2014 NFL Draft Reflects Lowest Point of Miami Hurricanes Football

David KenyonFeatured ColumnistMay 9, 2014

CHESTNUT HILL, MA - SEPTEMBER 01:  Stephen Morris #17 of the Miami Hurricanes in action against the Boston College Eagles during the game on September 1, 2012 at Alumni Stadium in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

Between insufficient player development, continual collective underperformance and its overall negative impact on recruiting, the 2014 NFL draft reflects the Miami Hurricanes' struggles from 2007-2010.

Over the four-year stretch, the respective Miami teams combined to win just 28 games compared to suffering 23 losses.

But when a respective prospect is announced at Radio City Music Hall this weekend, he moves one step closer to reaching his goal of becoming a professional football player at the highest level.

Like many programs across the nation, the 'Canes are projected to have a couple former athletes of their own experience this emotional time, receiving a phone call from an NFL franchise.

However, after years of dominating the draft, "The U" is looking at less than a handful of draftees in 2014.

My, how the mighty have fallen.

Recent Miami NFL Draft History
Years1st Round2nd or 3rd Rounds4th or 5th Rounds6th or 7th RoundsTotal Drafted

"This year it's anybody’s guess," Susan Miller Degnan of The Miami Herald said, "with a strong possibility of no one getting drafted until the fourth through seventh rounds are televised beginning at noon Saturday—the final day of the three-day draft."

Seantrel Henderson figured to be the first former Hurricane off the board, but Brandon Linder was taken by the Jacksonville Jaguars in the third.

Beyond the pair of offensive linemen, Stephen Morris and Pat O'Donnell are likely the only other Miami players who could be selected. Allen Hurns and potential basketball-convert Erik Swoope might be picked, but don't bet the house on it.

The mighty have fallen how far?

Scouts say Henderson has all-pro talent, but he is criticized for a mediocre work ethic, lackluster drive and poor character.

Linder, on the other hand, is not an elite prospect, but he has other attractable qualities, as NFL Network's Mike Mayock discussed via Miller Degnan:

"I think those two offensive linemen are heading in different directions," draft analyst Mike Mayock of the NFL Network said last Thursday, before the revelation about Henderson. Mayock said Henderson was "heading in the wrong direction, whereas their guard, Linder—the more coaches get involved, the more they like Linder. He's not as physically gifted as some players in this draft, but he's smart and he's tough. He could climb. I think he's going in the fourth or fifth round, and this is a pretty good guard draft."

Ultimately, however, the highest drafted ex-'Cane, Linder, was a third-round pick who was projected to be tabbed later than that.

Before a disappointing senior campaign, Morris was one of the top quarterbacks on the boards of many analysts. Now, he may slide undetected through the entire weekend.

O'Donnell is affected by the lack of demand at punter, but he transferred from Cincinnati and wasn't even recruited by Miami. Hurns is a purely average receiver with no special qualities, and Swoope's proverbial draft stock is based solely on potential.

Matt Miller Big Board and Projections
PlayerPositionPositional RankOverall RankProjected Round
Seantrel HendersonOT131304
Brandon LinderOG172596
Stephen MorrisQB17256UDFA
Pat O'DonnellP3337UDFA
Bleacher Report

Note: Rankings and projections based on latest releases of Bleacher Report's Matt Miller.

Recent Miami seasons have been classified under the common theme of "youth." And when looking at the 2010 recruiting class—of which Henderson, Linder, Morris and Hurns were members—it's evident from where that mantra stemmed.

Other notable players from the class include Jimmy Gaines, Asante Cleveland, Maurice Hagens, Tyrone Cornelius, Kacy Rodgers and Eduardo Clements, none of whom are expected to be drafted. Clive Walford, who will be a senior in 2014, will likely be chosen in the draft next year.

Sure, Storm Johnson was originally a member of the group, and the UCF running back should be taken before Henderson and the others, but the former top recruit is not the 'Canes to claim. Maybe tight end Chase Ford, a JUCO signee in 2010, can be added because he has been a contributor for the Minnesota Vikings, but that's stretching it.

Then, throw in Latwan Anderson, Tavadis Glenn, David Perry, Keion Payne, Travis Williams, Kevin Nelson, Jeremy Davis, Darion Hall, Devont'a Davis, Jermaine Barton, Andrew Tallman and Delmar Taylor. If you're contemplating, "who are these guys?!"you're not wrong.

It wasn't the recruiting rankings—or stars—that mattered in the 2010 class. According to 247Sports, former head coach Randy Shannon grabbed one 5-star, five 4-stars and 21 3-stars.

Randy Shannon had an extremely disappointing exit to his Miami coaching career, leaving the program in pieces.
Randy Shannon had an extremely disappointing exit to his Miami coaching career, leaving the program in pieces.Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

There was very little production from the class, and that's the problem. Four years later, the only draftable players are Henderson, Linder and maybe Morris as a project.

According to Miller Degnan, the players who are hoping to be selected this May have only one thing on their mind: capitalize on being picked.

"Wherever I get drafted, I’ll be happy," Linder said. "It's all about the opportunity I'm given."

"Of course I want to get drafted," Cleveland said, "but I'm preparing for the worst and not trying to get my hopes up too high. Just know that wherever I go I'm going to give them all I've got."

From Denzel Perryman to Duke Johnson to Stacy Coley, the potential professional futures of current players in the program is promising.

But in 2014, the overwhelming impact from the Hurricanes in the NFL draft is, quite simply, the lack of one.


Follow Bleacher Report CFB Writer David Kenyon on Twitter: @Kenyon19_BR.