It’s a well known fact that the University of Miami has produced some of the greatest players in NFL history. Ed Reed, Michael Irvin, Cortez Kennedy, Jim Otto, and so many others are former Canes who went on to dominate in the pros. Currently in the NFL, 51 Hurricanes find themselves on professional rosters, with that number set to increase with this years Draft.
While Travis Homer, Jaquan Johnson, Gerald Willis and others are adding to the number of Canes in the NFL, Miami’s current roster will look to take that bar even higher, and to where it once was. For a long time, and even to this day, Miami was known as #NFLU. During a period from 1994 to 2008, UM set an NFL Draft record with a Hurricane going in the first round 14-straight years.
If you look today at the 2019 roster for the Hurricanes, it is literally littered with players who have the potential to just not play on Sundays, but dominate the NFL as well.
Starting off on the defensive side of the ball, we look at senior linebackers Shaquille Quarterman and Michael Pinckney, who both set aside declaring early for the Draft by coming back for their last year at UM.
Quarterman is considered to be the best player on Miami, period. The three-year starter had arguably his best season in 2018, earning All-ACC honors with 82 tackles, 14.0 TFLs and five sacks. His instinct for the ball carrier and sure tackling skills has him projected as a third-round pick in the 2020 Draft according to WalterFootball.com, which obviously Quarterman has plenty of time to improve that stock.
Pinckney is known for his play-making skills, and no play is more obvious of proving that than his interception against Florida State in 2018. Having also been a starter next to Quarterman since their freshman year in 2016, Pinckney is being looked at as an NFL prospect for next years draft, projected as a fourth-round pick.
Happy Sunday. Grateful for 56 pic.twitter.com/zmSDSLhqvz— Kosi/Jarren/Martell SZN (@hurricanesmarsh) January 27, 2019
Staying on the defensive side, Miami has two juniors, Trajan Bandy (CB) and Jonathan Garvin (DE) who could potentially slide to the pros early next year. Though undersized for a corner at 5’9, Bandy is still considered a top-10 CB in college football for 2019. His shutdown coverage and aggressive play on opposing receivers allowed Bandy to be a breakout start in 2018.
Trajan Bandy was stout in coverage for the Hurricanes pic.twitter.com/weZgsaDCy5— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) December 12, 2018
On the line, Garvin had a highly productive sophomore season in 2018 with 17.5 TFLs and 5.5 sacks. Already being considered as a high possibility to declare for the NFL early, Garvin is going to make his claim as one of the top pass-rushers in 2019. Also, Miami has had a defensive end leave early for the NFL the past two seasons, so don’t be surprised if Garvin jets off early.
There’s still several other players and a few underclassmen who have the NFL potential already. Fellow defensive ends Trevon Hill and Gregory Rousseau are two guys who’s athletic build and ability to rush the quarterback is something that NFL scoots will be drooling over. Both Hill’s and Rousseau’s pass rushing skills as well as variation in their moves is a plus.
Over on the offensive side of the ball, Miami may even have more future pros than the much-more talked about defense. Though he’s only a sophomore, tight end Brevin Jordan is already one of the best in the country at his position, and is already gaining notoriety from NFL scouts. Behind Jordan is also Will Mallory, who has flashed true potential this spring, and because Dan Enos likes to use a double tight-end set in his offense, we may just see Mallory scoot on over to the pros as well.
Fun fact......Walter Football has Brevin Jordan going 13th in the 2021 NFL Draft.....#TEU— Kosi/Jarren/Martell SZN (@hurricanesmarsh) March 4, 2019
At the receiver position, the Hurricanes have junior Jeff Thomas and senior K.J. Osborn. Though he was limited in 2018, Thomas showed enough to people around the country for him to be thought of as someone who could declare early. His lighting quick speed is what’s really attractive about his play, and also his knack for attacking the ball in the air and being aggressive.
Coming over from Buffalo as a grad transfer, Osborn’s productive spring has people talking. Osborn has a great combination of speed and size, and is expected to be either Miami’s one or two go-to receiver in 2019.
Another impressive throw from Tyree Jackson, but this KJ Osborn kid is impressive. Miami is getting a potential NFL prospect opposite stud WR Jeff Thomas. pic.twitter.com/eUox9UrtxN— Rob Paul (@RobPaulNFL) April 2, 2019
Finally, at running back, junior Deejay Dallas is another player that could potentially depart early for the NFL. Dallas has a great combination of both size and speed, and with Homer now gone from Miami, Dallas will get the majority of the carries for the Canes in 2019.
So while we may have seen Miami fall off a little bit when it comes to producing first round talent, one thing is for sure, the players that the Canes have now look destined to make UM #NFLU once again.