A total of 8 Miami Hurricanes were picked in this year's NFL Draft, the most since 7 were selected in 2015. While the majority were selected on the draft's third day in Rounds 4-7, there is cause for optimism that the long NFL success legacy of the ProCanes is still going strong.
Several other players were snapped up as undrafted free agents (UDFA) or offered pro tryouts.
Let's take a look at the new ProCanes, with pick analysis and how the players fit in with their new teams.
Part 1 of 3 - Draft Picks Rounds 1-5
Round 1, Pick 29
Cleveland Browns select TE David Njoku
The Browns trade up into the bottom of the 1st round to take dynamic receiving TE David Njoku. He gives the Browns a potential game-changing weapon at the position, the likes of which hasn’t been seen in Cleveland since the heyday of Hall Of Famer Ozzie Newsome. While his blocking could stand to improve, his abilities in stretching the field, making contested catches, and red zone scoring are tops among the Browns TE options.
How He Fits In
Starting TE. Njoku was drafted on Thursday, and on Friday Cleveland cut incumbent starter Gary Barnidge. His only competition is Seth DeValve, a second-year H-back type out of Princeton, and J.P. Holtz, a bottom of the roster blocker. Njoku is in a prime position to maximize targets due to the low quality of the Browns other receivers. He’ll be a big factor in the Red Zone. Of course, the Browns still need a quarterback to actually throw him the ball. David Njoku has the opportunity to continue the tradition of Tight End U greats like Greg Olsen, Kellen Winslow II, Jimmy Graham, and Jeremy Shockey.
Round 4, Pick 113
San Diego Chargers select S Rayshawn Jenkins
The Chargers grab a punishing hitter in S Rayshawn Jenkins, who flew up draft boards following post-season bowl games and workouts. San Diego needed help in the secondary, and especially at safety, which has been a gaping hole of mediocrity since the departure of former Pro Bowl FS Eric Weddle.
How He Fits In
Potential Starter and Core Special Teamer. San Diego's new Defensive Coordinator is Gus Bradley, former Jaguars Head Coach and D-Coordinator of the Super Bowl XLVIII winning Seahawks. Bradley has told Jenkins that he sees him in the Kam Chancellor role as a wood-laying box safety. In front of Jenkins is Jahleel Addae, a former UDFA who lacks the size and ball-hawking skills of Jenkins. If Jenkins quickly grasps the new defensive scheme, the job could be his. His speed and tackling will be an asset to the Chargers special teams either way.
Round 5, Pick 152
Carolina Panthers select CB Corn Elder
The Panthers draft the physical CB and special teams weapon Corn Elder to compete at CB. The Panthers went young at CB last year and continue to add talent to the position. Elder brings versatility on special teams as both a returner and a gunner.
How He Fits In
Core Special Teamer, will compete at Slot Corner and maybe at Safety. Elder will contribute right away on special teams. The Panthers have one of the league’s top slot corners in Captain Munnerlyn. Elder will compete for that spot, and possibly the unsettled #2 CB spot opposite James Bradberry, where last year Daryl Worley was inconsistent. A position change is not out of the question, as Carolina is thin at safety and would be able to take advantage of Elder’s high football IQ and hard hitting on run support.
Round 5, Pick 180
Minnesota Vikings select G Danny Isidora
The Vikings continue to reload their offensive line by adding G Danny Isidora. Isidora, a three year starter at RG for the Canes, rose up from potential UDFA status to a 5th round pick on the heels of a bravura combine performance where he ranked top 10 in the 40 yard dash, bench press, and vertical. The Vikings are on a quest to improve their run game this offseason, adding two new starting tackles, replacing Adrian Peterson with Latavius Murray, and drafting young talent for the OL.
How He Fits In
Competing to Start at RG. With 4 positions solidified on the revamped Vikings offensive line, RG is open for the taking. Isidora figures to compete with fellow draftee Pat Elflein of Ohio State, and the awesomely named Willie Beavers for the starting gig. With little in the way of quality depth on the line, Isidora should at least snag a backup spot on the 53 man roster. The athletic and sturdy Isidora is in the right spot and the right time to claim a starting job.