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Posted on Sat, Apr 24, 2010 : 6:21 p.m.

Zoltan Mesko, Stevie Brown drafted, Donovan Warren goes unpicked

By Dave Birkett

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Donovan Warren, who entered the NFL draft after his junior season at Michigan, was not selected on Saturday. (File photo)

Donovan Warren’s decision to turn pro a year early was a costly one.

Warren was not selected in the three-day NFL draft, which finished with Rounds 4-7 Saturday. He led Michigan with four interceptions as a junior last year and said when he left school in December he expected to be a top-three-round pick.

Warren did not return a phone call seeking comment Saturday, but wrote midway through the seventh round on Twitter, “Damn, From the bottom to the top on my mama”.

After the draft, he Tweeted that he signed with the New York Jets as an undrafted free agent.

Three Michigan players were drafted this week: Defensive end Brandon Graham went in the first round, 13th overall, to the Eagles; punter Zoltan Mesko was the 19th pick of the fifth round by the Patriots; and the Eagles took safety Stevie Brown in the seventh round with pick 251.

Mesko, the first punter drafted, worked out for the Patriots last week in Ann Arbor. He said in a conference call with New England media that his long wait made him think he might go unpicked.

“But somehow the Patriots were really wanting to draft me and it was just unbelievable that they did,” he said. “My heart is still racing and I’m still on cloud nine.”

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Zoltan Mesko

Mesko said he started rooting for the Patriots when he signed with Michigan five years ago because Tom Brady, his favorite NFL player, was their quarterback. When told Brady’s locker was next to punter Chris Hanson’s last year, Mesko said, “Wow.”

“He’s done such a great job of overcoming being drafted in the sixth round,” Mesko said. “It’s crazy how much he has done and how many people he’s proved wrong. That’s my philosophy in life. I get motivated more about the negative things that are said about me. I like to fuel myself that way.

“I’d love to model myself after Tom Brady, so maybe getting to know him more will help that mindset.”

Brown hosted a draft party for about 30 friends and family members Saturday in Indianapolis. He said he was sitting on the front porch when Raiders coach Tom Cable called to tell him he was about to be drafted.

“As soon as he said that my house erupted and everybody came running outside because it went across the TV at the same time,” Brown said. “It’s just a dream come true. This is what I’ve always worked for, this is what I’ve always wanted to do. I’ve always wanted to be in the NFL and this is my first step to it, knowing that my name was called and I get to go into camp and just it means a lot to me. It means everything to me right now."

Brown said he talked to Warren throughout the draft and was happy he ended up with the Jets.

"It might actually be a good situation that he gets to go play for his goddad," Brown said. "This wasn't the ideal turnout that he wanted, but everything happens for a reason."

Two other former Wolverines signed as free agents Saturday. Offensive tackle Mark Ortmann said in a text message he signed with the Carolina Panthers, and receiver Greg Mathews signed with the Chicago Bears.

More draft thoughts • Graham was Michigan’s ninth first-round draft pick in the last 10 years, and maybe the Wolverines’ last for a while. It’s too early to say how underclassmen like left tackle Taylor Lewan and nose guard Will Campbell will develop, but Michigan doesn’t have a first-round junior or senior on its roster and most of its skill players don’t project well for the NFL.

Next year’s draft class looks weak for the third straight year, with Steve Schilling the probable first Wolverine off the board somewhere in the early to mid rounds.

• Graham, by the way, was particularly excited about going to Philadelphia because of the way the Eagles plan to use him: As a defensive end, playing on the left side.

“They got me on best side,” he said Thursday. “I’m glad I’m playing defensive line, too.”

Some teams evaluated Graham as an outside linebacker for a 3-4 defensive scheme, and he put in a lot of work the past three months training for the position. Still, he always wanted to stay at defensive end.

“Linebacker is out of the picture now - until somebody wants to play me at linebacker,” Graham said. “Still got it tucked (away). If they want to drop me (in pass coverage), I’m going to get an interception.”

