Monday Musings: June 19

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Tony Pauline

Draft Analyst Writer

Now that the 2017 NFL Draft is complete, as are Draft Analyst’s team-by-team reviews, it’s time to hit the film for 2018. It’s also time to continue my Monday Musings column until pro days begin next March.

I’m midway through the Big Ten film work, after already completing the MAC and AAC, and in a nutshell I have not been very impressed with the conference. Others I’ve spoken with feel the same way, especially when it comes to the senior class, which looks uninspired.

This should come as no surprise to anyone.

Each year it seems more and more underclassmen enter the draft, and as a result the senior class of NFL prospects becomes more and more depleted.

In another instance, take a look at the Michigan program.

Last February I noted that scouts expected at least 22 players from Michigan to be in NFL camps this summer, the result of being selected in the draft or signed afterwards.

In the end the total was 18 players -- 11 players drafted and an additional seven signed as undrafted free agents. Only one junior, Jabrill Peppers, was included in this list.

In the lead-up to the 2017 NFL Draft, it took me almost two full days and eight game films, as well as Shrine Game and Senior Bowl practices, before I felt I had my pulse on the Wolverine prospects that could be selected or signed.

This weekend I did my preliminary film work on Michigan. And while things can change, I started Saturday morning and was done by 2 p.m. that afternoon after three game films. Presently there are five draft-eligible Michigan Wolverines in my database stamped as next-level prospects, four of whom have draftable grades.

The situation is even worse for interstate foe Michigan State. I noted just two draftable prospects after reviewing the Spartans' game film, and both of those players are underclassmen.

Despite the dreary outlook, I’ve been told several scouts rate Harold Landry of Boston College as the top prospect from the senior class and handed him a stratospheric grade not equaled in more than a decade.

Landry being at the top is not unusual, as college defensive linemen from Quentin Groves to Quentin Moses to Quinton Coples to Adrian Clayborn to Jonathan Allen have all been ranked as the No. 1 senior prospect heading into their final college seasons.

The question hovering over Landry, who gave serious consideration to entering last April’s draft, is his next-level position. Is he a defensive end in a one-gap scheme or a 3-4 outside linebacker?

Moving forward, you can expect a ranking of the MAC prospects by Wednesday before we move full steam into AAC prospect breakdowns by team.