Michigan Wolverines' highest NFL draft picks since 1970

Written by:
February 24, 2022
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Michigan Wolverines' highest NFL draft picks since 1970

While most colleges and universities field a football team as part of its general athletics program, there are some for which football is more than merely a sport—it’s akin almost to a religion. Devotion to the team and its colors is as important to that school’s culture as a religious icon is to a believer. These programs actively scout and recruit notable high school players, and are in turn rigorously applied to by matriculating seniors eager to make a name for themselves at the collegiate level.

Among the most notable college football empires are Notre Dame, the universities of Alabama, Michigan, Texas, Nebraska, and Oklahoma, Penn State, Ohio State—the list goes on and on.

But for every touchstone football school, there is an outlier that has produced some of the most successful and cherished players in the game. Think Jackson State, which gave us “Sweetness” himself, Hall of Fame running back Walter Payton. Or Mississippi Valley State, which yielded 3-time Super Bowl champion and #1 Player in NFL History, as voted by the NFL Network, ‘49ers wide receiver Jerry Rice.

Each year, the college draft serves as a source of renewal to professional football and a testament to the quality of college programs nationwide. With the 2022 NFL draft set to take place April 28-30 in Las Vegas, Stacker compiled a list of the highest NFL draft picks from the Michigan Wolverines using data from Pro Football Reference. Ties were broken by the most recent year drafted.

#20. Thom Darden (DB)
- Draft pick: Round 1, #18 overall in 1972
- Drafted by: Cleveland Browns
- Years as a starter in NFL: 9 (1 Pro Bowls)

#19. Butch Woolfolk (RB)
- Draft pick: Round 1, #18 overall in 1982
- Drafted by: NY Giants
- Years as a starter in NFL: 4 (0 Pro Bowls)

#18. Steve Hutchinson (G)
- Draft pick: Round 1, #17 overall in 2001
- Drafted by: Seattle Seahawks
- Years as a starter in NFL: 11 (7 Pro Bowls)

#17. Kevin Brooks (DT)
- Draft pick: Round 1, #17 overall in 1985
- Drafted by: Dallas Cowboys
- Years as a starter in NFL: 3 (0 Pro Bowls)

#16. Tyrone Wheatley (RB)
- Draft pick: Round 1, #17 overall in 1995
- Drafted by: NY Giants
- Years as a starter in NFL: 4 (0 Pro Bowls)

#15. Steve Everitt (C)
- Draft pick: Round 1, #14 overall in 1993
- Drafted by: Cleveland Browns
- Years as a starter in NFL: 6 (0 Pro Bowls)

#14. Mike Kenn (T)
- Draft pick: Round 1, #13 overall in 1978
- Drafted by: Atlanta Falcons
- Years as a starter in NFL: 17 (5 Pro Bowls)

#13. Brandon Graham (DE)
- Draft pick: Round 1, #13 overall in 2010
- Drafted by: Philadelphia Eagles
- Years as a starter in NFL: 6 (1 Pro Bowls)

#12. Rashan Gary (LB)
- Draft pick: Round 1, #12 overall in 2019
- Drafted by: Green Bay Packers
- Years as a starter in NFL: 1 (0 Pro Bowls)

#11. Taylor Lewan (T)
- Draft pick: Round 1, #11 overall in 2014
- Drafted by: Tennessee Titans
- Years as a starter in NFL: 7 (3 Pro Bowls)

#10. Devin Bush Jr. (LB)
- Draft pick: Round 1, #10 overall in 2019
- Drafted by: Pittsburgh Steelers
- Years as a starter in NFL: 1 (0 Pro Bowls)

#9. Mel Owens (LB)
- Draft pick: Round 1, #9 overall in 1981
- Drafted by: Los Angeles Rams
- Years as a starter in NFL: 6 (0 Pro Bowls)

#8. Tim Biakabutuka (RB)
- Draft pick: Round 1, #8 overall in 1996
- Drafted by: Carolina Panthers
- Years as a starter in NFL: 2 (0 Pro Bowls)

#7. David Terrell (WR)
- Draft pick: Round 1, #8 overall in 2001
- Drafted by: Chicago Bears
- Years as a starter in NFL: 1 (0 Pro Bowls)

#6. Paul Seymour (TE)
- Draft pick: Round 1, #7 overall in 1973
- Drafted by: Buffalo Bills
- Years as a starter in NFL: 5 (0 Pro Bowls)

#5. Curtis Greer (DE)
- Draft pick: Round 1, #6 overall in 1980
- Drafted by: St. Louis Rams
- Years as a starter in NFL: 6 (0 Pro Bowls)

#4. Desmond Howard (WR)
- Draft pick: Round 1, #4 overall in 1992
- Drafted by: Washington Football Team
- Years as a starter in NFL: 1 (1 Pro Bowls)

#3. Charles Woodson (DB)
- Draft pick: Round 1, #4 overall in 1998
- Drafted by: Oakland Raiders
- Years as a starter in NFL: 16 (9 Pro Bowls)

#2. Braylon Edwards (WR)
- Draft pick: Round 1, #3 overall in 2005
- Drafted by: Cleveland Browns
- Years as a starter in NFL: 5 (1 Pro Bowls)

#1. Jake Long (T)
- Draft pick: Round 1, #1 overall in 2008
- Drafted by: Miami Dolphins
- Years as a starter in NFL: 6 (4 Pro Bowls)

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