Fourteen Former Michigan Players Projected To Be NFL Starters In 2020
PFF put together a projection for each NFL team's starting lineup in the 2020 season that included 14 former Michigan players. We've compiled which former Wolverines are slated to start and their outlook for the upcoming season.
QB Tom Brady, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Last year, Brady completed 60.8 percent of his passes for 4,057 yards with 24 scores and eight picks, and also ran for three touchdowns.
The veteran quarterback will be 43 years old when the 2020 season begins. Brady, a six-time Super Bowl champ, is going into his first season with the Bucs after 20 years with the New England Patriots.
The former sixth-round pick replaces former Bucs QB Jameis Winston as the starter.
LB Devin Bush, Pittsburgh Steelers
Played in all 16 clashes as a rookie last year and started 15 of them, compiling 109 tackles, one sack, four passes defended, two interceptions, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery for a touchdown.
Bush is a rising star in the league and will undoubtedly be the man running the show at middle linebacker for the Steelers this upcoming season.
EDGE Frank Clark, Kansas City Chiefs
Clark helped lead the Chiefs to a Super Bowl victory last season, notching the game-sealing sack. On the year, he started 11 of the 14 regular season clashes he participated in, and compiled 37 tackles, eight sacks, four passes defended, one pick and three forced fumbles.
Clark's starting spot is safe on the defensive line. Interestingly enough, he is joined by former Wolverines Mike Danna (draft; fifth round) and Taco Charlton (free agency) as d-linemates that have played for the maize and blue.
C Mason Cole, Arizona Cardinals
Cole received playing time in all 16 of the Cardinals' tilts, but only started two of them. Due to the departure of A.Q. Shipley to free agency, Cole will likely start in the middle of the Cardinals' offensive line.
WR Devin Funchess, Green Bay Packers
Funchess sat out most of last year with the Indianapolis Colts due to a broken collarbone suffered during the season opener.
With a new team, Funchess is set to start and be the No. 2 or 3 receiver in a receiving corps headlined by Davante Adams. He'll get to catch passes from one of the game's best signal-callers in Aaron Rodgers.
RG Graham Glasgow, Denver Broncos
This season, Glasgow made the move from Detroit to Denver, signing a four-year $44M contract with the Broncos to start at right guard. Last season, Glasgow started 15 games for the Lions and played at a high level.
EDGE Brandon Graham, Philadelphia Eagles
A Super Bowl champion, Graham is entering his 10th season in the league. He started all 16 games last season, logging 50 tackles, 8.5 sacks and one forced fumble.
As one of the better defensive ends in the league, Graham's starting spot is safe heading into this season.
LT Taylor Lewan, Tennessee Titans
Received the starting nod in all 15 contests he competed in this season, after returning Oct. 6 from his four-game suspension to begin the year. He helped lead the Titans to the AFC Championship game, before the club fell to the eventual Super Bowl champs, the Kansas City Chiefs.
Lewan is considered one of the top 5-10 tackles in the world. His starting job is safe for 2020.
CB Jourdan Lewis, Dallas Cowboys
Lewis is heading into his fourth season in the NFL and with the Cowboys. Lewis played in every game last season, and started in five. He registered 51 stops, four sacks, six passes defended and two interceptions.
He was the team's top slot corner in 2019 and projects to be in a similar role this year at the very least. He'll have to compete with rookie Trevon Diggs out of Alabama, a newcomer to the roster, but former Cowboys corner Byron Jones is off to the Miami Dolphins and is now the highest paid cornerback in the league.
S Jabrill Peppers, New York Giants
In 2019, Peppers started all 11 outings prior to an injury that held him out the final five contests. On the season, he compiled 76 tackles, five passes defended, one interception he returned 32 yards for a score and three forced fumbles.
This offseason, the Giants picked up Peppers' fifth-year option on his contract, which is worth $6.8M.
In his three seasons so far, Peppers has started all 40 games, and there's no reason to believe a healthy Peppers won’t be in that same role in 2020.
RG Michael Schofield, Carolina Panthers
Schofield started all 16 games for the Chargers last season before signing a one-year deal with the Panthers this offseason. With the Panthers losing three starting offensive linemen from a year ago, Schofield is slated to start on the right side.
RG Cesar Ruiz, New Orleans Saints
The rookie was selected with the No. 24 overall pick in last month's draft. Ruiz played center at U-M the last two seasons, starting every game, but does have experience in his freshman season as a guard.
After the draft, the Saints cut Pro Bowl veteran guard Larry Warford, which opens up a spot on the offensive line, with Ruiz being the favorite to take it.
S Jarrod Wilson, Jacksonville Jaguars
Last season, Wilson earned the starting nod in all 16 clashes, recording 79 tackles, four passes defended, two picks and one forced fumble. He appears to have a clear path towards another year of starting for the Jags in 2020.
EDGE Chase Winovich, New England Patriots
After a productive rookie season, Winovich is looking to take the next step up to starter status on the depth chart following the departure of former Patriots and current Lions EDGE Jamie Collins.
Last season, Winovich competed in all 17 contests (no starts), and tallied 26 tackles, 5.5 sacks and a touchdown on a blocked punt return.
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