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Miami Hurricanes 2021 Pro Day Coverage

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Jaelan Phillips Solidifies Early Draft Status as Rousseau, Jordan, Roche, and Borregales Impress NFL Evaluators at Carol Soffer Indoor Facility and Greentree

Michael Laughlin/South Florida Sun Sentinel/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Today marks exactly one month until the 2021 NFL Draft takes place in Cleveland as prospects hope to have their name called that weekend. And as fate would have it, the next lineage of future ProCanes exhibited their talents in Coral Gables at their Pro Day today.

While the spotlight shined on the five Miami Hurricane draft hopefuls, pass-rushers Jaelan Phillips, Gregory Rousseau, and Quincy Roche, Tight End, Brevin Jordan, and Kicker, Jose Borregales, there were some very important personnel in attendance. Former Cane, Chigozie Nnoruka, also participated as an NFL free agent.

WHO WAS THERE:

The most notable NFL evaluator in attendance was New England Patriots GM/Head Coach, Bill Belichick, whose team holds the 15th overall pick and definitely values tenacious defenders. Jordan may also be on his radar as he has famously utilized two tight end formations with Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez but the 12-set obsession, now known as ‘Detroit’ in NFL circles, actually originates from his time as an assistant for the Detroit Lions in the 1970’s. The Patriots drafted two tight ends last year and signed top free agents, Jonnu Smith (who Jordan is often compared to) and Hunter Henry. Lastly, Borregales may garner some intrigue as the Pats frequently select specialists in the fifth round, including Justin Rohrwasser in the 2020 draft, who has since been waived.

The future ProCanes also reportedly had exposure to a number of NFL evaluators today in what will be their most important segment of the draft process. The New York Giants, who own the 11th overall pick, sent a “contingent” to be in person for Miami’s Pro Day, including HC Joe Judge. Dolphins HC, Brian Flores, Titans GM, Jon Robinson, Cardinals GM, Steve Keim, and Vikings GM, Rick Spielman, also headlined the attendees. Scouts from all 32 NFL teams were in attendance.

PLAYER MEASUREMENTS:

For the featured performers, the day started with weigh-ins at Carol Soffer Indoor Facility. The measurements were highlighted by Rousseau’s freakish frame of 11-inch hand, 34.75-inch arm, and 83.25-inch wingspan.

DE Gregory Rousseau
Height: 6’065”
Weight: 266-pounds
Hand: 11-inch
Arm: 34 34 inch
Wing: 83 14 inch

DE Jaelan Phillips
Height: 6’054”
Weight: 260-pounds
Hand: 9 34 inch
Arm: 33 14 inch
Wing: 80 34 inch

TE Brevin Jordan
Height: 6’025”
Weight: 247-pounds
Hand: 9 34 inch
Arm: 32 7/8 inch
Wing: 79 14 inch

DE Quincy Roche (from Reese’s Senior Bowl Measurements)
Height: 6’027”
Weight: 243-pounds
Hand: 9 12 inch
Arm: 32 inch
Wing: 80 3/8 inch

K Jose Borregales (from Reese’s Senior Bowl Measurements)
Height: 5’097”
Weight: 207-pounds
Hand: 9 12 inch
Arm: 29 inch
Wing: 73 3/8 inch

TEST RESULTS:

Testing was next at Soffer facility. A quick word of caution when reviewing the testing numbers: the drills are not an all-or-nothing evaluating mechanism for athletes, but more of a necessary in order to evaluate talent, athleticism, and the like. Rather, NFL scouts and coaches use it as a means of filling any gaps, addressing potential weaknesses, and to ensure the traits match the tape. Even more, that accuracy of the results is sometimes skewed. Brevin Jordan, in particular, is convinced his shuttle time was inaccurate.

Regardless, the most impressive day was Jaelan Phillips, who strung together a 4.56 40-yard dash, 36-inch vertical jump, and 4.12 on his shuttle time, which helps address flexibility, directional quickness and ability to bend - all important features of an EDGE guy.

