Cavalier Corner

April 2018

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cavalier sports 6 CAVALIER CORNER behind the scenes Several Cavaliers Prepare For The NFL Draft T he 2018 NFL Draft will begin April 26 and several Virginia Cavaliers hope to hear their names called during the three- day event. Headlining the 2018 draft-eligible Hoos are quarterback Kurt Benkert, defensive end Andrew Brown, wide receiver Andre Levrone, linebacker Micah Kiser and safety Quin Blanding. Projected to fall to the lower rounds of the draft near the end of the season, USA Today's labels Brown "one of this year's most underrated interior line- men." Brown started altering impressions at the Senior Bowl and had a good workout at UVA's pro day. "My broad jump got the same length as my combine (101 inches) and a lot of peo- ple have my 40 at 4.8 and 4.9, so I definitely improved in that area," Brown noted. Benkert ranges from a fifth- to seventh- round projection and will likely be given a shot on a pro team. Scouts like his NFL-cal- iber right arm, but to make it in the league he will need to show he can make accurate throws and NFL-caliber decisions. Asked what he was hoping to show at UVA's pro day Benkert said: "That I can be consistent hitting all of those short and intermediate throws and just put the ball in the right spot over and over again." Kiser has been moving up a little in terms of round projections following a solid effort at the NFL Scouting Combine and a good pro day in Charlottesville. "I think I shocked people with my ath- leticism," Kiser offered about his Combine performance. "My 40-yard dash time was really good, I jumped well and I had really good agility times." grades Kiser as the fifth highest-rated inside linebacker in the draft. Look for Kiser's name to be called as early as the fourth round. Though he didn't have a great NFL Scout- ing Combine and his speed may cause some hesitation with man-coverage NFL teams, Blanding could make a good middle-round value pick for Cover 2 and Cover 3 zone defense teams. He is rated at the 12th-best safety in the draft by One Cavalier that has been impressing scouts and raising his stock is Levrone. "I had dinner with the Colts the other night, the Dolphins yesterday and worked out for the Bengals this past Monday," he said following UVA's pro day March 15. "Quite a few teams have been interested. I spoke with scouts after my workout today and every- body seemed to like what they saw." Three UVA offensive linemen, guard John Montelus, and tackles Jack English and Brandon Pertile, are hoping to get late- round attention. Montelus and English are both projected as seventh-round picks, but if they don't get called then they will likely be labeled priority free agents. Running back Daniel Hamm and wide re- ceiver Doni Dowling are hoping to get looks on the free agent market as well. — Greg Waters ESPN expert Todd McShay ranks former UVA star Micah Kiser as the No. 4 inside linebacker available in the upcoming NFL Draft. PHOTO COURTESY UVA

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