You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Thu, Feb 25, 2010 : 2:41 p.m.

Donovan Warren will have a 10-year NFL career, Michigan football assistant says

By Dave Birkett

Donovan Warren lined up as a free safety for a handful of snaps last year when Michigan went to an eight-man front, but the former Wolverine cornerback and his old secondary coach agree he can play that position in the NFL.

“I played corner most of the time, the majority of time I was there, but I feel like I could be just as good a safety,” Warren said last week. “Anywhere they need me. That versatility definitely will help. I have no problem playing both positions.”

Said Michigan defensive backs coach Tony Gibson, “I think you watch his film, he’s a physical kid, can do a lot of different things, can play corner or safety out there at the next level.”


Michigan's Donovan Warren returns an interception for a touchdown on the first pass of the game, Saturday night, October 10th at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City.

Lon Horwedel |

Gibson said he expects Warren to shine at the NFL combine in Indianapolis. The combine begins in earnest today, but defensive backs don’t work out until Tuesday.

“I think where Donovan’s going to excel, too, is in the room when they’re meeting with him and they put him on the board,” Gibson said. “He’s very smart. He was a leader for us in the back end. Just the things that he can do and bring to the table as far as making checks, he studied the film, knew what quarterbacks were going to do, what they were thinking.”

Gibson said he was disappointed Warren declared for the draft after his four-interception junior season - “You hate to lose a good player, but also you understand what the kids go through and they want to go make their money, that kind of thing,” he said - but disputed ESPN analyst Mel Kiper’s assertion that Warren’s decision was a mistake.

“I think he’ll be a guy that plays at least 10 years in the league as long as he can stay away from injury and that kind of thing because he’s a talented kid,” Gibson said.

Dave Birkett covers University of Michigan football for He can be reached by phone at 734-623-2552 or by e-mail at Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett.



Fri, Feb 26, 2010 : 9:13 a.m.

I see some of yo guys making comments apparently dont watch to much michiga football...Michigan db's almost always pan out in the nfl...Warren will have a good shot to be a great pick up for anyteam whom has proven leaders..he wont be asked to do as much as he did for rich rodriguez-bush..


Fri, Feb 26, 2010 : 4:53 a.m.

i am with the others here who object to the chronic name-calling that this site promotes. sarcasm is one thing, but childish attacks should be monitored. needs to clean it up and promote civil and intellectual discussion. now, on to my civil and intellectual comment...most of us posters here will never have the opportunity or decision donovan had to make about leaving u of m early. i was disappointed but not surprised. it would have been nice to keep what talented experience we had in the d backfield. but i understand what he did, accept my disappointment as a mere fan, hope we can re-load, and move on. i wish him success. go blue.


Thu, Feb 25, 2010 : 10:24 p.m.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again. Donovan Warren's play while at at Michigan will leave me with two lasting memories: 1) Me cringing every time an opposing QB threw the ball, and 2) Him fumbling what seemed like every kick/punt return he ever attempted (at least in 2008).


Thu, Feb 25, 2010 : 10:11 p.m.

Warren simply couldn't handle the rigor of our King's system. Although he stuck it out for a couple years, he ended up just like Mallett, Boren, Arrington, Manningham, Clemons, McGuffie, Threat, and all the other weaklings that couldn't hack it. Only the strong surive in our beloved King's system! Long Coach The King


Thu, Feb 25, 2010 : 6:36 p.m.

I think Kiper was right, but I sincerely hope Warren proves me wrong. He hasn't yet shown at Michigan the dominating coverage skills necessary to play in the NFL. Although admittedly, other than Brandon Graham, he wasn't surrounded with the most talented defensive players last year. We'll see.