NFL Draft 2013 Preview: Virginia Prospects

Oday Aboushi Took a Step Back Last Season, But Is Still Slated to Be Picked This Weekend

Oday Aboushi Took a Step Back Last Season, But Is Still Slated to Be Picked This Weekend

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 50 ACC players were invited to the NFL Draft Combine, those not in attendance also have ample opportunity to hear their name called between April 25 through 27.

Virginia‘s program is loaded with young talent, but lucky for them, most of it is still on-campus. For the few departing Hoos, however, there will be plenty of uncertainty at the pro level. Several players could be drafted this weekend, but where they go is mostly a mystery. As Mike London’s image continues to form for the UVa football team, this draft is giving us the final remnants of Al Groh’s talent pool — with some returns greater than others.

Oday Aboushi, OT, Senior (Projected: Fourth Round)

Aboushi’s strength lies primarily in his size (6’6″ and 308 pounds), which he uses to his advantage against smaller defenders. As far as athleticism, however, scouts have knocked him for not being overly fast (5.45 40-yard dash time) or quick with his hands or feet. As SB Nation’s Streaking the Lawn has also noted, he can find himself a bit outmatched with NFL-caliber talent and struggles with secondary moves from relentless defenders. He’s both a competent pass- and run-blocker, but ideally, his driving ability makes him more of a major asset in the running game. Obviously, the rough year for UVa and its running game didn’t help Aboushi’s stock, though he’s still doing well on many boards around the league due to the aforementioned size as well as his aggressive style.

Steve Greer, ILB, Senior (Projected: Undrafted)

Undersized at 6’2″ and 230 pounds, Greer projects as a ‘tweener at the next level — failing to really fit the mold of any one position. He’s not large enough to be a pro linebacker and not fast enough (5.04 40-yard dash) or experienced enough in coverage to transition to the secondary. But that said, he’s still a tenacious defender who’s garnered a reputation as an effective run-stopper with a knack for making solid first contact. Starting out as a special-teamer in camp this summer, he’ll have ample opportunities to make a roster, and eventually work himself into special packages on defense, too.

Continue reading

About these ads

2012 ACC Football Season Recap: Virginia Cavaliers

Virginia's 2012 Season Was About as Tumultuous as They Come; But Is There Hope on the Horizon?

Virginia’s 2012 Season Was About as Tumultuous as They Come; But Is There Hope on the Horizon?

Team: Virginia Cavaliers

W-L: 4-8 (2-6)

Postseason: None

Top Offensive Performer: Oday Aboushi, OT

Top Defensive Performer: Steve Greer, LB

Coming off a breakout 2011 season, and another big recruiting class, Mike London’s Virginia team was poised to take the leap in 2012; or so many thought. Rather than progression, what the Hoos saw this past fall was a severe regression. Not only was the team’s win total cut in half when compared to the year before, but a squad that appeared built on continuity was suddenly in a tumultuous state. The Cavaliers’ secondary — as young as expected, took nearly two months to truly get their acts together. The running game, a formidable two-back system, was suddenly as unproductive as they come. And most glaring was the quarterback issue which would shape every narrative for Virginia, from August, all the way through the final, excruciating loss.

One would assume the thought process when bringing in Alabama QB transfer Phillip Sims was that he’d sit this season before taking the reigns in 2013. With returning starter Michael Rocco at the helm, that route seemed to make the most sense — until Sims was granted a waiver allowing him to suit up this season. With a quarterback controversy brewing, Rocco held onto the job, but never quite stopped looking over his shoulder, and the results were mostly hazardous. Thought the UVA passing game would finish a very respectable 37th in the FBS (in terms of yardage), it sorely lacked for efficiency or success. Rocco and Sims combined for 15 interceptions on the season (93rd in the country) and both passers’ accuracy turned out a staggered curve of inconsistency. For each game Rocco would have like the 41-40 upset of Miami (in which he threw for four scores), he’d have another like the 27-7 loss to TCU (126 passing yards, 2 INTs). And with so much riding on quarterback play, the ground game suffered as well. Regularly faced with dire straits, or simply two quarterbacks splitting snaps for the same job, their strong run game was suddenly pass-first. UVA was 98th in the country in both overall carries (417) and yards per game (128.5), and this with two highly skilled backs in Kevin Parks and Perry Jones. While no one would call them a high-flying group in 2011 (23.8 points per game), 2012 was absolutely dreadful from a scoring standpoint (22.8 points per game) — especially without a strong defense to bail them out.