• Can’t fault the Lions for trading back into Round 1 to get running back Jahvid Best. All it cost was a swap of fourth-round picks, and while USC defensive end Everson Griffen, Maryland offensive tackle Bruce Campbell and South Carolina linebacker Eric Norwood came off the board during the 28 spots Detroit moved down, it’s a small price to pay considering history.

On Day 2 of the draft each of the last two years, teams traded up to the first pick to take the top running back left on the board. No telling if that would have happened Friday, but Martin Mayhew and Co. didn’t want to miss out on the home-run hitter they think solidifies their backfield.

• If you’re the Rams, would you rather have Sam Bradford and Rodger Saffold or Ndamukong Suh and Jimmy Clausen? The Rams took the former pairing with Picks 1 and 33, but could have had the latter had they gone with Suh, the consensus top talent available, No. 1 overall.

The NFL’s a quarterback league, so taking Bradford with the first pick made sense. But if Clausen becomes a serviceable starter and Suh-perman returns, the Rams may live to regret their decision.

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.


Man in the Mirror

Thu, Apr 29, 2010 : 8:39 p.m.

@milangoblue: The NFL is a quarterback league, Boren is high on the radar, and Toney Clemons well....he was clocked at a 4.27 40 and a 4.18 pro agility shuttle at a NFL combine in Colorado earlier this month. He's in the latest Sporting News magazine AGAIN. They say is vertical is way up there! 6'3" 210 lbs. being coached by Tampa Bay's former WR coach. He showed out at Colorado's spring game....NFL material...don't hate, it's not pretty. Best of luck to Donovan and all the Michigan Wolverines who are now part of the NFL!


Mon, Apr 26, 2010 : 11:17 a.m.

I could very well see D.Robb Heisman talk this year.... as early as when we crush michigan state this year and run their obnoxious fans back home crying. Looking so forward to this year, 10-13 wins. Tater, Heartbreak, Robbie, Theo, Terry Star and BlueSC - is it too early too order BCS Championship tickets? I know Michigan will be there playing, and it'll be a mad scramble for a million or so tickets!


Mon, Apr 26, 2010 : 4:22 a.m.

Here, here, Theo! After next year's Heisman voting of 1) D-Rob, 2) Vince Smith, 3) Devin Gardner, and 4) Tate Forcier, one would naturally tend to believe that they will all be first rounders.... And Right On, T-Star! Long Coach The King


Sun, Apr 25, 2010 : 9:39 p.m.

Glad to see Zoltan picked up in the draft. few kickers and punters are. Im sure it had to do with RR's system where the punter is on the field nearly 20% of the time. Im sure the NFL scouts had a ton of film to watch on Zoltan.


Sun, Apr 25, 2010 : 6:22 p.m.

Manny please listen to me bro. If you hadnt signed with an agent please contact your boy Donovan Warren before signing. I fear that after the NBA Draft you guys will have more in common than UM scholarships...

Terry Star21

Sun, Apr 25, 2010 : 11:17 a.m.

@ Theo... I like your attitude. Good to our king's draft picks go well - Big Ten's Best. I really think D.Robb's going to break out this year (pryor who?). I set near the field @ the spring game (I know critic's, just a spring game) and I commented on his vast improved scrambling, reads, quick release, and accuracy, etc. But something I haven't read about is, what I saw in his confidence. Calling the plays, yelling across on a change, his snap movement, heading back to the line. So I went back on some film from last year, big difference! His very first UM snap, he was jittery, fumbled the ball (though he did pick it up and run for a touchdown - in a panic). Even the hurtful iowa pass to end UM chances - he was nervous, bad read. Point is, it was just a spring game - but I saw NFL QB actions, compared to a fresh-out-of-school QB from last season. This is all we have seen, and I for one am impressed, and seriously could see D.Robb most improved B10 this year. And leaving for the NFL - not a chance. D.Robb has told people how much he and his Florida teammates feel like family, MICHIGAN FAMILY! For sure - Those who stay will be Champions... Thanks Bo.


Sun, Apr 25, 2010 : 7:34 a.m.

