Miami football players, safety Kamren Kinchens and defensive tackle Leonard Taylor are projected to be first-round picks in the 2024 NFL Draft by Max Chadwick of Pro Football Focus. Chadwick posted his 2024 Mock Draft on Monday. Taylor is projected 17th to the Houston Texans and Kinchens 27th to the Green Bay Packers.
Kinchens was named an All-American by the Associated Press and The Sporting News in 2022. In 12 games in 2022, Kinchens led the Miami football team with 59 tackles and six interceptions with one touchdown and added 1.5 tackles for loss, one forced fumble and 12 passes defended. Kinchens had career highs in every category.
Taylor had 24 tackles, tied for the team lead with 10.5 tackles for loss, had three sacks and one interception. The 2021 five-star signee has been plagued with inconsistency throughout his Miami career. If Taylor is more consistent in 2023 he is likely to project as a 2024 NFL Draft first-round pick.
Kinchens was the 320th prospect, 21st safety and 48th-ranked recruit in Florida out of Miami Northwestern in the Class of 2021. Kinchens made an impact as a freshman, starting the final five games. As a freshman Kinchens had 44 tackles, one TFL, one forced fumble and four passes defended.
"27. GREEN BAY PACKERS (VIA NYJ): S KAMREN KINCHENS, MIAMI (FL)“The Packers acquire the Jets’ first-round pick if Aaron Rodgers plays 65% of the snaps in 2023. Unless disaster strikes for New York, this will be Green Bay’s pick. Kinchens led all safeties in the country with a 90.0 grade and a 90.7 coverage grade. Kinchens’ six interceptions were also tied for the most in the Power Five.”"
Taylor was the 11th-ranked prospect, fourth-best defensive lineman (which includes edge rushers separately) and third-best recruit in Florida out of Miami Palmetto. As a freshman Taylor had 21 tackles, 8.5 TFLs, two sacks and one pass defended. Taylor needs further development in 2023 and needs to be more dominant.
"17. HOUSTON TEXANS (VIA CLE): DI LEONARD TAYLOR, MIAMI (FL) HURRICANES“This past season, Taylor lived up to his top-10 recruit billing coming out of high school. His 19.5% pass-rush win rate and 16.2% pressure rate trailed only Calijah Kancey among Power Five interior defensive linemen. With an increased workload, Taylor could rise even higher than this.”"
Kinchens and Taylor will form the foundation of the Miami defense in 2023 with classmate James Williams who is also eligible for the 2023 NFL Draft. Taylor and Williams were both five-star signees in 2021 Miami needs to live up to that potential. Under new defensive coordinator Lance Guidry Miami is expected to improve in 2023.