Donovan Warren will have a 10-year NFL career, Michigan football assistant says
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.”
Lon Horwedel | AnnArbor.com
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 AnnArbor.com. He can be reached by phone at 734-623-2552 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett.