ANN ARBOR, Mich. — The Orange Bowl on Friday will be a contest that’s packed with NFL prospects.
When No. 6 Michigan (10-2) faces No. 11 Florida State (9-3) at 8 p.m. at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla., there’s a good chance you’ll see many of the top names in the New Year’s Six bowl game playing on Sundays next fall.
In October, Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh made a projection for his program:
“I don’t know how many guys will get drafted, but it’ll be double digits,” Harbaugh said on his weekly radio show.
In the last five seasons, Michigan has had at least two players selected by NFL teams, and more signed as undrafted free agents.
Since 1990, the most players that have been selected in the draft from Michigan is seven, in 1990, 2007 and 2008.
Here are five NFL prospects who will play in the Orange Bowl:
Jabrill Peppers, LB, Michigan
Peppers had 72 tackles, four sacks and eight quarterback hurries at linebacker. On special teams, he averaged 26 yards on 10 kickoff returns and 14.8 yards on 21 punt returns. On offense, he has 167 yards and three touchdowns on 27 carries, and two catches for three yards.
Peppers, however, is the wild card for Michigan. He is three years out of school and eligible for the NFL Draft, but he has not yet announced his intentions for 2017, either to return to Michigan or to turn pro. The deadline to declare for the NFL Draft as an underclassman is Jan. 16.
Draft projection: No. 1 outside linebacker, No. 3 overall
Taco Charlton, DE, Michigan
Charlton was part of a defensive line that rotated players to keep them healthy, but Charlton’s stock rose because of his pass-rushing skills.
Charlton had 38 tackles, including 11 for a loss of 38 yards, 8.5 sacks and eight quarterback hurries. ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. projected Charlton as a late first-round or early second-round pick.
Draft projection: No. 6 defensive end, No. 31 overall
Jake Butt, TE, Michigan
Butt chose to return to Michigan for his final year of eligibility instead of turning pro after the 2015 season and has 43 catches for 518 yards and four touchdowns in 12 games.
The 6-foot-6, 250-pound Butt will leave Michigan as its all-time leading receiver among tight ends; Butt has 135 catches for 1,618 yards and 11 touchdowns entering the Orange Bowl.
Draft projection: No. 2 tight end, No. 38 overall
Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State
Cook, a junior, is eighth in the nation in rushing (135 yards a game) and led the Seminoles’ rushers with 1,620 yards and 18 touchdowns on 268 carries.
He’s a unanimous All-American, but Cook is also the wild card for Florida State because, like Peppers, he is three years out of high school and has a year of eligibility remaining at Florida State.
Draft projection: No. 2 running back, No. 12 overall
DeMarcus Walker, DE, Florida State
The 6-foot-4, 280-pound Walker is tied for first in the nation in sacks (15; 1.25 a game). Walker was also named a second-team All-American Monday by the Associated Press and was named the ACC’s defensive player of the year.
Walker also has 64 tackles, including 17.5 for a loss of 124 yards, three forced fumbles and four quarterback hurries.
Draft projection: No. 7 defensive end, No. 33 overall
All draft projections are by CBSSports.com.