~ The following article was contributed by beloved Eye of the Hurricane blogger, DZ8 ~
And this year the First Round Streak for the Miami Hurricanes… will not begin. There is a slight chance that Lamar Miller will get taken at on Thursday but I think it more likely that he’ll be a draft pick come Friday evening. Brandon Washington should join him in the 2nd round but the Hurricanes will really dominate Round Four. That’s right, they’ll dominate the 4th round. The state of Miami football is purging itself of the last vestiges of the Randy Shannon Era. Talented players who didn’t commit to doing things that would help them and their team be successful. The true fruits of Golden’s labor will only be seen a couple of years down the road when relating to the draft. The cupboard looks bare for a 1st round streak starting next year but you never know; that’s why they play the games.
Lamar Miller, RB – Good size and great speed will make Lamar a wealthy young man. Unfortunately he plays at a position that isn’t very desired during the NFL Draft. Running backs by committee and the success of late round picks (Arian Foster was just the latest non-drafted running back to make good) has diluted the need for teams to draft this position early. Having said that, Lamar is a special player and the position is still a very important part of the game. The physical attributes are there as well as the potential to be a factor in the passing game. Occasionally his running style lacks instincts as he seems to try and hit a home run every time instead of letting the play develop. Also the shoulder injury issues could ‘red flag’ him to some teams and push him into the 2nd round. St. Louis has two picks at the top of the 2nd round and could take Miller there as insurance for an aging Steve Jackson and his possible replacement. Cincinnati could also be a possible home if he makes it to their pick at 53.
Brandon Washington, G – A talented linemen who can play several spots up front, Washington would fit in very well for a team looking for immediate help at guard. He has good size and athleticism but will benefit from getting into an NFL workout routine. Apparently our previous regime took the adage, “keep ’em hungry!” literally and didn’t have a meal/nutrition plan set up. A host of teams could use help on their line and the potential homes for Brandon could be anywhere from Carolina at the beginning of Round 2 to Detroit late. The Jets, Patriots, San Diego and Cincinnati would be other viable spots in between.
Sean Spence, LB – A fan favorite with his aggressive hitting and obvious passion for his team and this game Spence would fill a need for a classic Tampa Two, 4-3 team. ‘Sleepy’ has great instincts and passion, a la Jon Vilma, but doesn’t have the requisite size to make him a 1st round pick. His lack of strength in work outs was disappointing but he’ll be drafted by a team that’ll be able to shield him from offensive linemen. St. Louis and Carolina at the beginning of round four could be homes for Spence as could Detroit late in that round. Six might get lucky and get to see him with the Bucs as well. You might not want to hear it but don’t be shocked if Spence suffers a fate similar to former LSU linebacker Ali Highsmith who just slid down off teams draft boards because of a lack of size and speed. Spence is a better athlete and I don’t think that will happen but it is a comparison that comes to my mind. I remember when he sacked Tim Tebow as a freshmen and I said, out loud, scaring my dog, “Tebow meet Sean Spence!” Or the pick six against FSU, the dog went running on that one! Still brings a smile to my face.
Stay tuned for Part 2 of DZ8’s analysis of where the ‘Canes will land in the 2012 NFL Draft coming Wednesday! GO ‘CANES!