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2022 NFL Draft Update: East-West Shrine, NFLPA, and Hula Bowl Recap and Combine/Pro Day Preview

Rambo Continues to Impress in the Draft Process While Others Hope to Boost their Draft Stock. Details on the 10 Declarants‘ Journey to Date.

NCAA Football: Michigan State at Miami Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Many offseason draft evaluators often say the NFL Draft starts in Mobile at the Reese’s Senior Bowl, which takes place in February and features the upper echelon of talent for the April in April. Over time, however, other senior showcases have gained notoriety, especially as draft analysis has become more and more involved.

To that end, Miami may not have earned any selections to the Senior Bowl, but their draft processes will start in Las Vegas, Pasadena, Orlando, and Fort Worth at the East-West Shrine Bowl, NFLPA Collegiate Bowl, Hula Bowl, and CGS Bowl. In fact, one draft declarant in particular is enduring the path on his own as he rehabilitates an injury from this past season. Each has different expectations in the coming months, but here are the ten Miami Hurricanes currently on the path to fulfill their dream:

WR: Charleston Rambo
QB/WR: D’Eriq King
S: Bubba Bolden
DT: Jonathan Ford
WR: Mike Harley Jr.
OT: Jarrid Williams
DE: Deandre Johnson
S: Amari Carter
LB/DE: Zach McCloud
RB: Cam’Ron Harris

This group of ten did not compete all in the same senior showcases as their respective paths diverge from the start. However, for the most part, there is a rough timeline of events moving forward, which includes the NFL Combine and Pro Days.

Interestingly, Miami has not announced a Pro Day according to various publications, although David Lake reported Miami’s Pro Day is scheduled for March 30. The Pro Day or personal workout schedule will likely be confirmed to take place at Greentree of the IPF, where the players will have the opportunity to get a more intimate look and interview with coaches.

Four Hurricanes were also invited to the popular NFL Combine in Indianapolis. There will also be in-person and virtual meetings with team coaches and scouts throughout March and April. That being said, more or less, this is what the prospective Canes will be looking at:

February - Senior Showcases: Complete (East-West Shrine Bowl, NFLPA Collegiate Bowl, Hula Bowl, and CGS Bowl)
March 1-7 - NFL Combine, Indianapolis: Charleston Rambo, D’Eriq King, Bubba Bolden, Jonathan Ford invited
March 30 - Miami Pro Day* (reported date)
April 27: Deadline to time, test, and interview draft-eligible players
April 28-30 - NFL Draft, Las Vegas

Here is a brief update on each of the ten players current progress and general expectations moving forward.

Charleston Rambo/WR

East-West Shrine Bowl
NFL Combine Invite

Official Measurements
Height: 6’0”
Weight: 180lbs
Arm Length: 31 7/8”
Wingspan: 77 3/8”
Hand: 9 5/8” (Left)

  • Game Stats: two receptions, 23 yards (four targets); one punt return, four yards

Ever since a down year at Oklahoma in 2020, Rambo has shined every step of the way in a bounceback year at Miami with 79 catches for 1,172 yards, and seven touchdowns. And now, he continues to showcase his athleticism, route running, and contested catchability on his path to the NFL.

Rambo had a nice 20-yard catch and run in the East-West Shrine Bowl and had a couple of reps as punt returner, but he really shined in the week of practice. Throughout the week, Rambo drew applause from the coaches as he impressed in drills, one-on-ones, and scrimmages, running a solid route tree and hauling in the tough receptions. One scout, Cam Mellor, described him as “unguardable” and “dominant all over the field.”

Rambo currently appears to be a mid-rounder and may be able to increase his stock to the second-or-third round in a wide receiver-heavy draft. While Rambo could be a nice pickup for plenty of teams, at this point, he may be the only Cane that is drafted. Obviously that can change, but it is a far cry from last year which included two first round picks.

D’Eriq King/QB-WR

East-West Shrine Bowl
NFL Combine Invite

Official Measurements
Height: 5’8”
Weight: 198lbs
Arm Length: 28”
Wingspan: 71 3/4”
Hand: 9 1/8”

  • Game Stats: No recorded statistics

King will be an interesting case study in a long list of mixed results for players that enter the draft after predominantly playing in college as quarterback but switching to a wide receiver hybrid role for the pros. The list includes a number of players who have not panned out such as Braxton Miller, Terrelle Pryor, Denard Robinson, Michael Robinson, and Greg Ward Jr., but does include examples like Julian Edelman, Josh Cribbs, and Antwaan Randle El who found relative success in the NFL.

