It looks like four Hurricanes will be heading to this year's senior bowl: linebacker Denzel Perryman, cornerback Ladarius Gunter, receiver Phillip Dorsett and tight end Clive Walford.
Eric Galko, an editor at Optimum Scouting who also provides content for the Sporting News and the National Football Post, tweeted the news out Wednesday evening.
Expecting all four @MiamiHurricanes Senior Bowl invites (Perryman/Gunter/Walford/Dorsett) to accept. Doubt we see many guys pass this year.— Eric Galko (@OptimumScouting) November 19, 2014
NFLDraftScout.com projects all four players as draft picks for the Hurricanes with Perryman currently tabbed as the best of the senior group at 58th overall (2nd round) -- seven spots behind junior tailback Duke Johnson, considered UM's top draft prospect.
Walford, who is enjoying a stellar senior season, has seen his draft stock rise over the last couple weeks and is now tabbed as the second-best available tight end, and the 74th best prospect (2nd or 3rd rounder). Junior left tackle Ereck Flowers is also receiving a lot of love after his stellar performance against FSU two weeks removed from knee surgery. Flowers is tabbed the 77th best prospect and the ninth best draft-eligible offensive tackle (2nd or 3rd rounder).
Truth is, though, Flowers could soar even higher -- maybe into the first round.
"I think he'll go first round or early second," an NFL scout who spoke on the condition of anonymity told me by phone Thursday. "I haven't watched the [FSU] tape yet. But I don't have to. He's a big, physical, good player. And he's tough as hell."
In article by NFLDraftScout.com's Rob Rang on Wednesday Flowers was been tabbed the 30th best prospect overall.
30. Ereck Flowers, OT, 6-5, 322, 5.26, Jr, Miami: Flowers returns to the Big Board after a very impressive performance against Mario Edwards, Jr. and Florida State. He dropped off the list after undergoing knee surgery in late October but certainly looked no worse for wear against the defending champs. Flowers is light on his feet and balanced in pass protection. He is aggressive and active as a run blocker, including looking for defenders in pursuit. If Flowers checks out medically, he's a likely first-round pick.
Gunter is tabbed as the 18th best available cornerback in the draft and projected to go in the fourth round along with Dorsett, ranked the 20th best receiver.
Senior defensive end Anthony Chickillo, now expected to play at Virginia on Saturday and make his 45th consecutive start, is rated the 18th best defensive end and is given a 4th or 5th round grade. Other Hurricanes seniors on NFLDraftScout.com's projected board include outside linebacker Thurston Armbrister (210th overall, 6th round), defensive tackle Olsen Pierre (228th overall, 6th-7th round), guard Jon Feliciano (234th overall, 6th-7th round), and center Shane McDermott (298th overall, 7th round-free agent).
INJURY REPORT OUT
Defensive end Anthony Chickillo, who hurt his knee in the loss to Florida State and missed the first two days of practice this week before returning on Wednesday, wasn't on Thursday's injury report for Saturday's game at Virginia. But safety Deon Bush, who was hurt on the same play Chickillo was late in the quarter, is listed as doubtful.
Sophomore Jamal Carter got most of Bush's work in the fourth quarter versus FSU at safety alongside former walk-on Nantambu Fentress. Bush ranks third on the team with 48 tackles and is tied for the lead nationally with five forced fumbles. He had an interception and a forced fumble versus FSU.
Backup offensive lineman Alex Gall, who last played some against North Carolina according to UM's participation chart, has been ruled out.