For the second consecutive year, the University of Miami football program will not produce a first round draft pick. Despite the fact that there are no elite Hurricanes on the top of every NFL scout’s draft board, there is still plenty of talent for UM to add to its plethora of NFL stars. Below, I break down the pros and cons of some of the notable graduating seniors as they prepare to make the transition from playing on Saturdays to Sundays.
Tight End Jimmy Graham:
Pro – Graham is tough and has great leaping ability. He was a star on the basketball court, and it’s been proven before that former basketball players can be successful football players like Antonio Gates and Tony Gonzalez.
Con – Lack of experience. Graham only played one year of football at UM. He was successful in the red zone as he hauled in five touchdowns but needs to work on his blocking skills.
Offensive Lineman Jason Fox:
Pro – A smart leader. Fox was a starter as a freshman at the University of Miami. He played left tackle and was solid. He was the anchor on the line and made the players around him perform better.
Con – Injured. Fox missed the final two games of the 2009 season due to surgery on his leg. Footwork is crucial to offensive linemen, especially in the NFL when all defensive linemen have amazing speed and agility.
Cornerback Sam Shields:
Pro – He is fast. Reports clocked him running a 4.30 in the 40-yard dash. He has only been a defensive back for a year after he made the transition from wide receiver.
Con – Character issues. In March, Shields was arrested for possession of marijuana back in his home town of Sarasota. That raises eyebrows with scouts.
Running Back Javarris James:
Pro – Great pedigree. James’ cousin Edgerrin was a stud at UM and an All-Pro in the NFL. He definitely has the athletic genes.
Con – Staying healthy. James had a great freshman campaign but struggled staying on the field his final three years as he was plagued with injuries. He is not a lateral runner and relies on heavy blocking in front of him.
Linebacker Daryl Sharpton:
Pro – Improved his number of total tackles every year at UM. This past year he led UM in tackles with 106 and was named to the second team All-ACC team.
Con – Small sample size. Sharpton’s breakout year was his senior year, but is that enough to woo scouts to think he is ready for the next level? Sharpton is also vulnerable to covering the pass game.
Justin Antweil may be contacted at email@example.com.