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Miami Hurricanes Football 2015 Draft Profile: Thurston Armbrister

In this new series, we take a look at UM's draft eligible players and provide insight on what type of players they will be at next level, where they might be drafted, and more.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

23 career starts at UM.

7.0 sacks (5 in 2014), 129 tackles, 15 TFL, in 38 career games.

Came to UM as an undersized 190 pound LB who looked like he might be converted to S. But now he checks in at 6'3 241.

Was not highly recruited  (0 stars) coming out of H.S. but rapidly worked his way up the depth charts in Coral Gables.

Runs about a 4.6 - 4.7 40.

Has played in multiple fronts as both a base OLB and a pass rusher on the edge.

Produced several big plays this last season for UM, particularly early on (highlights below):

But as the season went on saw his playing time reduced, with the emergence of  younger players Raphael Kirby and particularly Jermaine Grace.

Was his drop off in production as the season progressed merely a factor of being used less?

Is he athletic enough to make an NFL roster?

Let's break it down and look at where he might end up come draft time.


#1 Playmaker - Armbrister has a knack for separating the ball from the QB, as illustrated above. He's also pretty good at shooting gaps and finding ball carriers behind the line of scrimmage.  Is a strong, sure tackler with good punch.

#2 Strong at the Point of Attack -  TA takes on and sheds blockers and very rarely loses one on one battles, making him an asset Vs the run.

#3 IntangiblesHas a chip on his shoulder about not being invited to the NFL combine. Armbrister also played his entire career with something to prove at Miami.  Looks for that same type of determination at the next level.


#1 Not the best out in space/coverage - Though he is a better decent athlete, Armbrister does not look comfortable at all dropping back in coverage, whether zone or chasing a RB/TE in man.

#2 ExplosivenessIs a good but perhaps not spectacular athlete.  Gets around the edge well, and uses good pursuit to make plays, but is not elite in any one physical attribute.

NFL Players he most resembles: Bryan Cox (retired, this is a best, best case scenario), Trevor Reilly, Devon Kennard

Draft Projection: 7th round or UDFA.  Armbrister will need to make a roster by excelling on Special Teams during training camp/preseason. But he could be a solid back-up and occasional pass rusher if he continues to work hard.  Teams like the Falcons and Eagles would be smart to give him a long look.  He could be a steal of a player for a franchise in need of a low cost play maker.

Stay tuned for many more updates as Miami's 2015 NFL Draft eligible players prepare to hear their names called at Radio City.