Miami football continually developing NFL DL under Manny Diaz

MOBILE, AL - JANUARY 30: (Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images)
MOBILE, AL - JANUARY 30: (Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images) /

The Miami football program has continually developed defensive linemen under Manny Diaz as the defensive coordinator from 2016-2018 and head coach since 2019. Six defensive linemen have been drafted from Miami since 2017. Diaz coached five of those DL. That number will grow to eight after the 2021 NFL Draft.

Jaelan Phillips is a near-lock for the first round. Greg Rousseau is on the cusp of the first round with an average draft position of 29.7 according to Pro Football Focus and Quincy Roche is projected as a third or fourth-round pick. Phillips and Rousseau will be the highest-drafted DL under Diaz at Miami.

Phillips had 45 tackles, 15.5 tackles for loss and eight sacks in 2020 in his only season playing for the Miami football program. Roche recorded 45 tackles, 14.5 TFLs, 4.5 sacks and three pass breakups in his sole season with the Hurricanes. Rousseau had a breakout season in 2019 with 54 tackles, 19.5 TFLs and 15.5 sacks.

The previous highest-drafted Miami defensive lineman drafted under Diaz was Chad Thomas who was selected by the Cleveland Browns 67th overall in the third round in 2018. None of the Miami DL under Diaz have had much success in the NFL. After being selected in the middle to lower rounds they were drafted to add depth.

Provided by View Original Table
Generated 4/29/2021.

Phillips, Roche and Rousseau should change the trajectory of the Miami DL in the NFL. Phillips and Rousseau are elite talents and Roche should have a long career in the NFL. Jonathan Garvin was the last DL from Miami drafted. Garvin was selected 242nd overall by the Green Bay Packers in the seventh round in 2020.

Garvin produced five tackles for Green Bay during the 2020 season. In the last three NFL Drafts, all of the Miami DL selected have been edge rushers. With Phillips, Roche and Rousseau that will continue in 2021. The last DTs selected from the Miami football program were Kendrick Norton and R.J. McIntosh in 2018.

McIntosh was selected in the fifth round, 139 overall by the New York Giants in 2018. Norton was taken in the seventh round, 242nd overall by the Carolina Panthers. In the next few years, Miami should continue to produce NFL talent on the DL line. The 2022 NFL Draft Miami could produce DTs again.

Jared Harrison-Hunte will be eligible for the 2022 NFL Draft after having completed three years in the Miami football program. Nesta Jade Silvera is entering his fourth season with the Hurricanes and Jon Ford is entering his fifth college season in 2021. Ford will have to improve significantly in 2021 to have a chance to be drafted in 2022.

Next. Why Greg Rousseau is plummeting in NFL Draft. dark

The next great Miami DT and DL could be five-star 2021 signee, Leonard Taylor. Taylor should be a part of the rotation on the defensive interior as a true freshman this fall and then become an anchor on the Miami defense in 2022 and 2033. If Taylor lives up to his potential he should be a first-round pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.