3 Michigan Players Who May Declare for the Draft and Never Play for the Wolverines Again

By David Hayes
Jalen Mayfield is just one of many Wolverine stars who are eligible for the 2021 NFL Draft.
Jalen Mayfield is just one of many Wolverine stars who are eligible for the 2021 NFL Draft. / Duane Burleson/Getty Images
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The Big Ten's decision to delay the conference's 2020 college football season from this fall to next spring sent shockwaves across the sport. A conference-wide announcement like this one now also means that College Football Playoff contender Michigan's name is removed from this year's potential race.

With that being said, there could also be a handful of top-caliber Wolverine talents we never see take the field for Michigan again as collegiate players eligible for the 2021 NFL Draft.

Top Michigan Players Eligible for 2021 NFL Draft

1. Jalen Mayfield, OT

Jaylen Mayfield projects to be a competitive offensive tackle prospect for the 2021 NFL Draft class.
Jaylen Mayfield projects to be a competitive offensive tackle prospect for the 2021 NFL Draft class. / Michael Hickey/Getty Images

A former four-star recruit out of high school, Jalen Mayfield certainly stepped up to the plate for the Wolverines last season as a first-year starter in 2019. The redshirt sophomore grades out well for footwork and athleticism, and 2020 was shaping up to be a launchpad for a breakout campaign ahead of potentially entering the 2021 NFL Draft with more year of starting experience under his belt.

2. Nico Collins, WR

Nico Collins projected to be one of Michigan's top receiving threats in 2020.
Nico Collins projected to be one of Michigan's top receiving threats in 2020. / Aaron J. Thornton/Getty Images

Largely hidden behind the presence and attention paid to Donovan Peoples-Jones a year ago, 2020 figured to be Nico Collins' year to take over WR1 duties in Ann Arbor. While he is a rising senior, it's very possible that his time at Michigan with the Wolverines is over after a junior campaign that saw him haul in 37 grabs for 729 yards and 7 TDs.

3. Ambry Thomas, CB

Ambry Thomas projected to be one of Michigan's top talents on defense in 2020.
Ambry Thomas projected to be one of Michigan's top talents on defense in 2020. / Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

As far as eligibility goes, Ambry Thomas is in the same boat as Collins as a rising senior who we might now see forgo his senior season and declare for the 2021 NFL Draft next spring instead. Shrouded by a cloud of NFL talent that largely departed in the 2020 NFL Draft this April, Thomas is now the biggest and perhaps most underrated talent on his side of the ball for a Michigan team that was expecting to have some young players steps up in 2020.


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David Hayes is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, David Hayes also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username DavidWHayes. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.

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