'06 NFL Draft Watch: Miami Hurricanes
By TFY Draft Preview
Date: Aug 28, 2005
In a rare occurrence the Miami Hurricanes did not play in a New Year's Day Bowl game last year. Their return to prominence and ability to win the ACC Conference this season could rest on the consistency of a new quarterback. This team has tremendous talent and numerous NFL-prospects on both sides of the ball.
Scouting the ACC : Miami-Florida
Offensively the team is loaded on the line.
Tackle Eric Winston was set to enter last year's draft and become a top-10 selection until he blew his knee out early in October of '04. A former tight end, Winston is an athletic blocker who does an outstanding job in pass protection, displaying flashes of dominance as a run blocker. Possessing a great amount of upside potential, Winston could well be one of the initial eight players selected in 2006 if he returns to form and the health of his knee is cleared at combine exams next March.
SoCal's Take: This analysis is right on. Nothing more to add.
Rashad Butler did an excellent job filling in for Winston on the blind side last year and now moves to the right tackle slot. Blocking with leverage and keeping his feet moving throughout the action, Butler is strong and a solid position blocker. Lacking adjustment and a bit stiff, he does more stepping then sliding in pass protection and lacks top footwork. Butler has growth potential and could ultimately be kicked inside to guard in the NFL.
SoCal's Take: Im not sure I am as rosy on Rashad's prospects as this writer is. He is solid and played well last year but has injury concerns and isnt dominating by any stretch.
Tony Tella is a powerful blocker who displays quickness in all aspects of the game. Tella gets movement from run blocks or anchors in pass protection. Not a leverage blocker, Tella lacks adjustment and is a late-round prospect that can only play in certain NFL schemes.
SoCal's Take: Tony Tella is another guy who is injury prone and the article fails to note that he is a very slow developer. He was highly touted coming into the program in 2001 and really did not make significant strides in any single year. He played in 2004 adequately Id say but he was in there more because highly touted recruits Alex Pou, Andrew Bain and Cyrim Wimbs have not pleased the coaches with their development although Bain is starting to turn a corner.
A former US Marine, Tyler McMeans moves into the starting lineup at guard. A nasty blocker with outstanding size, McMeans is 25 years of age and needs a good season to move into the draft's late rounds.
SoCal's Take: McMeans is a good player but is raw as a JUCO transfer. He is very underrated, had a solid year last year I believe he will be drafted, possibly higher than this article projects.
The squad has a pair of prospects to watch at receiver, starting with Ryan Moore. A nice-sized pass catcher, Moore displayed flashes of brilliance as a sophomore yet watched his play slide significantly during his junior campaign last season. He has the build and skills to be a possession wide out at the next level yet must quickly pull all the pieces together and prove '04 was a fluke.
SoCal's Take: Ryan Moore is a real sleeper. I basically agree with this writer completely. He has a body almost comparable to Andre Johnson and as a redshirt freshman in 2003 he was really a special player. He has had some injury concerns though and while he is built like Dre Johnson, his hands are comparable to Darius Watts. Needs to be more consistent catching the football and with route running but he is a big physical prospect with many gifts and could be a prototype NFL possession WR with better speed than most possession guys have.
Sinorice Moss offers home run-hitting speed yet has not been a consistent pass catcher on the field. Moss is significantly undersized, yet several scouting combines have him rated as one of the top three senior receiver prospects in the nation, something we disagree with.
SoCal's Take: Sinorice Moss is not special. He occasionally makes big plays, often on deep balls or screens but he alot more than a few notches below his famous brother. He is similar to Roscoe Parrish although not as talented and Roscoe was a 4th round guy in my opinion. I think Sinorice is no more than a 6th round selection.
Running back Tyrone Moss has good size and ball-carrying skills on the inside.
SoCal's Take: When I first saw Tyrone Moss run in 2003, I thought he had the look of a Lendale White. He was the fourth highest rated back nationally when he came out and had a record 1000 yards in the playoffs alone during his senior year. But Tyrone has been a major disapointment so far. After a promising true freshman year he has declined steadily. His work ethic has been lacking and there are just flat out holes in his game. He simply has no speed. He cannot beat even mediocre college defenses to the corner and has zero second gear. The writer is correct in that he does a good job between the tackles. He can consistently get you 4,5 inside. Sometimes 6,7,8. He can get the tough yards. But rarely more than that. He is also not a weapon in the pass game and is a poor blocker. He has been working harder this offseason, losing weight and playing better, should have a decent season but the holes in his game really make me question just what "Thunder Thighs" can do in the pros, if anything.
Fullback Quadtrine Hill is a triple threat player aggressive in all aspects. Hill lacks true fullback size yet could be a number two fullback brought onto the field during passing situations.
