Sunday, May 02, 2010

Mailbag question: Position Groups Grades

Posted at 8:00am -- 5/2/2010

Mailbag question: Position Groups Grades

Hey Guys,

What is your overall take on each position group?

I realize that this might be a long question/answer for you guys so maybe you can make it into a series or something without the question.

I thought I remember a breakdown last year of each position group and your feeling towards that group going into the fall.

Ted M.


Thanks for the question.

Here is a quick version for each position group as determined through spring practice. Here is a reminder of our grading scale. Of course, there is always error and debate about any such grade designation.

A = Great
B = Good
C = Average/Okay
D = Poor/Need Help
F = Hope and Pray for a great recruiting class at that position

Tight End:

The players in this group are extremely talented, possibly having the best skills for their position of any group on the Michigan roster. Of concern is that regardless of the talent, this group must perform (make a play and catch the ball) when the opportunity arises, even though opportunities have been somewhat infrequent. Other groups are in a similar but lesser situation, namely the slots and the wideouts.

Our Grade: B

Split Ends:

One observation that comes to mind is this group has good height. They could be a part of a successful basketball team. A second is the young guys have very good hands. A final thought is only one of them, Stonum, has the speed to stretch the field in our opinion.

Our Grade: C+

Slot Receivers:

There certainly is much more talent at this position that when Coach Rodriguez arrived. None of the talent has yet to step up to impact level. Odoms is very solid, Gallon has the potential to be a big play guy, Grady and T. Robinson are nice depth on the roster. These guys must catch the ball, as the offense does not function well on 2-10, 3-8 type of situations after drops. If Roundtree plays primarily at slot, this adds to the effectiveness of the overall group, since he is used to catche the ball downfield at not at the line of scrimmage.

Our Grade: With Roundtree as a slot B, without B-

Offensive Line:

This is the deepest group on the team. The offensive line can go nine deep and still compete at a good level. We were impressed with the overall improvement of the group. They are still a year away from being well above average in our opinion. Remember, last year most thought this was an exemplary unit and look what happened. Let us hope Molk is 100% back. But the athleticism has clearly improved which enhances the opportunity for future gains.

Our Grade: C+ with a chance to go much higher.


The athletic ability is off the charts and now the offense finally has quarterbacks with the skills needed to run the offense. As with the receivers and slots, the quarterbacks must do their share to improve the passing game.

Our Grade: B-

Running Back:

A solid but unspectacular group; all are capable of getting the job done. This group does lack a go-to type runner that can carry a game and make life easier for a quarterback. But even with a committee, not one running back this spring stood out from the rest of the pack. One would have a good day and then soon after have a bad day, and so this group is still a work in progress.

Our Grade: C+

Defensive Line:

This is a solid workman group that really missed Martin this spring. He will be needed to raise their grade. The one thing that concerns us right now is the lack of a pass rush. Something that has been discussed for a year – this remains troubling in our opinion. But the group was better against the run, hopefully not because of mediocre Michigan backs.

Our Grade: C+, with Martin a B- or B is quite possible.


Here we go again, it seems like every spring we see some hope at linebacker only to be disappointed when games start in the fall. We are waiting until we see how they play against teams that use tight ends, H-backs, or lead fullbacks before getting too excited.

Our Grade: C


The starters are solid, but the overall lack of depth is concerning right now, and counting on true freshman. Especially in the defensive backfield is not a good thing. This can be a nightmare when you are hoping true freshman play like upperclassmen.

Our grade C+

Bandit and Spur:

These guys have been solid against the run, but remain a major work in progress against the pass. We all have to remember that this spring we did not see a lot of downfield passing or a vertical passing attack by the offense, so the defense never really played on their heels or were put to the test.

Our Grade: C

Free Safety:

Vlad's knee was a big hit, he never moved as well late as he had earlier in the spring. Gordon shows some signs of being able to play. Again until we see this group against a vertical passing game we are going to be cautious.

Our grade- C+

Special Teams:

Kicking- To be determined- be glad the season is not tomorrow. Will Hagerup will have moments as a true freshman, but once in the grove he should be adequate as a punter, even as a freshman. The placekicking is very unsettled and wide open.

Return game: There is plenty of speed and talent, the results could come down to who can hold onto the ball and how much effort is put into the return game.

Grade- To be determined

Written by GBMW Staff

Go Blue -- Wear Maize!


Anonymous said...

your assessment scares the h@ll out of me. will they make a bowl?

GBMW BLOG said...

Yes, we think UM has very good shot at making a Bowl Game.

GregGoBlue said...

I think that assessment is accurate, for the most part.

D Line I would disagree. With Campbell, Martin and RVB, I think that's a very solid group. Sure depth sucks, but our starting group I think is the strongest on this team. At least between great and good rather than good and average.

GBMW BLOG said...

The reason The D line grade was not higher was because they had trouble getting pressure on the QB.

GBMW BLOG said...

The reason the D Lines grade was not higher was inability to generate a meaningful pass rush.

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