3 Miami football players projected 1R picks in 247 Sports NFL Mock Draft

MIAMI GARDENS, FLORIDA - NOVEMBER 20: (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
MIAMI GARDENS, FLORIDA - NOVEMBER 20: (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /

Miami football​ players, defensive tackle Leonard Taylor, safety Kamren Kinchens and offensive lineman Zion Nelson are all projected to be selected in the first round in the 247 Sports 2024 NFL Mock Draft. Taylor is projected as the 22nd pick to Minnesota, Kinchens 27th to San Francisco and Nelson 30th to Kansas City.

The Miami football program has not had three players selected in the first round of the NFL Draft since 2007. In 2007 defensive back Brandon Meriweather was the 24th overall pick by New England, linebacker Jon Beason was selected 25th by Carolina and tight end Greg Olsen 31st by Chicago.

Defensive linemen Jaelan Phillips and Greg Rousseau were the last Miami football players to be selected in the first round of an NFL Draft in 2021. Miami has had only seven players selected in the first round of the NFL Draft since 2008. Kinchens, Nelson and Taylor will need productive 2023 seasons to become first round picks.

Kichens is currently in the best position to be a first round pick after being named an All-American in 2022. With another season like he had in 2022 Kinchens seems like a likely first round pick. Taylor is incredibly talented as former five-star signee. Nelson has a lot to prove after missing most of the 2022 season with a knee injury.

"“Kinchens is the top safety in college football from a playmaker standpoint and acts as an enforcer of sorts for the Hurricanes. Kinchens led all FBS safeties last fall with six interceptions to go along with 59 tackles and 1.5 TFLs. He’s a true ballhawk and alongside James Williams, and provides Miami with the ACC’s top tandem at safety.It’s hard to imagine Kinchens being more productive this fall as he was last season, but it’s possible given his knowledge of opposing offenses on the schedule and how much he enjoys film study, according to sources.”"

Brad Crawford wrote the above summary for 247 Sports. Kinchens will be one of the leaders of the Miami defense in 2023. Kinchens, Taylor and James Williams will anchor Miami defensively in 2024. Williams was also a five-star signee. Miami needs Taylor and Williams to reach the same level of consistency as Kinchens.

Kinchens has received a lot of praise after his productive 2022 season. Athlon Sports named Kinchens a 2023 first-team preseason All-American. As the preseason projections continue to be posted over the next few months, expect the accolades to continue rolling in for Kinchens.

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Nelson had 32 starts between 2019 and 2021. After missing last season he will need to stay healthy and productive in 2023 to reach the first-round projection. Taylor had 24 tackles, tied for the team lead with 10.5 TFLs and added three sacks, one interception and six quarterback hits in 2022. Taylor has 2023 All-American potential.