clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Ranking the NFL ProCanes Ahead of the 2020 Season

Power Rankings for Miami Hurricanes currently on NFL Rosters

NCAA Football - MPC Computers Bowl - Miami vs Nevada - December 31, 2006 Photo by Steve Grayson/WireImage

*Cue the NFL on Fox Sunday theme music* ... The NFL is officially back and it is no secret that the Miami Hurricanes football program has routinely produced some of the top NFL talent. That is no different this year as there are currently 31 ProCanes on NFL rosters going into the season. This is a slight decline in numbers as a number of Canes were cut last week week when teams determined their official 53-man roster.

Regardless, this is a team that has always in full display on Sundays as they set an astounding record of 149 consecutive weeks of scoring a touchdown in an NFL from 2002 to 2011. Going into this year, I have ranked the expectations I have for the ProCanes and this guide can be used as a tool to know who to root for up in the big league, as well as a “where are they now” for some of our favorite former Canes.

I have included the 2019 Pro Football Focus Grades for players, which is an advanced analytic that evaluates every player on every play during a football game based on what should have happened on every play (i.e. if a CB drops a clear interception, the QB will still be graded down even though an interception is not included in the stat sheet). I’ve also included the games played and games started from 2019.

Tier 1: Stars

Position | Name | Team | (Draft Year/Selection) | (2019 PFF Grade - 2019 GP/GS)

  1. DE | Calais Campbell | Baltimore Ravens | (2008, 2nd round, 50th overall) | (90.2 - 16/16): The team with the best overall regular season record last year became even more stout with the pickup of Campbell. Campbell has been a steady players since his entrance to the NFL and should continue to dominate at a high level as he is listed as the starting Defensive Tackle. Campbell is the third highest-graded interior DL since 2016 according to PFF and should benefit from a change of scenery to a top team in the Ravens.

2. DE | Olivier Vernon | Cleveland Browns | (2012, 3rd round, 72nd overall) | (80.4 - 10/10): Could this be the year the Browns break through and make a playoff appearance? Their defense appears strong and is anchored by a well-equipped defensive line featuring Vernon. Vernon hasn’t played on great teams as he was drafted by the Dolphins, then played with the Giants, and now the Browns. He contributed with 26 tackles and 3.5 sacks in 10 games but has had as many as 64 tackles in a season and 11.5 sacks in a season, so the potential is there to have a resurgence.

3. FS | Rayshawn Jenkins | Los Angeles Chargers | (2017, 4th round, 113th overall) | (63.1 - 16/16): Jenkins appears ready for a big year after his first season as a starter in 2019 went smoothly. He showed he can be productive as a full-time starter as he registered three picks and 54 tackles last year. He can move all over the field with his strengths coming in the pass rush and coverage. But, apparently he is ready to take an even further leap in improving his game as he has focused on an offseason program and diet.

4. C | Brandon Linder | Jacksonville Jaguars | (2014, 3rd round, 93rd overall) | (75.3 - 16/16): Linder has been a starter since he entered the NFL. And, even though the Jaguars do not possess many strengths in their offense, including a weak offensive line, Linder has performed well in the middle of the offensive trench. Linder was ranked 5th out of 34 Centers in the NFL in 2019 according to PFF and can anticipate being a stable stalwart at the Center position for the remaining of his career.

5. TE | Christopher Herndon IV | New York Jets | (2018, 4th round, 107th overall) | (61.3 - 1/0): The starting TE on the Jets can expect a lot of repetitions this year as he comes back from an injury-ridden 2019 where he sat out due to a fractured rib. He did see solid numbers as a freshman in his 12 starts and has been impressing lately at training camp.

6. RB | Duke Johnson | Houston Texans | (2015, 3rd round, 77th overall) (74.2 - 16/2): Duke Johnson will keep many fantasy owners confused as the Texans possess a two-headed backfield consisting of two D. Johnson’s. Duke is technically listed as a backup RB but it should be an RB-by-committee in Houston. He is also a very solid receiving back so should be valuable in fantasy play, especially when complemented by a WR corps that includes many speedy, vertical options.

