After floundering under Al Groh for a number of seasons the Cavaliers hope a new coach takes them in a new direction. Recently known for top offensive linemen and linebackers when Groh led the program, the first UVA player selected in the ’11 NFL Draft will be a defensive back, just as it was last April.
Offensively, receiver Jared Green works hard to come free, makes good use of the sidelines and effectively uses his frame to shield away opponents. A tall target, Green will extend expose himself to the big hit in order to make the reception. He lacks top end speed but has enough skills to make it as a fourth wide out.
Tight end Joe Torchia is an underrated prospect in the sense he has NFL skills yet is not highly considered in the scouting community. Torchia is fluid releasing off the line into routes, nicely extends his hands and makes the difficult reception in contorted positions. He bends his knees, blocks with leverage and is explosive at the point. Torchia lacks top physical skills yet does enough to get looks as a 2nd/3rd tight end.
Ras-I Dowling is a prospect we think highly of and a guy who exceeded our expectations last season. Off the ’08 film we thought he was a lot like Jimmy Williams, the former Virginia Tech defensive back who offered legendary physical skills yet marginal football abilities. Dowling proved us wrong last season. He is a terrific athlete and easily gets vertical and contorts to defend the throw, also displaying good hands for the pick. He uses his frame to box out opponents and also possesses a solid break to the throw. Tough defending the run, Dowling does a solid job diagnosing running plays and possesses better than average instincts. He lacks top-end speed and struggles following receivers out of their breaks but is a much better cornerback at this point in his career when compared to his former teammate Chris Cook, the 34th pick in April’s draft.
Safety Corey Mosely is another aggressive defensive back and a prospect effective against the run and pass. He possesses above average instincts and effectively locates the pass in the air. Just a junior, Mosely offers a nice upside.
Linebacker Cameron Johnson is a good athlete that is forceful and fast up the field on the blitz and fluid moving in all directions of the field. He’s a prospect we think can be a three down defender.
|FA||Jack Shields (ret)||C||64||5Sr|