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Mel Kiper shares what he’s seen from Miami prospects in NFL Draft

On3 imageby:Dan Morrison03/28/24


Mel Kiper
Mel Kiper - © Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN NFL Draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. recently spoke to reporters on a media call regarding this year’s NFL Draft. During that call, Kiper shared his thoughts on the Miami Hurricanes who are going to be available in this year’s draft.

In particular, Kiper was asked to speak about defensive backs Kam Kinchens and James Williams, as well as defensive lineman Leonard Taylor.

“All those kids,” Mel Kiper said. “You talk about [Javion] Cohen as well, the guard. Matt Lee. Leonard Taylor. Taylor, I thought I had high hopes for. He didn’t emerge as the highly-rated player you thought he had the talent to do. A lot of talent, highly rated coming out of high school. You could roll the dice on day three that you could make him and develop him into a really good player.”

As far as the two defensive backs that Kiper was asked about, he sees Williams as a hybrid player on the defensive side of the ball. Meanwhile, he feels that Kinchens has seen his stock slide during the pre-draft process after having an excellent career that saw him named a First-Team All-American in 2022 and an All-ACC selection in 2022 and 2023.

“Williams is gonna be that dual versatility guy. He’s a linebacker, safety, special teams. Kam Kinchens did not run as well as I think he needed to run to become a higher pick. He had the hiccup, obviously, against Georgia Tech, but overall when you run like he did, 4.65, that pushes you down a bit.”

Beyond those three bigger-name players, Mel Kiper also acknowledged a couple of offensive linemen that Miami has in the draft. First, there’s center Matt Lee, who played the majority of his career for UCF before transferring to Miami. Then, there’s Javion Cohen, a transfer who spent most of his career with Alabama.

“Matt Lee, I think, is in the fourth, fifth round area. Cohen the same thing,” Kiper said.

“So, I think when you look at the Miami players right now, they’ve dropped a bit from where they were, like I said, Kinchens at one point looked like a second round draft choice. I have him a little lower than that right now.”

The Miami Hurricanes went 7-6 during the 2023 season, playing in the Pinstripe Bowl to end the season. It was the second season under the guidance of head coach Mario Cristobal and was an improvement from his first season running the program when Miami went 5-7.