Today we move onto our 5th round selection, OT Oday Aboushi from the University of Virginia. Aboushi comes from a very big family, he is in fact the ninth of ten children. His Palestinian parents immigrated to New York from the West Bank and Oday speaks both English and Arabic. He is a practicing Muslim and does take part in Ramadan which often fell during the training camp season at Virginia. He would fast from sunrise to sunset every day, this is noteworthy because food is fuel and training camps can be very tough and exhausting. He was one of a dozen Muslin athletes honoured by the US Department of State for his contributions in 2011, he will become one of the first Palestinian-American players in the NFL.
A Brooklyn native, Aboushi played for coach Joe DeSiena at Xaverian HS. He played on both sides of the football as a big man and excelled on both. In his junior year in High school he finished with 81 tackles and 7 sacks and he followed that up with a 70 tackle 7 sack Senior season. He did take home some honours during his high school career. He was a Second-Team All-State offensive lineman his Senior season. He was also named to the first-team all-league, all-Brooklyn and all-city offensie lineman honours. He was also a National Honour Society member.
Aboushi was a sought after prospect. Rivals.com regarded him as a 4 star prospect, Scout.com ranked him as a 3star prospect and ESPN graded him at the 78 level, the 3rd best player in the state of New York and the 27th best offensive lineman in that years recruiting class. Aboushi received offers from Boston College, Iowa, Maryland, Rutgers and Virginia, however academics led him to choose Virginia as his school of choice after first committing and then de-committing from Boston College.
Aboushi didn’t waste any time once he got to Virginia, he appeared in six contests his Freshman season playing at RT, seeing 94 offensive snaps. He took over a starting role heading into 2010 as he appeared in all 12 games, 5 at RT and then the remaining 7 at LT. He saw action in 897 plays that season, which included 59 defensive snaps. He would start all 13 contents in 2011 at left tackle, protecting the blind side and twice being named ACC offensive lineman of the week. He would also be named to the Second-Team All-ACC team and Phil Steele’s postseason All-ACC second team.
Aboushi would again start all 12 games at left tackle, again being named ACC offensive lineman of the week for his performance against Penn State. He was named as a team captain by his fellow players. Also was an All-ACC first-team selection, a coaches All-ACC first team selection as well as being named to the watch list of the Outland Trophy and the Lombardi Watch list. Oday had a reputation as a hard worker, both on the football field and in the classroom.
Oday Aboushi did go to the Senior Bowl, and it was a positive and a negative. He went as a LT but his lack of foot speed to negate some of the top pass rushers in the country made it obvious that his future was at right tackle. However Rob Rang said it best when he said that he plays with the aggression and the power that you look for in a right tackle prospect.
As we did with Milliner/Geno and Richardson, we’ll do a quick mini scouting profile just to go over his game:
+Good quickness off the snap
+Plays with a lot of power and aggression
+Has experience as both a left and right tackle.
+Will make a good effort to block at the second level
+Knows how to use his hands well to deliver his punch and rock defenders
~Doesn’t have a great deal of athleticism
~Struggles to combat speed rushers will lack of foot quickness
~Needs to tidy up technique relying too much on strength
~Too aggressive at times, taking penalties for playing after the whistle.
~Has shorter arms than ideal for a tackle (32 and 7/8")
Aboushi as a left tackle in the NFL would be a complete nightmare, his slow feet and lack of athleticism are a worry. However he has just enough to pair with his power and aggression to make him a very interesting right tackle prospect. Remember that he was drafted in the 5th round for a reason, and that’s because he still has development left on technique. He’ll come in and compete and I think he has enough upside to warrant his selection in the 5th. Howard did start to improve last year so I don’t think it’s going to be easy to unseat him immediately as the teams starting right tackle, but I do think that Rex and the rest of the coaching staff will love Oday’s aggression and he could see time early in his career. It’s nice to have depth on the offensive line for once, that’s for sure. He could even play some guard in the NFL, it would certainly suit his skill set. With Oday and Winters coming into the fold, we have a very versatile set of offensive lineman.