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Stevenson, Mallory await their NFL Draft futures, other Miami Hurricanes hopeful to wind up on a pro roster with draft starting tonight

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Stevenson, Mallory await their NFL Draft futures, other Miami Hurricanes hopeful to wind up on a pro roster with draft starting tonight

ANALYSIS: Ultimately it’s the NFL Draft that is big reveal on direction of Miami Hurricanes program

The Miami Hurricanes have a pair of prospects that are fairly high on NFL teams’ radars entering the NFL Draft that kicks off tonight. That would be DB Tyrique Stevenson and TE Will Mallory.

The team’s next-best prospects are considered borderline free agents, so there is a possibility that only two Hurricanes go in the draft this year – if that’s the case it would be another very lean year albeit better than 2022 when only Jon Ford was drafted in the seventh round.

So where might Stevenson and Mallory go?

Well, The Beast NFL Draft Guide has Stevenson slotted to go in the second or third rounds, and ESPN’s Matt Miller slotted him in the third round as the No. 83 pick.

At 6-0 and 198 pounds, Stevenson is ranked the No. 11 corner prospect (although teams are looking at him at safety as well) and he ran the 40 in 4.45 seconds and had a 38.5″ vertical.

His The Beast NFL Draft Guide bio reads that he is “an above-average size/speed athlete with physical toughness and brash swagger that many coaches covet as foundational traits for their man-cover defenders. He isn’t shy bumping and riding the hip of route runners, but his physical play style leaves him unbalanced mid-route and at the catch point, which will be tougher to hide from officials in the NFL. Overall, Stevenson needs to become more disciplined in coverage and versus the run, but he is a long, rangy corner with the speed and short-area athleticism to stay in phase. He is a press-man corner on the perimeter with NFL starting ability.”

Overall he is projected to be taken No. 69 overall in that ranking.

The Beast NFL Draft Guide rates Will Mallory the No. 14 tight end with a fifth to sixth round grade. Others have him slotted to go anywhere from the fourth to seventh rounds, and Miller has him going in the sixth round with the No. 193 pick.

Mallory measured at the NFL Combine at 6-4 and 239 pounds and ran the 40 in 4.54 seconds. That was fastest of the tight ends, .01 seconds ahead of Old Dominion’s Zach Kuntz, who is rated the No. 10 tight end. Top-rated tight end Michael Mayer, out of Notre Dame, measured in at 6-4 and 249 pound and ran the 40 in 4.70 seconds. So maybe Mallory could sneak up a little bit based on his speed … but his downside is teams don’t believe he can be a very good blocker at the next level. Mallory’s hands also were on the smaller side (9 3/8) and he tested with a 36.5 inch vertical and 10’2 broad jump along with 20 reps on the bench press.

The Beast Draft Guide notes of Mallory that “With gradual improvements in his production each season, Mallory led the Hurricanes in receiving in 2022 and finished No. 2 in receiving among tight ends in school history, which is even more impressive considering Miami’s NFL pipeline at the position. … However, he can be mugged at the line and downfield, and his blocking tape is very mediocre. Overall, Mallory isn’t the type of tight end you are going to line up inline and play smash-mouth football, but he is an athletic pass catcher on the move with long-striding speed and accessible ball skills. He has the talent to compete for F tight end duties for an NFL team.”

If another player sneaks into the draft it might be CB DJ Ivey, who is ranked the No. 44 corner and is listed as a preferred free agent by most. At 6-0 and 189 pounds, Ivey ran the 40 in 4.40 seconds.

Ivey’s The Beast NFL Draft Guide bio reads “He has the short-area footwork to match routes, but his eye balance and lack of route recognition leads to wasted steps out of breaks and separation for the receiver. His tackling and ball skills are fine, but they aren’t exactly strengths of his game. Overall, Ivey struggles to anticipate, but he is tall, long and athletic, can play both man and zone and can compete for a spot on the back end of an NFL roster.”

OG DJ Scaife also has an outside chance to be drafted. He is listed as the No. 29 offensive guard by The Beast guide (5.13 40, 29 vertical jump, 8’8 broad jump) and is projected as a likely free agent.

Plus punter Lou Hedley is listed as a preferred free agent as the No. 7 ranked player at his position (the guide only lists No. 1 Bryce Baringer out of Michigan State, No. 2 Adam Korsak out of Rutgers and Brad Robbins out of Michigan as draftable prospects, with none going before the fifth round).

Other Miami players that were listed by The Beast NFL Draft Guide:

LB Caleb Johnson (5-11, 228, ran 40 in 4.40 seconds and did 25 reps on bench) is the No. 44 ranked linebacker and is projected as a free agent.

Mitchell Agude is the No. 64 ranked defensive end (4.74 40, 10-1 broad jump) and is not projected to be drafted.

OG Justice Oluwaseun is rated the No. 68 offensive guard prospect (did not test in events due to injury) and is projected as a free agent.

DT Antonio Moultrie (6-3, 275, ran a 4.65 40) is ranked the No. 101 defensive tackle prospect and is not expected to be drafted.

RB Lucious Stanley was rated the No. 127 RB and projected as a free agent.

The post Stevenson, Mallory await their NFL Draft futures, other Miami Hurricanes hopeful to wind up on a pro roster with draft starting tonight appeared first on On3.

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