SoCal's Take: A good jack of all trades. Quad is a good FB who has shown soem good stuff when they let him carry the ball and can catch it out of the backfield. Second day pick.
Miami has tremendous talent on the defensive line as well as in the secondary and offers good prospects at linebacker. Up front Orien Harris is a quick, athletic tackle who forces the action up the field yet quickly changes direction and displays good lateral movement skills. With a burst of closing speed, Harris effectively stuffs the run and at the same time shows ability as a pass rusher. Not decisive or instinctive, he is slow locating the ball and must shed blocks quicker. Harris is coming off a mediocre junior campaign yet has first-round potential if he can consistently play to a high level as a senior.
SoCal's Take: Their take on Harris is dead on although I disagree that he is slow locating the ball. He does a good job of locating the ball and he knows how to read whats going on down the line. He has flashes of dominance and played great in 2003. He has done very well so far in the camps and should have a good senior year. There is a little lingering doubt there in the back of my mind and it keeps lurking there.
Baraka Atkins is another solid athlete that's been used at both tackle and end. Displaying a good inside move, he has a solid change of direction and is fast off the edge. Needing to improve his overall body strength, Atkins is handled at the point by single blockers and must add bulk to his frame. Like his teammate, Atkins' draft grade would significantly improve with a productive senior campaign and a good result will put him in the top 60 choices.
SoCal's Take: In one of the many displays of poor coaching and decision making by the Miami staff, they put Baraka who looked very promising at DE in 03, inside at DT in 04. At DT he is too small to defend against the run and it showed. He's about 280 and that screams Tweener. He showed good pass rush ability on the outside before they moved him though.
Thomas Carroll, another senior, is a terrific athlete who covers a lot of area on the field. Collapsing laterally, Carroll chases hard to get involved in the action and plays with leverage. Immediately altering his angle of attack, he can flatten then pursue from the backside. Another who needs to improve his playing strength and add bulk to his frame, Carroll is built more like a linebacker and could stand over tackle in a 34 defense.
SoCal's Take: Thomas is a solid player, but he doesnt really stand out. Got some sacks last year but hasnt played up to the hype he recieved when he came into the program as the crown jewel of New Jersey. I dont really see him as a 3-4 LB, i think he is a 4-3 weakside end. He is decent as a pass rusher. Reminds me of Andrew Williams who was drafted in the 3rd by SF in 2002, although he isnt as talented as Andrew.
Junior Bryan Pata is a leverage lineman who also makes plays in pursuit. Adjusting to the initial block to get to the play, Pata displays quickness in all areas of his game.
SoCal's Take: Pata has HUGE upside. He can be a great player. He was awesome as a true freshman although he had a down year last year until the end. Pata has great size for a DE and still maintains that quickness. This is a great SLEEPER prospect, although I think he will have a great year this year so unfortumeatly he will become much more known than he is now.
Finally, Javon Nanton would start for most schools yet is a backup because of depth on the Hurricane defensive line. Another athletic yet undersized pass rusher, Nanton quickly gets off the snap with a good first step and wedges between blocks on the inside. Giving top effort, he is significantly smaller than opposing blockers and must take wide angles to avoid being pushed from the play.
SoCal's Take: I dont know what to make of Javon. Javon projects to the NFL as purely a third down edge rusher. He is extremely vulnerable to draws and traps and just cant hold up against the run at all. He displayed amazing pass rush abilities in 2003 leading the Big East in sacks but in 2004 he really crashed and burned. If he regains 2003 form, he could be similar to Kansas City's Jared Allen, a great pass rusher but a really poor run defender. So far, he is way down on the depth chart.
At linebacker Rocky McIntosh is an explosive athlete who displays good range. Getting depth on drops, McIntosh easily runs downfield with opponents in coverage and is fast enough to recover from mistakes. Not the most instinctive defender, McIntosh is a late reactor and over pursues the action. Sustaining a herniated disc at the end of last season, McIntosh physically grades out as a top 60-selection yet he must be more productive and consistent on the field to be chosen early next April. Leon Williams does a solid job on the inside, making plays against the run and pass. Like his teammate, consistency is key for Williams to improve his draft grade for next April.
