NFL Draft: Here are the top three prospects from the University of Michigan
The University of Michigan is one of college football's bluebloods, and it hasn't stopped churning out top NFL Draft prospects.
This year's class features multiple Michigan players, ranging from linemen to defensive backs, all of whom have experience playing for one of college football's top programs in one of the game's most competitive conferences.
A factor that perhaps strengthens their resumes is that they were coached by Jim Harbaugh, a former NFL head coach who now leads the Wolverines.
Here are the top three 2021 NFL Draft prospects from Michigan:
Michigan NFL Draft Prospect No. 1: Defensive lineman Kwity Paye
Paye is ranked as the No. 8 overall prospect in this year's class by CBS Sports, and for good reason.
The 6-foot-4, 272-pound defensive lineman racked up 97 tackles and 11.5 sacks as a Wolverine. His best season came in 2019, when he totaled 50 tackles and six-and-a-half sacks.
Paye also has a unique story; he was born in a refugee camp in Guinea during civil war in Liberia. His family fled to the United States, where his athletic talents and hard work have made him a star and set him up for a promising career.
Michigan NFL Draft Prospect No. 2: Offensive lineman Jalen Mayfield
No matter how good their offensive lines are, teams are always looking to improve that position group. And Mayfield would help out any NFL franchise.
Having started for the Wolverines since his sophomore year, the 6-foot-5, 320-pound offensive lineman earned Honorable Mention All-Big Ten honors that season. CBS ranks him as the No. 29 overall prospect.
After the COVID-19 pandemic's effect on eligibility, Mayfield could have played two more years in college, but opted instead to enter the NFL Draft. Whichever team ultimately selects him will be glad he made that choice.
Michigan NFL Draft Prospect No. 3: Cornerback Ambry Thomas
You have to go farther down the list to find Michigan's third-ranked prospect: Thomas, who CBS ranks as the No. 108 overall prospect.
The 6-foot, 183-pound cornerback opted out this past season, but in 2019, he notched three interceptions and 38 tackles. Adding on his 2017-18 stats, Thomas totaled four picks and 54 tackles as a Wolverine.
It's unclear if his decision to opt out will ultimately help or hurt Thomas, but his talent is clear. And one NFL team will surely pull the trigger on the Michigan defender.