DE Gregory Rousseau
Vertical: 30-inch
Bench Press: 21 reps
Broad Jump: 9’7”
40-yard: 4.71/4.69, 4.74/4.72
Shuttle: 4.45 (unofficial)
3-Cone: 7.5 (unofficial)

DE Jaelan Phillips
Vertical: 36-inch (81st Percentile)
Bench Press: 21 reps
Broad Jump: 10’5” (90th Percentile)
40-yard: 4.56/4.56, 4.58/4.59 (93rd Percentile)
Shuttle: 4.12 (unofficial) (96th Percentile)
3-Cone: 7.01 (unofficial) (80th Percentile)

TE Brevin Jordan
Vertical: 31-inch
Bench Press: 17 reps
Broad Jump: 9’8”
40-yard: 4.69/4.71, 4.69/4.67
Shuttle: 4.62 (unofficial)
3-Cone: DNP

DE Quincy Roche
Vertical: 32.5-inch
Bench Press: 23 reps
Broad Jump: 9’11”
40-yard: 4.68/4.66, 4.68/4.69
Shuttle: 4.42 (unofficial)
3-Cone: 7.18 (unofficial)

K Jose Borregales
12-for-13
Long: 60
4.31 -7 avg kickoff

The five players suspected to be drafted this year have already compiled the stats and game tape to impress NFL evaluators as they entered their final audition.

BACKGROUND ON THE 2021 DRAFT PROSPECTS:

However, Rousseau had the most important day after not seeing football action in over a year. Prior to opting out, Rousseau compiled 54 Tackles, 19.5 TFL, 15.5 Sacks, 2 FF in 13 games (7 games started).

Phillips certainly earned some more money after his meteoric rise in 2020 which included 10 Games played, 45 Tackles, 15.5 TFL, 8 Sacks, 1 INT. The mentality and injury concerns will need to be considered by NFL teams because Phillips had temporarily retired from football but he has the elite athleticism and skillset to thrive at the NFL level. If Rousseau and Phillips both go in the first round, they will become the first school since NC State in 2006 with Mario Williams and Manny Lawson to have two defensive ends go in the first round, according to Adam Schefter. All four players were coached by DL Coach Todd Stroud.

Quincy Roche initially broke onto the scene at Temple in 2019 where he compiled 49 tackles, 19.0 for loss, 13.0 sacks, 5 PDs in 12 games. His productivity decreased in 2020 at Miami but he paved the way for success by Phillips and Miami’s defensive tackles to disrupt opposing QBs. Due to Roche’s frame, he may translate as a linebacker at the next level.

In three years at TEU, Jordan pulled down 105 receptions, 1,356 yards, and 13 TDs. This past season, despite missing three games, he had his most productive season and tallied 38 receptions for 576 yards, and 7 TDs. Also, of note, Jordan is only 20-years old and doesn’t turn 21 until July, so should have a lengthy career ahead of him if his success translates.

Last but certainly not least, kicker Jose Borregales was money this season as he connected on 90.9% of attempts (20-for-22), which included a 57-yarder, and made all 37 XPs.

Next, players moved onto positional drills on the Greentree practice field. Here, NFL evaluators ran the players through directional elusiveness drills in humid Miami, as well as general practice drills. The pigskin was then introduced as defenders were run through drills to see how well they can react in coverage by not only shuffling along the defensive line but also dropping back.

Brevin Jordan then ran through the full route tree as he was catching passes from a familiar face with whom he has strong rapport: N’Kosi Perry. Even though Perry will be transferring, he gained some invaluable experience in front of NFL scouts. I suspected Jordan may get throws from a fellow Cane such as Tyler Van Dyke or Peyton Matocha, but the brotherhood lives strong as Perry helped out Jordan. In fact, in live game action, Jordan last caught passes from Perry in the Cheez-It Bowl as he compiled 8 catches, for 96 yards, and 2 TDs, so they have definitely linked up previously in key situations.

