When you think of college prospects, the University of Miami is a school that has a long history of drafted players. This year is no different as a projected nine players could be drafted from the Hurricanes. Bengals offensive coordinator Hue Jackson was recently in attendance at Miami’s Pro Day where I’m sure he was envisioning some of the talent on his side of the ball.
Last year I did some “what if’s” with the draft and would like to continue that this year. So what if the Bengals drafted only Hurricanes in each of the first three rounds? What would a four-player “U” draft look like? The results would have Mel Kiper and Mike Mayock praising the Bengals draft once again.
Round One, Pick 21
Sep 28, 2013; Tampa, FL, USA; Miami Hurricanes offensive linesman Ereck Flowers (74) against the South Florida Bulls during the second half at Raymond James Stadium. Miami Hurricanes defeated the South Florida Bulls 49-21. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
OT Ereck Flowers, 6’6″, 329 pounds
The massive tackle is projected to be there when the Bengals pick at 21, and many pundits believe he can stay at left tackle in the pros. Ereck Flowers also has the versatility to play right tackle and guard as well. When I watch Flowers I see a guy who clearly has the necessary strength and aggression and looks to punish guys when run blocking.
What worries me were his hands being outside the defenders shoulder pads where he, at times, catches the defender instead of locking out. I believe Flowers could’ve been penalized three to four times for holding during the Florida State game alone. But the bottom line is he fits the bill for what the Bengals look for in a tackle: big, athletic, strong, versatile, and BIG.
Round Two, Pick 53
Nov 22, 2014; Charlottesville, VA, USA; Miami Hurricanes wide receiver Phillip Dorsett (4) catches a touchdown pass ahead of Virginia Cavaliers cornerback Maurice Canady (26) in the first quarter at Scott Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
WR Phillip Dorsett, 5′ 10″, 185 pounds
If Dorsett makes it to 53, I expect the Bengals to pull the trigger without hesitation, unless they miss on tackle in Round One. Dorsett has the one thing you can’t coach, speed. I don’t put a lot of stock in 40 times, but you can’t deny his performances when running. He is an absolute burner and would provide the slot speedster the Bengals are lacking on the roster.
On a recent ESPN First Draft podcast, Mel Kiper stated he believes Dorsett is one of the safest picks in the draft and wouldn’t be surprised if he came off the board in Round One.
Round Three, Pick 85
Oct 4, 2014; Atlanta, GA, USA; Miami Hurricanes linebacker Denzel Perryman (52) in action against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in the first quarter at Bobby Dodd Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
LB Denzel Perryman, 5’11”, 236 pounds
The third round may have some of you double taking because several pundits have Perryman being selected in the late first round. I think his ceiling is in the mid second round with potentially four other inside linebackers being taken before him. It’s not that Perryman isn’t a solid player, he just doesn’t have the impact potential, size, or coverage abilities of some of the other linebackers in this years draft. Rob Rang of CBS sports disagrees with that after seeing him at the NFL Combine while other scouts consider Perryman a two down player.
For the Bengals I believe he could potentially be a better fit at weak side linebacker where he could get away from some of the wash in the middle. The bottom line is that Perryman was a tackling machine at Miami compiling 351 tackles during his collegiate career. He would be a welcome addition to a linebacking core that saw Nico Johnson start a game last year.
Round Three, Pick 99
Oct 4, 2014; Atlanta, GA, USA; Miami Hurricanes defensive lineman Anthony Chickillo (71) pursues the ball against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in the third quarter at Bobby Dodd Stadium. Georgia Tech defeated Miami 28-17. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
DE Anthony Chickillo, 6’3″, 270 pounds
Another defensive end? Yes, but Chickillo is intriguing due to his versatility; I’d love to give him some snaps at defensive tackle a la Wallace Gilberry. Chickillo is the model of a try hard, blood and guts football player who works his tail off and makes other players better. He’s a reliable player who started 47 games for the Hurricanes and would provide another rotation piece to the Bengals’ defensive line. NFL Network analyst and draft evaluator Charles Davis added the former Hurricane to his 2015 All-Underrated team after he proved to be a terror at the East-West Shrine game.
So there you have it, a future tackle, speedy wideout, starting quality linebacker, and solid defensive line piece. It looks like this year Miami could be the spot to find several quality players, and “U” know they will come with confidence and a competitive fire.