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Miami Hurricanes Legends: 2017 Mock Draft

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Canes superstars battle it out for a spot in the First Round

Seven-Time Pro Bowler Warren Sapp Attempts To Catch A Few Waves As Part Of The NFL Pro Bowl Weekend In Hawaii
This guy was the first overall pick in the Hurricanes Legends Mock Draft.
Photo by Marco Garcia/Getty Images for Bud Light Lime

On the eve of the 2017 NFL Draft, as we wait to see if TE David Njoku will go in the first round and join a long line of Hurricane greats to go in the opening frame, we here at State of the U wondered what it might look like if all the NFL teams could only draft Miami Hurricanes legends. So we had a little fun and concocted a Mock Draft with just your favorite Canes and, with all the talent that has come through Coral Gables, it wasn’t very hard to field a list.

Our criteria was simple:

  • We took into account what the NFL team’s needs were; AND
  • What the player’s draft stock was coming out of Miami

That’s why our list is made up of almost entirely first round picks and why you might not see fan favorites like Ken Dorsey, Frank Gore, or Jimmy Graham on there.

Let’s get to it!

1. Cleveland- Warren Sapp, DT

Kicking off the madness is Sapp, who’s a flat out beast in the middle and exactly the type of rare talent on the D-Line that teams want with their #1 overall pick. Sapp is explosive off the ball penetrating into the backfield and will command constant double teams. He’ll completely change how teams play against Cleveland’s defense and is the first piece to a puzzle that can end Cleveland’s Super Bowl woes.... that sentence just sounds weird thinking about it.

2. San Francisco- Ray Lewis, LB

To put it lightly, San Francisco is just a mess right now. All their leaders in the locker room have either gone to other teams or retired. They are desperate for someone that can rally the troops and lead a rebuilding project from the ground up. That man is Ray Lewis. Oh yeah, and he can play a little bit too. Think of a heat-seeking missile and the entire offense just got doused in Kerosene. Light ‘em up, Ray.

3. Chicago- Sean Taylor, S

The Bears want a talented safety to patrol the middle of the field and take their defense back to ‘85. They have a hard time choosing, but go with the hard-hitting, skull crusher Taylor over Ed Reed. Taylor is that rare safety that will bust you up coming across the middle but can also step in front of a pass and take it back 100 yards at a moment’s notice.

4. Jacksonville- Edgerrin James, RB

The Jags get what may be the best player in the draft. Powerful enough to run through you, but speedy enough to bounce to the EDGE (see what I did there) and say sayonara, James is just too good to pass up and gives Blake Bortles no excuses this season.

5. !TRADE! Cleveland - Jim Kelly, QB

Cleveland trades back up into the top 5 with Tennessee and finally gets their man, with Kelly joining a great tradition of Browns quarterbacking. It was a tough call for the Browns between Kelly and Vinny Testaverde, but the grit, toughness, and determination of Kelly won the Browns over in the end.

6. NY Jets- Ed Reed, S

Teams drafting 1-5 must’ve thought he was hurt, dog. However, the Jets realized Reed recovered in the off-season and get a steal at #6. A safety with ball skills no one’s ever quite seen before, Reed will team with Calvin Pryor to form a strong tandem on the last line of defense.

7. LA Chargers- Bryant McKinnie, OT

One of the best left tackles to put on a Miami uniform, McKinnie is a mountain that can shore up a huge need for the Chargers on the O-Line. He’ll help ring in the new era in LA by protecting Phillip Rivers’ blindside.

8. Carolina- Clinton Portis, RB

With Willis McGahee’s horrific knee injury against the Buckeyes in the National Championship (*sigh*) scaring them away, Carolina elects to take a risk in the top 10 and reach for Clinton Portis, who many say is a second round prospect. However, Portis will be sure to put a jolt into the Panthers ground game and take some of the pressure off of Cam Newton.

9. Cincinnati- Andre Johnson, WR

Andre Johnson and AJ Green? How do you pass that up?! The Bengals make Andy Dalton a very happy man here, turning the Cincinnati offense into one of the most explosive in the NFL.

10. Buffalo- Michael Irvin, WR

The Bills primarily want to run the ball with LeSean McCoy, but are lacking weapons on the outside for QB Tyrod Taylor. Sammy Watkins is injury prone and there’s not much else behind him. New coach Sean McDermott would love “The Playmaker” to stretch the defense and open up opportunities for the running game.

11. New Orleans- Cortez Kennedy, DT

The Saints drafted DT Sheldon Rankins in the first round last year but can’t afford to pass up on a montrous monstrosity like Kennedy. The All-American will help the D-Line put more pressure on the quarterback in a division that includes Matt Ryan, Cam Newton, and Jameis Winston.

12. !TRADE! Tennessee- Antrel Rolle, CB

Tennessee trades down with Cleveland and still fills a huge need. It’s a perfect pairing here, with the Titans not having much at cornerback and Rolle being the best lockdown man in this draft. Tennessee jumps at the chance to solidify their back end for years to come.

13. Arizona- Vinny Testaverde, QB

Carson Palmer is aging fast and had one of his worst seasons of his career last year. He’ll be back this year but it’s fair to ask if he’s done. Well, the Cardinals get their QB of the future (past?) here in Testaverde, the Heisman Trophy winner with the Golden Arm.

