2024 NFL Draft rumors: Versatile Michigan defensive back could sneak into the first round


2024 CFP National Championship - Michigan v Washington
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The 2024 NFL Draft is just a week away, and it’s around this time we start hearing rumors about players that could go higher than anticipated. One such player is Michigan defensive back Mike Sainristil. One scout apparently told Bleacher Report’s Jordan Schultz that Sainristil could sneak into the first round due to his versatility as a nickel cornerback that is skilled both in coverage and as a blitzer. 

Sainristil is a former receiver who caught 37 passes for 539 yards and five touchdowns for the Wolverines. He switched to defensive back for his final two collegiate seasons, and recorded 64 total tackles, 10.5 tackles for loss, three sacks, seven interceptions, 13 passes defensed and two forced fumbles over the last two years. He recorded a career-high six interceptions in 2023, two of which he returned for scores. 

Sainristil actually made CBS Sports Senior NFL Writer Pete Prisco’s “Better-Than Team” for the 2024 NFL Draft. Here’s what he said:

“This converted receiver — he had 21 catches in 2021 for Michigan — was all over the field for the Wolverines defense last year as their nickel corner. He is a willing tackler who can cover and also attack off the edge as a blitzer. He’s one of those guys who might not have all the measureables, but he makes plays. He is just 5-9, 190 pounds, but he plays bigger. He was also timed at 4.4 at the combine. He reminds me of a faster Mike Hilton of the Bengals, who makes up for his limited size with smarts and toughness as a slot corner. Sainristil is just a damn good football player.”

In CBS Sports NFL Draft expert Josh Edwards’ seven-round mock draft published this week, he has Sainristil being selected early in the third round at No. 71 overall, but it does appear his stock is rising. While Sainristil is undersized, his talent is evident. 

Caesars Sportsbook has set the Over/Under for cornerbacks selected in the first round at 5.5 (Over +300, Under -430). Sainristil is CBS Sports’ No. 9 cornerback in this class. 



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