With the buzz of the Miami Pro Day now three days old, it is time to begin tracking the participants remaining road to the draft. Jaelan Phillips. Greg Rousseau, Quincy Roche, Brevin Jordan and Jose Borregales had varying performances among them. Now, with Pro Days taking the place of the normally conducted NFL Combine, the final catalyst has been released. With it, mock drafts throughout NFL circles will more closely match the expected outcomes on April 29th.
Each week leading up to Draft Day, we will bring you the latest mock draft projections for each of the Canes assumed to be drafted.
Coinciding with those updates, we will be giving our own projections, partly influenced by the consensus, and partly influenced by our knowledge of our players and the teams drafting them.
As an interlude, for those of you living under a rock, Jaelen Phillips shook up the defensive draft board while Jordan went the wrong way on the offensive draft board.
Rousseau and Roche similarly surprised, as Rousseau showed some rust, Roche capped an excellent draft season, and Borregales secured his spot as the number one kicker in the draft.
Our Jake Marcus completely CRUSHED the Pro Day coverage. Find complete info on each participants performance in the linked articles below.
Miami Hurricanes 2021 Pro Day: What to Watch For? Individual Scouting Reports on the Miami 2021 NFL Draft Prospects (Part II)
As a reminder, below we will provide the weeks latest mock draft position averages for each player, the most commonly mentioned team, and a prediction of our own based on our working knowledge surrounding Miami Hurricanes Football.
Average Draft Position: 23rd
MOST COMMON TEAM: Cleveland Browns
- Mel Kiper: 18th, Todd McShay: 22nd
- PFF.com: 16th
14th, 21st, 26th, 26th
- USAtoday.com: 41st
- NFL.com: 26th
Justin Dottavio: I think a rush linebacker in a 3-4 defense is a great spot for Phillips. It’ll all come down to medical evaluations, speculation (duh) and if teams believe he can read a defense which will be much more important in a 3-4 than a 4-3 for an ‘end.’ Very low floor for Jaelan if he stays healthy.
Jake Marcus: The 6-5, 260-pound Phillips stole the show at his Pro Day and the New York Giants not-so-coincidentally sent a contingent, including head coach Joe Judge, to get a closer look at the athletic freak. While the Giants have a promising young secondary and shored up the interior defensive line with the signing of Leonard Williams, they could use a tenacious pass rusher off the edge. Lock in the high-motored JP15 at number 11 to the Giants.
Roman Marciante: His previous medical history and sitting out a year will have to be in consideration for whoever drafts Phillips. Despite having a wonderful pro day, I anticipate his previous injury concerns have him slip a bit. Draft prediction is 18th overall to your Miami Dolphins.
Stephan Cheatham: We all knew Phillips was a physical freak from what we saw in him as the number one recruit in 2017 and from his performance on the field in 2020. Now, the rest of the world, and most importantly, NFL executives, are greatly aware following a jaw dropping performance.
While draft boards commonly have him going to the Cleveland Browns, scuttlebutt arose post draft day that a team in the same division has been in touch also, the Pittsburgh Steelers. Though the AFC North has the noise right now, I don’t see a world, just yet, where Phillips makes it that far.
18th Overall: Miami Dolphins
Average Draft Position: 24th
MOST COMMON TEAM: Pittsburgh Steelers
- Mel Kiper: 21st, Todd McShay: 21st
- TheDraftNetwork.com: 55th
- PFF.com: 24th
27th, 27th, 14th, 11th
- USAtoday.com: 24th
- NFL.com: 20th
Dottavio: The common agreement seems to be Rousseau to the NY Giants. Rousseau is more of a 4-3 defensive end. His Pro Day, where the stats are juiced, proves that he has change of direction ability.
Marcus: The most anticipated Miami Pro Day, Rousseau, affirmed that he has measurements that you simply cannot teach - almost 6’7” with a 83.25-inch wingspan. Despite an incredibly productive 2019 campaign with 54 Tackles, 19.5 TFL, and 15.5 Sacks in only seven starts, there remain questions about the small sample size/rawness, an ankle injury his freshman season, and whether the skills will translate at the next level. Former LB and current HC of the Tennessee Titans, Mike Vrabel, can’t pass up on Rousseau’s gumby-like frame at 22nd overall.
Marciante: Big time upside from Rousseau who opted out all of 2020. Was it a smart move considering some are projecting him to slide to the 20’s? Who knows. The 2019 Hurricane sack leader in limited action might attract teams who see the limited wear and tear as more good than bad. Draft Prediction is 11th to the New York Giants.
Cheatham: Rousseau is raw. Functionally raw. At 6’7, 270 and yet only 20 years, old, like his single year production, he is unfulfilled promise. That showed in his Pro Day as well. While he showed solid fluidity, there was much still left to be desired. Thankfully, it’s easy to see that there is still much more growth left for the defensive lineman.
While Rousseau is getting a lot of late love to teams like Pittsburgh and Baltimore, I don’t envision a team in the hunt spending a first round pick on a player that may not help immediately. Likewise, he is still raw enough to scare teams higher in the draft order from taking such a risk with such a valuable pick. Leaving the mid tier positions, Rousseau makes a lot of sense for a team that can take time to develop him. There is one team regularly linked to Greg that loves lineman with his size.