Tier 2. Situated to Standout

Position | Name | Team | (Draft Year/Selection) | (2019 PFF Grade - 2019 GP/GS)

7. FS | Sheldrick Redwine | Cleveland Browns | (2019, 4th round, 119th overall) | (66.4 - 12/5): Redwine is currently listed as a backup FS but should get sufficient action in his second year as he continues to get his feet wet. He has been impressive in the offseason both on the field and by emerging as a leader off the field. Rookie S, Grant Delpit, will be out for the season with an injury and the Browns picked up Ronnie Harrison, but Redwine should definitely anticipate some growth after a rookie year where he tallied 42 tackles and showed immense poise in both pass rush and coverage.

8. TE | Jimmy Graham | Chicago Bears | (2010, 3rd round, 95th overall) | (55.0 - 16/10): Graham makes the move within the NFC North from the Green Bay Packers, where he was getting targets from Aaron Rodgers, but now will be on the receiving end of either Mitchel Trubisky or Nick Foles in Chicago. Graham currently leads a TE room that had about a hundred tight ends earlier this summer, but now includes rookie Cole Kmet, JP Holtz, and Demetrius Harris. Apparently, Graham has ben impressive throughout camp, despite being on the back end of his career.

9. CB | Deon Bush | Chicago Bears | (2016, 4th round, 124th overall) | (81.9 - 15/0): Bush really shined as a coverage CB and can anticipate an increased role in 2020. Bush was expected to be teamed up with former Cane, Artie Burns, but Burns is listed on the IR for the season. Bush could potentially move to Safety, as he battled for that position throughout training camp. He also showed some tenacity as during a recent practice where he appeared to pick a skirmish with fellow, Graham.

10. DE | Al-Quadin Muhammad | Indianapolis Colts | (2017, 6th round, 196th overall) | (66.2 - 16/4): Muhammad could be a dark horse in the Colts pass rush as he currently is listed a backup DE behind Denico Autry. He has actively improved his skills and technique. Last year, Muhammad registered 9 QB Hits, 7 Tackles for Loss, and 3 Sacks, so is obviously quick at getting into the backfield.

11. RB | Frank Gore | New York Jets | (2005, 3rd round, 65th overall) | (64.1 - 16/8): The legend of Frank Gore just keeps going and going as he continues his voyage at the NFL level. With the Jets, Gore can anticipate decent action as RB2 behind Le’Veon Bell, who has been the subject of rumors this past August, and potentially “miscommunication” issues with head coach, Adam Gase.

12. TE | Greg Olsen | Seattle Seahawks | (2007, 1st round, 31st overall) | (66.9 - 14/4): Another ageless wonder outta the U. Olsen gathered 52 receptions for 597 yards last season and can anticipate another decent season as TE1 with Russell Wilson as his QB.

13. WR | Braxton Berrios | New York Jets | (2018, 6th round, 210th overall) (56.1 - 16/0): Berrios is the backup WR in the slot but is listed as the starting KR for the Jets. Last season, Berrios had one stand out play with a 70-yard catch and run where he was knocked out at the 1-yard line. This season, however, he could definitely anticipate a bigger role at WR as the Jets receiving corps is currently decimated. What should come as no surprise to Canes’ fans, Berrios has been praised by his coach: “He’s a competitor man,” Gase said this summer of the 5-9, 190-pound Berrios. “He plays like he’s 6-4, 230. In his mind, I think that’s how he views himself. He gets after it every day.” It’s obvious Braxton has put on strength this offseason (see below), and if Berrios has been able to continue to work on creating separation at the NFL level, he can definitely take the leap as a solid slot WR.

