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 2 of 3 - Draft Picks Rounds 6-7
Round 6, Pick 196
New Orleans Saints select DE Al-Quadin Muhammad
The Saints use their final pick in the draft to take a chance on talented but troubled edge rusher Al-Quadin Muhammad. After sitting out last season, most draftniks had Muhammad listed as a possible UDFA, but the Saints took a chance on him being able to contribute to their anemic pass rush. In his one full season for the Hurricanes, Muhammad led the team in tackles for loss and added 5 sacks. It’s a gamble for the Saints, but a good risk on a talented but raw pass rusher in the 6th round.
How He Fits In
Practice Squad, or Rotation End on passing downs. Muhammad’s lost season makes him a prime candidate for the Saints practice squad, or to be stashed on Injured Reserve until next season. With a full season in the pro system and weight room, he profiles as a pass rush specialist in sub-packages. If there are injuries, or Muhammad surprises, he could make the back end of the roster right away. There’s a mixed bag of young prospects and older players in front of him, and no one has a job locked in. The Saints are hoping he’s dedicated to football and ready to take advantage of his opportunity.
Round 6, Pick 215
Detroit Lions select QB Brad Kaaya
Bye Felicia! The Lions grab 3 year Canes starting QB Brad Kaaya as a good value pick late in the 6th round. He reunites in Detroit with former Head Coach Al Golden, currently coaching the Lions TE’s. Matthew Stafford is entrenched as the Lions starter. According to GM Bob Quinn, the backup QB position is open to competition. Kaaya slipped in the draft on questions of arm strength, leadership, and development. He has a great opportunity with the Lions to make the game day roster.
How He Fits In
3rd QB/Practice Squad. Jake Rudock, last year’s 6th round pick out of Michigan, is currently the #2 QB on the roster. He has the advantage of having been in the offense for a year. If Kaaya quickly picks up Offensive Coordinator Jim Bob Cooter’s system, he could surprise and claim the backup job. Most likely, he winds up as the 3rd QB, or possibly on the practice squad depending on the Lions roster configuration. Most observers feel Kaaya has a long-term backup QB ceiling. Then again, so did Tom Brady. It remains to be seen if Kaaya continues to develop into a top shelf pro passer.
Round 7, Pick 219
Minnesota Vikings select WR Stacey Coley
The Vikings added a second Hurricane in this draft, snatching up WR Stacey Coley with the first pick in the 7th round. Vikings GM Rick Spielman wanted to add explosive playmakers in the draft, and definitely succeeded with Coley, RB Dalvin Cook from FSU, WR Rodney Adams from USF, and TE Bucky Hodges from Virginia Tech. They hope to help liven up an offense that suffered from a critical lack of big plays throughout the season.
How He Fits In
Kick Returner/5th WR. Wide Receiver Cordarrelle Patterson is no longer a Viking and that leaves the kick and punt return positions open. Coley will likely compete with fellow draftee Adams for the jobs. Coley had great success on returns early in his college career. With Patterson gone, the Vikings are also looking for a deep ball threat, and Coley’s 4.33 straight line speed is well suited for the role. Spielman thinks Coley can play both slot and outside receiver. He needs to show consistency and big play ability to earn playing time. For now, his return ability looks like the skill that will allow him to stick.
Round 7, Pick 229
San Francisco 49ers select DB Adrian Colbert
DB Adrian Colbert is drafted by the 49ers just 10 picks after his teammate Coley. The Niners draft was all about shoring up their leaky defense and adding talent to their offensive skill positions. Colbert played his way into the draft conversation with bone-jarring hits in the Notre Dame game and a great workout at the Canes Pro Day. His size, positional versatility, and toughness made him attractive to new 49ers GM John Lynch, a former hard hitting Safety himself for the Buccaneers and Broncos.
How He Fits In
Core Special Teamer and Reserve DB. Lynch says the 49ers know he can play safety, but first plan to give Colbert a look at CB first. He thinks Colbert will be a “heck of a special teams player”. The Niners have turned over their roster this year for new Head Coach Kyle Shanahan. Former special teams ace Nick Bellore was let go in the transition and left the door wide open for Colbert to grab his spot. Colbert graduated from nearby Mineral Wells High School and should be extra motivated as a hometown guy. FS Eric Reid is the only bona fide starter in the secondary. If Colbert impresses at CB or S, he could play his way into the rotation.
Round 7, Pick 240
Jacksonville Jaguars select FB Marquez Williams
The Jaguars draft massive 260 lb. FB Marquez Williams with their final pick as they continue to rebuild their running game. New Executive Vice President of Football Operations Tom Coughlin has made increasing the team’s physicality a big priority this offseason. They drafted Leonard Fournette, the draft's top RB and a 240 lb. mauler, with the #5 overall pick. The Jags also added stud Alabama LT Cam Robinson, and Williams - who GM Dave Caldwell calls “a bowling ball” - to open big holes for Fournette. The hope is that the running game will take the heat of beleaguered QB Blake Bortles and open up the downfield passing game for WR’s Allen Robinson and former Cane Allen Hurns.
How He Fits In
Possible Starting FB and Special Teamer. The Jaguars added former Jet FB Tommy Bohanon in free agency. Bohanon is more of H-Back type, and doesn’t possess the sheer brute blocking force of Williams. Coach Doug Marrone has hinted that the situation is an open competition. The chance is there for Williams to take the job and become part of a devastating power backfield with Fournette. There may be room for both on the roster, depending on what the Jags elect to do with their group of backup TE’s. Williams size and speed make him a potent wedge-buster on the kick coverage teams.