21st Overall: Indianapolis Colts
Average Draft Position: 80th
MOST COMMON TEAM: Pittsburgh Steelers
Dottavio: Roche tested well at the Pro Day which will help him a ton. He flashes big plays before disappearing. He loafed too much at times for my taste, too. He will have to prove he can contribute in the kicking game on Sundays. I see him going in the 3rd or 4th round as an edge rusher in the 3-4.
Marcus: A large point of emphasis for Roche in his media portion of the Miami Pro Day was making it clear he possesses sufficient versatility. To that end, due to his smaller frame relative to other EDGE guys, Roche may start out his career as a special teamer as he is gradually assimilated as an outside LB in a 3-4 defense. The Pittsburgh Steelers drafted Alex Highsmith out of Charlotte last year and I see them going a similar route with Roche in the 4th round as a developmental project at the pro level.
Marciante: Roche was on loan from Temple. (Might have been the best thing we ever got from Temple if we are being honest) A good Pro Day outing and some quality film at times get Roche drafted. Draft Prediction is 4th round to the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Cheatham: While Phillips improved his already lofty draft status in the first, Roche has made an excellent resume this offseason. First he made Alex Leatherwood (Alabama) and the rest of the Senior Bowl his personal turnstile. Then, he tested much better than ANYONE expected at the Hurricanes pro day. With a previously inconsistent draft grade, Roche has done well to latch himself to a higher round.
Quincy Roche is the quintessential mid round add by a team in contention looking for high level production at a value. With his mental and physical polish Roche has the package of a solid early contributor for a contender. A 3-4 defense as an OLB seems to be the consensus best case landing spot for Roche.
3rd Round (104th-overall) - Green Bay Packers
Average Draft Position: 59th
Dottavio: I thought Jordan would shine in a Combine-type setting, like Phillips, but he didn’t. He put up pedestrian numbers after a college career in mediocre offenses and an injury history. He’s short, too, which won’t help his case.
Marcus: Jordan was disappointed in his Pro Day performance but his game tape will be alluring for NFL evaluators. Namely, any concerns about his shuttle or vertical jump can be easily eradicated by checking out his game tape where he hurdled a Louisville defender this past season. The athletic tight end has been most commonly compared to Patriots tight end, Jonnu Smith. I could see the Titans using a 3rd rounder to replace their pass-catching and versatile former tight end.
Marciante: Jordan is a multiplicative offensive asset who spent quality time on the sideline during his Hurricane playing career. His Pro Day numbers were not fantastic and because of this I see his stock dropping the most. Draft Prediction is 3rd round to the New England Patriots.
Cheatham: While Roche and Phillips bolstered there draft stocks, Jordan saw his take a hit with an unexpectedly average pro day. At this point it will be his film and versatility that will have the final say in his draft position, as it should be.
Its hard to escape the Cowboys angle presented by Jordan, since, as we all know, Jerry wants what Jerry wants. This, however, is heavily shrouded in the mystery of how high Jordan is on differing draft boards. Jordan is a very high IQ, highly versatile and athletic tight end. This prediction lives in more hypothesis than any other. The Jaguars have struggled to find a good tight end. A good tight end is necessary as a safety valve for young quarterbacks. Urban Meyer had a tight end very similar to Jordan at UF eons ago (Aaron Herdandez).
2nd Round (45th Overall) - Jacksonville Jaguars
Average Draft Position: 1st Kicker Taken
MOST COMMON TEAM: New England Patriots
Dottavio: You have to love Borregales. The guy beats Miami while at FIU, transfers to Miami, then immediately boosts the ‘Canes kicking game 10-fold. He’s reliable, has a deep leg, and is accurate. I think he’s drafted before the 7th round, which is rare for kickers.
Marcus: The draft is weird, especially at special teams positions. Last year, for example, the Patriots took the first kicker in the draft when they selected Justin Rohrwasser from Marshall but ESPN had no footage of him. Rohrwasser has since been cut. Alternatively, Tyler Bass and Rodrigo Blankenship were selected after Rohrwasser and undrafted, respectively, in 2020, and ended up winning the starting jobs for their teams at the NFL level. Let’s also not forget Roberto Aguayo from FSU going second round (and is now on the Patriots practice squad), or the infamous 17th overall selection by Al Davis of Sebastian Janikowski.
A picture is worth a thousand words and the embedded photo shows Patriots’ Coach Bill Belichick’s first Pro Day appearance may have only been to focus on Borregales. The Pats often utilize their fifth round slot for specialists and this year will be no different.
Marciante: Kicker one has a Star Wars tattoo on his lower leg. Draft him in the first round based off this alone.
Cheatham: While this scenario is far fetched, Borregales is getting love in the 4th round as an early possibility. That in its own right is major respect for the specialist. While the booming leg will eventually be drafted, it won’t be that early.
One team that has a great need for consistency at the position is the New England Patriots. Their head coach, Bill Belichick in attendance at Miami’s Pro Day gives us some rumor to ride on.
6th Round (197th Overall) - New England Patriots
Check back next and all remaining Thursdays leading up to the NFL Draft on April 29th, in Cleveland, Ohio.