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Mind of Mike

Arch Manning

Arch Manning

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image source="featured_image" img_size="large"][vc_column_text]Thoughts from the sometimes ridiculous Mind of Mike…

— Ok I’m re-thinking my Michigan isn’t a top-five Big Ten program next season. I hate when this happens and it’s not because of the outcry of Michigan fans. I obviously think they will take a big step back this season and lose to Ohio State and Michigan State. But the schedule is so crappy that I don’t know if I can keep them outside the top five behind teams like Iowa and Purdue. I’ll give them fourth behind Ohio State, Wisconsin, and Michigan State I suppose. This will of course change often. Losing two elite rush ends, your most physical running back and a safety who did so much from ranging to covering the slot isn’t easy and those QB and WR questions haven’t been answered. But worse than 9-3 might be hard.

— Will Georgia fade back into the runner-up role in the SEC with Alabama looking so strong? Yes. At least for this season but possibly for seasons to come. There is absolutely no slow down in Tuscaloosa and Nick Saban is ticked off regarding the transfer portal and NIL. So what’s he going to do? Show the NCAA how guard rails need to be installed while dominating selectively through the portal and selling kids on first-round money and not collectives. Alabama should win it all next year and it could be another long run. He’s 70 and looks and acts 50.

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— So which pass rushers will succeed and which will be average or even bust from this year’s NFL Draft? Here are my top five from safest to riskiest.

  1. Jermaine Johnson, FSU - It’s his energy and motor that sell me on film. He never stops and he sometimes arrives at the football too soon? How is this possible? Watch a few clips and you’ll see the running back and quarterback are so alarmed at his quick presence they just fall, and he doesn’t get the big hit he wants.
  2. Aidan Hutchinson, Michigan - He’s not a Bosa so let’s get that clear but he can be as good. While they have better overall athleticism, Hutchinson’s motor and passion for football appears even stronger. He’s Jared Allen and that’s amazing.
  3. George Karlaftis, Purdue — Stout and versatile, he sets the edge really well against the run but is also a powerful pass rusher. He works really well rushing the quarterback from the inside on third and long as well, where he can use his strength and quick first step to punish interior linemen.
  4. Travon Walker, Georgia — High risk and high reward. A freaky, twitchy athlete who doesn’t show that in pass rush yet he’s too rare to pass on but there is risk.
  5. Kayvon Thibodeaux, Oregon — I just worry as some NFL execs to. There’s something there that doesn’t scream all football and while that’s not a bad thing, investing a top 5 or 10 pick in someone who could be a business mogul in four years is risky.

Baker Mayfield may be an ass. I don’t know. My limited, limited experience with him wasn’t great but I don’t know the man. But I know this. As a professional QB, he deserves better than this.

— A new contender is in place for Arch Manning and it would mean he doesn’t have to go far from home. LSU head coach Brian Kelly has quietly made a big impression on Manning and the family as the Tigers are now very much in the mix with Texas and Alabama with Ole Miss and Georgia still in there and the Gators being a long shot.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]