The draft declaration process has begun for college juniors, and Michigan wide receiver/tight end Devin Funchess announced on Tuesday that he would be among the first in the Big Ten to forego his senior season and enter the 2015 NFL Draft.
"I would like to thank my family, coaches and teammates for their support," Funchess said in a release. "It's always been a dream of mine to play in the NFL, and I am prepared to take the next step in my journey.
"I love Michigan. From the former players to the fans, it's a special place. The opportunity to play in the Big House in front of 100,000 strong each week, those are memories that will last with me forever. It's been an honor to strap on the winged helmet for three years with my teammates, and I will always bleed Maize and Blue."
The 6-foot-5, 230-pounder has thrived in the passing game for the Wolverines despite numerous issues at the quarterback position during his three seasons in Ann Arbor. He started mostly at tight end for his first two years at the school but was flexed out to become a full-time wide receiver the past season.
The addition of Funchess to the draft should help boost what is considered to be a weak crop of tight ends. An NFL scout compared him to New Orleans tight end Jimmy Graham for his ability to go up and catch the ball, but it should be noted Funchess is a tad smaller than the Saints' star.
Funchess ends his Michigan career with 126 catches for 1,715 yards and 15 touchdowns. He was named second-team All-Big Ten selection in 2014 and led the Wolverines with 733 yards and four touchdowns this season.
The tight end will almost assuredly receive an invite to the NFL Scouting Combine, which will be in the familiar confines of Lucas Oil Field in Indianapolis from February 17-23.