The early birds with the early words have spoken: Devin Funchess is a potential (almost surefire) first-rounder in 2015.
Entering his junior year at Michigan, Funchess has carved a reputation as one of the best tight ends in all of college football, although he’s been moved to wide receiver to accommodate the Wolverines’ needs on the edge.
As a freshman, he earned All-Big Ten status and was among the best first-yearers in the country. This past season, he was named as the league’s best tight end.
At 6’5”, 235 pounds, the former Farmington Hills Harrison standout gives Team 135 a sure set of hands, great athleticism and an example-setting type of work ethic.
During the past two years, he’s earned the respect and trust of coaches and teammates, all the while evolving into the team’s premier big-pass option—over the middle, along the sidelines and everywhere in between, that’s his territory.
The 2014 NFL draft is a memory, and those who enjoy politicking about future picks are most certainly focusing their attention to Brady Hoke’s versatile junior, who could soon land on an NFL corner near you.
Mock the Mocks
In all likelihood, you’re waiting for this fall to unfold, not next May. Funchess hasn’t even taken the field, yet, as far as draft pundits are concerned, he’s as good as gone. Better not blink—you could miss him.
And how much fun would that be?
Michigan fans have grown accustomed to Funchess’ tip-toeing along the sidelines; they’ve grown fond of watching him flash his vertical leap and flex his muscle on defensive backs. They’ll probably enjoy watching him go late in the first round of the next draft, too.
As of May 14, Funchess was cast to Green Bay, No. 27 overall by Rotoworld's Josh Norris, and to Carolina, No. 28 by CBS Sports' Dane Brugler. However, Richard Langford of Bleacher Report predicted St. Louis taking Funchess at No. 20.
"Cam Newton to Funchess" has a nice ring to it. But then again, so does, "Aaron Rodgers to Funchess."
CBS offered the following explanation: "With Greg Olsen not getting any younger, a young replacement could be targeted and Funchess has the athletic skills to develop into something special."
Rotoworld came up with this: "Funchess has been fun to watch, when given an opportunity. That is the question, will he receive enough targets to warrant this kind of a pick. He has plenty of talent.
Langford sees a lot of upside with Michigan's wideout/tight end: "Devin Funchess is a good, all-around tight end. He is emerging as a force in the passing game after catching 748 yards worth of passes last year. With more targets, he will be a star. The Rams will look for offensive talent with an already exciting group of players on defense."
If USA Today writer Brent Sobleski's mock comes true, Funchess will join Jeremy Gallon and Tom Brady in Beantown. Imagine that offense after New England takes the star-in-the-making with the No. 30 pick.
For fans, Sobleski's prediction works best. What Wolverines supporter doesn't want to see their favorites play together on Sunday?
But, of course, these are extremely early guesses and they're not likely to happen. But it doesn't hurt to entertain the idea.
Follow Bleacher Report’s Michigan Wolverines football writer Adam Biggers on Twitter @AdamBiggers81