Michael Schofield, left, who started two years at right tackle for Michigan, is expected to be a mid- to late-round draft pick. (John T. Greilick / Detroit News)
Mobile, Ala. — For the past two years, Michigan left tackle Taylor Lewan has been labeled a sure-thing, first-round draft pick.
But Michigan right tackle Michael Schofield III has high hopes, too.
And playing second fiddle hasn’t bothered Schofield.
“I’m not mad about it,” he said this week at the Senior Bowl. “I’ve always kind of been the shy guy, and Taylor is obviously the attention guy. I like that he’s always the one that has to deal with the media and everything while I can just go in the background and get my job done.”
Schofield has reverted to his old job, playing primarily right guard at the Senior Bowl, which he hopes will showcase his versatility in front of NFL scouts.
Schofield started 10 games at left guard as a sophomore before playing every game at right tackle the last two seasons. He’s projected as a mid- to late-round pick, and because most teams keep two reserve offensive linemen active on game days, having one who can one who can play multiple positions is ideal.
“I think he’s more of a right tackle than he is a guard,” NFL Network analyst Charles Davis said. “But I like him a bunch. I know that he had to play with Taylor Lewan and (Lewan) got more publicity, but this is a kid you better not sell short. I think he’s a good player.”
Schofield said the decision to play guard this week was partly his decision and partly the decision of the Falcons coaching staff.
“I think some people are concerned about foot speed and footwork,” Davis said. “But I think overall, to me he looks more like a right tackle than he does a guard.”
Schofield is 6-foot-65⁄8 and 303 pounds, but plans to bulk up to 310 pounds by the combine, which would be a good size for an NFL tackle.
And now that he’s on the doorstep of making his jump from Michigan to the NFL, Schofield has to pinch himself.
“It still just feels like a dream right now,” he said. “(It’s) just kind of surreal, but I’m just trying to live it up and take advantage of it.”
If Schofield makes it, he already knows of at least one charitable program he plans to help with his status. His father — Michael Schofield Jr., a fire chief in Orland Park, Ill. — started a program a few years ago going around to area schools to share with teens stories of drug abuse and encourage them to make the right decisions. The younger Schofield and his brother have helped their father by talking to some students in the past.
“If you can perform well down here, the sky’s the limit,” Schofield said.