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Scouting the OTs: Oday Aboushi, Virginia

aboushi

Oday Aboushi started 31 games at left tackle during his career at Virginia.

Oday Aboushi is an experienced left tackle who has started the last 37 games at the position for the Virginia Cavaliers.  Standing at 6’5 and 310 lbs, Aboushi was considered a 4 star recruit and the 23rd best OT in the Country by Rivals.com following his senior year at Xaverian High School in Brooklyn, NY.  Aboushi became a full-time starter for the Cavaliers in 2010 and finished 2012 as a First Team All-ACC selection.

PHYSICAL MAKEUP:

Oday Aboushi measures-in with the ideal height/weight combo for a tackle in the NFL, but his frame and body type will hinder his ability to hold-up against NFL defensive ends.  Specifically, Aboushi has a long upper-body and short legs.  As a result, he is a bit of a waist-bender and is slowed out of his stance as he brings is long torso upright.  In addition, his arms measured in at under 33″ in length.

STRENGTH/PHYSICALITY

Oday Aboushi plays with plus physicality and showcases requisite strength for the NFL.  As an in-line blocker, Aboushi showcases the ability to deliver a good blow on contact.  He has strong arms and overall upper body strength that allows him to control the action when his hands are inside and on the defender’s chest-plate.  At times, however, Aboushi gets sloppy with his technique and can become a bit of a grabber when engaged with the defender.  Even on the plays where his technique isn’t the best, he still showcases plus strength and control over his assignment.  Rarely is he pushed around by the defender and he doesn’t shy away from contact.  He presents as a player that has the necessary mean streak for the position.

Aboushi's athletic limitations may push him inside to guard.

Aboushi’s athletic limitations may push him inside to guard.

MOVEMENT SKILLS/ATHLETIC ABILITY

Oday Aboushi fails to display the necessary athletic ability required to be a starting left tackle in the NFL.  His initial kick step is slow and his footwork is forced and unnatural.  He labors to shuffle and slide, and is easily overwhelmed by speed rushers off the edge.

Aboushi does not project as ZBS prospect, as he lacks the necessary athletic skill set to consistently block in space.  In addition, while Aboushi does flash the ability to get to the second level and complete a block vs. a LB, he is more of a reach and seal player than a player that will consistently get to his assignment and deliver a blow.

PASS PROTECTION

Aboushi’s biggest wart on film is his inability to hold up against speed rushers on the edge.  Time and time again, Aboushi is playing catch-up with a defender that gets off the ball faster and turns the corner seemingly before he’s completed his kick-step.  Aboushi’s slow, sluggish slide and shuffle is exposed when facing speed, and there’s no way that I can see him lining up on the left side in the NFL.  In fact, his poor footwork and failure to get out of his stance quickly is such a glaring problem that he doesn’t project well to the right side either .  Aboushi will need a lot of work before he is capable of competing vs. the speed  in the NFL.

On the flip-side, Aboushi is an adequate pass protector vs. power moves/bull rush.  His overall size works to his advantage in close quarters, and if he is able to get his hands on the defender, he usually wins.  As mentioned earlier, Aboushi can get sloppy with his hand placement at times.  If he doesn’t improve his overall technique in that area, he may be an oft-penalized player on the next level.

RUN BLOCKING

Aboushi’s biggest strength is his ability to be a tough, physical in-line blocker.  He never shies away from contact.  When Aboushi fires off the ball, he delivers a powerful jolt that stuns the defender.  Aboushi’s best fit will be as a traditional, in-line blocking lineman that is rarely asked to block in space.  While he did pull and lead the charge at times at Virginia, he often looked uncomfortable and took bad angles.  Again, this is a product of his less than stellar athleticism.  On the next level, Aboushi is going to have to play with better bend and get deeper in his stance.  He is going to have to work on his pad level in order to gain a leverage advantage against the size/strength combination he’ll be facing with NFL defensive linemen.

Don't expect to hear Aboushi's name called before round 3 this April.

Don’t expect to hear Aboushi’s name called before round 3 this April.

OVERALL: 

Oday Aboushi is a big man with a lot of experience playing left tackle.  With the premium placed on the blindside protector, Aboushi’s value will be overrated.  In fact, after an extensive review of Aboushi’s film, I don’t see him as a player that can play at either the left or right tackle position in the NFL.  If he is drafted to play tackle, he will be a project and a player that won’t be ready to start early in his career.  He’ll have a much better chance  if he is converted to guard, as his skill set is better suited to bang around in a phone booth than to be left vulnerable on the edge.  At the end of the day, I see Aboushi as a solid depth player who could have a niche role as a swing, reserve lineman on a team with an established starting 5.

GRADE:  6.6  (see grading scale)

PROJECTED ROUND:  4th round pick

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