Despite the Hoos 2-10 record, a couple of Hoos had good years. Two, in fact, had good enough years to really attract extra attention from scouts. Those two, Morgan Moses and Brent Urban, are likely the only 2 Hoos who will hear their names called at this weekend's draft. Moses has actually been invited to the draft and will be at Radio City Music Hall.
A few other UVA players will be invited to training camps and could push for roster spots. Some may recall Rodney McLeod going undrafted in 2012, making the team as a special teams standout and then starting all 16 games for the Rams this season.
We're going to take a look at all the draft eligible players on the Hoos and talk about their NFL prospects. For the guys who will be drafted, we'll also speculate on when they'll go and give a guess as to which team will take them. The draft is, of course, an inexact science, so these are nothing more than stab-in-the-dark guesses.
Morgan Moses - We all know that Mo is huge. He's big, even for an NFL OT. But he moves extremely well for a man his size. There seem to be some scouts who do not think he can play LT in the NFL, and that he'll be stuck on the right side. But Moses was much more comfortable this past year on the left side than he was on the right side in 2012. The problem is that he can be slow getting back against speed rushes. NFL teams often put their speediest rushers on the right side (the offense's left). Moses will adjust to this and will be fine. Mo has been shooting up draft boards recently, and some mock drafts have him going as high as #12 to the New York Giants. I don't think he'll go quite that high, but he should go in the mid-to-late first round. I'll say he goes 17th to the Ravens where he'll pair up with Eugene Monroe to give the Ravens a very good set of Wahoo OTs.
Brent Urban - Urban has also been shooting up draft boards. He really came on this year, showing an ability to be disruptive in the middle of the DL. He's had injury problems and he's a bit undersized for an NFL DT. He could play 3-4 DE or 4-3 DT, flexibility which makes him a slightly better prospect. Most likely, he'll go to a 4-3 team anywhere from the mid-2nd round through the 3rd round. He won't rack up the sacks from the middle, but he'll be good against the run and he's proven adept at knocking down passes. Depending on who drafts him, he probably won't start right away, but he'll contribute. I'll guess he goes with the last pick in the 2nd round to the Seahawks.
Luke Bowanko - NFL teams love versatility. With only 53 men on the roster, guys who can do two jobs are valuable. Bowanko can play either OG spots or OC. That means that a team could keep one less OL on the active roster and use that spot for somebody else. That would be Bowanko's ticket to an NFL roster. While it's possible he's drafted very late, it's not likely. He will get plenty of camp invites and if he plays well in camp, he could stick. He has adequate size to play either inside OL position in the NFL.
Jake Snyder - A tweener, Jake isn't athletic enough to play 4-3 DE in the NFL and isn't big enough to play on the inside. He's even undersized for a 3-4 DE, a position he's never played. He's another guy who will garner some camp invites. His best chance to stick on an NFL team is on special teams, at least initially. He has good height and strength and could be factor on kick blocks.
Tim Smith - Smith is probably not going to get drafted. He was a decent college WR, but not dominating. The WR class this year is deep and Smith isn't even a blip on the radar. He's too small and not explosive enough. He'll get some camp invites, and he should think about signing with a team that needs a KR, because he has the speed and hands to be good on returns.
Sean Cascarano - Before missing his entire senior season, Cascarano may have been a fringe NFL prospect. He's another versatile lineman, who can actually play both inside and outside. However, the injury means he may not even get invited to somebody's camp. His football career may be over.
Rijo Walker - While many (ok, just me) felt that Walker never got a fair shake for the Hoos, the truth of the matter is that Rijo is a tweener. He's not big enough to play safety and not quick enough to play corner. A guy who couldn't start in college isn't going to very anywhere in the pros. He's a good special teams player, and that will get him to somebody's camp, but it would be a big surprise if he makes a roster.
Billy Skrobacz - Credit to Skrobacz for sticking around in college for 5 years and being a contributor on the field this year. He isn't NFL material and his football career is over.