At the East-West Shrine Bowl, King’s biggest news of the week was his height measurement coming in at 5’8”. While there are a decent amount of NFL players who succeed at that height at receiver (i.e. Braxton Berrios), the likelihood of success at quarterback diminishes greatly at the NFL level.

During the week, King mixed in some repetitions at wide receiver/returner and did adequate. Unfortunately, his repetitions at quarterback did not necessarily exude confidence during the week of practice, which may be a mechanical byproduct of the compounded shoulder and knee injuries he’s suffered over the past 14 months.

King’s route has been a tough one returning to full health, but he’ll get an opportunity to get plenty of facetime next week at the NFL Combine. Hopefully he can exhibit his wits and what he can bring to an NFL roster in a variety of ways despite being very raw at his new positions.

Bubba Bolden/S

East-West Shrine Bowl
NFL Combine Invite

Official Measurements
Height: 6’2”
Weight: 206lbs
Arm Length: 31 1/4”
Wingspan: 77 1/4”
Hand: 8 3/4”

  • Game Stats: No recorded statistics, did not participate (Injury)

Bolden is another once highly touted Cane battling back from injury. In the preseason, Bolden was being projected as a potential first round safety. However, the injury bug pushed Bolden to the sidelines in 2021 and adversely affected his draft stock. Bolden has an ideal frame for a safety and plays rangy as he was a star the first half of the 2020 season, but the injury and consistency concerns are there.

Bolden was unable to compete at the East-West Shrine Bowl due to the lingering injury issues, but Bolden did receive an invite to the NFL Combine. His athleticism and medical report will be the key to whether or not NFL team’s will spend a late round flier on the Vegas native.

Jonathan Ford/DT

NFLPA Collegiate Bowl
NFL Combine Invite

Official Measurements
Height: 6’5”
Weight: 338lbs
Arm Length: 36 3/8”
Wingspan: 79 7/8”
Hand: 9”

  • Game Stats: One tackle (stopped a one-yard rush)

One of the surprise opt outs for the Sun Bowl, as well as surprise invitees to the NFL Combine was Ford. Ford had only three sacks throughout his collegiate career, which all came in 2019. That being said, his measurements are impressive for a space-eating defensive tackle - 6-5, 338lbs - and may warrant a draft slot if he can prove he can maintain NFL level conditioning. He also stood out to some scouts at NFLPA Collegiate Bowl practices. His Combine numbers are worth monitoring.

Mike Harley Jr./WR

Hula Bowl

Official Measurements
Height: 5’10”
Weight: 173lbs
Arm Length: 30 6/8”
Wingspan: 73 1/4”
Hand: 8 3/8”

  • Game Stats: No recorded statistics

Harley was snubbed from the NFL Combine, which is a shame because he could have had a huge opportunity to display his incredible combination of speed and strength at his size. Regardless, he intends “turn some heads” during his own draft process.

Harley has clocked a verified 4.38 40-time during his time at Miami, as well as 365-pound bench press max, 425-pound squat max, and a 37-inch vertical. His goals exceed these marks as he hopes to do at least 15 reps on the 225-pound bench press and hopes to clock a sub-4.31 40. During a game, Harley was recorded at 22.6 miles per hour on the Canes’ GPS system, which would have beat the NFL’s best from 2021 according to NextGen Stats (Jonathan Taylor at 22.13MPH).

Harley was most productive during his final two years at the U, mostly out of the slot, but he wants to prove his effectiveness throughout the route tree and on special teams. Harley has been getting advice from Stefon Diggs and former teammate, KJ Osborn, the latter of which had a breakout season in 2021. He is also working with a receiver expert/trainer.

Harley impressed at Hula Bowl practices and dominated nearly every DB he faced, according to at least one scout. He also says he met with at least 29 teams, including great conversations with the New Orleans Saints, Minnesota Vikings, Kansas City Chiefs, and Denver Broncos.

