McShay gives thoughts on Bailey, Hankerson and Franklin

CORAL GABLES – After 14 years of having at least one player selected in the first round of the NFL – 1994 through 2008 – the Hurricanes were shut out the past two years.  

At this point, UM’s best hope for the new streak to be snapped in April is CB Brandon Harris.

DE Allen Bailey, once seemingly a sure-fire first-rounder, is now projected to be chosen in the second round by many draft experts, including Mel Kiper Jr., who once had Bailey rated as the 11th best prospect last season.

I asked fellow ESPN draft guru Todd McShay on a conference call Wednesday why Bailey’s stock has fallen.

“He’s obviously physically gifted. I know he’s working hard and preparing and he’s probably going to work at well at the Combine,” McShay said of Bailey, who in 2009 was rated college football’s No. 2 “workout warrior” by

“He has all the tools. It just hasn’t all come together yet,” McShay continued.  “I think part of it is inconsistent effort. Sometimes you see he’s not going 100 miles per hour. I also think part of it is instincts and consistently knowing what he wants to do in certain situations. He played different positions and that could factor into it. He hasn’t ever really settled into what he’s doing.

“He struggled sometimes getting off of blocks,” McShay added. “He’s not a guy that’s going to come in as an outside pass rusher having the speed and burst to get around the edge. But he’s also undersized playing inside. So you’ve got to get him in the right scheme, an undersized scheme and either bulk him up to defensive tackle or play him at left end in a 4-3 [scheme] which is where I think he fits best.

“I think he can be a good player in the NFL, I really do. I just don’t think it has all come together. He has to continue to work and be willing to pay the price in order to get there. If he does, he could wind up being a steal in the second round.”

McShay also gave his thoughts on WR Leonard Hankerson and LT Orlando Franklin.

— “Hankerson is one of the good stories coming out of the Senior Bowl. He’s clearly working hard to improve his route-running skills. Over the past year we’ve seen his consistency catching the football, getting better and better.

“Is he an elite prospect? No. But I do think when you start talking about that second day, when you’re looking for a potential No. 2 wide receiver, that Hankerson has a chance to really become a good value for a team. That’s where a lot of the quality depth in this wide receiver class is – in that second and third round.”

— “I was disappointed with Franklin this year, to be totally honest. I gave him a late-first, early-second round grade coming off of the previous season. I thought he struggled in space at left tackle. I think he got exposed at times.

“But I think if you move him to guard, which is where I project him, and you get him late-second, early-third round,  that with his size and the way he can move his feet in the short area, he has a chance to be a really good player.

“I think he becomes a good starter in the NFL. I just think he was playing the wrong position in college and got exposed against speed rushers and guys who were quick off the edge.”

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