Miami football NFL Mock Draft: LT Zion Nelson only Hurricane in PFF Top 100

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) /

Left tackle Zion Nelson is the only Miami football player in the top 100 in the latest Pro Football Focus 2022 mock draft. Nelson ranks 51st. During the offseason, several mock drafts had Hurricanes starting safety Bubba Bolden in the top 100. Nelson would project to the middle of the second round as the 51st ranked prospect.

Nelson is the ninth-ranked offensive tackle in the PFF 2022 NFL Mock Draft projections. Alabama LT Evan Neal who helped the Crimson Tide defeat the Hurricanes last month is the top-ranked OT and fourth-ranked player overall. Miami will face another highly ranked OT prospect next month.

The Hurricanes host North Carolina State and 20th ranked draft prospect and the second-ranked  OT, Ikem Ekwonu on October 23. Ekwonu was third-team All-ACC in 2020. Miami defeated NC State 44-41 last season in Raleigh. The Hurricanes had two sacks, including one by All-American defensive end Jaelan Phillips.

The top 100 players are roughly the first three rounds of the NFL Draft. Compensatory picks will be rewarded. Phillips was selected 18th by the Dolphins in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft and former Miami DE Greg Rousseau was taken 31st by Buffalo. Miami had two first-round picks for the first time since 2015.

Former Miami OT Ereck Flowers was selected ninth overall by the New York Giants in 2015. Hurricanes wide receiver Philip Dorsett was selected 29th overall in 2015 by the Indianapolis Colts. Cornerback Artie Burns in 2016 and tight end David Nkoju in 2017 were the only other recent Miami first-round picks.

As the season has progressed and Miami has started 2-3, Nelson has likely dropped from being the 51st ranked prospect for 2022. Some sites project Nelson as late as the fourth or fifth round. That would drop Nelson out of the top 100. Wherever Nelson is drafted he will exceed his ranking out of high school.

Next. Miami football issues is development not lack of talent. dark

When Nelson signed with Miami in 2019 he was the 1,414th ranked player and 114 ranked tackle in the Class of 2019. Nelson has developed beyond expectations. The majority of the Miami roster has not developed to their high school ranking. Miami has talent, they need to do a better job developing players.