The hot name as we enter the final five predraft days? Michigan quarterback Chad Henne. Two scouts I trust told me over the weekend they like him better than they like Ryan. There's a team somewhere between 8 and 17 -- and I can't figure out which one -- interested in trading down a few slots and drafting Henne with a first-round pick.Ok, so I know Chad was a decent passer. He had a rocket arm. He was a not-so-decent runner. But to see his name ahead of Matt Ryan from BC just makes me smile. I think Chad could really find a niche in the league. Much like Tom Brady did, I think Henne has the same sort of mentality.
On the flip side, there's Mike Hart. Most gurus pick him somewhere in the 4th or 5th round. I personally don't know how well he may fit into a role in the NFL. I can see him as a sort of Barry Sanders type back. But at the same time, Barry was a once in a lifetime sort of player. Hart will probably struggle in the NFL to find a great role to play. He'd be a good pass blocker, maybe a good third down back...but nothing more.
And that's a tough thing to say about a guy who ran for more than 5,000 yards en route to the rushing record at Michigan. Most major career records were broken by Hart. But what I think most scouts see in him is a small back who ran a mediocre 40 yard dash and had recurring injury problems due to being forced into a heavy workload. Its a shame. He's as tough a back as you'll find in the draft. He works hard, he's a natural leader, he's never one to shy away from taking on men much bigger than him head on. Backs like Mike Hart don't come along too often. Lets hope someone in the league sees that and gives him a fair shot.
And finally, off topic...but noteworthy. The Big Ten released some times for game this year in which they label as "prime time" games. One of which is Michigan-Penn State. Kickoff in Happy Valley is at 4:30...which I guess really isn't prime time...but hey. So mark your October 18th calendars accordingly.