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Miami Hurricanes NFL Draft Profile: Raphael Kirby

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The former UM LB likely projects to be a high priority free agent.

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Raphael Kirby

ILB/OLB 6'0 232

Key Stats:  19 career starts, 124 tackles, 8.5 TFL, 2 INT.

Combine results - 33 reps bench press, did not run.

Previous 40 times were in the 4.6 - 4.7 range.

***Suffered season ending injury (ACL tear) in Week 7 of his senior season.

Overview:

Kirby was having a very nice senior season prior to tearing his ACL, leading the team with 44 tackles.

Before the season he was named one the team captains.

He's a bit undersized to be a 3-4 ILB or Mike in a 4-3 (roles he was filling in UM"s hybrid D his final season) and perhaps lacks the athleticism to play on the outside (positions he played earlier in his career).

But the Stone Mountain, GA product plays with good instincts and effort, and his versatility could get him a long look at the next level.

Coming off the injury he did not participate in any of the running drills at the combine, so teams may also question his health.

But on film they will see a player who fights through blocks well, tackles consistently, and is above average in coverage.

Below you will an example of his explosiveness:

Strengths:

Tackling, coverage ability, versatility, can play ST.

Kirby is not sensational in anyone area, but he does a little bit of everything well.

At his best, he moves very well sideline to sideline, and explodes through ball carriers.

While he probably can not run stride for stride with the best RB's in the game,  he's very adept in zone at reading the QB's eyes and making plays on the ball.

Weaknesses:

Coming off injury, tweener, overall size/athleticism.

The knee has to be a concern for any team thinking of drafting Kirby.

Is he an ILB or a guy you want to play on the perimeter?  He has experience with both but likely projects as more of an inside guy.

Kirby is a decent athlete, but not a beast in any way, shape, or form.

Draft Projection:

7th Round to UFA

More than likely Kirby will have to battle his way onto a roster as an unrestricted free agent.

Before the ACL tear he was well on his way to being a middle to late draft pick, but obviously it set him back.

His production at Miami wasn't off the charts either, but he has enough good characteristics to get a long look at the next level during training camp.

I could see him making a team as a depth player/ST teams contributor, if he is 100%.