2011 NFL Draft Watch: Despite Injury, TE Joe Torchia Remains Hopeful

Former Virginia tight end Joe Torchia is one of many who hopes that his name is called out at some point during this 2011 NFL Draft Weekend. Unfortunately, he didn't have much time to showcase his talents his senior year, as a shoulder injury forced him to miss his final eight games.

The New York native started the first four games of the 2010 season, including an impressive showing against then-No. 16 USC Trojans, making five catches for 76 yards and earning himself ACC Offensive Lineman of the Week for the week of September 13. He started 10 of 12 games in 2009, averaging 10 yards per catch on the season. He was tied for third on the team with two touchdowns that season.

For the next couple days, though, Torchia is just letting it ride.

"What's going to happen is what's going to happen," Torchia said to Jay James from WINA's Best Seat in the House. "You really can't control anything.  It's kind of out of your hands now. You know, you work your whole career, training and working out and going to playbooks and going through camp and whatnot, and all that hard work has really come to a culmination now. Hopefully it pays off."

When asked who he models his game after, Torchia said he didn't specifically try to mimic any one tight end in particular, but that there was one person whose name all Cavaliers fans will recognize.

 

"If there's a tight end in the league that any kid should really model themselves off of, Heath [Miller] would be a great tight end," Torchia said. "Heath can do anything - he can block, he can catch, he does it all. Versatility is very big - trying to find mismatches.  Whether you're going to throw the ball [or] run the ball ... if you can do both, it really brings a different facet to the offense. Versatility is something that Heath definitely has and definitely something that I would aspire to."

Of course, getting drafted is more than just having a good collegiate career and knowing who you're modeling your game after. It's about your numbers at the combine or during team workouts. It's about what kind of connections your school and your agents have. And according to Torchia, it's about something else that he has.

"Hard work and having a good ‘team first' attitude," Torchia listed as two of his greater assets. "Just doing whatever it takes to help the team win. And I think that's something that all teams look for: somebody who can go out and produce on the field, but also somebody that they don't have to worry about off the field."

"The big thing nowadays is character. With all the different problems that people are having, teams don't really want to deal with the off-the-field problems. Character I think is one of my high points."

When asked where he sees himself fitting in the NFL, Torchia said he saw himself as a blocking tight end. He said that he's somebody who can get you that possession, and somebody who can catch the ball and take a big hit. He added that after a big hit, you won't find him lying in the ground - he's always ready to get right back up.

"I grew up with my family watching the Jets, being from New York and whatnot. My family is a big Jets family, but like I said, any team that's willing to give me a chance to come and prove that I can play and produce for them and help their team win, I would relish any opportunity."

"They call it ‘Tight End U' for a reason," head coach Mike London said. "Joe developed into a great player during his career. He has some great skills."

So, what NFL team is going to grab this sleeper pick? Chad predicted earlier this week that Torchia would remain a priority free agent.

"It's pretty nerve-wracking, but like I said, it's out of my hands."

SB Nation has everything you need to prepare for the 2011 NFL Draft - NFL mock drafts, draft projections, scouting reports, the NFL draft order and more. Check it all out at SB Nation's NFL Draft Hub and our NFL Draft blog Mocking the Draft.

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