SoCal's Take: Rocky McIntosh is a good athlete as the article suggests but I dont agree that he has poor instincts or is a late reactor. He has pretty good instincts i think and is solid in all aspects although he hasnt really shown his explosiveness consistently. He is very reliable and a solid player. Still has good upside. Had a great freshman year in 2002 but never really fully got back to that level. I think he is a mid 2nd, or early 2nd but he will run very well during the Pro Day so he might be a late 1st. As for Leon Williams, I can only say STAY AWAY FROM HIM. Leon Williams has not progressed ONE IOTA in FIVE YEARS. Leon is decent against the run, he has a great build and doesnt have a problem pushing his way and getting physical with people. Very tall and well built. Very undisciplined and absolutely atrocious insticts. I mean beyond awful. Leon is a terrible pass defender. He was one of t he finest prospects to ever come out of New York and was ranked No. 1 at LB among all HS LBs in 2001, but he just has not progressed beyond a 2 down MLB and has been demoted again in favor of a true sophomore who was a 2 star recruit and while smart, just doesnt have that much ability. That tells you all you need to know. This guy is Terry Pierce without the college production or the instincts. Scary thought. Strangely, they left off two very good athletic juniors in Tavares Gooden and Jon Beason. Both these players actually might be as good as or better than McIntosh and might bolt early. Gooden is still a little raw and overpursues but he can ball. If they both stay for 2006 which is likely, while very, very good players who have serious NFL potential, they will be challenged by Willie Williams and Spencer Adkins, who might be the most devastating duo of Miami LBs EVER. These two guys are absolute freaks of nature although both are still a little raw. But I really cant emphasize how high the coaches are on this pair. Just Huge monsters that are unbelievably athletic. Its just a matter of time till they get up to speed. Adkins might be the most physically imposing LB prospect in a long time. He physically looks like Greg Lloyd and is just 18, Coker says his closing speed is unbelievable.
Four players in the Hurricane secondary are legitimate prospects and most carry first-day grades. Junior Devin Hester could be the first cornerback selected next April if he enters the draft. Displaying great ball skills, Hester is fluid in all his movements, displaying great body control and balance. An explosive defender, he has a quick burst to the play and does an outstanding job positioning himself to break up the pass. Factor in Hester's ability to be devastating return specialist and he is a prospect with unlimited upside potential.
SoCal's Take: Devin does have astounding, out of this world upside but he is a VERY SLOW developer. Not as slow as Leon Williams but certainly he has been disappointing in that he could not overtake Marcus Maxey for the starting position before Devin got a mild case of the Turf Toe a few weeks ago. Devin makes plays that no one else can make. As a PART TIME NICKEL CORNER last year, he got FOUR Interceptions. Imagine that. Imagine that kind of athletic ability and ball skills. 4 picks in VERY LIMITED duty. He is as talented as any one who has ever come through the program, in fact, Antrel Rolle says he is the most talented ever to play at Miami, but he is not disciplined in technique and just isnt a fast developer at all. He can get turned around and beaten by polished WRs, sure he closes fast but he just hasnt mastered the techniques that they expected him to master both in the spring and in the fall. He is a devastating returner as well.
Kelly Jennings is also another athletic cornerback with excellent playing speed. Quickly transitioning to run with opponents, Jennings nicely times his pass breakups and displays a good amount of awareness on the field. Not a physical defender, he gives marginal effort defending the run and is not always willing to mix it up in coverage. Jennings' play has been up and down, yet he possesses the physical tools to be a top-45 selection.
SoCal's Take: Kelly is a good, solid consistent corner. To me, he is a more talented version of Kelly Herndon. Not great size or build but he can play. He isnt dominant, but he is consistent. He was dominant back in 2002 but has slightly tapered off a little each year after that. He has had an absolutely amazing camp though and looks to be an All-American this year. Perhaps it will be another 2002 for him. As an NFL prospect, his size will hurt him but he is a very solid player, just has to reach just a little higher to get to that next level.
Greg Threat is a terrific run-defending safety and a hard hitter who goes for the knockout blow. Threat is always willing to mix it up yet has marginal ball skills and lacks a feel for coverage.
SoCal's Take: I disagree with the writer that Greg has marginal ball skills. I think he has good ball skills and instincts. He can be a good NFL safety. A few notches below Reed and Taylor ofcourse, no where near that talent level but still good to decent. He has lost ground to other safeties in the offseason and may not start after starting for 2 years so that may drop him in the draft. Actually Miami's best safety this year might very well be a true freshman and that isnt to say Greg and his upperclassmen colleagues are bad because they are not, they are good players and good prospects, its just that this kid, Kenny Phillips is on the talent level of Reed and Taylor. Coker himself has said he has the brain of Reed and the body of Taylor and thats no comment to throw around. Phillips has led the team in INTs in the fall practices as a true frosh! .
Brandon Meriweather flashes skill defending the run as well as the pass and is another physically talented prospect with good upside.
SoCal's Take: Brandon is a baller who is inconsistent. He can be a playmaker but just isnt as consistent as you would like. He has made some good strides this offseason and has taken Threat's job away from him to this point. I agree with the writer that he has good upside. Id put Merriweather in the middle of the draft but he has to continue to play well as he has in the summer.
For the rest of the article: http://story.scout.com/a.z?s=13&p=2&c=430371