View this post on Instagram

When @eamaddennfl gives me a 50 in strength

A post shared by Braxton Berrios (@hnynut_berrios) on

14. WR | Phillip Dorsett | Seattle Seahawks | (2015, 1st round, 29th overall) | (66.9 - 14/4): The speedy WR is currently listed as a backup to Tyler Lockett. However, the former first round pick has yet to really flourish as an NFL WR. This is Dorsett’s third location at the professional level as he previously played for Indianapolis and New England. Let’s see if he can take a leap with dynamic passer, Russell Wilson.

15. OL | Ereck Flowers | Miami Dolphins | (2015, 1st round, 9th overall) | (64.1 - 16/16): In his first few seasons in the NFL, it appeared that the former top ten overall pick would be an all-time bust. However, Flowers ended up turning it around last season with the Washington Football Team and turned in a 3-year, $30million deal with the Dolphins and can anticipate a starting position on the transforming front line.

16. LB | Denzel Perryman | Los Angeles Chargers | (2015, 2nd round, 48th overall) | (59.2 - 14/10): Perryman finished with a productive season last year as he recorded 68 tackles. This was his first breakthrough season after he experienced a dip following seasons with 73 and 72 tackles, respectively in first two seasons. The increase after the drop-off resulted in a starting LB position for Perryman and he re-signed in 2019 to a two-year extension.

17. SS | Jaquan Johnson | Buffalo Bills | (2019, 6th round, 181st overall) | (74.1 - 13/0): After getting his feet wet his rookie year, Johnson will be the backup S behind Micah Hyde in a stacked Bills secondary. The U has Jaquan’s younger brother and three-star DE Tyler Johnson as a verbal commit for 2021.

Tier 3. Steady Roles

Position | Name | Team | (Draft Year/Selection) | (2019 PFF Grade - 2019 GP/GS)

18. K | Michael Badgley | Los Angeles Chargers | (2018, UDFA) | (62.8 - 8/8): After a groin injury for his first eight games last year, Badgley was a reliable option for the 2019 Chargers.

19. DE | Allen Bailey | Atlanta Falcons | (2011, 3rd round, 86th overall) | (64.1 - 15/5): Entering his tenth season, Bailey should be a role player at this point. He had a drop-off in starts in 2019 but still tallied 26 tackles and will be a backup DE in 2020.

21. RB | Travis Homer | Seattle Seahawks | (2019, 6th round, 204th overall) | (63.1 - 16/1): Homer is working in a crowded backfield with Chris Carson and Carlos Hyde this season (Rashaad Penny is out for the season). As a third string RB, Homer should anticipate continued involvement as a special teams player.

20. RB | DeeJay Dallas | Seattle Seahawks | (2020, 4th round, 144th overall) | (N/A): Dallas can anticipate a very similar role to Homer.

22. DE | Jonathan Garvin | Green Bay Packers | (2020, 7th round, 242nd overall) | (N/A): Despite waiting until the last hour of the NFL Draft this past year, Garvin has been making moves at the Packers camp. And, even though he was mostly lined up on the line throughout college, he is currently listed as the backup OLB behind Za’Darius Smith. Garvin could definitely have a role after showing good promise in QB pressures in camp and has been right in the mix on defense. His most likely role will be off the edge.

23. WR | K.J. Osborn | Minnesota Vikings | (2020, 6th round, 212th overall) | (N/A): The kid with the work hard and make-it attitude has surpassed the first big step in his NFL quest. Even more, Osborn is listed as the starting KR/PR, where he should really be able to carve out a niche for himself during the Special Teams game.

24. LB | Shaquille Quarterman | Jacksonville Jaguars | (2020, 4th round, 140th overall) | (N/A): Quarterman, as he did at the college level, has the potential to be absolute beast. He is already listed as backup MLB behind Joe Schobert, but he could slide into a situational role as a rookie.

