Miami Hurricanes DT depth chart should be 2021 strength

Dec 5, 2020; Durham, North Carolina, USA; Mandatory Credit: Nell Redmond-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 5, 2020; Durham, North Carolina, USA; Mandatory Credit: Nell Redmond-USA TODAY Sports /

With defensive ends Jaelan Phillips and Quincy Roche in the NFL off the 2020 Miami Hurricanes, the strength of the defense and particularly the defensive line shifts to defensive tackle in 2021. Phillips and Roche were the only players lost of the Miami defense from last season. Miami should be productive and deep at DT in 2021.

Jon Ford and Nesta Jade Silvera return in 2021 after combining to make 19 of the 22 starts in 11 games for Miami at DT. Jared Harrison-Hunte who played in eight games in 2020 with one start was extremely productive for the Miami Hurricanes in 2020. Harrison-Hunte seems ready for a breakout 2021 season.

Silvera led the Miami DTs in 2020 with 35 tackles and eight tackles for loss with one sack. Ford has received criticism that he has not lived up to his potential. In 2020, Ford had 19 tackles and 1.5 TFLs. At 6’5, 315 pounds Ford provides Miami with a space-eater to take up blockers in the middle of the Miami DL.

Playing part-time in his first full season on the field in 2020, Harrison-Hunte was one of the most efficient players for Miami. Harrison-Hunte had 17 tackles, 6.0 TFLs and 3.0 sacks for the Hurricanes in 2020. It will be difficult for the Miami staff to keep Harrison-Hunte off the field if he produces like last season.

The remainder of the Miami rotation at DT will be an open competition in training camp. Jason Blissett who was likely to become part of the rotation in 2021 retired during the offseason due to concussions. Returning for Miami at DT are Jordan Miller and Elijah Roberts who can play defensive end and DT.

Miami signed DTs Allan Haye and Leonard Taylor in the Class of 2021. Taylor was a five-star signee who is the top DT in 2021. The talent that Taylor brings to Miami is going to make it difficult to keep him off the field. How well Taylor adapts in training camp will determine if he receives snaps in the season opener against Alabama.

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Head coach Manny Diaz and DL line coach Jess Simpson will have the deep rotation at DT they have been accustomed to at Miami. Simpson is returning to the Hurricanes after spending the past two seasons with the Atlanta Falcons. The aggressive defense Miami has been used to under Diaz should produce more negative plays.