Michigan's Funchess declares for NFL draft
ANN ARBOR -- Wide receiver Devin Funchess is going to skip his final season of eligibility at the University of Michigan and enter the 2015 NFL draft.
The move, announced by the team Tuesday afternoon, is not a surprise. Funchess struggled badly as Michigan's season fell apart, and it became obvious that his heart was no longer in college football.
Funchess switched from tight end to wide receiver this season, and controversially gave up Ron Kramer's No. 87 Legends jersey to wear the No. 1 made famous by receivers like Anthony Carter and Braylon Edwards.
The move looked like a brilliant idea when he caught three touchdown passes in the first half of Michigan's opener against Appalachian State, but he injured his ankle late in the rout at Notre Dame, and faded away as the season went on. He was openly criticized by Edwards on Twitter as he began to drop more and more passes, and finished the year with two cruical drops as the Wolverines tried to rally against Ohio State.
Funchess finished the year with 733 receiving yards and four touchdowns -- only six more yards and two fewer touchdowns than he had as a sophomore tight end -- and nothing like the numbers that he was expected to put up with his skills and natural ability.
Despite his poor season, Funchess is still projected as a first-round pick because of his sheer physical ability. At 6-foot-5, 230 pounds, he will be a big wide receiver in the NFL, but teams will look at his speed and strength and see visions of the next Calvin Johnson.
The biggest question will be if Funchess, a local kid who grew up watching Megatron while attending Farmington Hills Harrison and Michigan, can also match Johnson's determination and work ethic.