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Highest-Graded Wolverines Through Six Games, Other Trends At Halfway Point

Here are some noteworthy grades and trends as Michigan sits at 6-0, ready to embark on the second half of the season.

Michigan is riding high at 6-0 and is ranked No. 6 in the country according to the AP Poll. That obviously doesn't happen without talented players playing at high level, and U-M has several doing that. Here's a look at the five highest-graded players on both sides of the ball (minimum 100 snaps) according to Pro Football Focus, along with a few trends worth looking at as U-M embarks on the second half of its season.

Offense

RB Blake Corum - 90.9

blake corum

It's not surprising that Corum is pacing the offense according to PFF. He's been fantastic all season long. He's pacing the Wolverines with 610 yards rushing on 97 carries and has found the end zone eight times. He hasn't been particularly good in pass pro according to PFF but as a ball carrier, he's as good as any back in the country.

RB Hassan Haskins - 86.2

hassan haskins

With as good as Michigan's running attack has been, it's not surprising that Corum and Haskins come in at No. 1 and 2. Haskins has carried it four more times than Corum for a total of 492 yards and eight touchdowns of his own. Michigan has only had two running backs eclipse 1,000 yards since 2009 (Karan Higdon -2018, Fitzgerald Toussaint 2011) and now has two on pace to do it in 2021.

OT Andrew Stueber - 76.4

Andrew Stueber

Stueber is one of several offensive linemen playing well for the Wolverines, which is obviously why Corum and Haskins have been so good. The 6-7, 337-pounder has held down the right tackle spot all season and shows no signs of letting up.

QB Cade McNamara - 75.5

cade mcnamara

McNamara hasn't been great, but he's played mistake-free football for the most part, which lends itself to the solid score per PFF. Through six games, McNamara is 72-of-119 (60.5%) for 986 yards and five touchdowns against just one interception. He's also only been sacked once and usually conducts drives that end in points. All of those things are valuable and have played a big part in Michigan's 6-0 start.

C Andrew Vastardis - 75.5

Andrew Vastardis

The former walk-on turned captain has been outstanding through six games. He's obviously not the biggest, most talented lineman on the line, but he's smart, in control and consistent. One thing that often gets overlooked unless it's an issue, is ball security between center and quarterback. Through six weeks, Vastardis has been perfect in this area. He's really shining as a run blocker and has held his own as a pass blocker as well.

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  • Left tackle Ryan Hayes has played more snaps than any other Wolverine on the roster. Through six games, he's been in on 366 snaps out of a possible 418 (87.6%). Stueber and Vastardis are just off of that pace at 365 and 361 snaps, respectively.

Defense

OLB Aidan Hutchinson - 92.6

aidan hutchinson

It's no surprise that Hutchinson has the highest grade on the team. He's been an animal all season long. He's leading the team with 20 quarterback hurries and 5.5 sacks. He has also racked up 24 tackles total. At 6-6, 265 pounds with great flexibility, speed and overall athleticism, Hutchinson is finally producing at a level congruent with his talent. Because of that, he's climbing up draft boards and has been viewed as a potential top five pick.

S Brad Hawkins - 83.5

brad hawkins

As a fifth-year senior, Hawkins has been very solid in the back end of U-M's defense. He actually has the best coverage grade on the roster at 80.3 per PFF. To date, he has three pass breakups on six targets and has not given up a single reception. He also hasn't been penalized. On top of all that, he's been extremely valuable as a leader in a new defensive scheme. It's all showing up in the numbers. He's played more snaps than any other defender on the roster with 344 of a possible 387.

OLB David Ojabo - 83.3

david ojabo

It's all starting to click for Ojabo and the results prove it. He has recorded 4.5 sacks and has put some phenomenal pass rush moves on tape through six games. As a self-described "F- freshman", Ojabo has turned a corner in a big way and continues to get better week after week. He's got 7 quarterback hurries on paper, but his presence is felt often because of his length and speed. 

DT Mazi Smith - 77.2

mazi smith

Smith was talked about during the preseason as someone who was ready to take a step forward and he has. He's recorded 14 tackles on the season and has pressured the quarterback five times from his interior defensive tackle spot. He's always been big, strong and quick, but he's playing better week after week now because of how he's reshaped his body and committed to the mental side of the game.

NB Daxton Hill - 73.3

daxton hill

Hill has probably been asked to do the most on the entire defense. He came to Michigan as the No. 1 safety in the country but is now playing nickel back almost exclusively. He's lined up over the slot on 240 of his 342 snaps and has spent another 53 in the box, 31 at free safety and 10 as a true boundary cornerback. He has given up 20 receptions on the season but he's been targeted 31 times, more than anyone else on the team. He has two interceptions on the season and routinely draws the speediest receiver on the other team as his main assignment.


  • Linebacker Junior Colson has played more snaps than any other true freshman with 144 of a possible 387. 
  • Quarterback JJ McCarthy has logged 60 snaps, which tops all freshmen on offense.
  • Offensive lineman Greg Crippen is at No. 2 among rookies with 45 and running back Donovan Edwards rounds out the top three with 43 snaps.
  • Safety Rod Moore has logged 41 snaps, which is the exact same number as sophomore safety Makari Paige.