Are the Hurricanes heading back to the prominence they were once celebrated for? It may be too early to make that prediction yet there’s no denying the team is likely impact next April’s NFL Draft after several years of being late round afterthoughts. The top prospects reside on defense.
While we think defensive lineman Allen Bailey is being somewhat overrated at this point, there’s no denying the versatile athlete is a terrific NFL prospect. Fluid moving in all directions, Bailey quickly collapses down the line to make plays, shows good strength at the point and is tough to block. Bailey keeps his feet driving up the field. bulrushes blockers off the line and effectively uses his hands up to protect himself. He lacks top first step quickness and looks a bit stiff from the waist up yet has the size, athleticism and strength to line up at defensive tackle or as a two-gap end.
Junior cornerback Brandon Harris is a terrific athlete with nice speed. Harris stays with receivers everywhere on the field, displays a nice break to the throw and has good hands for the reception. Harris must work on the little things like his footwork and hip turn. His instincts are below par yet he offers a nice upside. Sources have at present time Harris is telling people he plans to enter next April’s draft.
Colin McCarthy remind many of the talented linebackers the Hurricanes put in the league during their glory days. The senior is physical, tough and football smart. Very aggressive, McCarthy flies around the football yet is disciplined, stays with assignments and effectively diagnoses the action. Efficient, he takes good angles to the action, offers better-than-average playing speed and is fast to the flanks. McCarthy gets solid depth on pass drops and shows good instincts in coverage. He’s a terrific prospect that can line up at a variety of linebacker spots, in several different schemes.
DeMarcus Van Dyke is a physically gifted cornerback who beats down opponents to defend passes. He runs downfield with receivers and shows an aggressive nature to his game. Van Dyke lacks great instincts and needs to be more cognizant when the ball is in the air then effectively position himself against the opponents to break up passes. He has top 100 tools but middle round mental intangibles.
The prospects on the offensive side of the ball are not as good and took a hit last December when Graig Cooper suffered a devastating knee.
Incredibly elusive, the senior running back very much reminds us of former Miami star Frank Gore with his ability to make defenders miss and create yardage. Cooper will pick and choose his spots on the inside and shows a terrific burst of speed. How he returns off the surgically repaired knee in ’10 is a big question. Our hopes are Cooper is not rushed back to soon to help the team, which in the end could hurt his NFL career.
Orlando Franklin is a well size blocker that lines up at guard and tackle but a prospect we feel is best in confined quarters. Displaying solid overall body strength Franklin anchors at the point of attack in pass protection and easily controls quality opponents. Franklin tends to do a bit of arm wrestling and really must improve his hand placement. He’s the kind of prospect that could make a move up draft boards with a solid campaign in ’10 followed by a good performance at the Senior Bowl.
Leonard Hankerson is an underrated receiver and a wide out with a solid combination of size and strength. Hankerson uses his size as an advantage, out jumping then high pointing the ball over defenders. He possesses better than average quickness, solid eye/hand coordination and nicely adjusts to the errant throw. Hankerson must be more consistent with his pass catching fundamentals, yet is a prospect with definite next level potential.
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