While some are knocking his size, he has an attitude similar to KJ Osborn and Braxton Berrios, both of whom ended up being sixth round picks despite a number of reported “limitations” to succeed in the NFL. If he strings together decent measurements and proves his eagerness to want to do everything, he will be a darkhorse draft pick.

On top of everything, Harley recently welcomed a baby boy!

Amari Carter/S

Hula Bowl

Official Measurements
Height: 5’11”
Weight: 198lbs
Arm Length: 32 1/8”
Wingspan: 76 5/8”
Hand: 9”

  • Game Stats: No recorded statistics

Carter will also be using the Miami Pro Day and interviews to try to land an NFL roster spot. According to NFL Draft Diamonds scout, Nik Ehler, “Amari stood out in coverage while in man during 1on1s. He turned his head well and had a couple PBUs. During blocking he showed a good use of hands against receivers.”

While Carter may have difficulty getting selected in April, he was named one of the Miami captains for a reason and should be able to carry that over to the draft process.

Cam’Ron Harris/RB

Harris’ timeline differs from all of the other Canes who declared because his injury has precluded any opportunity to really get a strong testing period. For example, Harris just trained with cleats for the first time last week since his knee injury in October. He also posted a video of him running on an anti-gravity treadmill for the first time in late January.

Harris was widely considered a mid-tier running back before his injury, especially due to his freakish athleticism: he hit 23.07MPH on 75-yd run last year and has registered a 6.88 3-cone, 525-pound squat, and 365-pound bench.

Harris’ natural athleticism and potential at the next level, should he remain durable, are worth stashing away for a season even if he has to redshirt while he continues his recovery. If he is ready to test well at Miami’s Pro Day, that will be even more confirmation that teams should aim to sign him to a practice squad contract.

Zach McCloud/LB

NFLPA Collegiate Bowl

Official Measurements
Height: 6’2”
Weight: 251lbs
Arm Length: 34 7/8”
Wingspan: 81 3/8”
Hand: 9 1/2”

  • Game Stats: Six tackles (game’s leading tackler), one fumble recover (eight yards)

Similar to Carter, McCloud was a Miami captain who will hopefully be able to display his leadership skills to get an opportunity in the NFL.

Even more, McCloud had an impressive day at the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl as he tallied six combined tackles, which led both teams. He also added a key fumble recovery late in the contest, that sealed the victory. Despite playing most of his career at Miami at linebacker and then shifting to defensive end. He will need a few things to go his way but does have a similar frame to former Cane and current Giant, Quincy Roche.

Jarrid Williams/OT

NFLPA Collegiate Bowl and Hula Bowl

Official Measurements
Height: 6’6”
Weight: 322lbs
Arm Length: 35 1/2”
Wingspan: 85 3/4”
Hand: 10 1/2”

  • Game Stats: No recorded statistics

At an otherwise statless position, the seventh year senior had his ups and downs but graded out nicely according to PFF as he was 21st among all FBS tackles with an 84.7. His frame is ready to lineup in the NFL but it is just a matter of whether he has the mechanics to land a roster spot.

According to at least two NFL Draft Diamonds scouts, Williams has been impressive. One said he has been “explosive off the snap” and has also reportedly met with a lot of teams.

Williams also participated in both the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl and Hula Bowl, which will hopefully maximize his face time with scouts and coaches.

Deandre Johnson/DE

NFLPA Collegiate Bowl and College Gridiron Showcase

Official Measurements
Height: 6’3”
Weight: 253lbs
Arm Length: 33 1/8”
Wingspan: 78 3/8”
Hand: 10 1/4”

  • Game Stats: One offside penalty (NFLPA Collegiate Bowl); N/A (CGS)

As a graduate transfer, Johnson did not do too much to increase his draft stock in 2021 at Miami as his production pretty much leveled off. Regardless, there are some respected draft scouts who have spoken highly of Deandre. Namely, Senior Bowl Director, Jim Nagy, says Johnson would be the first prospect he would draft from the College Gridiron Showcase.

To that end, Johnson initially was selected for the CGS Bowl, and then earned an invitation to the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl - another example of double dipping, which should help him meet with as many draft experts as possible.

Even though he has some upside, it does seem unlikely he will be drafted and will have to work the priority free agent route.