Will the streak continue in 2009?

When safety Kenny Phillips was selected in the first round of Saturday's NFL Draft, it marked the 14th straight year that a Hurricane was selected in the first round. Many people are already talking about the possibilities to extend it to 15 years. Lets take a closer look...

Lets take a closer look at the possibilities for next year, by position.

Running back Derron Thomas has played in 32 games as a Hurricane but he's been a backup the entire time and will likely be the third option, at best, for the Hurricanes this season.

Fullback Eric Houston has spent the first few seasons of his Hurricane career at linebacker but he's never been able to crack the rotation.

At wide receiver, the Canes have two seniors on the roster -- Khalil Jones and Kayne Farquharson. Jones has been a three-year backup who has just eight career catches. Farquharson was expected to make an impact as a Junior College transfer in 2007 but it didn't happen, as he caught just nine passes all season. Farquharson will need a big year to become an NFL prospect.

At tight end, reserve Chris Zellner will be the only senior. He's played in 33 games in his career, having caught 22 passes. However, his chances of getting drafted at this point look slim.

The Hurricanes will have four seniors along the offensive line this season -- Tyrone Byrd, Chris Rutledge, Xavier Shannon, and Reggie Youngblood. Byrd has played in 14 games as a career backup. Rutledge has been in and out of the starting lineup during his 26 games played. He's projected to be a starter this season. Shannon, a transfer from FIU, will likely be the team's starting center this season. Youngblood is probably the most talented of the four and the former five-star prospect coming out of high school has a lot of tools that the NFL will be looking for. However, his play hasn't been consistent enough in recent years to be considered a top notch NFL prospect right now.

On the defensive line, the Hurricanes will have three seniors -- Antonio Dixon and Dwayne Hendricks at tackle and Eric Moncur at end. Dixon has struggled with weight and injury issues throughout his career and will need a big senior season to become a major NFL prospect. Hendricks has been a career backup, while Moncur appears to be Miami's top prospect for the Class of 2009.

While his numbers weren't quite as strong, Moncur had many Canes fans convinced that he, not Calais Campbell, was Miami's best defensive end in 2007. Moncur doesn't have ideal size for an NFL defensive end but with a strong senior season he could make a serious move up the draft boards.

Spencer Adkins, Glenn Cook, and Romeo Davis are three senior linebackers. Cook and Davis have a lot of experience but are both coming off major knee injuries. Adkins had an up-and-down junior season and hopes to have a strong senior season.

Five guys in the secondary will be seniors in the fall -- Carlos Armour, Bruce Johnson, Randy Phillips, Lovon Ponder, and Anthony Reddick. Armour and Johnson have been in and out of the starting lineup at corner, while Phillips is looking to have a strong season at safety. Ponder has been a career backup, while Reddick has shown the most promise of all of them. However, injuries have taken their toll on the talented senior.

Only two of the seniors mentioned above have been fixtures in the starting lineup for the Canes in recent years -- Moncur and Youngblood and both will need very strong senior seasons to be considered major NFL prospects.

The junior class will feature some strong possibilities with running back Javarris James, wide receiver Sam Shields, and tackle Jason Fox. If James can put together a banner season, he could shoot up the draft charts. Same with Shields. Fox has been one of Miami's top players over the last couple years and has a chance to really develop into one of the nation's premier offensive tackle prospects.


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