Zion Nelson and Tyrique Stevenson evaluating 2022 Miami football returns

Oct 30, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 30, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /

Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reported on Wednesday that offensive tackle Zion Nelson and cornerback Tyrique Stevenson are still considering if they will return to the Miami football program for the 2022 season or enter the NFL Draft. Nelson is ranked 60th in the top 100 of Pro Football Focus NFL Draft prospects.

That would put Nelson at the back half of the second round. Stevenson is not on the PFF list. Nelson will make his decision on if he will enter the NFL Draft or return for a fourth season with Miami after he hears from the NFL draft advisory board according to Jackson. Stevenson is 50/50 if he will enter the 2022 NFL Draft per CaneSport.

If Nelson is a day one or two selection the right decision would probably be to enter the NFL Draft. Stevenson is not close to that according to the PFF rankings. Too many Miami football players have recently entered the NFL Draft with eligibility remaining and been day three picks. Nelson and Stevenson need to be diligent.

Stevenson is debating about returning, finishing his degree and being a leader on the Miami defense in 2022, or moving on to the next phase of his life in the NFL Draft. Based on the NFL Draft rankings, Stevenson would be wise to return in 2022. Jackson quoted Stevenson from his CaneSport blog.

"“I’m thinking about what’s the right decision as far as the football thing goes, either declare for the draft or make sure I return back here and finish out with my degree…It’s no problem if I have to come back here and be a leader again, or take a new step and head to the league.”"

There has been mixed analysis about where Nelson ranks on the 2022 NFL Draft board. Nelson is the eighth-ranked OT by PFF. Walter Football ranks Nelson as the 16th best OT on the 2022 NFL Draft board. How the advisory board evaluates Nelson will be critical. The variance of opinions for Nelson should be pause for concern.

Next. Miami gets season grade from national media site. dark

The NFL Mock Draft Database currently projects Stevenson as a seventh-round pick. That projection would make Stevenson wise to return in 2022. With Stevenson returning in 2022 and a safety rotation of Kamren Kinchens, Avantae Williams and James Williams Miami can have one of the best secondaries in the country.