It’s Monday, which means it’s time for another journey into the recesses of my brain to see what Canes-related stuff is floating around in there….
1) As everyone knows by now, the Miami Hurricanes had two players draft in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft. Two #15s, to be more specific. Jaelan Phillips, a player who I’d pegged as a mid-first round choice to Minnesota in this column last week, was taken by the Miami Dolphins with the 18th overall pick. This is a terrific spot for Jaelan, as he’ll be playing in the comfort of Hard Rock Stadium for a team that’s on the rise. And one that got slimmer on the edge of their defense this offseason with the departures of Kyle Van Noy and Shaq Lawson. Phillips should be able to come in and contribute immediately.
2) The other #15 might have a slightly trickier path. With the 30th pick of the draft, the Buffalo Bills took Greg Rousseau. I had Rousseau pegged as an early 2nd round pick, but the Bills stopped that just short of coming to fruition. Rousseau will have a tricker path to seeing the field full time, with the Bills’ veteran DEs Mario Addison and Jerry Hughes currently entrenched as starters. However, the Bills also took Carlos Basham Jr. on Friday, which gives them two early draft picks as edge players. Curious move, but one that may signal the Bills are trying to turn the heat up on their starters. Neither Addison or Hughes have hit 10+ sacks since 2017.
3) Miami’s other end Quincy Roche ended up at Pittsburgh in the 6th round. Hopefully Roche will be able to stick around on special teams and earn himself a spot on the back end of the Steelers’ roster. Roche has simply stepped up and starred wherever he’s gone. We’ll see if he can answer the ultimate challenge of the NFL.
4) Brevin Jordan’s slide finally ended in the 5th round (!!!) when the Houston Texans snapped him up. I was waiting, and waiting, and waiting to hear his name called. Simply amazing. It’s safe to say concerns about his durability and blocking abilities contributed to his slide. He actually landed in a good position to shine, as Houston parted ways with top receiver Will Fuller and isn’t particularly strong at tight end. The problem might be if DeShaun Watson is out for the season for reasons already well documented. In any event, I’m excited for Jordan and wish him the best.
5) Jose Borregales went undrafted and signed a free agent deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Don’t know if he can beat out incumbent Ryan Succop, who just signed a new deal with the defending Super Bowl Champions. Regardless, he will end up on a roster. He’s that good, and enough teams have kicking problems that continuously-recycled kickers have not resolved so far.
6) The Diamond Canes’ postseason seeding chances continue to sink. A month ago we were hoping to possibly host a regional. Gone. We then hoped for a strong 2-seed and a reasonable regional. Going. At this point, this team is looking like a 3-seed that will be on its way to getting sent home via 0-for-2-and-a-barbecue from Oxford, Mississippi. I don’t know what has happened, but getting blasted in 2 of 3 to a 19-22 (8-19) Boston College squad is beneath this program. Or should be. There’s not enough time to rebound and get a regional hosting spot, as those positions will be announced early on May 10 due to COVID-19. Hopefully a bounce back weekend against App State will right the ship heading into the end of conference play.