Expect Miami football busy in portal with Leonard Taylor entering NFL Draft

Sep 23, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Mandatory Credit: Andy Lewis-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 23, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Mandatory Credit: Andy Lewis-USA TODAY Sports /

The Miami football program will be busy in the transfer portal at defensive tackle with multiple reports stating on Friday that junior Leonard Taylor is foregoing his last season of eligibility to enter the NFL Draft. The flip of five-star 2024 DT Justin Scott from Ohio State on Wednesday is an excellent start to finding Taylor’s replacement.

Taylor had 64 tackles, 22.5 tackles for loss, 6.0 sacks, one interception and one pass defended during his collegiate career. Taylor was a five-star signee in the 2021 class out of Palmetto as the 11th-ranked prospect, fourth defensive lineman and third player in Florida. In 2022, Taylor was named All-ACC Honorable Mention.

The numbers for Taylor went down in 2023. After 24 tackles,10.5 TFLs and 3.0 sacks in 2022, Taylor has 19 tackles, 3.5 TFLs and one sack in 2023. Defensive coordinator Lance Guidry used Taylor differently than his predecessor Kevin Steele. Taylor played under three different defensive coordinators for Miami.

Taylor is projected as the 29th pick in the 2024 NFL Draft by the NFL Mock Draft Database. Taylor has been projected as high as ninth and as low as 62nd in the NFL Mock Draft Database. NFL teams are drafting Taylor more on potential than production. Taylor never consistently reached his potential with Miami.

In addition to Scott, Miami also has commitments from four-star DT Artavius Jones and three-star Daylen Russell. Miami will also lose DT Branson Deen who is out of eligibility. Deen played one season with Miami after transferring from Purdue. Miami has several returnees at DT for the 2024 season.

Mario Cristobal, Guidry and defensive line coaches Joe Salave’a and Jason Taylor are expected to be extremely active in the transfer portal. Miami added Deen, Jamil Burroughs, Anthony Campbell and Thomas Gore at DT in 2023. Expect Miami to add up to four DTs in the 2024 transfer portal. Several DTs have already been targeted.

Next. Miami 2023 defensive transfers were key contributors. dark

The transfer portal does not open officially until December 4. Expect another wave of players entering the portal on Monday. The Miami football program could also potentially lose more defensive tackles when the portal officially opens. Building depth on the DL will be a priority for Miami during the 2024 offseason.