Podcast: Phillips, Rousseau snap a Miami Draft drought. Could Zion Nelson really be next?

·2 min read

The 2021 NFL Draft is in the books, which can only mean one thing: It’s way-too-early mock draft season and there are plenty of interesting Miami Hurricanes to talk about.

First, we have to start with one of Miami’s most successful NFL Drafts in years, though. The Hurricanes got two players picked in the first round for the first time since 2015 and ended a five-year drought without any first-round picks.

On a new episode of the Eye on the U podcast, David Wilson and Susan Miller Degnan, the Miami Herald’s Hurricanes beat writer, examine the fit of Jaelan Phillips with the Miami Dolphins and relive the thrill of finding out Gregory Rousseau was getting picked despite a rumored slide. Those two defensive ends alone made the Draft a major win for the Hurricanes.

It wasn’t all positive, however. Tight end Brevin Jordan and edge rusher Quincy Roche both slipped all the way to third day, and All-American kicker Jose Borregales didn’t get picked at all. We try to figure out what happened with Jordan, who was once viewed as a potential first-round pick, and why Roche and Borregales are in great places despite their falls.

The second half of our conversation is dedicated to the future and the great tradition of way-too-early mock drafts.

Safety Bubba Bolden is in there, which isn’t necessarily surprising, but an ESPN mock draft dropped while we were recording and Zion Nelson is all the way up at No. 5. It’s officially a thing: The tackle has a chance to be one of the top prospects in the 2022 NFL Draft.

How did this happen? It was just two years ago Nelson showed up in Coral Gables as a 240-pound freshman, who was barely a three-star recruit in the 247Sports.com composite rankings, and now he’s on NFL radars heading into his junior season. For the answer, look to the weight he gained without losing much of his athleticism.