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Outlook for Central Michigan players heading into the 2020 NFL Draft


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Former Central Michigan running back Jonathan Ward catches a tennis ball while going through a drill on Monday, March 23, 2020, at the CMU Soccer Complex.

There hasn't been a Central Michigan running back selected in the NFL draft since Donnie Riley in 1990. He was picked 308th overall.

Jonathan Ward plans to fill his pail and bring water to the 30-year drought.

The 2020 NFL Draft runs from Thursday to Saturday. This year's draft is virtual, as the novel coronavirus has put the in-person event at bay. The first round is held on Thursday, followed by the second and third rounds on Friday and rounds 4-7 on Saturday.

Pro day at CMU was slated for March 20, but it was nixed due to COVID-19 concerns.

Since the 2013 draft, six Chippewa players have been selected, including two – cornerbacks Sean Bunting and Xavier Crawford – in 2019. Bunting went 39th overall to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the highest since Eric Fisher went No. 1 six years prior.

RB Jonathan Ward (pictured above)

Ward, a 5-foot-11, 195-pound prospect, has showcased versatility to NFL scouts through videos he's produced and sent to all 32 teams.

He impressed at the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl and finished with 1,108 rushing yards and 15 touchdowns in 2019. He also added 34 receptions for 329 yards, good for 6.1 yards per catch. He had career-long runs of 86 and 75 yards along with running a 4.50-second 40-yard dash.

Ward has dealt with a couple of injuries throughout his four-year career. He played through a nagging shoulder injury for most of last season and finished it at full-health.

He was not invited to the NFL Scouting Combine.

"I don't feel like there's any other running back in this class that can line up at any position with as much confidence as I do," Ward said. "That's how I'm trying to raise my draft stock. I'm trying to show the scouts I can bring more to the table."

Projection: Sixth round – priority free agent


OG Oge Udeogu

Central Michigan offensive lineman Oge Udeogu practices Aug. 7 during fall camp at the Bennett Track Field.

Much like Ward, offensive guard Oge Udeogu would have benefited from a pro day in front of NFL scouts. During his three years at Iowa State, after two seasons at a JUCO, Udeogu battled various injuries and didn't touch the field.

In 12 games as a graduate transfer for the Chippewas, the offensive lineman showed he was worthy of an NFL chance. Just when his draft stock was at its highest, he sustained another injury – a broken arm – in the regular-season finale against Toledo and was held out of the MAC championship game and New Mexico Bowl.

"It's been awesome to get out there, be out there with a group of guys who just love to go out every week and fight," Udeogu said. "It's been a great learning experience for me and just, overall, I'm really happy, really satisfied with the opportunity."

Udeogu was born in Chicago but spent most of his childhood living in Nigeria.

The 6-foot-2, 309-pound prospect runs a 5.20-second 40-yard dash.

Projection: Priority free agent


DE Sean Adesanya

Sean Adesanya

The Chippewas picked up defensive end Sean Adesanya for the 2018 season as a graduate transfer from Illinois, where he dealt with injuries that kept him from consistently seeing the field. He was able to get another year of eligibility from the NCAA, thus allowing him to return for 2019.

That's when he had his breakout campaign with 16 tackles for a loss of seven sacks.

In two seasons at CMU, the 6-foot-3, 237-pound pass rusher played in 39 games. He made 64 tackles, 23 tackles for a loss, 10 sacks, one interception, three passes defended, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.

“I’m very interested (in CMU) because of the opportunity to play,” Adesanya said before his transfer. “I just have a big chance to get in there since the senior defensive end (Joe Ostman) graduated.” 

Adesanya runs a 4.94-second 40-yard dash. 

Projection: Priority free agent


QB Quinten Dormady

Central Michigan quarterback Quinten Dormady attempts to pass against Bowling Green Oct. 19 Doyle L. Perry Stadium in Bowling Green.

A former four-star prospect, Dormady came to the Chippewas as a rare double graduate transfer after playing at Tennessee (2015-17) and Houston (2018).

But Dormady's time at CMU was underwhelming.

Mirroring his 2017 and 2018 seasons, the 6-foot-4, 220-pound signal-caller missed four games last season due to a knee injury sustained in Week 2.

In 10 games, Dormady finished by completing 190 of 294 passes for 2,312 yards, 14 touchdowns and nine interceptions. His 64.6% completion rate was a positive, but he lacked consistent arm strength. He averaged just 7.9 yards per attempt.

Starting five games at Tennessee in 2017, Dormady finished that injury-plagued season with 925 yards, six touchdowns and six interceptions before leaving for Houston.

Throughout his five-year career, Dormady never rushed for a touchdown and finished with negative-18 yards on the ground. He self reports a 4.69-second 40-yard dash.

"I definitely want to get my shot at the next level," Dormady said. "We'll see what happens."

Projection: Undrafted, minicamp tryout


S Da'Quaun Jamison

Central Michigan defensive back Da'Quaun Jamison celebrates after intercepting a pass against Bowling Green Oct. 19 at Doyt L. Perry Stadium in Bowling Green.

The brother of Ole Miss defensive back Otis Reese, safety Da'Quaun Jamison was the leader of CMU's defense last season.

He played in 13 games, starting all of them. The 5-foot-11, 203-pound safety made 68 tackles, five tackles for a loss, one sack and two interceptions.

"All the older guys were coming up to me, saying, ‘Just embrace the role, embrace the challenge. You’re built for it because you’ve been preparing yourself and listening,'" Jamison said.

Jamison started his college career as a grayshirt from Lee County High School in Leesburg, Georgia. He ran a self-reported 4.48-second 40-yard dash.

Projection: Undrafted, minicamp tryout



DE Mike Danna

Junior defensive lineman Mike Danna celebrates after sacking the Toledo quarterback on Nov. 23 at the Glass Bowl Stadium.

Hello, old friend.

While defensive end Mike Danna used his graduate transfer before the 2019 season to leave CMU for Michigan, he's worth noting as a four-year Chippewa.

Danna's breakout season came as a redshirt junior in 2018 when he led the team with 15 tackles for a loss, 9.5 sacks and three forced fumbles. He did so on a team that went 1-11 overall, leading to the firing of coach John Bonamego.

"Obviously, Michigan gives that platform to help me be where I want to be at," Danna said. "I'm going to a bigger platform to get to a bigger place, it goes hand-in-hand."

The 6-foot-2, 257-pound graduated and transferred to Michigan but didn't make a knockout impact. Coming off the bench, he registered 38 tackles, three tackles for a loss, three sacks and one forced fumble.

Projection: Priority free agent


Note: All 40-yard dash times are from The Athletic.

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