Mike Sainristil’s Draft Profile | Michigan, CB Scouting Report

With his scouting report, could Michigan's Mike Sainristil be one of the biggest sleepers in the 2024 NFL Draft? He has the tools to make an impact.

Once a sleeper in the 2024 NFL Draft, Mike Sainristil has now grown to become a favorite of NFL evaluators and media scouts alike with his scouting report. Where does Sainristil rank in the 2024 CB class after his breakout 2024 campaign, and how high can he go?

Mike Sainristil’s Draft Profile and Measurements

  • Height: 5’9 3/8″
  • Weight: 182 pounds
  • Length: 30 7/8″
  • Wingspan: 74 1/2″
  • Hand: 8 1/2″
  • Position: Cornerback
  • School: Michigan
  • Current Year: Redshirt Senior

Sainristil has always been a playmaker. Ultimately, it was all about finding where exactly he’d settle at the collegiate level.

As a senior at Everett High School in Massachusetts, Sainristil snared six interceptions on the defensive side of the ball. And on offense, he amassed 792 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns on just 32 catches, averaging almost 25 yards per reception.

Sainristil joined the Wolverines as a three-star recruit, and for the first three years of his career, his speed provided a rotational boost for the team. He peaked on the receiving end in 2021 when he caught 22 passes for 312 yards and two scores.

In 2022, however, the Wolverines lost their star nickel DB Daxton Hill to the NFL Draft and called on Sainristil to take his place.

After diving into the WR position full-time for three years, Sainristil was thrust back into the CB role. Before long, it was like he’d never left.

Sainristil played well in 2022, accumulating 58 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, two sacks, a pick, and seven pass breakups, but his breakout 2023 campaign is what truly put him on the map.

In 2023, Sainristil recorded 44 tackles, four TFLs, a sack, six interceptions (two pick-sixes), six pass breakups, and two forced fumbles, earning second-team All-Big Ten honors. That performance ultimately served as a springboard to the 2024 NFL Draft.

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Sainristil was instrumental in Michigan’s CFP National Championship run, and in the offseason, he continued to check all the boxes. At the NFL Combine, he ran a 4.47-second 40-yard dash with a strong 1.54-second 10-yard split; he also logged a 40″ vertical, a 10’11” broad, and a 4.01-second shuttle time.

When you speak to Sainristil in person, you’ll find that he’s articulate, soft-spoken, and well-reasoned. On the football field, that intelligence shows up — but there’s a relentless energy and competitiveness that carries it to new heights. And that’s what makes Sainristil so compelling.

Sainristil’s Scouting Report

Strengths

  • Springy, explosive, and energetic athlete with instant hinge fluidity on hip rotations.
  • Snappy and fleet-footed space mover who plays low in his stance with elastic transitions.
  • Has the near-elite recovery speed to erase gaps vertically and swiftly undercut passes.
  • Has the malleability and short-area quickness to recover quickly against stop-and-goes.
  • Shows impressive adaptability with his technique on his pedal in off-man and zone.
  • Intelligence, reaction speed, and blind spot awareness make him hard to manipulate.
  • Alert zone defender who proactively adjusts his hip leverage and recognizes QB intent.
  • Can use shuffles and hip leverage transitions to maintain zone positioning in phase.
  • Patient and disciplined with his depth in off-man and consistently uses his feet first.
  • Brings terse physicality in all phases and can use precise jams to gather WRs at stems.
  • Former WR with excellent ball skills who very naturally tracks and high-points passes.
  • Has sharp angle awareness in run support and can squeeze runners to the boundary.
  • Ultra-competitive support DB who fights blocks tooth and nail and surges into tackles.
  • Slot-blitz demon who teleports to QBs with his explosiveness and combative urgency.
  • Projects best as a slot defender but has the versatility to play boundary CB and safety.

Weaknesses

  • Has below-average size, length, and mass.
  • Lacking proportional length limits his disruption radius against larger receivers.
  • Without long-strider range, long speed may be a notch below the elite mark.
  • Sometimes loses a bit of speed when sequentially adjusting his hip alignment in space.
  • Is sometimes too late to start his vertical approach in off-man, allowing WRs to stack.
  • On occasion, halts his feet at stems and loses inertia, allowing WRs to gain space.
  • Lacks extensive experience in press-man and has an uncertain projection with his size.
  • Sometimes breaks down and squares up too early on approach, allowing cutback lanes.
  • Occasionally struggles to adapt when asked to contain gaps as a field safety in support.
  • Will turn 24 years old in October of his rookie season.

Current Draft Projection and Summary

On my board, Sainristil grades out as a top 50 prospect in the 2024 NFL Draft. His size and age may work against him on some boards, but Sainristil easily deserves early Day 2 capital as a versatile, high-impact nickel DB, and he could be a surprise Round 1 pick.

Sainristil won’t impose on many with his size alone, but when you watch the tape, a new side of the Wolverine comes alive. With his biting physicality and competitive toughness, he constantly plays beyond his frame and makes his presence felt on all three downs.

Sainristil’s tenacity sets the tone throughout the defense, but he also has the tools and technical prowess to fulfill his duties at a high level.

Athletically, Sainristil is a springy mover with eye-catching explosiveness and energy, and his movement speed translates to impressive range and vertical authority over the top. As a cover man, he’s fluid and adaptable, with the foot speed and quickness to recalibrate immediately.

KEEP READING: Top CBs in the 2024 NFL Draft

As an operator, Sainristil strings together his athletic gifts and tenacious mentality with elite inherent intelligence, keen route identification skills, spatial awareness, reaction to stimulus, and discipline. And with his penchant for positioning, he can capitalize with WR-esque ball skills.

Sainristil may be a 24-year-old rookie, but he shouldn’t have much of a runway before he becomes a true impact starter at the NFL level and a versatile disruptive force from the slot in the hands of a creative defensive coordinator.

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