diggs, Ohio State's Damon Arnette and Utah's Jaylon Johnson.
The outlet revealed that Hill was targeted 25 times in man coverage this past season, but only allowed nine receptions (36 completion percentage).
PFF also gave him an 80.7 grade in that department (64 is considered average), while revealing that opposing quarterbacks had a dismal 58.6 QB rating while targeting him in man coverage.
Bleacher Report Ranks the Draft's top Players at Every Position
Bleacher Report recently took an interesting look at the majority of the prospects in the 2020 NFL draft, ranking the best players at each position (a minimum of the top 27, and oftentimes more).
Every Wolverine with hopes of being selected made the outlet's list, with their placement at their respective position listed below (the Michigan players are in alphabetical order):
• OG Ben Bredeson — 10th best interior offensive lineman in the draft
• DE Michael Danna — No. 31 among edge rushers
• LB Jordan Glasgow — 31st best safety in the draft
• CB Lavert Hill — 21st best cornerback
• LB Khaleke Hudson — No. 28 among linebackers
• TE Sean McKeon — 14th best tight end
• S Josh Metellus — No. 13 safety in the draft
• OG Mike Onwenu — No. 18 among interior offensive linemen
• QB Shea Patterson — 15th best quarterback
• WR Donovan Peoples-Jones — No. 49 overall prospect and 10th best receiver
• C Cesar Ruiz — 28th best player in the draft, as well as this year's best center and top pass blocker. The outlet also pegged him as the top interior offensive lineman and the best 'Day 1' starter in the NFL.
• OT Jon Runyan — No. 19 offensive tackle
• LB Josh Uche — Fourth best edge rusher in the draft
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