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Ranking the NFL ProCanes Ahead of the 2021 Season

Power Rankings for Miami Hurricanes currently on NFL Rosters: From Veterans like Calais Campbell and Jimmy Graham to Rookies like Gregory Rousseau and Jose Borregales, the U’s Presence in the NFL Remains Large

Indianapolis Colts v Jacksonville Jaguars Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

Thursday’s night instant classic against the Bucs and Cowboys indicate NFL football is finally back. And despite only one ProCane playing (Dee Delaney - Bucs), the Miami Hurricanes football program has routinely produced some of the top NFL talent. That is no different this year as there are currently 37 ProCanes on NFL roster/practice squads going into the season (a slight increase from last year).

The Canes’ program is a team that has always been heavily active on Sundays as they set an astounding records with 149 consecutive weeks of scoring a touchdown in an NFL game from 2002 to 2011. Going into this year, I have ranked the players 1-36 as ProCanes suit up at the pro level.

Tier 1: Stars

Position | Name | Team | (Draft Year/Selection) | (2020 PFF Grade - 2020 GP/GS) | 2020 Stats

  1. DE | Calais Campbell | Baltimore Ravens | (2008, 2nd round, 50th overall) | (72.4 - 12/12) 28 tackles, 4.0 sacks, 6 PDs, 10 QBHits: Campbell’s 2020 season was disrupted by some injuries, which likely precluded the opportunity to break some of his career highs in his 13th seasons. Despite playing for perennial cellar dwellers Arizona and Jacksonville during most of his career, Campbell led a stout Baltimore defense to two playoff games, and Campbell’s first playoff action since 2017. Campbell will see plenty of action this season after the Ravens lose Matt Judon, Yannick Ngakoue, and Jihad Ward, so he should be one of the top ProCanes.

2. C | Brandon Linder | Jacksonville Jaguars | (2014, 3rd round, 93rd overall) | (80.0 - 9/9) 530 Offensive Snaps, 1 Sack Allowed: The Jags’ captain has been a steady a presence as ever when on the field. However, he was plagued by injuries last year and appears questionable for the opener. Whenever he is ready to go, he will indubitably be a stable stalwart as he serves as Trevor Lawrence’s lead eyes at center.

3. OG | Jon Feliciano | Buffalo Bills | (2015, 4th round, 128th overall) | (64.6 - 9/9) 571 Offensive Snaps, 0 Sacks Allowed: Feliciano proved something we all knew by being a tough football player in returning from a torn pectoral muscle that was supposed to be season-ending. He returned midway through the 2020 campaign and played 571 offensive snaps in nine starts. Feliciano will continue starting into 2021 and should be one of the AFC’s top interior offensive linemen.

4. DE | Gregory Rousseau | Buffalo Bills | (2021, 1st round, 30th overall) | Rookie: After opting out last year and slipping to late first round in this year’s draft, the Bills may have got a steal in the lengthy defensive end. According to Pro Football Focus, in the preseason thus far, Rousseau ranks first among rookie pass rushers in the NFL with a 33% pressure percentage (6 pressures on 18 pass-rushing snaps). At the collegiate level, Rousseau burst onto the scene in his second year going from a projected rotational player to finishing second to Chase Young in the NCAA with 15.5 sacks. At the NFL level, all signs point to Rousseau being an immediate contributor either first off the bench or working his way into the starting lineup. Rousseau is currently tied-12th for Defensive Rookie of the Year Odds at +2000.

5. DE | Jaelan Phillips | Miami Dolphins | (2021, 1st round, 18th overall) | Rookie: Despite a non-linear path to the NFL, the lofty expectations at the pro level are very similar to those placed on him coming out of high school as he is currently the third favorite to win Defensive Rookie of the Year. Phillips is listed on third team on the Dolphins depth chart, but he should definitely see the field sooner rather than later, especially considering just last year he was slowly was assimilated on the field for the Canes before his meteoric rise.

