Fresh off the heels of one of the most important NFL drafts and free agency periods of recent history, that saw Miami get their future quarterback with Tua Tagovailoa, arm and invest both sides of the trenches, shore up their secondary, and Coach Flores and GM Chris Grier lay the foundations of how they see this franchise being. Now the rebuild is in full swing and one year in, where could we go next in the 1st round of the 2021 NFL draft with our 2 picks? Which 5 players could we see in the famous aqua, white and orange in the future and who should we keep an eye on?
Gregory Rousseau – DE Miami U
Gregory Rousseau, defensive edge, Miami U. After sitting most of his freshman year, his sophomore year saw lots of production with 54 tackles, 34 of them being solo tackles, creating 15.5 sacks and 2 forced fumbles. Now we eagerly wait to see if this production can go on into 2020, and if that happens, we could see a homegrown talent play ball in his hometown.
Micah Parsons – LB Penn State
Linebacker may not be a position of dire need for Miami, but if we learned anything from the 2020 draft is that, GM Chris Grier and Coach Flores will make a position of strength even stronger. Micah Parsons production saw him build on his 2018 freshman year of 82 total tackles, 47 of them being solo, 1.5 sacks and 2 forced fumbles.
His sophomore year totals being 109 tackles, 52 solo, 5 passes defended, 5 sacks with 4 forced fumbles. To put it in perspective, Isiah Simmons had 104 tackles, 67 solo, 7 sacks, 1 forced fumble last year, and was drafted 8th. So if Parsons builds on his brilliant last season, we could see some comparisons being drawn.
Jaylen Waddle – WR Alabama
Let us take a quick dive into a familiar face for Tua, in Jaylen Waddle. This is a guy who ran an unofficial 4.37 40-yard dash, which would put him the 3rd fastest receiver in the 2020 draft. just let that sink in briefly…
2018 saw him reach 560 yards with 6 touchdowns, and 2019 saw that increase to 848 yards with 7 touchdowns, so it would be a seamless transition with the chemistry he has with Tua and the possibility for an immediate impact on Miami’s passing attack.
Jevon Holland – S Oregon
Miami had the opportunity to draft a high-profile Oregon duck in Justin Herbert, but could we see his compatriot, Safety Jevon Holland, come to the 305? 2018 saw his 42 tackles, 31 of which were solo, and 4 passes defended turn increase in 2019 to 66 tackles, 40 solo, 6 passes defended, with 4 interceptions, 1 of which turning into a pick 6.
Safety may not be another high need for Miami, but with Coach Flores’ defence building philosophy, don’t be so surprised if Miami adds to an already talented defence with more 1st round talent.
Travis Etienne – RB Clemson
Now this guy had some hype coming into the 2020 draft, before returning to LSU for his senior year, and barring an injury, he is widely seen as a 1st round draft pick. Travis Etienne, running back, exploded in his sophomore year, turning 204 touches into 1658 rushing yards and 24 touchdowns, with 12 catches and 2 touchdowns.
Building into his junior year, he turned 207 touches into 1614 yards with 19 touchdowns and 432 receiving yards and 4 touchdowns from 37 receptions, and with an unofficial 4.38 40 yard time, would have made him the fastest running back in the 2020 combine.
There are my 5 players to keep an eye on during the potential 2020 college football season, all of which could be 1st round talent if they declare for the 2021 draft. But who do you want to see Miami draft next year with our 2 picks in the 1st round?