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Miami's NFL talent and getting to the next level

bshaw28

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WR for sure. That's been the trifecta for them: QB-DL-WR.

Their DBs have been OK but nothing special. We actually have as many DBs in the NFL than they do. Theirs are better than ours but not as good as the top teams.
Alabama, LSU, GA, UF, OSU - those are the only 5 schools producing better DB's than Clemson the last 5-6 years.

The numbers argument is again skewing things. Clemson has a lot more players drafted higher, and a lot more guys that actually play in the NFL vs just making the team. None of our guys actually play.

Rayshawn Jenkins has been our only DB who's played at Miami since 2010 who's been a starting DB in NFL. Maybe Artie Burns if you're being generous. We've been pretty bad at DB.
 

DMoney

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Alabama, LSU, GA, UF, OSU - those are the only 5 schools producing better DB's than Clemson the last 5-6 years.
I see a gap after those schools. Clemson's DBs are better than us, but nothing great and at the same volume. Who is the best DB they've produced?

Their dynasty was built on difference-making QBs, DLs and WRs.
 

Ethnicsands

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It’s also a good example of @Ethnicsands point that draft picks don’t always equate to overall team talent. If you have one NFL lineman playing with four other bums on the o-line, your line won’t be good. If there’s a big gap between your best handful of players and the rest of your roster, you’re likely not going to get great on-field results. Miami has done a good job of recruiting/developing a small handful of NFL type players but has hindered the team’s success by teaming them with subpar team mates and using them in poor schemes.

I also firmly believe that Miami’s insistence on being an NFL farm system instead of being the best college football team they could be hampered the program significantly. If you weren’t a 6’4” pocket passer, Miami wouldn’t want you at QB. They focused way too much on things NFL teams care about and missed out on a ton of really great college players because they didn’t fit our “pro style” mold.
10o% spot on
 

SinisterCane

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In the past five years, Miami is 7th overall in total draft picks.



This, in a vacuum, is the sign of a healthy program. In the past ten years, Miami has produced more Day 3 picks (36) than anyone in the country by a wide margin. The five teams behind Miami are Georgia, Florida, Oklahoma, Alabama and Clemson. This, too, is normally the sign of a healthy program. The fact that Miami consistently ranks among the top schools in active NFL players suggests that these guys make rosters, which is another good sign.

But as @Rellyrell and others have pointed out, there's something missing: Top 3 round picks. Miami has only produced four such picks in that time span, which pales in comparison to schools like Bama (36), Ohio State (29) and Clemson (16). This disparity is easy to see when we watch CFB Playoff games.

Some of our Day 3 picks probably should have been Day 2 picks. Our schemes on offense and defense did not highlight their strengths, and many of them left a year too early. But that alone does not explain the lack of high-end, difference-making NFL talent.

The most common explanation is the correct one—we haven’t done a good enough job recruiting locally. National recruiting is critical, especially in a class like 2022 when South Florida is down. But it’s much harder to recruit great players nationally when you aren’t a top program in the country. For young kids, Miami's national reputation is a documentary. Local recruiting, while challenging, is the more realistic problem to solve first.

Our local struggles fall into two categories: evaluation and acquisition. Local evaluation was horrible under Shannon and Golden, and the message boards were often more accurate than our coaches. Richt was better, although Dugans’ preference for big receivers cost us some studs (Moore, Atwell, Flowers) and almost made us miss out on Harley. Diaz seems to be better at offering the right kids but it’s early.

Consider this: Rousseau is the first local, defensive 3* that Miami has put in the first round since Sean Taylor. Five local defensive sleepers went in the first round during that same period. They signed with Ohio State, Georgia, FSU and USF, respectively. It gets worse when you expand it to include offense. From 2006-2020, seven (7) South Florida three stars went in the first round. Only 1 (Dorsett) signed with Miami. Thirteen went in the second round. Miami only got three. Twelve went in the third round. Miami, again, only got three.

Recently, the bigger issue has been acquisition. We’ve been getting beat for studs. We know the names, and there are 100-page threads on all of them. Manny has addressed this two ways: by shifting the recruiting department from an NFL-style, evaluation-oriented operation (led by Doherty) to a group focused on local relationships (led by Cooney, DVD and Pata). More recently, he has hired position coaches like TRob and Aristide to win battles.

The results have been improving. Leonard Taylor, James Williams, Don Chaney and Jaylan Knighton are the types of kids we always missed. Time will tell how this maintains. The hope is that the better recruiting leads to better play on the field and better NFL outcomes, which can be sold to the next generation. Alabama pays for players, but they also sell rings and being the next Amari Cooper/Jerry Jeudy/Calvin Ridley. If Miami has success, it will breed more success.

