ESPN NFL Draft analyst Mel Kiper has described former Michigan left guard and two-time captain Ben Bredeson as the “best pure guard” in the upcoming draft and sees him as a Day 2 selection.
The three-day draft begins April 23.
In Kiper’s latest mock draft, he has former Michigan center Cesar Ruiz trending up to the No. 27 spot — he had been at No. 32 in Kiper’s previous list. Ruiz, who had a season of eligibility remaining, is considered the top prospect among former Michigan players in the draft, along with linebacker Josh Uche.
Gil Brandt, the Sirius XM NFL analyst and former vice president of player personnel for the Dallas Cowboys, recently released his top-150 NFL Draft prospects and included four Michigan players. He ranks Ruiz No. 47, Uche No. 75, Bredeson at No. 86 and safety Josh Metellus at No. 114.
Several former Michigan players are hoping to get drafted or picked up in free agency to continue their careers. There were 11 former Wolverines at the NFL Combine, including Ruiz, Bredeson, right guard Michael Onwenu and left tackle Jon Runyan, quarterback Shea Patterson, tight end Sean McKeon and receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones. On defense, Uche was invited as well as linebacker Khaleke Hudson, Metellus and cornerback Lavert Hill. Linebacker Jordan Glasgow and defensive end Mike Danna also have been preparing for the draft.
Bredeson is projected by Kiper to potentially go in the third round, which is Day 2, April 24.
“There are five or six teams in the second-, third-round area could be looking, and Bredeson to me is a third- or fourth-round type prospect right now,” Kiper said Wednesday during an ESPN conference call.
Kiper said versatile players like Louisiana-Lafayette right tackle Robert Hunt, who can play tackle or guard, might be taken ahead of someone like Bredeson.
“Some of the versatile guys slip ahead of a pure guard when you go through and start ranking these guys and finalizing grades on where these guys can go,” Kiper said. “The Baltimore Ravens obviously need a center/guard, that’s an area of concern. You think about Miami is restructuring their offensive live, the Rams are another team, obviously, looking at offensive linemen, as well. Kansas City, Seattle need interior linemen. There are some teams I think could go that route. The Jets, as well, did some things in free agency, they’re trying to restructure their offensive line to the best they can.”