The unofficial 8th round of the 2010 NFL draft is underway as teams sort through the remaining undrafted free agents. At least seven have reportedly signed with the Cincinnati Bengals.
According to various reports safeties Jeromy Miles (UMass) and Bryan Evans (Georgia), running backs Mikell Simpson (Virginia) and Cordera Eason (Mississippi), tight end Jeff Cottam (Tennessee), linebacker Vincent Rey (Duke) and long snapper Mike Windt (UC) have signed.
Of these, the most intriguing is safety Jeromy Miles, who was rated as the No. 5 safety overall by the Sporting News’ War Room. SN’s Russ Lande subsequently listed him as the No. 2 undrafted player. He looks like a solid project who could develop into a starter in a year or two.
As transfer from the Naval Academy, Jeromy Miles began his career at the University of Massachusetts in 2007 by instantly becoming a full time starter. His time at UMASS culminated in Miles being named as the team captain in 2009 during yet another successful campaign for the 6’2” 210 pounder. Miles is a ball hawk with tremendous instincts and the willingness to step up and help in defending the run game as well being a stout, wrap-up tackler. For his size, his pro day performance was quite impressive running a 4.45 seconds time in the 40 yard dash, producing a 10’10” broad jump, and showing his hops as well with a 35.5-inch vertical leap. Zone coverage is where Miles excels reading the eyes of the opposing quarterback and closing on the intended target quickly to breaks up passes.
Contrastingly, man coverage is an area where Miles will need to improve mightily often looking stiff in the hips with a very rigid backpedal. Although an instinctive nature is a desirable attribute in a safety, sometimes it needs to be tempered down a bit and he shows that at times over committing and getting beaten over the top on homerun plays. There will definitely be a step up competition wise for Miles moving to the NFL and he will have to understand more complex coverage schemes. Expect a learning curve for any team looking to land an immediate gem as Miles may take a year or two to fully develop. He may not be a sure thing, but with his intangibles and outstanding size/athleticism combination, Miles has steal written all over him anywhere from the 5th to the 7th round of the draft.