14. Philadelphia- Phillip Buchannon, CB

Philly is vulnerable in the secondary, so the Eagles elect to go with the speedy Buchannon, who sticks to receivers sticky stuff on the back of Post-It notes.

15. Indianapolis- Dan Morgan, LB

The Colts have so many needs on defense, so they go best player available here and take Morgan. A true thumper in the middle, Morgan takes no prisoners and will lay the wood whenever he gets the chance.

16. Baltimore- Reggie Wayne, WR

After Steve Smith’s retirement, the cupboard is bare for Baltimore at wide receiver. They need someone that can run under Joe Flacco’s bombs and Wayne has the speed to take the top off a defense, along with the savvy to work the middle of the field.

17. Washington- Vince Wilfork, DT

The Redskins get immediate help in the middle, taking a massive, run-stuffing defensive tackle in Wilfork, who looks like he’s consumed one too many small Asian children, but his mother says he’s just big boned.

18. Tennessee- Santana Moss, WR

After shoring up their secondary earlier in the draft with Rolle, Tennessee doubles down on big time players and goes with Moss. Moss would give Marcus Mariota another downfield weapon to work with, making Tennessee’s offense even more dangerous in big time games.

19. Tampa Bay- Willis McGahee, RB

The Bucs missed out on the AP sweepstakes so they settle for McGahee, who’s stock has been plummeting. But the Bucs take a chance on the purebred talent to recover fully from that gruesome knee injury because, when healthy, McGahee is a big play waiting to happen.

20. Denver- Kellen Winslow II, TE

Denver really needs some O-Line help but, with not much depth at that position in this draft, decide to give whichever young quarterback they want to start another dynamic weapon in addition to Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders. Some call him a “soldier”. John Elway just calls him Kellen and loves his great pedigree and ability to get open down the seam.

21. Detroit- Jon Vilma, LB

The Lions really lack talent in their front 7, so they go with Vilma, a tackling machine and vocal leader in the locker room. Coordinator Teryl Austin would love this harbinger of pain in the middle of his defense causing havoc.

22. Miami- Jim Otto, C/LB

It’s no secret the Dolphins have a lot of needs, so they decide to make a splash and go with Mr. Versatility, selecting Jim Otto, a standout as both a center and a linebacker for the Canes. This is one of Mike Mayock’s “Lunchpail” guys. If you need him at linebacker, he can step in day one and be a force, but he can also add depth to the O-Line to help keep Ryan Tannehill upright.

23. NY Giants- DJ Williams, LB

The Giants are weak at linebacker and could sure use a guy like DJ Williams, who runs a 4.5 at 250 pounds. Fast and quick to the ball, DJ will knock your teeth in and clean up any messes left over by a talented Giants D-Line.

24. Oakland- Jerome Brown, DT

Oakland has nothing to speak of at DT and big Jerome Brown fits in perfectly with Jack Del Rio’s hard-nose style. Combining him with Khalil Mack on the D-Line will give offensive coordinators nightmares.

25. Houston- Bernie Kosar, QB

The retirement of Tony Romo really left coach Bill O’Brien empty handed yet again at the game’s most important position. O’Brien values intelligence in his QB’s and there’s none brighter than Kosar, who was a double major in Finance and Economics at Miami. Another great leader, Kosar plays his best when the lights are brightest.

26. Seattle- Vernon Carey, OT

The Seahawks are absolutely desperate for O-Line help, and with weak depth at the position in this draft, go with Carey over Ereck Flowers. Tough with great footwork and athleticism, Carey can help protect Russell Wilson and get Seattle’s run game going.

27. Kansas City- Jon Beason, LB

Andy Reid is literally foaming at the mouth to get a linebacker like Beason onto his roster. Not because he’s a Twinkie, but because Beason is an explosive, quick-twitch athlete that can make dynamic plays in space.

28. Dallas- Brandon Meriweather, S

Being just as likely to stuff the run as he is to stomp on some Golden Panther booty, Meriweather fits right in with the showmanship culture of the Cowboys. Above all else, Jerry Jones wants winners with a passion for the game and Jerry gets what Jerry wants!

29. Green Bay- Ottis Anderson, RB

The Packers are really looking to get their run game going, so go with what could be the steal of this draft in Anderson. A runner that is no slouch and plows through tackles as often as he blows by defensive backs, Anderson is special.

30. Pittsburgh- Steve Walsh, QB

Big Ben is nearing the twilight of his career and the injuries and punishment he’s taken over the years are starting to pile up. Pittsburgh has elite weapons in Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell and don’t want to waste the prime of their careers developing a new quarterback whenever Roethlisberger retires, so they get a head start and go with Walsh now, a National Championship quarterback and great leader of men that gets the ball out accurately to his playmakers and doesn’t make mistakes.

31. Atlanta- Jeremy Shockey, TE

Atlanta has been looking for a replacement for Tony Gonzalez ever since he retired and finally get one in Shockey, a brutal blocker with hands like glue.

32. New Orleans- Mike Rumph, CB

After drafting Cortez Kennedy to help the front 7, the Saints take Rumph to solidfy their back 4, completing the overhaul of their defense. Combining technique and toughness with a will to win, Rumph also boasts a great football IQ that makes him an ideal candidate to go into coaching after his playing career is over.

What do you think? Did we leave anybody out? Someone too high or too low? Let us know your list in the comments!

Go Njoku and Go Canes!