After 256 selections in the 2018 NFL Draft, a few familiar names to Miami’s fans remained undrafted after the dust had cleared. Not getting that phone call to be informed that you’re being drafted is a bitter and humbling feeling. Yet, in its own way, it provides another opportunity for a group of players that were overlooked by 32 NFL teams. Being a UDFA (undrafted free agent) comes with the luxury of be able to chose which situation to best allow you to make the final 53-man roster in the fall.
So while six Hurricanes got the call to become a pro, five former ’Canes patiently waited only for to have seven rounds pass without seeing their name scroll across a screen. The weekend did not go the way they planned, but their path to the pros remains open. Here’s a recap of the undrafted Hurricanes from the 2018 NFL Draft.
For Trent Harris, who led Miami with 8.5 sacks in 2017, he’ll be trying to impress Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots staff after agreeing to terms on a UDFA deal. Along with sharing a locker room with QB Tom Brady, and TE Rob Gronkowski, there will be a couple familiar faces at the Patriots Practice Facility. Both wide recievers Phillip Dorsett and Braxton Berrios are also working to secure their spots on the roster. Harris definitely fits the ‘Just Do Your Job’ mentality of the Patriots, a quality that endeared him to the ’Canes faithful during his four seasons on the team. Harris’ versatility, having lined up as a stand-up linebacker and rushing the passer with his hand in the dirt as a traditional 4-3 defensive end, is a tremendous asset to making the final roster. With the reigning AFC champions needing to beef up their pass rush, Harris’ speed off the edge could help him find the field either in a defensive sub-package or special teams capacity early in his career. Given his work and production as a ’Cane, it’s not difficult to imagine Harris carving out a solid career for himself despite going undrafted.
I promise you Trent Harris will be a long time great player for years to come— Djack (@F5_Jackson) April 28, 2018
When Jaguars’ center Brandon Linder looks over on the sideline and sees the nameplate McDermott on the back of a jersey, he’s allowed to feel a bit nostalgic. Linder, a Hurricane alum himself, played with Shane McDermott along Miami’s offensive line from 2010-’13. However, it will be younger brother KC McDermott that dons Jacksonville’s new uniform, looking to earn a spot on the roster. Appluaded for his aggression, many draft analyst critiqued his narrow base as well as not being able to block at the second level on a consistent basis. After seeing improved play along the offense on their way to the AFC Championship game, Jacksonville is looking to build upon the positives of last season. McDermott’s fierce nature will get him into training camp, and working as a guard means he won’t have to face athletic edge-rushers. However, he will be forced to deal with strong interior personnel such as DL Calais Campbell and DL Marcell Dareus in practice, a step up from ACC competition. With more reps, there is a chance for greater improvement from player that was a constant along Miami’s offensive line for much of his career.
DUVAL!!!!!!!! I can’t wait to start my NFL career with the Jacksonville Jaguars! @Jaguars— Kc McDermott (@kcmcdermott52) April 29, 2018
CB Dee Delaney will be making the journey to DUVAL county to continue his footballl career as well. The graduate transfer from The Citadel played just one season for the Hurricanes after being considered one of the best draft prospects outside of FBS competition. There were trials and tribulations during his 2017 season as a ’Cane, but Delaney was a contributor for the team when healthy. Able to run stride-for-stide with receivers, the cornerback posses the attributes to play in the NFL. The South Carolina native will need to put it all together if he’s going to prolong his professional football career. Walking into a DB meeting room with cornerbacks Jalen Ramsey and AJ Bouye, who are among the NFL’s best at the position, should bring the best out of a competitor who wore #3 for Miami a season ago. Delaney will need to endear himself to Jaguars special teams coordinator Joe DeCamillis to help him carve out a role on the roster. Earning a role on special teams could help to buy Delaney time to continue developing as a corner.
It’s not uncommon for a kicker to go undrafted. With just two kickers being selected in the entire 2018 NFL Draft, former Hurricanes kicker Michael Badgley was one of the players looking from the outside, hoping to get a chance in the pros. That opportunity to continue playing will indeed happen. Badgley and his voluminous hair are on their way to Indianapolis after signing a deal to be a Colt. Incumbent starter K Adam Vinatieri still has a ‘leg up’ on the younger Badgley (sorry), but this could provide the perfect showcase for Miami’s all-time points leader. Whether its the camp battle or preseason game action, Badgley has the platform to impress the Colts or any other NFL team that feels they need to upgrade their kicker position.
UM DT Anthony Moten signs with Dolphins, per @ChristyChirinos— Barry Jackson (@flasportsbuzz) April 29, 2018
There is usually a Hurricane or two that ends up staying local, opting to sign with the Miami Dolphins. In 2018, DT Anthony Moten is the lone Hurricane to join the Phins. The move could be fruitful, as the ‘Phins try to get younger along the defensive interior. Moten joins RB Frank Gore, CB Tracy Howard, WR Rashawn Scott and WR Malcolm Lewis as former Hurricanes who are employed by the Dolphins.
OG Trevor Darling has earned a workout with the Cleveland Browns.
IT’S ALWAYS ABOUT THE U!