Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez 'pleased' with first spring practice
Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez gave a brief update of spring football practice after Thursday's press conference to announce the first night game in Michigan Stadium history.
The Wolverines held their second of 15 spring workouts Thursday, and have their first padded practice Saturday.
“They moved around well," Rodriguez said. "You can see the veteran guys understand how we run practice and the enthusiasm was outstanding. What you’d expect after you’ve been working out inside for about six or seven weeks and you go out and it’s a beautiful day and the sun’s out. I was really pleased. I think we made progress."
Rodriguez reiterated that he'll be slow installing offensive and defensive packages this spring.
“Because we need to work on a lot of technique stuff," Rodriguez said. "But the guys responded very well and I think today with the weather we should have another good practice."
McShay: Brandon Graham is draft's best outside linebacker
ESPN Scouts Inc. draft analyst Todd McShay said in a conference call Thursday that former Michigan defensive end Brandon Graham remains his top-rated outside linebacker.
Graham did not take part in linebacker drills at the NFL combine last month because of a hamstring injury. He has a private workout scheduled April 8 at Michigan.
"Depending on the 3-4 (defense) you run and what you're looking for, his height is a little bit of a concern," McShay said. "But I do think Brandon Graham, if you're looking for a 3-4 outside linebacker, is as good as you're going to get in this draft.
"Just his motor, intensity, toughness ... I went back and watched LaMarr Woodley as a senior coming out and compared him to Brandon Graham, there's not a big difference. We've seen how big of an impact that Woodley has made."
McShay projects Graham to get drafted 22nd overall by New England.
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 email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett.