Mark Richt is at home at the University of Miami, and he has the Hurricanes trending in the right direction after a nine-win debut campaign and a 10-win 2017. 

Beyond Miami returning to its winning ways of the past, the program has also started to churn out a handful of draftable NFL players of late, as 14 Hurricanes were selected in 2017 and 2018 combined. 

Richt's club can't play the role of underdog anymore, especially after earning the No. 8 spot in the AP preseason poll. Fortunately for the men from Coral Gables, a variety of their stars from a season ago have returned. 

Let's evaluate Miami's top 2019 Draft prospects.  

Ahmmon Richards, WR

At 6-foot-1 and 190 pounds, Richardson has a lanky frame but also possesses tremendous burst and elite top-end speed. 

Richards had no problem transitioning from the high school to the collegiate game. As a freshman in 2016, he had 934 yards on 49 catches -- good for a whopping 19.1 yards-per-reception average -- with three touchdowns. 

Through seven games in 2017 before injury struck, he was averaging 18.3 yards per catch -- 439 yards on 24 receptions -- and scored three times. Richards fits the "runs like a deer" adage perfectly, as his long legs allow him to effortlessly fly down the field. While his linear speed is probably his greatest strength right now, overall he's a smooth albeit not super-twitchy athlete who can make difficult grabs near the sideline thanks to strong hands and outstanding body control. He's made many high-pointing grabs thus far in his collegiate career too.

Richards can be a legitimate No. 1 outside receiver in the NFL with the ability to hit many home runs each season on deep balls and high-percentage throws that rely on yards-after-the-catch ability. In June, I compared him to Martavis Bryant

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Joe Jackson, EDGE

Heavy. Hands. That's what immediately pops when watching Jackson's 2017 film. It's like he has two lead pipes attached to his body, and he's certainly not timid about using them at the point of attack. 

At 6-foot-5 and nearly 260 pounds with seemingly long arms, he fits the physical profile of an NFL defensive end. In 2016, he had 10.5 tackles for loss and 7.5 sacks. Last year, he had 10.5 tackles for loss again, registered 6.5 sacks, and batted down two passes. 

As a pass-rusher, Jackson utilizes a nice rip move on the outside and showed flashes of an inside club move as a counter, but he's not a polished hand technician yet. He possesses requisite upfield burst, and though I won't label him "stiff," he's not Gumby around the corner. But there's a lot to like about Jackson's power-driven game, his length, motor, and active hands when attempting to dispatch blockers against the run. If he showcases a more refined skill set getting after the quarterback in 2018, he'll get plenty of first-round consideration. 

Jaquan Johnson, S

Johnson is a versatile defensive back prospect who often manned the free safety spot for Miami -- where he reeled in four interceptions in 2017 -- yet was an explosive element of the Hurricanes' run-stopping efforts. 

He combines what's necessary for a safety to thrive as a run defender -- quick play-recognition ability, supreme athleticism, and consistent willingness to fly downhill. 

Beyond his four picks, Johnson loaded the stat sheet with 96 tackles, three tackles for loss, one sack, four pass breakups and three forced fumbles. Oftentimes he appears to be moving faster than everyone on the field en route to making an impact stop near the line of scrimmage or delivering a hard hit on a short in-breaking route. 

I'd like to see more plays on the football in coverage, and he's slightly undersized to play safety in the NFL at around 5-foot-11 and 190 pounds. But his twitchiness, speed, and fearless, reliable tackling will likely make him a hot commodity in the early stages of the 2019 Draft.

Michael Jackson, CB

Jackson passes the eye test at 6-foot-1, 200 pounds with a muscular frame. At this point of his playing career, he's not a suffocating press corner but more of a read-and-react zone defender who utilizes his length and springiness to make plays on the football. However, he's not totally lost when asked to press or play tight man-to-man, and there were times in 2017 when his size was simply too much to overcome for wideouts who were slow off the line. 

It's the smaller, quicker receivers that give him problems, but Jackson's a fine athlete for his size and a long-strider with good downfield speed. I love his ability to mirror receivers' routes too. 

After a four-pick, four-pass breakup season in 2017, Jackson will have plenty of scouts' eyes on him this year, particularly those employed by teams looking for a large, outside corner. 

Travis Homer, RB

Homer came in at the final spot in my preseason Top 100 list, and the arrow is pointing up for this young, talented back who runs with serious aggression and plays considerably bigger than his 5-foot-11, 195-pound frame would suggest. He just doesn't look or run that small. 

Last season, the sophomore had 966 yards on 163 attempts -- nearly 6.0 yards per carry -- with eight rushing touchdowns. Also, he caught 18 passes for 212 yards with another score. 

A dynamic, one-cut runner who wastes absolutely no time getting north-south, Homer runs through arm tackles at the second and third levels and has sneaky speed down the field. He had runs of 32, 33, 36, 40 (2x), and 64 yards in 2017. There's some wiggle in his game too, but he needs to be able to tap into that twitchiness with better vision through the line of scrimmage in 2018.