Continue reading

ACC Football Top 25 Players of 2012: #22, Oday Aboushi

Oday Aboushi Was a Force on Virginia's O-Line This Year, and Now He's Headed to the Pros

Oday Aboushi Was a Force on Virginia’s O-Line This Year, and Now He’s Headed to the Pros

As part of our 2012 season review, we’re counting down the top 25 players in the ACC this season, from no. 25 to no. 1. Obviously these lists are always completely subjective — and thus completely bulletproof, obviously — so feel free to weigh in with your own thoughts in the comments, too.

No. 22, Oday Aboushi, OT/Virginia(Preseason Rank: NR)

Aboushi has spent his college career cultivating quite the reputation (in a very good way), using his immense size — he’s 6’6″ and 312 pounds — to simply manhandle the opposition every chance he gets. As a senior this year, he was selected first-team All-ACC and as a participant in the Senior Bowl, while blocking in front of the lifeblood of the Cavaliers’ offense, their running game. Overall, Aboushi averaged a grade of 90 over the Hoos’ 12 games this season, regularly coming up well above it while also tacking on over 10 knockdowns per game, too. Sure, he was solid as a junior, but you can see the ratcheted-up aggression and growth this year as he developed into a better, smarter blocker. Whether he’ll acknowledge it or not, the Brooklyn native was auditioning for a spot in the NFL these past few months. Now, after another successful campaign, he may have even played his way into the first round.

Previously:

#23, Andre Ellington, RB/Clemson

#24, Nick Clancy, LB/Boston College

#25, Aaron Donald, DT/Pittsburgh

Atlantic Coast Convos All-ACC Team (Offfense)

Tajh Boyd is All-ACC First-Team, Despite Recent Struggles

The Atlantic Coast Convos All-ACC Team honors the best players at each offensive position. We’ve provided a list of both first- and second-team selections based on what we’ve observed throughout the season. Feel free to disagree, however, since we did on several of the official ACSMA list.

First Team

Quarterback: Tajh Boyd, Clemson

Running Back: David Wilson, Virginia Tech

Running Back: Giovani Bernard, North Carolina

Wide Receiver: Sammy Watkins, Clemson

Wide Receiver: Dwight Jones, North Carolina

Tight End: Dwayne Allen, Clemson

Offensive Tackle: Blake DeChristopher, Virginia Tech

Offensive Tackle: Oday Aboushi, Virginia

Offensive Guard: Omoreggi Uzzi, Georgia Tech

Offensive Guard: Austin Pasztor, Virginia

Center: Dalton Freeman, Clemson

Kicker: Dustin Hopkins, Florida State

Special Teamer: T.J. Graham, NC State

Second Team

Quarterback: Mike Glennon, NC State

Running Back: Lamar Miller, Miami (FL)

Running Back: Andre Ellington, Clemson

Wide Receiver: Chris Givens, Wake Forest

Wide Receiver: Conner Vernon, Duke

Tight End: George Bryan, NC State

Offensive Tackle: Zebrie Sanders, Florida State

Offensive Tackle: James Hurst, North Carolina

Offensive Guard: Jaymes Brooks, Virginia Tech

Offensive Guard: Jonathan Cooper, North Carolina

Center:Tyler Horn, Miami (FL)

Kicker: Chandler Catanzaro, Clemson

Special Teamer: Sammy Watkins, Clemson

Breakdown by Team: Clemson (7), UNC (4), Virginia Tech (3), NC State (3), Florida State (2), Miami (2), Virginia (2), Duke (1), Georgia Tech (1), Wake Forest (1)

Check out the All-ACC Defensive Team, too.