Potential First Round Picks in the 2019 NFL Draft
Now that draft season is over, and everyone is looking at next year’s possible talent. The Hurricanes could have four potential first round picks in the 2019 NFL draft.
This year’s draft saw no Miami Hurricane go in round one. They actually didn’t see any of their players go until the third round when Chad Thomas was drafted by the Cleveland Browns with the 67th pick. But could that be a different story come 2019? Way too early mock drafts indicate that Miami could have four prospects going in the first-round of next April’s draft.
The player that seems to be in just about every mock draft is wide receiver Ahmmon Richards. The four-star recruit from Wellington, Florida had ten offers out of high school before committing to Miami in February 2016. Richards had quite the freshman season, catching 49 passes for 934 yards and three touchdowns. He averaged over 19 yards a catch, earning second-team All-ACC honors. However, due to injuries, he missed five games in his sophomore bid causing his receptions and yards to be cut in half. Expect Richards to have a big year to make up for lost time, if he can stay healthy.
Standing at 6’2″, 190lbs give or take, Richards could be poised to be the best wide receiver in the nation next season. Looking at the competition standing in his way, Ole Miss’ AJ Brown and Texas’ Collin Johnson are the two wideouts that will prove to be his biggest competition.
The Jackson Boys
Weakside defensive end Joey Jackson will have a lot of work to do in 2018 if he wants to be a future first-round pick, as this coming draft class will probably have one of the deeper class of pass rushers. With Ed Oliver, Rashan Gary, Austin Bryant, Dexter Lawrence, Nick Bosa, Christian Wilkins, Clelin Ferrell, Raekwon Davis, Jackson will have his fair share of competition.
Jackson was a four-star recruit coming out of Gulliver Prep in Miami, Florida, ranking eighth at his respective position. Playing 23 total games, Jackson has had quite the two years as a ‘Cane. He racked up 82 tackles, 21 for a loss, also getting to the quarterback 14 times, forcing three fumbles in the process. Jackson stands at 6’5″ and over 250 lbs, he has the size that makes NFL scouts stop and stare. He’s one of the pass rushers that has been less talked about than others; however, as the season progresses expect to hear his name more.
One of the more surprising names that is being talked about going into next year, is cornerback Michael Jackson. During his breakout junior season, the cornerback accounted for 43 tackles, four pass deflections, and was tied for the teaming in interceptions with four, earning him All-ACC honors. Jackson has that prototype size that teams want in their CB1’s, standing at 6’2″, 195lbs. His size and physicality will cause teams to pounce on the chance to add him to their secondary.
The Leader of The Hurricane Defense
Safety Jaquan Johnson was, without question, the leader of Miami’s defense in 2017. Putting up 96 tackles, a stat that led the team. Adding four interceptions, tied him with Michael Jackson. Also forcing three fumbles, Johnson earned second-team All-ACC honors beating out by Derwin James and Quin Blanding. Going into 2018, Johnson could very well be the top safety in the nation. His size will make teams question whether or not he’s worth taking on day one next year. If Johnson replicates what he did on the field last season and gets ahold of the Turnover chain as much as did in 2017, teams won’t have much to question.
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