6. LB | Denzel Perryman | Las Vegas Raiders | (2015, 2nd round, 48th overall) | (83.3 - 13/6) 48 tackles, 1 sack, 1 PD, 1 FF, 3 TFL, 2 QBHits: Entering this offseason as a free agent after a contract year with the LA Chargers, Perryman has already changed places twice after signing with the Carolina Panthers and then being traded to the Las Vegas Raiders. Perryman’s production did not jump off the charts, but the 83.3 PFF Grade is impressive and he should contribute even more in the Raiders’ LB room who have had some key defensive additions this offseason. He is currently listed as a co-starter at middle backer.

7. TE | Jimmy Graham | Chicago Bears | (2010, 3rd round, 95th overall) | (62.7 - 16/15) 50 receptions for 456 yards and 8 TDs: Graham impressed on and off the field all season as he was the lone ProCane selected as a Walter Payton Man of the Year team representative (an award that Calais Campbell won for the NFL last year). He also scored eight regular season TDs and quite literally walked it off during Mitch Trubisky’s NVP playoff performance as he secured an acrobatic catch and promptly exited the arena through the back endzone tunnel in the Bears’ loss. Even though he will continue to be a red zone target, the veteran’s role will decrease this year as Chicago features second year tight end, Cole Kmet, as well as Jesse James.

8. FS | Rayshawn Jenkins | Jacksonville Jaguars | (2017, 4th round, 113th overall) | (68.0 - 15/15) 84 tackles (career high), 2 INT, 4 TFL, 1 sack: Jenkins took over the starting role last year, which heightened in importance as the Chargers star safety, Derwin James, missed the season. Jenkins rose to the occasion with a career high 84 tackles. Jenkins will continue to patrol a starting role with the Jags and has the opportunity to take on a leadership role in a room that includes young, raw talents such as Andre Cisco and Andrew Wingard.

9. DE | Al-Quadin Muhammad | Indianapolis Colts | (2017, 6th round, 196th overall) | (61.0 - 16/0) 23 tackles, 2.0 sacks, 6 QBHits: In the Colts unofficial depth chart, Muhammad is listed as a starter opposite rookie, Kwity Paye. Muhammad will likely compete with Tyquan Lewis throughout the season, but has remained a steady contributor despite starting only eight games throughout his four-year career (80 tackles in 51 games played).

Tier 2. Situated to Standout

Position | Name | Team | (Draft Year/Selection) | (2020 PFF Grade - 2020 GP/GS)

10. LB | Shaquille Quarterman | Jacksonville Jaguars | (2020, 4th round, 140th overall) | (N/A - 12/0) 6 tackles, 203 ST Snaps: Despite playing predominantly special teams for the Jags during his rookie season, Quarterman should experience more exposure on defense on the young team this year. Quarterman has been relying on other young star LB, Myles Jack, as a mentor. Even more, Quarterman has been making plays all over the field this preseason including in coverage and in the open field.

11. TE | Christopher Herndon IV | Minnesota Vikings | (2018, 4th round, 107th overall) | (57.9 - 16/13) 31 receptions for 287 yards, 3 TD: With middling production thus far for the Jets in his career, Herndon has a chance to carve out a role in Irv Smith’s absence after being traded to the Vikings. Minnesota features a dynamic duo of Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson in the passing attack but will need to include Herndon and other ProCane, KJ Osborn, in the mix to maintain balance.

12. OL | Ereck Flowers | Washington Football Team | (2015, 1st round, 9th overall) | (65.9 - 14/14) 857 Offensive Snaps, 5 Sacks Allowed: The former top ten pick finally blossomed in 2019 with the Washington Football Team and landed a 3-year, $30million deal with the Dolphins before being dealt back to WFT. The reason for the vast improvement? Flowers found a more natural role in switching from tackle to guard, where he should continue to start on WFT.

