Leading up to this month’s NFL Draft, we’ll be taking a look at each ACC‘s school’s prospects and where they’re slated to be chosen. While 43 ACC players were invited to the NFL Draft Combine, those not in attendance also have ample opportunity to hear their name called between April 26 and 28.
The key to the Virginia Cavaliers‘ 2011 resurgence was its defense, so naturally, several of those pieces will be headed to the NFL later this month. The losses make a dent, since all three of the players we’ll profile here were leaders, heated competitors and some well-recruited athletes who’ve set the bar around Charlottesville a little bit higher from now on.
Chase Minnifield, CB, Senior
What scouts like most about Chase Minnifield is his aggressive pass-coverage skills, which will definitely come in handy at the pro level. While small (5’10”, 185 pounds) and only average speed (4.65 40-time), his willingness to stick with receivers and always get a hand on the ball are glaring signs that he could be a successful NFL DB. The interesting part will be how his game translates to camp first, and the adjustments he’ll need to make. Ideally, teams would probably like him to both bulk-up and speed-up a bit, though both can take time. While he’d be an ideal third-corner to bring in, most of the NFL’s receivers can out-jump him, and his run-defense is not the best either. Teams will take the flier on his potential for turnovers though, and he should go in the late-third or early-fourth round. Continue reading