25. P | Pat O’Donnell | Chicago Bears | (2014, 6th round, 191st overall) | (55.3 - 16/16): As we saw on Thursday night, the U could definitely continue to be PunterU as Louis Hedley showed off his leg to help with field position. O’Donnell is a steady punter for the Bears, and can also be utilized as a Kickoff guy.

26. DT | RJ McIntosh | New York Giants | (2018, 5th round, 139th overall) | (63.1 - 12/0): McIntosh is still emerging but needs to continue to carve out a role at the NFL level as he is currently listed as backup DE on the Giants.

Tier 4. On the Brink

Position | Name | Team | (Draft Year/Selection) | (2019 PFF Grade - 2019 GP/GS)

27. TE | David Njoku | Cleveland Browns | (2017, 1st round, 29th overall) | (49.8 - 4/1): Injury In 2019, Njoku barely played due to injury. However, in 2018, Njoku was productive as he gathered 639 yards, 56 receptions and 4 TDs. He’s been on a rollercoaster though this offseason and is currently listed as the third TE behind free agent signee, Austin Hooper, and 2020 fourth round pick, Harrison Bryant, after a turbulent offseason where it seemed he may get traded. If he remains third on the depth chart, a trade for the physical specimen may be forthcoming. I do believe Njoku has immense promise in the NFL, but this is qualified by a lot of ifs, which is usually not a great sign. These include Njoku’s ability to stay healthy and to actually get opportunities on the field, which would likely require a trade into a favorable opportunity. At this point, however, his situation with the Browns seems pessimistic, especially because he is third on the depth chart.

28. CB | Corn Elder | Carolina Panthers | (2017, 5th round, 152nd overall) | (N/A - 1/0): The best name in the NFL missed his rookie season due to a knee injury. And then last year, Corn did not make the cut, despite a somewhat decent season in 2018 working out of the slot for the Panthers. He then landed on the Giants IR for some time before getting picked back up by the Panthers. This year, Elder can anticipate snaps due to the absence of Eli Apple who recently was put on the IR. Corn can carve out a role with his versatility on either the outside or in the slot. However, Panthers will will be hard pressed to succeed in at least six games in the secondary as they face a tough NFC South division that consists of the new look Buccaneers with Tom Brady, Chris Godwin, and Mike Evans, Saints who have Drew Brees and Michael Thomas, and Falcons who feature Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley.

29. DE | Joe Jackson | Cleveland Browns | (2019, 5th round, 165th overall) | (70.2 - 5/0): Jackson was cut by the Cowboys last Saturday after registering only four tackles in his rookie season. However, he provides decent depth with the Brown and could eventually make a name for himself.

30. SS | Adrian Colbert | New York Giants | (2017, 7th round 229th overall) | (64.9 - 6/5) Colbert is the third string FS behind Julian Love and Logan Ryan (new addition who is shifting from slot CB). Despite being cut by the Chiefs last week and then signed by Giants, he could likely provide depth at SS as well with Nate Ebner (a Special Teams specialist) as the backup there. But, he will need to have a resurgence to stay on track in the NFL.

31. OT | Tyree St. Louis | Los Angeles Chargers | (2019 UDFA) | (N/A): St. Louis is listed as the third string RT for the Chargers, but is yet to play a snap in the NFL.

CB | Artie Burns | Chicago Bears | (2016, 1st round, 25th overall) (61.1 - 10/1): Burns tore his ACL and is out for the season. He played with the Steelers and was set to team up with fellow Cane, Deon Bush.

OG | Jon Feliciano | Buffalo Bills | (2015, 4th round, 128th overall) | (64.1 - 16/16): Feliciano is expected to miss the season with a torn pectoral muscle but has been steady blocker for Buffalo.

What are your thoughts on these rankings? Any that are way off base? Where would you place some and do you think there will be a resurgence from current players not on 53-man rosters such as Lamar Miller, Anthony Chickillo, Chad Thomas, or Jeff Thomas?