Despite a slow start to the 2022 season, nobody's forgotten the arm talent that Miami Hurricanes quarterback Tyler Van Dyke displayed last year, least of all NFL scouts and experts. ESPN's NFL analyst Mel Kiper Jr. released his early season 2023 draft board and has Van Dyke listed as a first round draft pick.
Van Dyke was sensational in the back half of 2021, throwing three or more touchdowns in each of his last six games and totaling nearly 3,000 yards passing on the season.
This year hasn't gone quite as smoothly, but it's worth mentioning he's in an entirely new offensive system and lost his top two receivers from last season to the NFL. Still, his numbers haven't really wowed anyone this fall.
His skill level is undeniable though. Few college quarterbacks have the rocket launcher for an arm that Van Dyke does. It's also worth mentioning that he's only a sophomore and has plenty of time to develop if he chooses to stay in school another year.
Kiper has Van Dyke listed as the fifth best draft eligible QB and projects him going at 21st overall in the first round. After a 25-touchdown, 6-interception freshman season, it's clear people are still very high on the Miami gunslinger.
It should be noted that this list did come out before Van Dyke's two interception outing against MTSU last weekend when he was unceremoniously benched. His upside is promising though, and given the right scheme, he's proven he can flourish.
The only thing holding Van Dyke back now may be just that, offensive scheme. In Miami's spread offense last year, he looked dynamic when running the team. This year, under OC Josh Gattis' power run scheme, he just doesn't have the weapons to thrive. If he's going to get back to his level of production from last season, Van Dyke's going to need some help opening up this offense.
Whether Miami decides to cater to Van Dyke's strengths or chooses to insert redshirt freshman Jake Garcia in his place remains to be seen. That decision could dramatically affect his draft stock, but there's still no indication that head coach Mario Cristobal is leaning towards benching him.
There's no doubt that if Van Dyke is playing at his highest level, he's one of the best field generals in the country. That's something Kiper sees, even if the young pocket passer hasn't shown those flashes this season. The ESPN analyst even believes that Van Dyke could compete to be the number one quarterback in the 2024 class, should he decide to return to school.
It's also worth mentioning that Van Dyke started similarly slow start last year, throwing five interceptions in his first two games against FBS competition. Hurricanes fans remember how quickly he turned it around though, and there's a feeling that he could do that again this year. That's what Cristobal and the Canes are hoping for, because they know that this Miami team is an entirely different machine when Van Dyke's on his A-game.
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