Oh well, Mr Warren made a life's choice, his life's choice doesn't effect or bother me one bit. I could care less, he has the same options as you or I. You know the old saying close one door opens another. He might have gone pro and gotten hurt who knows. That wide receiver a few years back from USC Mike?? left early for the paper and what a bad decision that was kind of led Maurice Clarette down the same road. It's a good decision if it works bad if not. Being from southern Ca. I've had opportunity to watch Jahvid Best, he's special to say the least. Most football players have had concussions and a lot of those are not documented, if you really want to control concussions cancel all football games, only way. Example, Ben Roethlisberger has had so many concussions football, motorcycles etc. that he can no longer make responsible decisions. Football is a crap shoot some shine some don't you just never know just ask Kurt Warner or Tom Brady, Donovan Warren still has a chance.


Sun, Apr 25, 2010 : 1:02 a.m.

@15crown00 "Rosebowl Stevie Brown has a chance if he can play at the pro level." That would make sense.


Sat, Apr 24, 2010 : 11:08 p.m.

Graham?Probably makes it A good punter is always needed Rosebowl Stevie Brown has a chance if he can play at the pro level. Donovan Warren may have made the biggest mistake of his young life when he declared early. WHO CARES ABOUT Notre Dame JIMMY?

Terry Star21

Sat, Apr 24, 2010 : 10:32 p.m.

@ HeartbreakM... AS much as I liked him, I think you have touched upon some interesting points with Warren - he did give up many big plays. Most of this was from bad reads, and being out of position. Just like Brandon's stats and video helping in the NFL selects, Donovan's heart him. Let's just give RichRod and his staff a lot of credit for shaping Brandon, Zoltan, and Stevie, because if they had just let up a touch - could have been like the msu/osu in the NFL selection.


Sat, Apr 24, 2010 : 8:29 p.m.

I am not surprised that DW was not drafted though I expected him to be a late draft pick. He simply did not play well enough in real games and probably showed very little in training sessions. The entire defense, except for BG, was suspect. I never understood those who praised DW. He made a few interceptions, sure, but he gave up quite a few big plays and more times he was out of position. Feel bad for him, but he really needed a fourth year. Now, the question that comes up: Was he not good enough? Was he not coached up enough? Others: Is lack of first round material an indictment on talent left by LC or development by RR? Does it matter? MSU and OSU did not have anybody drafted high--OSU's first player was 116th pick. Yet OSU won the B10 championship (again) and won the Rose Bowl (and MSU beat us twice in a row). Suffice it to say that NFL talent does not mean everything when looking at the teams.


Sat, Apr 24, 2010 : 7:15 p.m.

Dave... Don't you think Ryan Mallett, Justin Boren and Toney Clemons could be high-round picks? Oh, wait. Nevermind.


Sat, Apr 24, 2010 : 7:12 p.m.

Maybe Donovan "Desoto" Warren can get a job at the same car wash that Ernest Shazor works. One can wash, the other can dry.

Macabre Sunset

Sat, Apr 24, 2010 : 5:55 p.m.

Maybe it's the wake-up call he needs. But not entirely his fault, as analysts were calling him a late first-rounder or second-rounder as late as November. I guess teams studied the film and didn't see what they were looking for. A very expensive mistake on his part, though. Not sure why the Lions are banking so much on a talented running back with a serious history of concussions. That might not end well. Being fortunate enough not to have an injury history is as important as anything when it comes to drafting RBs. I'm sure Best wasn't even on many teams' boards.


Sat, Apr 24, 2010 : 5:42 p.m.

It's a little surprising, but not completely surprising that Donovan Warren did not get drafted. His performance at Michigan was not reflective of his 5-star rating from high school coming in. I wasn't at practice every day, so I don't know whether he didn't put the work in or whether it was something related to his physical skills or what. But I did go to all the home games during his tenure and he was not the lock-down corner we all were hoping for when he was signed. I hope that he figures things out and makes an NFL team. It does look like however that his decision to go pro was pre-mature.


Sat, Apr 24, 2010 : 5:26 p.m.

should have stay at michigan,,greed greed greed,,lol