Miami Hurricanes most intriguing 2022 Draft Prospect OT Zion Nelson

ORLANDO, FL - AUGUST 24: (L-R) Florida.(Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
ORLANDO, FL - AUGUST 24: (L-R) Florida.(Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /

The most intriguing 2022 NFL Draft prospect from the Miami Hurricanes is offensive tackle Zion Nelson according to ESPN. Nelson is 17th on the NFLMockDraftDatabase.Com 2022 big board. Miami safety Bubba Bolden is surprisingly ranked 13th. The Hurricanes have not had two first-round picks in the same draft since 2015.

Seventeenth is the highest Nelson has been ranked on the consensus mock draft database. After ranking in the top 100 for most of 2021, Nelson fell to 284th on March 17. Four days later Nelson had a meteoric rise to 19th. Nelson has stayed in the top 20 over the last month-plus. Nelson is projected to be the first OL in 2022.

Nelson was ranked as high as eighth on the NFL Mock Draft Database on April 21. Thirty-three percent of the NFL Mock Drafts project Nelson to be selected in the first round. The rise by Nelson is remarkable. Nelson signed with Miami as a 6’5, 240 OT. After spring practice, Nelson is listed at 316 pounds.

As undersized true freshman OT in 2019, Nelson struggled allowing an FBS leading nine sacks. With experience and hard work, Nelson has become one of the most improved OTs in the country. Nelson has risen in the rankings with improved performance during the second half of 2020. Andrea Adelson profile Nelson for ESPN.

"25. Miami Hurricanes: OT Zion NelsonLeft tackle Zion Nelson has moved himself up some way-too-early draft boards after his performance in the second half of 2020, when he emerged as a dominant force on the Miami offensive line and started the final six games.He started all 13 games as a true freshman, but he was far more inconsistent as he learned the ins and outs of playing college ball. Given all the strides he has made headed into his true junior season, Nelson has a chance to solidify his status as a potential first-round pick with a consistent, dominant performance from start to finish.(Andrea) Adelson"

Nelson has matured with the rest of the Miami OL. The Miami Hurricanes return everyone one their 2021 OL. Head coach Manny Diaz said that the Miami OL is the most experienced one for a team that he has been on the staff for during his career. If Nelson can play at the level projected for him, Miami will have an improved OL.

dark. Next. Miami starting to develop offensive linemen

Two years after having arguably the worst Power Five OL in 2019, the Hurricanes can at least be above average in 2021 if not better. Miami has not had an OL drafted since Danny Isidora by the Minnesota Vikings in 2017. The most recent Miami first-round OL and offensive tackle drafted was Ereck Flowers in 2015.