MIAMI GARDENS, FL - SEPTEMBER 24: Running back Lamar Miller #6 of the Miami Hurricanes rushes upfield against the Kansas State University Wildcats September 24, 2011 at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
The Miami Hurricanes did not have a player drafted in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft last night, but that came as no surprise. A few players should come off the board on Friday night, chief among them being running back Lamar Miller, who is almost assuredly going to be picked in the second round. Three running backs got picked last night: Alabama's Trent Richardson, Boise State's Doug Martin and Virginia Tech's David Wilson. Richardson is maybe the most hyped running back talent since Adrian Peterson, although Martin -- who is big, speedy and was utilized in both the running and passing games at Boise -- may end up being as productive. Wilson was in the class with Miller and Oregon's LaMichael James as the next tier of backs, and the New York Giants saw something they liked in Wilson.
Miller has either slipped a bit or was overrated by draft prognosticators in the first place, and though his negatives (durability, versatility) are real he has the chance to be an immediate gamebreaker in the NFL, especially on special teams, where I think he could've been close to legendary at Miami if his services weren't needed so much on offense. So, where will Miller be taken? Let's consult some mock drafts.
Mel Kiper doesn't seem very invested in mock draft culture, but he is still the face of the draft, so let's consult him first. According to Kiper (here's the link, though you'll need an ESPN Insider account), Miller is going to be taken by the Green Bay Packers, who have assembled one of the most powerful offenses in the NFL despite not having much of a run game. ESPN's Scouts Inc. (link, subscription as well) also sees the Packers plucking Miller with the 27th pick in the second round.
Green Bay is one consensus team, and the St. Louis Rams are another. Both NFL.com's Charlie Casserly and SB Nation's Ryan Van Bibber have Miller going to the Rams, though Casserly sees it happening at No. 45 overall and Van Bibber at No. 39. The Rams allegedly had interest in Richardson, but either way Steven Jackson is getting up there in age, and Miller would be a solid back up while conceivably being groomed to be a starter.
Then there's SI.com's Don Banks, who has Miller going to the New England Patriots at No. 62 overall. The Patriots have drafted a bunch of running backs in the past few years, so I'm not so sure of that possibility. Also, Miller is pretty inexperienced as an a pass catcher.
We'll have coverage of the draft all weekend as Canes players start to go off the board.