Miami football needs to develop more top end offensive NFL Draft talent

The Miami football program has to develop more top-end offensive talent that is selected early in the NFL Draft.
Dec 28, 2016; Orlando, FL, USA; Miami Hurricanes tight end  David Njoku (86) scores a touchdown in
Dec 28, 2016; Orlando, FL, USA; Miami Hurricanes tight end David Njoku (86) scores a touchdown in / Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

Tight end David Njoku was the last offensive player from the Miami football program to be selected in the first three rounds of the NFL Draft. Njoku was the 29th pick in the 2017 NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns. Twelve offensive players have been drafted from Miami since Njoku.

Tight end Chris Herndon was the highest-drafted offensive player from Miami since Njoku. The New York Jets chose Herndon in the fourth round with the 107th overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. Miami has to do a better job evaluating and developing offensive talent.

Miami has not signed a draft-eligible five-star offensive player since 2012 per Rivals. Duke Johnson who became the 77th overall pick in the third round of the 2015 NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns was the last five-star draft-eligible offensive player to sign with Miami. Johnson was the highest-rated signee in the 2012 Miami class.

Miami signed five-star offensive linemen Francis Mauigoa and Samson Okunlola in the 2023 class. Mauigoa and Okunlola are not eligible for the NFL Draft until 2026. Players who receive five-star grades as signees are projected as first-round picks. Recruiting sites only bestow five-stars on 32 players in each class.

Miami has not had two offensive players selected in the first round of the NFL Draft since 2015. The New York Giants drafted offensive tackle Ereck Flowers ninth overall in 2015 and wide receiver Philip Dorsett went 29th overall in the first round to the Indianapolis Colts.

Miami has had only nine offensive-skill position players drafted since Njoku in 2017. Quarterback Brad Kaaya and WR Stacy Coley were drafted in the 2017 seventh round. Tight end Will Mallory was the last Miami offensive skill position player drafted. The Indianapolis Colts drafted Mallory 162nd overall in the fifth round in 2023.

If Mario Cristobal is going to lift the Miami football program back among the elite in college football, the Hurricanes have to start developing playmakers on offense. CBS Sports projects new Miami quarterback Cam Ward to be the ninth pick in the 2025 NFL Draft by the New Orleans Saints.

Ward would be the highest-drafted Miami offensive player since Flowers. The last Miami skill position offensive player drafted as high as ninth was tight end Kellen Winslow. Winslow was selected sixth overall by Cleveland in the 2004 NFL Draft. The last Miami QB selected that high was Vinny Testaverde.

Miami Football NFL Draft hidden gems since 2000. Miami Football NFL Draft hidden gems since 2000. dark. Next

Testaverde was drafted first overall by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 1987 NFL Draft. Miami QBs Bernie Kosar and Steve Walsh were the first picks overall in the 1985 and 1989 NFL Supplemental drafts. Jim Kelly, Kosar, Testaverde and Walsh helped Miami become QB U. Miami lost that monicker over 25 years ago.