Miami Hurricanes 2023 NFL Draft first round projections

Nov 27, 2021; Durham, North Carolina, USA; Mandatory Credit: Jaylynn Nash-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 27, 2021; Durham, North Carolina, USA; Mandatory Credit: Jaylynn Nash-USA TODAY Sports /

Miami Hurricanes offensive tackle Zion Nelson and quarterback Tyler Van Dyke are projected as first-round picks in some 2023 NFL mock drafts. Van Dyke had a breakout season in 2021 after entering the year as the backup to D’Eriq King. Some mock drafts projected Nelson as a first-round pick in 2022.

Nelson is still considered raw by some analysts. Van Dyke had a record-setting 2021. The Miami Hurricanes season concluded with Van Dyke passing for at least 300 yards and three touchdowns in each of the last six games. Van Dyke enters 2022 as a Heisman Trophy contender.

Nelson is the 17th overall projection to the Dolphins on the CBS Sports 2023 NFL Mock Draft. Van Dyke is the ninth overall projection to the Seattle Seahawks from CBS and 23rd by the Houston Texas by the Bleacher Report. Neither Nelson nor Van Dyke is projected as a 2023 first-round pick by Pro Football Focus.

Nelson enters the 2022 season in his fourth year with the Miami Hurricanes football program and Van Dyke in his third. With the extra season granted because of Covid, Nelson has two years of eligibility remaining and Van Dyke three. Players are eligible for the NFL Draft after their third season in college.

"Round 1 – Pick 10Zion Nelson OLMIAMI (FL) • SOPH • 6’5″ / 316 LBSRound 1 – Pick 10“Nelson made an appearance in this space a year ago but he returned to school for another season. It was a smart decision; for as athletic as he is, Nelson’s also incredibly raw, but if he puts it all together he’ll be in the first-round mix.”"

The above is the synopsis of Nelson for the 2022 NFL Draft from CBS. In the early 2022 NFL Mock Drafts, Nelson was projected as a first-round pick. After not developing to that level following the 2021 season, Nelson wisely chose to return for a fourth season with the Miami Hurricanes football program.

After his 2021 breakout season, Van Dyke is projected as one of the best QBs in college football entering 2022. The change from Rhett Lashlee to Josh Gattis as offensive coordinator might benefit Van Dyke. Van Dyke will have the opportunity to showcase his abilities in two different offenses.

"Round 1 – Pick 9Tyler Van Dyke QBMIAMI (FL) • FR • 6’4″ / 224 LBS“Is Drew Lock the answer? The Seahawks didn’t take a QB in the ’22 draft and if Lock balls out, the team can focus on other needs here. If not, quarterback will be big need and Van Dyke will be on NFL radars this fall.”"

Bleacher Report projects Van Dyke lower in the draft but goes into more depth discussing his selection. Either Houston or Seattle would be excellent opportunities for Van Dyke to compete immediately to be the starting QB. Houston enters the 2022 season with Davis Mills as the starter and Seattle is projected to start Drew Lock.

"23. Houston Texans (from Cleveland): QB Tyler Van Dyke, MiamiWith the first overall pick, the Houston Texans chose the class’ best overall player in Alabama’s Will Anderson Jr. They won’t pass on a quarterback prospect for a second time…The selection of Miami’s Tyler Van Dyke is a bit of a projection.The third-year sophomore won the ACC Rookie of the Year award in 2021 after not opening the season as the Hurricanes’ starting quarterback. An injury to D’Eriq King led to Van Dyke’s ascension up the depth chart, and the underclassman took full advantage with 2,931 passing yards and a 25-to-6 touchdown-to-interception ratio in 10 games.Once Miami hit the meat of its ACC schedule, Van Dyke performed particularly well by averaging 365.7 passing yards per game, including 426 yards in a shootout victory over the Pitt Panthers and this year’s QB1, Kenny Pickett. Miami won five of their last six contests.A full season as a starter with continued production at the previous levels will cause Van Dyke’s draft stock to skyrocket."

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Van Dyke will likely not produce the prolific numbers in 2022 that he did in 2021 as Miami transitions to a more balanced offense. Keeping the TD to interception ratio high will likely be important. Scouts love the athleticism that Nelson has. Nelson will need to produce more consistently to be a 2023 first-round pick.