13. WR | K.J. Osborn | Minnesota Vikings | (2020, 6th round, 212th overall) | (9/0) 7 Punt Returns, 3.9 Y/R; 14 Kick Returns, 21.6 Y/R: The kid with the make-it attitude showed immense poise en route to earning the starting kick return/punt return spot last season. The Vikings obviously have one of the most dynamic duos at wide receiver in Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson, but Osborn is the odds on favorite to win the WR3 job out of the slot, which could increase not only his on-field value but also his sleeper-profile in the fantasy realm.

14. WR | Braxton Berrios | New York Jets | (2018, 6th round, 210th overall) (72.4- 16/2) 37 receptions for 394 yards and 3 TDs (Career Highs): Berrios had a career year in 2020 as he continues to expectedly work hard to earn his spot. There were rumors the Canes’ fan favorite could be cut before this season’s start due to the surplus of slot receivers on the Jets, but Berrios has made the roster and should get some opportunities despite being in a room with Corey Davis, Elijah Moore, Jamison Crowder, Keelan Cole, and Denzel Mims. Not only does Berrios continue to put in the sweat equity, but also found a new beau in Sophia Culpo, sister of model Olivia Culpo, who is dating Panthers RB, Christian McCaffrey. Thus, Berrios has had the chance to workout with McCaffrey this offseason.

15. RB | Duke Johnson | Jacksonville Jaguars | (2015, 3rd round, 77th overall) (62.6 - 11/5) 77 rushes for 235 yards and 1 TD; 28 receptions for 249 yards and 1 TD: The pass catching back had flashes of solid play but not enough over the course of the season. Derailed by an injury in week one, he split the backfield in Houston for most of last season when he was active. However, no teams appeared to be interested in him as he was a free agent this offseason up until the Jags picked him up to their practice squad in light of rookie, Travis Etienne’s injury. Johnson seeks to make the roster as the season goes on.

16. P | Pat O’Donnell | Chicago Bears | (2014, 6th round, 191st overall) | (56.0 - 16/16) 64 punts, 64-yard long, 45.7 Y/P: The hidden yardage battle at KickerU/PunterU continues with specialists Jose Borregales this year and Lou Hedley next year.

17. TE | David Njoku | Cleveland Browns | (2017, 1st round, 29th overall) | (66.9 - 13/5) 19 receptions for 213 yards and 2 TDs: Njoku’s past year has been turbulent and filled with rampant trade rumors. However, the former first round pick did enough on the field to contribute in a pass-catching room that was plagued by injuries at wide receiver. Njoku will likely fill in as the third TE on the depth chart behind Austin Hooper and Harrison Bryant, but the freak athlete could generate trade value.

18. DE | Jonathan Garvin | Green Bay Packers | (2020, 7th round, 242nd overall) | (53.5 - 8/0) 5 tackles, 85 Defensive Snaps, 22 ST Snaps: Garvin was plagued by lingering issues his rookie year as he transitions to the NFL level. The second-year player looks to the take the leap in year two as he impressed in training camp, especially in creating plenty of pressure on Josh Allen and the Bills in the preseason finale.

19. RB | DeeJay Dallas | Seattle Seahawks | (2020, 4th round, 144th overall) | (72.1 - 12/2) 34 rushes for 108 yards and 2 TDs; 17 receptions for 111 yards, 1 TD: Dallas was plugged into the backfield in game action his rookie year in 2020, which resulted in three total TDs. While Chris Carson will be the bellcow back in Seattle, there is a good chance Dallas and teammate Alex Collins could vulture carries from Rashad Penny in the RB2 spot. Dallas currently is the lead candidate to be kick returner for the Seahawks, where he dazzled in preseason.

20. DE | Quincy Roche | New York Giants | (2021, 6th round, 216th overall) | Rookie: The flame to Quincy Roche’s fire is being ignited more and more as this offseason continues. First, Roche slipped all the way to the sixth round. Despite a solid preseason performance, Pittsburgh ousted Roche after they picked up Melvin Ingram. Roche was quickly snagged off waivers by the Giants where he can work in the front seven with fellow ProCane, Trent Harris. Odds are Roche’s attitude will result in proving the doubters wrong throughout his career.

