PFF has 2 Michigan football players best returning defensive players


Many ask the question as to whether Michigan football will be in reloading or rebuilding mode in Sherrone Moore’s first year. But the Wolverines are perhaps more talented than may across college football may realize.

While the offense has a ton of questions — particularly at quarterback, where there is no presumed leader, as well as at wide receiver — the rest of the team is pretty loaded. The offensive line, tight ends, and running backs should be elite.

And that’s not even looking at the defensive side of the ball.

On defense, the Wolverines return a large portion of 2024’s playmakers, despite losing standouts such as Mike Sainristil, Kris Jenkins, Junior Colson, and Mike Barrett. With Mason Graham and Kenneth Grant leading the charge up front, Ernest Hausmann and Jaishawn Barham taking over the middle, and Makari Paige and Will Johnson coming back on the back end, there is a lot to like about this new-look defense. So much so that two of the aforementioned made PFF analyst Max Chadwick’s list for his ‘all-returning defensive team.’

According to Chadwick, Michigan has two players on defense that are the best at their position: defensive tackle Mason Graham and cornerback Will Johnson. So much so that both made his list.

Certainly, safety Rod Moore could have had a claim, also, at his position but he tore his ACL during spring practice. Grant can’t be too far behind Michigan native and Kentucky DT Deone Walker, and the Grant-Graham tandem is likely the best in the country.

While many of the others not listed — including edge rushers Derrick Moore and Josaiah Stewart — they certainly could find themselves atop the list once the season has concluded.





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