Of the 13 Miami Hurricanes Players either drafted or signed as UFAs, 3 found their way to North Florida with the Jacksonville Jaguars, including 3rd Round Pick OL Brandon Linder.
Clearly the Jags staff watched a few 'Canes games this year and came away impressed.
But none of the three come with out questions.
For a closer look at what Hurns, Linder, and Morris will need to do to stick, we caught up with Alfie Crow of Big Cat Country, and asked him the following:
SOTU: Brandon Linder went a little higher than expected as a third rounder. How has this pick been received by Jacksonville fans? Do you think this guarantees him a spot on the Jaguars roster? How good are his chances at starting?
BCC: The pick of Linder was a head scratcher for a lot of Jaguars fans I think mostly because they hadn't heard of him. He was on the Jaguars roster in the Senior Bowl and obviously Jedd Fisch is familiar with him and knows how he fits in the scheme. The Jaguars wanted to make sure to get a starting caliber guard in the draft and felt like they had to trade up for Linder. At this point, from how it sounds, it would be a disappointment if he's not the starting right guard on opening day.
SOTU: Stephen Morris was a polarizing player at UM. He has so much talent but was so inconsistent. Do you like his chances to stick around and make the 53 man roster? What is the Jags long term outlook at the QB position?
BCC: Morris to the Jaguars as a UDFA was one of the most obvious signings I can think of this past year with the draft. He had his best season in college with Jedd Fisch as his OC and was even on the sidelines for some of the Jaguars training camp practices last season. I think he's got a great shot to be the team's third quarterback this year and at worst a spot on the practice squad. I would guess the idea for Morris is that he can develop into a long-term back up for Blake Bortles.
SOTU: Allen Hurns is a Hurricane fan favorite. In a normal year with out as much WR depth, he probably gets drafted. Who is his main competition to make the roster? What will the key to his success with the Jaguars?
BCC: Hurns' biggest competition for the Jaguars roster will be Mike Brown, Tandon Doss and Kerry Taylor. Both Brown and Taylor were contributors for the Jaguars last season due to all the injuries at the position and Doss was given a two-year deal in free agency, though there is no real financial commitment if he's released. If Hurns can pick up Fisch's offense quickly and show some in training camp he's got as good a shot as any to make the squad. Typically the Jaguars have kept five receivers.
SOTU: Former Miami OC Jedd Fisch is a part of the Jaguars' Coaching Staff. How much influence do you think his presence had on the Linder selection as well as the signings of Morris & Hurns?
BCC: I think Fisch had a big influence on picking up those players, as well as Marqise Lee whom he recruited to Miami when he was on staff. Jaguars general manager Dave Caldwell likely went over Fisch with all the Miami players they picked up and how they fit within the scheme.
SOTU: On a scale of 1-10, give us your score for each of the UM players in Jacksonville, and their chances to make the team?
BCC: I think Brandon Linder and Stephen Morris are virtual locks to make the roster, namely Linder. I'd give Linder a 10 and Morris an 8, just because Fisch is so familiar with what he brings to the table. As for Hurns I would say somewhere about a 5. The fifth-receiver spot is a log-jam with the top four spots locked in with Cecil Shorts III, Ace Sanders, Marqise Lee and Allen Robinson.
Thanks again to Alfie for taking the time to answer these. Be sure to stop by Big Cat Country often and follow the progress of these 3 former Hurricanes as they look to make their NFL dreams come true.