Askew - He started at halfback in 2001 and did a solid job, but wasn't fast enough to be a primary option in the Big Ten. Askew was asked by the coaching staff to move last offseason, and he agreed to do so. He's a very good pass-catcher coming out of the backfield and did a decent job blocking. Because of the fact that Askew is relatively new to the position, this aspect of his game can be improved upon. He does possess better than average running skills for a FB. In a couple of instances this past season, when UM's starting RB went down, Askew picked up the slack very effectively. Ex: 50 yard touchdown run against Minnesota that helped seal the game. Overall, he's a younger version of Richie Anderson.
Measurables - Askew wasn't able to participate at the Combine due to a broken arm in the Outback Bowl. At UM's Pro Day, he averaged 4.6 on his forties, recorded a 35" vertical jump, and ran 4.13 and 6.84 on the shuttle and cone, respectively. Those times compared very favorably to the results posted by the fullbacks at the Combine, although the difference in surfaces must be acknowledged.
Hobson - Started at SAM the past three seasons. He was a very productive player in the Big Ten and possesses leadership qualities. Hobson can hit (very hard) and generally tackles well. You can see why he succeeded in college with his Combine performance: 4.32 20 shuttle, 11.50 60 SH, and 7.25 cone. Hobson is a quality athlete who has athleticism and explosiveness in smaller areas. Additionally, he was used to blitz frequently, and thus knows how to rush the quarterback. Many have expressed concern about his mediocre (4.85) forty time. Obviously, Hobson is not the type of linebacker who will fly around, making plays sideline-to-sideline. However, he represents a large upgrade in athleticism from Mo Lewis and Marvin Jones. Also, having a space-eater like DeWayne Robertson will greatly help a player like Hobson. He's never had a player that good in front of him.
One plus about Michigan with these guys is they've played in big games in front of huge crowds. The one excuse we kept hearing about Thomas is that "he fell of the turnip truck, played in a small conference". These guys have seen the bigtime. They've been working out like pros for 4 years. They know all about game prep and taking care of yourslef. There won't be nearly the culture shock our last top pick seemed to have. And that is a huge positive.