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Mike Sainristil

Mike Sainristil (CB) – Michigan / Senior (5th year)

5’9-3/8”, 182 Lbs. (Combine) 

2023 Stats: 15 games, 44 tackles (26 solo/18 assisted), 6 INTs, 6 PDs, 2 INTs for TDs, 2 FF, 1 sack, 4 TFL.  


Awards/Leader: #3 INTs (NCAA 2023); #1 INT Return Yards (NCAA 2023); #1 INT Return TDs (NCAA 2023); #5 Forced Fumbles (Big Ten 2023)

Measurables (Combine):

Hand Arm Wing
8-1/2″ 30-7/8″ 74-1/2″
40-Dash 10-Split Vertical Broad 3-Cone 20-Shuttle Bench
4.47 sec 1.51 sec 40″ 10’11” 6.99 sec 4.01 sec ***

RAS: 7.66

Games Watched: 2023 @ Maryland; 2023 vs. Alabama (Rose Bowl); 2023 vs. Washington (Championship)


The epitome of someone playing above his size, I see Mike Sainistril as a 3-down slot corner pretty quickly in the NFL.  Why?  Because he plays the run extremely well, surprisingly, and really excels in coverage — it’s not easy finding a slot corner who is not at least somewhat of a liability in one of those areas.  Especially against traditional slot WRs who tend to be of the shorter/quicker variety (ala Wan’dale Robinson) who normally give your prototypical framed/taller CBs some fits.  Physical and competitive player, his first 3 years as a WR show up in his football IQ as he’s always seemingly glued to the WR he’s covering.  Fast moving feet, quick swivel hips, and speed help him stay in the WR’s pocket and quickly chews up space.  Football IQ needs to be talked about more because he seems to have a good idea of what the QB is looking for and seeing (probably b/c of his own history as a WR), with Sainristil getting himself where he needs to be.  Jams well and not just for a small guy.  Patient, trusting in his skills, and excellent ball tracker leading to 6 INTs and 6 passes defended in the ’23 campaign.  Useful on the blitz as his speed seems to catch the OL often off guard and he chews up space quickly getting to the QB.  Another reason why he should be a 3-down player is that he can be flexed to boundary corner at times — his quickness, dexterity, body control, hands, IQ, and physicality allow for it, but he’s more of a quick player rather than long, track speed so it’s not something he’d do all the time.


Size — shorter arms along with being no more than 5’10.”  I have zero doubt Sainristil will continue to play above his size in the NFL, but that takes a toll on such players leading to injuries.  His NFL competition will be bigger, stronger, more physical, faster.  NFL teams are increasingly flexing their best WRs all over the place in the search for mismatches leading to stud X wide-receivers seeing more time in the slot (ala Ceedee Lamb).  Sainristil and his football skills, IQ, and athleticism were fine against such match-ups in NCAA, but obviously it’ll be a tougher test in the NFL.  In the run game, its a problem if a blocker gets his paws on Sainristil (same goes for any slot corner to be honest, though) but he cuts angles off very well and is a sure tackler.  He was originally supposed to play at Senior Bowl and bowed out at the last minute.  That doesn’t bother me at all, but I’m eager to get his real measurements and won’t be surprised if at the combine and pro-day if he measures in at 5’9″ because he does look it.  Will turn 24 in 2024 — it’s not something I can worry about because there’s so many players still coming out of the NCAA affected by the Covid seasons, but it probably still affects the way NFL GMs calculate how early to draft a player. 


A converted WR who played that position the first 3 years of his Michigan tenure, Sainristil became one of the leaders of the dominant Michigan Wolverines  defense immediately after making the switch to CB in his 4th season (out of 5).  I loved watching him play and I’d just 100% trust this guy on the field.  Due to his size I think he’s a 3rd round pick in the minds of NFL GMs, but given his overall toolbox of skills, very high IQ, tenacity, and leadership I’d feel very comfortable taking him as high as the top of the 2nd round.  I believe in this guy and think he’s a 3-down starter out of the gate his NFL rookie season.  His leadership and personality are something you want on your team, too.  If he drops to the 4th round (which I think is possible given his size, but not likely), that team gets a steal.  One of my very favorite players in this draft.

Completed by: Joe Knows (@JoeJ_Clark), 02/26/24


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