Most fans who read this blog or browse our board are probably very familiar at this point with some of the big names linked with Miami; Cordarrelle Patterson, Tavon Austin, Xavier Rhodes, etc.
To me, as fun as it is to think about what Miami could do with that 12th pick, and even later into the 2nd and 3rd rounds, it's also frustrating. At the end of the day, as much as you want them all, you can only have one player at 12, and I think it's natural to always second guess the decision. There will never be a pick at the top of the draft where a true consensus on whether it was the "right" pick or not exists. That's why Day 3 of the draft is as fun for me as the early rounds. Is there really any "right" pick in the 5th round? Nope. Just the GM trying to find a gem that most of us have never heard of. Fortunately for you I like playing GM.
Here are some of my favorite mid to late round prospects:
Michael Ford, RB, LSU - Ford was lost in the shuffle at LSU and wasn't given a tremendous amount of carries. Still, I always thought he was one of the more underutilized RB's in college football. Ford runs with good balance and power for his size, but has a good amount of burst as well. He has also good vision and very much has the mentality of a "get north as quick as you can" tailback. His change of direction and jump-cuts aren't sexy, but I think in a zone-stretch scheme like Miami wants to employ, his decisive one-cut running style would fit well.
Brandon McGee, CB, Miami - McGee fits the stereotype of a modern day UM prospect to a T. Very talented, and very raw. McGee was inconsistent throughout his career at Miami, but when I went back and watched a few of his games after the season, I saw an extremely promising corner. To me, he's a slightly longer, stronger version of Sam Shields. I like him a lot. He's fast, has very good closing speed, has smooth hips and light feet, and is physical in both coverage and the run game...He has the makings of a good CB if he's developed well. I had him as a 2nd-3rd round talent back in January when I first started to do work on him; at the time the highest grade I found for him was a 6th-7th round grade. Right now the hype is that he'll be gone in early Day 3 and I'm afraid his "stock" will continue to rise...Or in other words, scouts actually view him the way I did, as a 2nd-3rd round pick, and the public will finally catch on as we get closer to the draft. I think anywhere in Day 3, McGee is a steal.
Chris Jones, DT, Bowling Green - I don't see Jones becoming a super star, but I do think he's undervalued as a supposed late round pick (possible even an undrafted free agent). He was highly productive in college, racking up 12.5 sacks this past season. He's quick off the ball for a 300+ pound lineman and is relentless in his rush. He's also strong at the point of attack, and I love his feet. I think he could prove to be a nice rotational player at the next level and a great value late in the draft.
Tavarres King, WR, Georgia - I was surprised when King only measured in at 6'0, 189 pounds at the combine, because he seems to play bigger than that on the field. King uses his very good speed, ridiculously long arms (33 inches), and size well to make plays down the field (averaged over 22 yards per catch this past season). With that said, he is more of a vertical threat than a WCO-type receiver, but in the late rounds, I think you throw scheme fit out the window and draft talent.
Terrence Brown, CB, Stanford - Brown isn't on anybody's radar right now, and I'm perplexed as to why. I'm going to assume scouts think more highly of him than the general public. He may not have blazing speed, but he's tough, physical, has good ball skills, good change of direction ability, and his speed is certainly good enough. Early last season against USC he played man to man against Robert Woods and Marqise Lee all day, and played tremendously. Brown had a couple of bogus pass interferences called, but he was extremely tight in his coverage all day. Brown was responsible for both Matt Barkley interceptions; the one Brown intercepted, he had played press man against Lee, bumped him off his route (a back shoulder fade, or curl...he was so physical I can't even tell what Lee was trying to run), turned around and made a great play on the ball, leaping in front of Lee. On the 2nd, he was so physical with Robert Woods that Woods gave up the route, and Barkley threw an easy interception to the safety who was coming over the top, with Woods nowhere near the football. Brown fits the mold of a Jeff Ireland corner as well; a lot of experience in man coverage, big and physical.
Zac Stacy, RB, Vanderbilt - I have a thing for SEC running backs. To me, if you look like you have good burst, power and are productive in the SEC as a RB, you can be productive in the NFL. Stacy has good power and balance; he always seems to break at least one tackle on every run. Stacy also has really nice acceleration and change of direction, and puts a lot of effort into his pass protection. He runs very hard and downhill, and I think similar to Ford would make a nice scheme fit selection later in the draft.