We're coming down the home stretch of draft season. It was just a couple weeks ago that the NFL Scouting Combine was the main focus of the football world.
One of the final events on the road to the 2017 NFL Draft is just a over a week away, when the University of Miami will hosts its Pro Day, as reported earlier in the week by Cam.
Before SOTU previews what's at stake for the 15 'Canes who'll workout in front of various NFL personnel, lets review the post-combine aftermath before that March 29th spectacle at the Greentree Practice Fields.
Post-Combine Position rankings
- With the exception of Danny Isidora sliding down in 2 of the 3 rankings (above), most of the group remained in the same spot from our first report.
- Corn Elder worked out with the Carolina Panthers last week.
- Given his modest beginning, it’s pretty cool to see Justin Vogel have an honest shot at being drafted
- It’s still up in the air if Al-Quadin Muhammad gets selected in the draft. Regardless, AQM could be a good bargain for some team. Same goes for Jermaine Grace
- Jamal Carter is drawing interest from teams with a need for a “hit stick” at safety.
Early on in this 1st QB group, Brad Kaaya really impressed. Cleanest footwork, most consistent passer. #nflcombine— George Whitfield Jr. (@georgewhitfield) March 4, 2017
Even with a solid performance at the combine Brad Kaaya is still being ranked outside the top-five quarterbacks in this current class. NFL Media analyst Bucky Brooks went as far as to designate Kaaya as a "Loser" for missing on intermediate and deep throws in Indianapolis, also penalizing him for skipping drills like the 40-yard dash that would have given evaluators a better idea of his athleticism. It's an interesting takeaway considering that his ‘Move the Sticks’ podcast co-host Daniel Jeremiah noted Kaaya as having a "good workout". The general public will have their chance to evaluate Brad Kaaya when he appears on Jon Gruden's QB Camp series when it airs April 14 on ESPN2.
Free safety Rayshawn Jenkins has seen his draft stock climb after an impressive showing on the final day of the combine. Measuring in at 6-foot-1, 214 pounds and running a 4.51 40 yard-dash (official) left many in attendance with a good impression. It looks like those workouts in Boca Raton with XPE Sports truly paid off. Jenkins is currently being projected as a 4th round selection. That’s the same round the Chicago Bears selected Deon Bush with (124th overall selection, 24th pick of the fourth rd) in the 2016 NFL Draft. Jenkins, Carter, and Bush look to become the second group of ‘Canes safeties to be drafted in back-to-back years since Brandon Meriweather ('07) and Kenny Phillips ('08) accomplished the feat.
The only Cane consistently projected to be a first round selection, tight end David Njoku, has been predicted to be the choice in the first round for numerous teams. With the potential to be that elite TE mismatch that is highly coveted across the league, it’s understandable how he could be an ideal fit in plenty of situations. Second in almost every UM receiving category a season ago (698 yards, with 16.23 ypc with eight touchdowns) recent mock drafts from ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay (19th overall, Buccaneers) and NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah (22nd overall, Dolphins) have the Cedar Grove, New Jersey native continuing his football career in the sunshine state.
While the Bucs starting TE from a year ago is Cameron Brate who accumulated 660 receiving yards with eight touchdowns, Njoku could come in to provide more of a receiving threat, regardless of field position, as well as chipping in to help block for a running game that ranked in the bottom half of the league in 2016. The notion of Njoku continuing to play his home games at Hard Rock Stadium with the Dolphins is also intriguing given that the team just secured TE Julius Thomas via trade from Jacksonville. Other teams that have been predicted to select Njoku are: Detroit, Dallas, New York Giants, and before the acquisition of Dwayne Allen, New England.
There will be more information on the rest of Miami’s 2017 NFL prospects to come soon.