Virginia OT Oday Aboushi looks to show he is a promising NFL prospect

On the heels of a season in which he earned All-ACC honors on squads selected by both the conference’s coaches and media, University of Virginia offensive tackle Oday Aboushi looks to further prove himself as a standout and promising draft prospect.

An early invite to the Senior Bowl, Aboushi has had a solid overall showing during the week’s South team practices, which NFL teams use more than the actual game to evaluate players’ abilities.

The 6-foot-5, 310-pounder has displayed good quickness and strength run-blocking and in pass protection. Aboushi also has some of the biggest hands (10-1/2 inches) and wingspans (80-7/8 inches) of any player at the Senior Bowl. There have been some times when he has seemed to play without the consistent physical nature of some of the other top tackle prospects in Mobile, Ala., this week. But overall, Aboushi appeared to hold his own, and says he has been encouraged by his play and coaches’ and scouts’ responses.

“I’ve been getting positive feedback,” Aboushi says. “Everyone likes how I look out there. I’m competing real well with the top senior talent. I’m just trying to come out every day and improve and put what the coaches say in play and go from there.”

Despite playing left tackle in college, Aboushi has worked primarily at right tackle this week, which is where he likely will play in the NFL. He is projected as a second- or third-round draft pick.

Aboushi aims to cement his status in the minds of NFL talent evaluators over the three months leading up to the draft, and he believes the Senior Bowl week will help in a number of ways.

“Working with an NFL coaching staff has been outstanding,” he says. “The Detroit Lions’ coaching staff has been great with us, teaching us the tempo of an NFL practice and what to expect. Overall, it’s been a great experience and I’m taking it all in and soaking up every minute possible. … I came to put up good competition with the best seniors across the country, and I think I’ve been doing that every day.”

Mike Jones covers the Washington Redskins for The Washington Post. When not writing about a Redskins development of some kind – which is rare – he can be found screaming and cheering at one of his kids’ softball, baseball, soccer or basketball games.



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Mike Jones · January 23, 2013