With the 2011 NFL Draft now in the rearview mirror, the time to look back has arrived. On Wednesday, we broke down the AFC East, checking in on the Bills, Jets, and Patriots, and seeing what kinds of players they brought in as they move forward towards next season. Today, we’ll take a look at some of the headline players that were drafted by teams that the Fins will face outside of the division in 2011:
9/18: vs. Houston
-Miami native and former Hurricane Brandon Harris returns home in just his second NFL game. One of two second round picks that the Texans made, it’ll be interesting to see how improved their defense is with new coordinator Wade Phillips in charge.
10/2: at San Diego
-The Chargers first round selection, Miami native Corey Liuget, doesn’t get to come home and play in South Florida this season, but Dolphin fans do get a taste of this stud defensive lineman who played for Ron Zook at Illinois.
10/23: vs. Denver
-Yes, former Hurricane Orlando Franklin (second round) will be back at Sun Life for this week seven match-up, but the guy you really want to see is linebacker Von Miller. Taken second overall by John Elway and John Fox, he is a dynamic playmaker on defense.
10/30: at NY Giants
-The G-Men were thrilled that CB Prince Amukamara fell to them at #19, so be sure to look for him. Also WR Jerrel Jernigan (third round) is a guy we discussed a lot this Spring and brings a solid slot presence to their offense.
11/6: at Kansas City
-A couple of in-state guys were drafted by the Chiefs this year, FSU’s Rodney Hudson (OL, second round) and Miami DL Allen Bailey (third round). Only time will tell how much these guys are playing come November.
11/13: vs. Washington
-The Skins took Purdue DE Ryan Kerrigan in the first round, expect to see him chasing QB’s all over the league in the years ahead; and they also brought in Miami WR Leonard Hankerson in the third. Their fourth round pick, Nebraska RB Roy Helu, Jr., is also an exciting prospect.
11/24: at Dallas
-While their first round selection (OT Tyron Smith) isn’t likely a reason for you to get excited about watching this Thanksgiving day game, RB DeMarco Murray (third round, Oklahoma) may have found himself into their backfield rotation by the time this one rolls around.
12/4: vs. Oakland
-The Raiders scooped up a pair of Hurricanes (CB DeMarcus Van Dyke in the second and TE Richard Gordon in the sixth), but the guy I really like here is RB Taiwan Jones, their fourth round pick out of Eastern Washington. Jones was a guy we thought the Fins might have an interest in and has elite speed at his position.
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