Scouting the ACC: Miami

Miami moves its conference allegiance a little south yet hopes to continue domination in league play. While there is plenty of talent on the roster there are also a lot of question marks. And unlike previous years the Hurricanes may not have multiple first round picks in the 2005 NFL Draft.

Offensively there are several solid prospects yet possibly none better than left tackle Eric Winston.  A big athletic blocker, Winston plays with balance, leverage and strength at the point of attack.  Outstanding in pass protection, he is a well coordinated lineman who easily controls opponents once engaged at the point of attack.  There is room for improvement with his run blocking yet only entering his junior campaign, Winston offers plenty of upside for the next level and must be rated as one of the nation's best tackles.  Guard Chris Myers is a tough, slug-it-out lineman best in confined quarters.  A solid position blocker, he uses his frame to seal defenders from the action and works to finish the play.  Not effective in motion, he is mauler best suited for a power running game.  Center Joel Rodriguez is an explosive blocker on the pivot who uses leverage and quickness to get the upper hand on opponents.  Rodriguez is also a smart lineman who helps out teammates but lacks the dominant size and is a late round pick who could offer depth at the next level.  Receiver Roscoe Parrish is a tiny pass catcher prone to making big plays for the offense or on special teams.  Parrish possesses excellent pass catching skills and is accomplished in most aspects of the game.  In many ways he reminds us of former Hurricane receiver Randal Hill in size, stature and playing style.  Only a junior, he moves into a fulltime starting role this season.  Conversely Ryan Moore is a big bodied wide out that will lineup on the other side of Parish.  Moore uses his large frame and strength to physically beat down opponents and come away with the reception.  Another underclassman, his style perfectly fits the mold of possession receiver.  From the standpoint of physical abilities and ball carrier instincts Frank Gore is a first round choice.  Unfortunately for the junior, rickety knees which have required several surgeries will raise up red flags very high when he enters the draft.  Gore is a nice sized running back with both explosion and excellent playing speed.  His combination of size, outstanding running vision and a solid pass catching skills bode well for the next level.  He was well on his way to being a first round pick in last April's draft before a knee injury in October caused him to rethink future plans.  Once again Gore must rebound from surgery without missing a beat.  Brock Berlin is the quarterback Hurricane fans loved to hate.  While a solid athlete and technically sound passing from the pocket, Berlin must quickly improve his defensive reads, poise under pressure and decision making to move into the late part of the middle rounds.

As one would imagine the Hurricanes are stacked on the defensive line though the name are not familiar to many.  Junior Orien Harris is an explosive tackle that quickly gets off the snap and drives up the field to disrupt the offense.  Harris plays with great leverage and stuffs the run as well as rushes the passer.  Possessing a lot of natural skill, Harris should only get better with experience.  Senior Santonio Thomas is another tackle that  flashes skill and now moves into a starting role.  Another solid athlete, Thomas offers an upside and could make a name for himself in next April's NFL draft if he pulls the pieces together this year.  Sophomore Baraka Atkins is another pass rusher to keep an eye on.  One Hurricane guaranteed to be a first round choice in next April's draft would be cornerback Antrel Rolle.  Possessing outstanding size, Rolle is a physical corner that likes to mix it up yet plays intelligently to get the job done.  While he needs to improve the finer points of his game and well as get his recent legal mess in order, Rolle looks like one of the better press cornerbacks available in next year's draft.  Kelly Jennings proved to us he had a lot of skill after his freshman campaign yet took a step back last year as a sophomore.  Jennings is fast and quick but also possesses solid cornerback size.  Unfortunately he does not always play to his measurements and unlike Rolle, lacks a physical precense.  Finally Brandon Meriweather moves into a starting slot at safety and the sophomore looks as though he has future star potential.

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