2012 NFL Draft Prospects Preview: Miami vs. North Carolina

Posted by Brad On October – 14 – 2011
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Zach Brown's solid senior season has him soaring up draft boards

Miami and North Carolina pit two talented teams that have underwent recent turmoil.  North Carolina appears unfazed as they are off to a 5-1 start but Miami is struggling at 2-3.

The teams feature five guys that could go in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft.  Lamar Miller looks to continue his tear with his 6th 100+ rushing game and the talented UNC defense featuring Quinton Coples and Zach Brown look to increase their draft stock by shutting down the rSophomore.    

Guys to keep an eye on:

Lamar Miller, RB, Miami #6 (RsSoph)

Lamar Miller has been unstoppable in 2011.  He has racked up 677 yards and 6 TD’s on 94 carries (7.2 yds/carry).  He has rushed for 100 yards or more in each of his 5 games in 2011 and appears to be headed for a bright future.  The rSoph will have a tough decision to make once the season is done.  At this point he is a mid-first round pick if he declares.  With the Nevin Shapiro saga and the fact that his stock is about maxed out it would be wise for Miller to declare.

Ray Ray Armstrong, SS, Miami #37 (Junior)

Armstrong didn’t flash much in his first game back from suspension.  The talented junior safety has all the abilities to be a first round safety but is still learning to play the position.  If Armstrong were to go in the first round it would be on ability and not on performance.  North Carolina is likely to feed to the ball to standout receiver, Dwight Jones, giving Armstrong ample opportunity to make some plays.

Sean Spence, OLB, Miami #31

Spence’s lack of size and strength were exposed in the Virginia Tech game.  The athletic linebacker was pushed completely out of plays.  He still remains a very good tackler that has knockout power with good instincts and above-average cover skills.  A WILL LB only he could be had in the 2-3 round range.

Quinton Coples, DE, North Carolina #90

Coples has underperformed in 2011 but has faced consistent double-teams.  He has 22 tackles and 2.5 sacks in 2011 following a 59 tackles 10 sack 2010 season.  Coples is still a first round lock but may not be top 5 pick as some suspected he would be.  His versatility to play inside on 3rd downs in the NFL will be a major asset to teams and should drive his stock. 

Dwight Jones, WR, North Carolina #83

Dwight Jones possesses great size (6’4” 225) and solid hands.  He’s North Carolina’s most reliable target over the past two years and could hear his name called on day one of the 2012 NFL Draft.  Miami’s pass defense is very good and should present a challenge for Jones as he has racked up huge numbers in each of the previous six games. 

Zach Brown, OLB, North Carolina #47

Zach Brown is a sensational athlete that will be tested against the Miami run game and Jacory Harris.  Brown has first round potential as he’s athletic as any LB in the NFL.  He needs to learn to shed blocks better but is excellent in coverage.  He’s a top 20 prospect that could rise with an explosive Combine workout. 

Tydreke Powell, DT, North Carolina #91

At 6’3” 315 Powell has abilities to stuff the run and push the pocket.  He’s not a Ndamukong Suh-type that will put up huge sack totals but is solid in both facets of the game.  Powell is going to have to be disruptive this week in order to stop Lamar Miller from running up and down the field on the UNC defense.   At this point Powell is a solid 3rd rounder. 

Donte Paige-Moss, OLB, North Carolina (Junior) #98

Donte Paige-Moss probably needs to go back for his senior season instead of rolling the dice in the 2012 NFL Draft.  He had his starting DE spot taken by sophomore DE Kareem Martin and has tallied 11 tackles and 1 sack in six games.  He is coming off a solid sophomore season which he recorded 49 tackles and 7 sacks.  Moss would need to be “lights out” in the remaining games for a team to take a chance early on a guy that didn’t start.

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