Brevin handled his own, despite being the only pass-catcher to partake in drills in hot Coral Gables. ACC Network analysts noted he was smooth and crisp in and out of breaks.

Also, during the ACC Network broadcast, former Miami HC, Mark Richt, provided some valuable insight on players he helped recruit such as Rousseau and Jordan. Even more, former NFL GM Mike Tannenbaum provided some insight as to potential draft slots. For Jordan, he projects as a second round pick but noted he may have helped his stock if he came back for another season. For Borregales, Tannenbaum says the number one ranked kicker could go as high as the 3rd or 4th round. Borregales went 12-for-13 on the day with a long of 60-yards.

Another draft analyst, Jim Nagy, noted that Phillips, due to his strong Pro Day, maintained pace with the other elite pass rushers such as Michigan’s Kwity Paye and Georgia’s Azeez Ojulari. Nagy also remarked that you can’t teach length and motor when referring to Rousseau.

WHAT THEY HAD TO SAY...

During post-Pro Day interviews, the analysts also took pleasure in interviewing Rousseau and Phillips, both of whom they called class acts. Coach Richt delved into personal anecdotes about recruiting Rousseau and Phillips provided some insight as to who he models his game after such as NFL stars Joey Bosa, Nick Bosa, TJ Watt, Chandler Jones, and even Hall of Famer, Lawrence Taylor.

The Pro Day wrapped up with media availability, which started with HC Manny Diaz. On Phillips, Diaz emphasized that “he came out this training camp, and with his effort, desire and want-to, he set the tempo for our entire defense...he’s done everything we’ve asked him to do...”

There are a few other areas that the draft prospects addressed:

Quincy Roche noted he “missed his landmarks by a little bit... but completely okay with how today went.” As far as potentially shifting to linebacker, Roche remarked that “not only do I think I showed that today, but if you watch my film, I checked all of the boxes. I can be versatile...I’m definitely excited about my pre-draft process.” Roche added he’s talked to quite a few teams and he’ll “find my niche as a 3-4 outside type of guy.”

The takeaways from Jose Borregales press conference include that he’s been working on his kickoffs/hang time, which he stated he has improved on. He was not on the Pro Day broadcast too much but said it consisted of the usual warm-up and practice. Teams asked him to kick a 49-yard run-up, as well from each hash mark. He says his longest field goal in practice remains an impressive 70 yards.

Greg Rousseau stated he didn’t set PRs in everything but felt it was a solid day and that “it was a blessing to be competing with Jaelan and Quincy one last time.”

Brevin Jordan said “he was very disappointed” in his performance but “you play the next play and it’s time to focus on some real football.” He mainly wanted to run a 4.5 in the 40 but ran a 4.6. As far as the shuttle run, he said “there’s no way I ran a 4.6. I don’t know who got that down.”

Jordan delivered an impassioned speech where he called everyone “stupid” who doubts his love for the University of Miami. “Anybody that doubts my Miami career or doubts my love for The U, I poured my blood, sweat and tears into this University...My love for this University is infinite,” Brevin stated in part. “I’m going to go to the grave, I’m going to have a University of Miami jersey.” Right after his media availability he tweeted, “Anybody got my official time on the shuttle?? Ain’t no way I ran a 4.6 shuttle.”

The man of the day, Jaelan Phillips, concluded the media portion: Vert and Broad were PRs but 40-yard he could do quicker. As to concerns regarding his durability, Phillips said “the proof is in the pudding. My play on the field, that I didn’t miss a snap, a game or a workout...I’m a guy that does all the right things. I do all the extra things.” He also remarked “everybody’s path to success isn’t linear... needed a kick in the butt.” As far as sharpening his skills during the last month, he still thinks he is a very “raw prospect” and will continue to work on keeping his pad level low, which continues tomorrow morning at a 5:30 a.m. scheduled workout with David Feeley.

In summing up the day, Coach Diaz included that he’s “just really proud of our guys for the way they worked and competed today...We had a great turnout. I think our guys helped themselves today. Now it’s up to the NFL to make their decisions.”