So let's talk specifics-- what are some realistic goals locally, and how will achieving those goals impact our overall talent level? I went back and looked at Miami's peak of draft classes (2001-2005) and compared it to our past five draft classes (2017-2021). The results were not surprising.

For the 2001-2005 draft classes, South Florida produced 15 first round picks, 5 second round picks and 5 third round picks. Miami signed 64% of these kids, including an amazing 80% of the first rounders.

In the past five draft classes (2017-2021), South Florida has produced 13 first round picks, 8 second round picks and 7 third round picks. Miami has only signed 2 of 28. That's 7%.

It's unrealistic to expect the 2001-2005 numbers in the modern era. There are no sleepers and recruiting has gotten more sophisticated. But if Miami had signed 45% of these kids-- less than half-- it would have a comparable number of Day 1-2 picks to Clemson, UGA and OU while also having a huge volume of Day 3 kids. And once the overall quality of the program improves, it becomes easier to chase big fish nationally.

This isn't really a revolutionary thought or a secret. But it's a good reminder of the path to CFB playoff talent. We need to take care of home base.
Shannon, Golden and Manny sucked as a HC
 

Ethnicsands

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The best programs produce the most NFL players. The best programs produce the most Day 1-2 picks. The best programs produce the most Day 3 picks. It is a very accurate indicator of program health.

Miami sits alongside the best programs in total NFL players and Day 3 picks. We are way behind in Day 1-2 picks. That is, at this point, our most pressing issue.

The first hurdle we needed to cross was schematic. Our "unit integrity and depth" looked a lot better once we found the right schemes. Just compare the defense in 2015 to 2016 and the offense in 2019 to 2020. The middle class of our roster isn't as good as the top teams, but it's much better than the non-Clemson portion of the ACC. We forget how thin most college football programs really are.
This is bad data analytics. You’re confusing tail and dog.

Yes, the best teams get the best players and use them well and produce nfl talent.

We’re not the best or in that group. Which raises the question - what’s wrong?

One thing that may be wrong if you compare us to the best teams is we don’t have enough top few round picks. True.

But there’s something else that may be wrong that you won’t see if you focus on nfl picks. That is the middle of the roster. Depth, experience, useful non-nfl kids.

That’s what I mean when I point out to you you’re over-focused on the nfl. That’s only part of the issue.

The middle class of our roster isn't as good as the top teams, but it's much better than the non-Clemson portion of the ACC. We forget how thin most college football programs really are.
I’m confused. You compare our top 3 round results to top teams and say we need to be better there but now you’re changing focus and comparing our ‘ middle class’ to bad teams. Let’s agree out middle class is a real issue if we aspire to be a top team.

Additionally, some of our key position groups are sub-par even for the ACC. OL has been many seasons. LB was this year.

The reason I have been talking about ‘overall roster talent’ for years is because when you have a big hole, opponents will exploit it, and it can undermine your talent at other positions. A crap OL can ruin things. Our crap LBs cost us. We don’t have to be great at all these spots to be great as a team, but we do have to achieve basic minimums (table stakes) across the board to be seriously competitive.

One possibility you should consider, which DTP touched on above, is that we’ve over-focused on NFL potential in recruits and as a result passed on kids who could be great ‘middle class’ guys on our roster.
 

Gooner#44

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I see a gap after those schools. Clemson's DBs are better than us, but nothing great and at the same volume. Who is the best DB they've produced?

Their dynasty was built on difference-making QBs, DLs and WRs.
Can you be a "dynasty" if you are clearly second fiddle to another team at the same time? Bama is a dynasty, Clemson is a really good program, but not a dynasty as long as Bama rules CFB
 

JD08

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Can you be a "dynasty" if you are clearly second fiddle to another team at the same time? Bama is a dynasty, Clemson is a really good program, but not a dynasty as long as Bama rules CFB
Is Ohio State the big dog in the Big 10? Clemson the big do in the ACC? Oklahoma in the Big 12?

Or is it Highlander? There can be only one?
 

pacusmc

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Another thing that people fail to look at when they concentrate on draft picks are the players on those are playoff teams that are starters and don’t make the league.
A lot of those guys would take spots on our team the minute they step on greentree. Who doesn’t want some of those oline players on uga or Bama or Oklahoma that weren’t drafted over the past 10 years?
Anybody want the Wisconsin guys that are starting right now but aren’t getting drafted?
Q
 

Gooner#44

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Is Ohio State the big dog in the Big 10? Clemson the big do in the ACC? Oklahoma in the Big 12?

Or is it Highlander? There can be only one?
A "dynasty" covers the entire sport IMO, LMAO @ someone being the "dynasty" of the AFC South or NL Central or some ****. You either run it (Bama with CFB) or you are a good program/team that has the chance to win it most every year but is not the favorite.