Tier 3. Steady Roles

Position | Name | Team | (Draft Year/Selection) | (2020 PFF Grade - 2020 GP/GS)

21. LB | Trent Harris | New York Giants | (2018 UDFA) | (49.2 - 4/2) 5 tackles, 0.5 sacks, 70 Defensive Snaps: Despite a short career, Harris has already spent time on the Patriots, Dolphins, and Giants during his short career. Last year, Harris joined the Giants midway through the season and contributed to the defense. He was recently bumped down to the practice squad but should be up-and-down throughout the season.

22. TE | Brevin Jordan | Houston Texans | (2021, 5th round, 147th overall) | Rookie: Jordan could very well be a steal in this draft and as a quality pass-catching tight end he has the opportunity to immediately contribute in an anemic Texans’ offensive room. Also, he is only 21-years old so should be on the cusp of a long career.

23. CB | Dee Delaney | Tampa Bay Buccaneers | (2018, UDFA) | None: After going undrafted in 2018, Delaney has had barely any exposure in the NFL as he’s only played four defensive snaps and 17 special teams snaps in his first three years. Delaney was unemployed throughout most of last season but clearly continues to remain determined as he made the Bucs 53-man roster. The Citadel to Miami transfer has made the most of the limited opportunities he has gotten and is a testament to his perseverance to keep the dream alive. He already started off strong Thursday night playing 28 special teams snaps.

24. WR | Phillip Dorsett | Jacksonville Jaguars | (2015, 1st round, 29th overall) | (N/A - 0/0) Injured Reserve: The speedy former first rounder missed the entire 2020 season due to a foot injury that surgery to clean out bone spurs. The injury appears to have set him back as he was a mildly surprise cut for the Jags on cut day but reverts back to their practice squad.

25. K | Jose Borregales | Tampa Bay Buccaneers | (2021, UDFA) | Rookie: The 2020 Lou Groza kicker of the year in college football somehow was passed by all teams in the NFL Draft. However, he was quickly scooped up as a priority free agent by the defending Super Bowl Champions. On cut day, Borregales then made the roster as the Bucs carried two kickers along with veteran, Ryan Succop. Just a few days later, Borregales was waived, but then cleared waivers, and landed back on the Bucs practice squad. As the season rolls along, Borregales should find his way onto the field for some team on Sundays.

26. RB | Travis Homer | Seattle Seahawks | (2019, 6th round, 204th overall) | (58.0 - 9/0) 25 rushes for 88 yards; 9 receptions for 90 yards, 1 TD: Homer and DeeJay Dallas occupy very similar roles on the Seahawks roster. However, Dallas appears to have the slight edge in receiving more offensive snaps. To that end, Homer has and will continue to patrol an important role on special teams for Seattle.

27. CB | Artie Burns | Chicago Bears | (2016, 1st round, 25th overall) (N/A) Injured Reserve: The former first round pick had a decent first couple years but has since had difficulty remaining consistent. Burns is recovering from an ACL tear as he aims to contribute to a mediocre Bears’ secondary.

28. S | Deon Bush | Chicago Bears | (2016, 4th round, 124th overall) | (69.4 - 11/0) 1 INT, 5 tackles: Bush was used more sparingly in 2020 as he only played 65 defensive snaps (compared to 333 his rookie year). However, this may be the proper trend as Bush exceeds expectations when playing the role in-the-box (picked off Daniel Jones last year on perfectly read pass over the middle).

29. SS | Jaquan Johnson | Buffalo Bills | (2019, 6th round, 181st overall) | (53.9 - 14/0) 4 tackles, 248 ST snaps (Career High): During the preseason, Johnson has been nursing a knee injury, which could land him on the injured reserve. Assuming he is able to contribute, he will largely assist on special teams. Jaquan’s younger brother, Tyler, is currently a freshman on the Canes’ roster.

