Miami football thin at safety with Kamren Kinchens and James Williams declaring for NFL Draft

Nov 12, 2022; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 12, 2022; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports /

Gaby Urrutia of Inside the U reported on Tuesday morning that Miami starting safeties Kamren Kinchens and James Williams will forego their final season of eligibility to enter the 2024 NFL Draft. Kinchens and Williams’ departures leave the Miami football team thin at safety for its bowl game next month and in 2024.

The early departures of Kinchens and Williams leave Brian Balom listed as the only safety on the official Miami football roster. When Kinchens missed two games in September, redshirt freshman defensive back Jaden Harris played safety. Redshirt freshman DB Markeith Williams signed with Miami as a safety in 2022.

Kinchens finishes his Miami career with 162 tackles, five tackles for loss, one sack, two forced fumbles, 26 passes defended, tied for eighth in Miami history with 11 interceptions and two touchdowns. Pro Football Focus projects Kinchens as the top safety prospect in the 2024 NFL Draft.

Williams will finish his career with 162 tackles, two TFLs, three forced fumbles, 17 passes defended and four interceptions. The NFL Mock Draft Database has Williams as the 101st consensus prospect in the 2024 NFL Draft. At 6’5 and 215 pounds Williams could potentially move to linebacker in the NFL.

Kinchens was a first-team All-American in 2022. In 2023 Kinchens has 59 tackles, 2.5 TFLs, one sack, 10 passes defended, five interceptions and one TD. Williams has had his best season in 2023 leading Miami with 73 tackles, adding a 0.5 sack, two forced fumbles, two passes defended and an interception.

With Kinchens and Williams receiving the predominance of snaps at safety in 2023, the backups received minimal playing time. Harris has seven tackles and a 0.5 TFL. Harris had his most productive game with three tackles at Temple in a game he started. Expect Harris to start in the Miami bowl game.

Balom has 14 tackles in his Miami career. The best performance for Balom was five tackles as a true freshman at Clemson in 2020. With an extra year of eligibility from the Covid year and a medical redshirt in 2021, Balom has two seasons of eligibility remaining. Balom had three tackles in six games in 2023.

Next. Expect Miami active in transfer portal for Van Dyke replacement. dark

Markeith Williams had seven tackles and a 0.5 sack in 2023. Williams has 10 career tackles. The career high for Williams is two tackles on three occasions. Williams was a four-star signee and the 19th-ranked safety in the 2022 class. Balom, Harris and Williams should have a chance to show their skills in the bowl game.