So yeah for me it's the Highlander narrative
 

OriginalCanesCanesCanes

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The best programs produce the most NFL players. The best programs produce the most Day 1-2 picks. The best programs produce the most Day 3 picks. It is a very accurate indicator of program health.

Miami sits alongside the best programs in total NFL players and Day 3 picks. We are way behind in Day 1-2 picks. That is, at this point, our most pressing issue.

The first hurdle we needed to cross was schematic. Our "unit integrity and depth" looked a lot better once we found the right schemes. Just compare the defense in 2015 to 2016 and the offense in 2019 to 2020. The middle class of our roster isn't as good as the top teams, but it's much better than the non-Clemson portion of the ACC. We forget how thin most college football programs really are.

The plethora of athletes leaving early before they should may partially explain why overall we do fine with draft choices through all rounds, with most after round 3, but just not in the first couple of rounds.

Unless I misunderstood your argument, I think this has been a recurring theme with you recently. This “early“ leaving as not only hurt performance on the field but draft performance in the early rounds as well.
 
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AllAboutTheU

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Basically OL has been Clemson's only blind spot under Dabo
Don’t think it’s a blind spot. They just recruit to scheme and fit by and large over potential and athleticism. Their OL’s don’t struggle against other elite teams. They just don’t produce high upside NFL linemen.
 

DMoney

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You’re confusing tail and dog.

No. The top programs get the best NFL results by design. They purposefully recruit players who have the physical tools to make the NFL. That's what Butch did when he was here. There's a reason every recruiting service ranks players based on NFL criteria.

Alabama, Ohio State, Georgia and LSU aren't recruiting "program guys" in any meaningful quantity. They target players who can play on Sundays and sell that vision. Clemson was an exception, and they got away with it because they recruited elite QBs, WRs and DLs. And now they've started to recruit all premium guys.

But there’s something else that may be wrong that you won’t see if you focus on nfl picks.

Yes, and it's obvious. We've had schemes that did not fit our personnel. Last year, our offense went from horrible to good in one season. The same thing happened with our defense in 2016. The players didn't really change. The other issue has been at QB.

It's no coincidence every move Manny has made is directed at these three problems. He attacked the QB room. He changed our schemes. And he restructured the staff/recruiting department to avoid another American Heritage '18 debacle. Identifying problems and solving them are two different things, but he's spotted them pretty clearly.

I’m confused. You compare our top 3 round results to top teams and say we need to be better there but now you’re changing focus and comparing our ‘ middle class’ to bad teams. Let’s agree out middle class is a real issue if we aspire to be a top team.

When you sign talent for the top level, everyone moves down a notch. This naturally improves the middle class. We're already producing Day 3 picks at the highest rate in the country. The best programs in football are right behind us. The difference is for the top teams, those are the common clay supporting the Day 1-2 picks. That's the missing link, not getting more "program guys."
 

JD08

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A "dynasty" covers the entire sport IMO, LMAO @ someone being the "dynasty" of the AFC South or NL Central or some ****. You either run it (Bama with CFB) or you are a good program/team that has the chance to win it most every year but is not the favorite.

So yeah for me it's the Highlander narrative
I see that, but look at how the Canes were called a dynasty. They were in it every year just like Clemson. I see the argument that Ohio State and Oklahoma might be bridesmaids, But Clemson has made it to the altar a couple of times.
 

AllAboutTheU

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It doesn't matter, man. All that says is there is a correlation, not a causation. Miami's number is skewed and is a clear outlier (no duh) because of an inordinate amount of Day 3 picks...which again...do.not.matter.
The day 3 picks do matter though — just not in isolation. Having Day 1-2 guys as your main guys with Day 3 guys sprinkled across the roster is what elite teams do. If you had only a few Day 1-2 guys without those Day 3 guys as well then you don’t have the same roster. All of those guys are important. If we add some of the Day 1-2 local whiffs then we have markedly different success with the type of Day 3 talent we currently have.
 

DMoney

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The plethora of athletes leaving early before they should may partially explain why overall we do fine with draft choices through all rounds, with most after round 3, but just not in the first couple of rounds.

Unless I misunderstood your argument, I think this has been a recurring theme with you recently. This “early“ leaving as not only hurt performance on the field but draft performance in the early rounds as well.

Correct. But I don't think we've had Day 1 guys who have slipped. It's more Day 3 guys that should've gone Day 2.

The Day 1 guys are lost battles- Jeudy, Ridley, Surtain, Henderson, etc.
 