Tier 4. On the Brink

Position | Name | Team | (Draft Year/Selection) | (2020 PFF Grade - 2020 GP/GS)

30. WR | Travis Benjamin | San Francisco 49ers | (2012, 4th round, 100th overall) | Opt Out: After opting out last season, Benjamin was a relatively surprise cut but reverts to the 49ers practice squad.

31. DE | Joe Jackson | Cleveland Browns | (2019, 5th round, 165th overall) | (60.8 - 3/0) 5 tackles, 71 Defensive Snaps: Jackson was initially cut but was re-signed by the Browns after earning situational reps last year. With a deep cohort led by Myles Garrett and Jadeveon Clowney, as well as up-and-coming younger players, he’ll likely continue to patrol a rotational role.

32. FS | Sheldrick Redwine | New York Jets | (2019, 4th round, 119th overall) | (45.3 - 15/3) 1 INT, 27 tackles: Redwine had some bright spots in 2020 as he had a pick on his first defensive snap of the season and in the playoffs, but did not do enough as a role safety for the Browns. In his third year in the league, the former Turnover Chain legend aims to make noise on the Jets defense.

33. CB | Michael Jackson Sr. | Seattle Seahawks | (2019, 5th round, 158th overall) | (65.5 - 1/0) 1 tackle, 4 Defensive Snaps: Jackson was unable to sneak onto the Patriots’ roster but currently occupies the Seahawks practice squad. In year three, the time to make his move in the NFL is now.

34. SS | Adrian Colbert | New York Jets | (2017, 7th round 229th overall) | (56.3 - 6/2) 13 tackles, 104 Defensive Snaps: Colbert carved out a role for a depleted Giants secondary, worked out with the Patriots throughout the offseason, was cut, and then picked up by the New York Jets. He currently occupies their practice squad.

35. S | Jamal Carter | Tennessee Titans | (2017 UDFA) | (25.6 - 1/0) 5 tackles, 31 Defensive Snaps: Carter had some disappointing moments with the Falcons last year as he was cut after week four. However, he looks to make his way back to the NFL via the Titans practice squad.

36. WR | Allen Hurns | Miami Dolphins | (2014, UDFA) | 2020 Opt Out: After opting out last season, Hurns is expected to be out until at least mid-November due to wrist surgery. Assuming he gets back at full speed, he’ll still be competing in a loaded Fins WR room.

37. OL | KC McDermott | Jacksonville Jaguars | (2018 UDFA) | (7/0) 22 ST Snaps: McDermott occupies the Jags practice squad, a popular location for numerous ProCanes.

Former Miami Transfers

Position | Name | Team | (Draft Year/Selection) | (2020 PFF Grade - 2020 GP/GS)

38. RB | Gus Edwards | Baltimore Ravens | (2018 UDFA, Transferred to Rutgers) | (85.7 - 16/6) 144 rushes for 723 yards and 6 TDs; 9 receptions for 129 yards (All Career Highs): Gus the bus was expected to be the lead back before a torn ACL on Thursday #FantasyFootball

Looking for Work

There are still a number of free agents, highlighted the ageless wonder, Frank Gore. Even though some have suspected retirement, the 38-year old Gore has not announced his intentions. Assuming he doesn’t play this year, it will be the first time since 2004 Gore has not suited up for the opener.

Next, Olivier Vernon, had a great season in Cleveland last year in a contract season but ruptured his achilles in the final game of the season. The 30-year old has options but we will likely not see him back until 2022. Former Canes kicker, Michael Badgley, was a relatively surprise cut and has been working out for team. Other players such as Allen Bailey, Corn Elder, Danny Isidora, Tyree St. Louis, RJ McIntosh, and Lawrence Cager (transfer) remain free agents.

What are your thoughts on these rankings? Any that are way off base? Where would you place some, perhaps players such as Lamar Miller, Anthony Chickillo, Chad Thomas, or Jeff Thomas will come out of nowhere and get back on a roster.