Four Miami football players top 25 ACC 2023 NFL Draft prospects

Sep 11, 2021; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Mandatory Credit: Richard Graulich-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 11, 2021; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Mandatory Credit: Richard Graulich-USA TODAY Sports /

After Jon Ford was the only Miami football player selected in the 2022 NFL Draft, Jon Kinne of Athlon Sports ranked four Hurricanes among the top 25 ACC prospects to watch for 2023. Kinne lists cornerback Tyrique Stevenson, offensive tackle Zion Nelson quarterback Tyler Van Dyke and tight end Will Mallory in his top 25.

Kinne listed the players in alphabetical order. Stevenson was the best defensive back for Miami in 2022, Nelson is entering his fourth season as a starter, Van Dyke had a breakout 2021 season after beginning the year as a backup and Mallory hopes to stay healthy and produce in his fifth season with Miami.

The 2022 NFL Draft was the first time since 1980 that only one Miami football player was selected. Former Miami defensive ends Jaelan Phillips and Greg Rousseau were first-round picks in the 2021 NFL Draft. Nelson and Van Dyke are projected as 2023 first-round picks by various websites.

The NFL Consensus Mock Draft database ranks Van Dyke 26th, Nelson 30th, Mallory 112th and Stevenson 136th on its big board. Four other returning Miami football players are listed on the Conensus Mock Draft Database, all below 200. Kinne profiled, Stevenson, Mallory, Nelson and Van Dyke.

ACC Football: Top 25 2023 NFL Draft Prospects to Watch

"Tyrique Stevenson, CB, Miami (Sr., 6-0, 214)Stevenson spent two years as mostly a reserve at Georgia before transferring to Miami. He earned honorable mention All-ACC recognition last season and may have been drafted late this year if he had entered his name. Now he has an opportunity to really boost his draft stock with a strong season."

Stevenson finished fifth on the Miami football team with 43 tackles and had 2.5 sacks, 0.5 sacks and four pass breakups. Due to a shoulder injury Stevenson did not participate in spring practice. Stevenson is expceted to be ready for training camp in August. Stevenson has two years of eligiblity remaining.

"Will Mallory, TE, Miami (Sr., 6-5, 245)When it comes to the Hurricanes’ tight end, results have lagged a bit behind expectations. But he has one more season to show his worth and with Tyler Van Dyke throwing the ball and receivers Charleston Rambo and Mike Harley moving on, Mallory should have plenty of opportunities."

Mallory is hoping for a breakout year after becoming the starter in 2021. Mallory had 30 receptions for 347 yards and four touchdowns last season. Bigger numbers were expected from Mallory after he was the backup to Brevin Jordan from 2018 through 2020. Mallory will be pushed by sophomore Elijah Arroyo in 2022.

"Zion Nelson, OT, Miami (Sr., 6-5, 316)A true left tackle, Nelson has the size and athleticism to excel at that position. He is still a bit of a raw prospect despite starting for the Hurricanes since his freshman year and definitely needs some refinement, but his physical tools cannot be taught. A strong campaign this fall could lead to a first-round selection."

Nelson was projected as a first round pick in 2021 in early mock drafts. With another season to develop and solidify his stock for the NFL Draft, Nelson chose to return in 2022. Nelson is the third ranked OT on the consensus list behind Paris Johnson Jr. of Ohio State and Peter Skoronski of Northwestern.

"Tyler Van Dyke, QB, Miami (Jr., 6-4, 224)Due to a redshirt season, Van Dyke actually has three years of eligibility remaining. But the Miami quarterback is already getting a lot of attention from scouts. With a pro-style frame, Van Dyke could emerge as the third quarterback in the 2023 class after C.J. Stroud and Bryce Young."

Miami part of ACC 2022 NFL Draft downtrend. dark. Next

Van Dyke has emerged as one of the best QBs in the country. The breakout 2021 season put Van Dyke in the spotlight for 2022. Van Dyke is one of the early Heisman Trophy contenders entering the 2022 season. Marquee games at Texas A&M and Clemson will provide Van Dyke an opportunty to play in raucous atmopsheres.