Every one of the Miami Hurricanes who is draft eligible remains on the board after the first round of the 2012 NFL draft last night. That will probably change at the start of the second round when running back Lamar Miller is expected to be taken before the round concludes and nothing could please Hurricanes fans and fans of Florida football more.
A bit of history was made last evening. With the selection of Virginia Tech's star running back, David Wilson, with the 32nd pick by New York Giants confirmed that no Florida players would be taken in round one. This is the first time since 1980 that no University of Florida, Florida State or Miami player was taken in first round of the draft.
Miami has a chance to reverse that trend next year as Ray-Ray Armstrong is projected to be a first round safety prospect. With a strong season, his size and measureables make him highly attractive to pro scouts.
For this year, however, the second round is when the draft will begin for the Hurricanes. Miller should come off the board first and then two Hurricanes may hear their names called. Expect Oliver Vernon and Brandon Washington to hear their names called next. Washington is a player that plays a position of tremendous need (offensive guard) and teams have already drafted guards in the first round so the position depth that's draftable is dwindling allowing his stock to rise. Vernon, while having sat out a lot of 2011, still has great athleticism and speed that scouts like in pass rushers. Defensive end is a position of consistent need at the NFL level.
Tommy Streeter who left Miami after a breakout season at wide receiver, will likely hear his name called in the fourth round. Scouts love his speed, but feel like he needs more polish in route running. Then expect Sean Spence and Travis Benjamin to come off the boards anywhere between rounds five and six.
Spence's production is what will make him a tremendous pro but his lack of peak performance at the combine coupled with his smaller than desired measureables at the linebacker position will cause him to be taken later than his talent would merit. Benjamin is a scout darling and could sky rocket on boards depending on how loud voices championing him are in draft rooms. He's extraordinarily fast (4.36) and runs good routes.
Arizona's wide receivers coach Frank Reich fell in love with Benjamin at the Hurricanes pro day.
"Travis is a real smooth athlete, you can just tell he can fly. He just looks very smooth out there, he's got good speed and good quickness."
As far as where Benjamin himself thinks he'll go, he's unsure. "It's all over the place, some are talking mid-round 2 and 3rd, others says 5, 6th late. I'm just ready to play at the next level."
Throughout the weekend, CaneInsider will have complete coverage of each Hurricane picked and detail where free agents sign and for which team.