Gooner#44

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I see that, but look at how the Canes were called a dynasty. They were in it every year just like Clemson. I see the argument that Ohio State and Oklahoma might be bridesmaids, But Clemson has made it to the altar a couple of times.
We were the DOMINANT team in that time frame, Clemson clearly is not, Me personally the fact that Bama has been do dominant in the same sport I can't call them a Dynasty, but that's me, it's all how you see it.
 

bshaw28

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I see a gap after those schools. Clemson's DBs are better than us, but nothing great and at the same volume. Who is the best DB they've produced?

Their dynasty was built on difference-making QBs, DLs and WRs.

Clemson's 2018 NC team had:

1st Rd - AJ Terrell - Falcons starter
1st Rd - Isiah Simmons - DB/LB hybrid in college - Cardinals starter
2nd Rd - Trayvon Mullen - Raiders starter
4th Rd - K'von Wallace - 3 starts as an Eagles rookie last year
UFA - Mark Fields - HOU/MIN journeyman for 2 years

I'd say that's significantly better talent on 1 team than we've had in the last 10 years.

Mid 2010's - Not high quality, but are getting some starts after being in the league 5 years

McKensie Alexander - 10 starts on Bengals last year
Jayron Kearse - 7 starts on Lions last year

Early 2010's

Byron Maxwell - started on both Seahawks Legion of Boom 2013 & 2014 Super Bowl teams
Marcus Gilchrist - started 6 consecutive years
Coty Sensabaugh - Wanna guess who Artie Burns was benched for in Pittsburgh? Coty Sensabaugh

I'd say that's a significantly larger NFL impact than Miami DB's by a pretty wide margin
 

DMoney

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Clemson's 2018 NC team had:

1st Rd - AJ Terrell - Falcons starter
1st Rd - Isiah Simmons - DB/LB hybrid in college - Cardinals starter
2nd Rd - Trayvon Mullen - Raiders starter
4th Rd - K'von Wallace - 3 starts as an Eagles rookie last year
UFA - Mark Fields - HOU/MIN journeyman for 2 years

I'd say that's significantly better talent on 1 team than we've had in the last 10 years.

Mid 2010's - Not high quality, but are getting some starts after being in the league 5 years

McKensie Alexander - 10 starts on Bengals last year
Jayron Kearse - 7 starts on Lions last year

Simmons is a LB. Those rest of those guys have just been average so far.

Again, they've been better than us. But they haven't produced the same caliber of DBs as the top programs.
 

bshaw28

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Don’t think it’s a blind spot. They just recruit to scheme and fit by and large over potential and athleticism. Their OL’s don’t struggle against other elite teams. They just don’t produce high upside NFL linemen.
Yeah - I can see the scheme fit. But until recently they didn't produce any NFL OL at all. Only 3 OL drafted 2010 - 2019.

I will say - it's A LOT easier for an OL to look good when it's blocking for a 1st Rd QB, throwing to a 1st Rd WR & handing off to a 1st Rd RB.

When Trevor Lawrence replaced Kelly Bryant - watched how the OL magically got better. When DeShaun Watson replaced Cole Stoudt - watch how the OL magically got better.
 

Rellyrell

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Alabama, LSU, GA, UF, OSU - those are the only 5 schools producing better DB's than Clemson the last 5-6 years.

The numbers argument is again skewing things. Clemson has a lot more players drafted higher, and a lot more guys that actually play in the NFL vs just making the team. None of our guys actually play.

Rayshawn Jenkins has been our only DB who's played at Miami since 2010 who's been a starting DB in NFL. Maybe Artie Burns if you're being generous. We've been pretty bad at DB.

Correct; let’s take this into consideration to add context to your point:

@DMoney highlighted how many total draft picks over the past 5 seasons. Miami was at 29 & Clemson was at 27.

Out of our 29 picks, 14% were day 1 / 2 picks, while 86% were day 3 picks.

Out of Clemson’s 27 picks, 59% were day 1 / 2 picks, while 41% were day 3 picks.

Now, in terms of position, why are CBs staying away from us? In the past 5 years, Clemson, as a comparison, have had 4 CBs drafted w/in the first 2 days in the past 5 years. The U? 0. In general, we’ve had 2 CBs drafted overall, during this span...sadly, not one have been a Richt/Diaz recruit.

We’ve not had a WR, RB, LB, DT, QB, or DB drafted in the first 2 days in the past 5 yrs. That’s freggin mind boggling bro! Here? Where RBs, LBs, DBs, & WRs are grown on trees from birth?? Our highest picks have been 3 DEs, and a TE. That’s freggin unbelievable.

Yet, we wonder why kids r going elsewhere. No, it’s not just the bags; it’s because we aren’t getting these guys paid at the next level. The NFL is a grind. Day 1 & 2 guys WILL ALWAYS get 1st priority. Round 4 will be on the precipice of a priority, but from rounds 5-7, if u don’t impress or be a dog, u’ll find urself easily bouncing from team to team, auditioning.
 
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