Monday, Feb 19, 2018
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College

Three Michigan players invited to combine

ANN ARBOR — One year after Michigan sent a record-setting 14 players to the NFL Scouting Combine, the Wolverines will only have three representatives in Indianapolis.

Maurice Hurst, Mason Cole, and Mike McCray will all be present for the week-long extravaganza Feb. 27 through March 5.

The Combine, also known as the Underwear Olympics, is the premier pre-draft event for hopefuls who want to hear their name called in April. More than 300 players are invited to showcase their skills to front-office personnel at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Hurst is Michigan’s top prospect. Current projections have the 6-foot-2, 280-pound defensive tackle as a first-round selection, with many prognosticators focusing on the Dallas Cowboys at No. 19. If the prediction is correct, it would be the second consecutive year that a Michigan defensive lineman used a stout season to be a first-round pick of the Cowboys. Taco Charlton was the team’s pick last year.

Hurst, an All-American, had 61 tackles, 14.5 tackles for loss, and five sacks during the 2017 season. Pro Football Focus rated him as the top player at any position.

Cole, who played left tackle for most of his college career, projects as a center in the NFL. And despite only playing one full season at the position at UM, Cole is one of the top center prospects in the entire draft.

At the Senior Bowl, the 6-foot-5, 297-pound Cole was the North team’s starting center. He started every game of his college career, from freshman to senior, which gives NFL teams an awareness of his durability. Cole is projected as a mid-round selection.

The wildcard among Michigan’s combine participants is clearly McCray, a 6-foot-4, 240-pound linebacker who’s thought to be a late-round pick. But he could significantly boost his stock with an impressive combine showing.

McCray only helped his cause at the Senior Bowl, where he finished with five tackles and two pass breakups. Injuries slowed his career at Michigan and he also seemed a step slow against elite offensive talent.

McCray had 84 tackles, 17 tackles for loss, and five sacks as a senior captain in 2017.

Contact Kyle Rowland at krowland@theblade.com, 419-724-6110 or on Twitter @KyleRowland.

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