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Tuls | Analyzing UVA’s embarrassing home loss to Boston College

SEP 10 Virginia at Oregon
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Scouting Notes

Tuls | Analyzing UVA’s embarrassing home loss to Boston College

Boston College Eagles vs Virginia Cavaliers

10/21/2017

Scott Stadium – Charlottesville, VA

Score:  Boston College (41), Virginia (10)

1. Let’s slow down the Kurt Benkert hype train.

A lot of draft analysts have been hyping up Kurt Benkert as a potential mid-round value pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, but if this season has shown anything, he still has a long way to go. His inconsistency is frustrating, as showcased in this humiliating home defeat. He would throw 30-40 yard dimes down the sideline, but it would go right through a UVA wide receiver’s hands. His receivers did not help at all in this game, but you know what also does not help?

Throwing an interception after trying to intentionally shovel a pass out of bounds. How does that even happen? Mike Leach made it clear how to throw a shovel pass, and now he can join Luke Falk in remedial shovel passing class. With that being said, for all the good Benkert shows on occasion, his lows are astoundingly bad, especially in this game against Boston College.

2. Quin Blanding? More like Quin Bleh-nding.

Okay, it’s not that bad, but I don’t think UVA safety Quin Blanding translates to the next level. He is not strong enough in the run game to be a reliable defender in the box, but he also is not rangy enough to be reliable in the back end. He is okay in man coverage, but when the ball enters his vicinity, don’t count on him making a play.

Whether it is getting fooled with his eyes or just not attacking the ball aggressively at the catch point, Blanding is an underwhelming centerfielder. In addition to this, he does not have the recovery speed to make up for his errors. There was a buzz around Blanding early in his career, but I just don’t see it.

3. UVA linebacker Micah Kiser remains productive, but how much of that will translate to the next level?

Kiser is a tackling machine, but I’m not sure his game is what the NFL is looking for in terms of range and cover skills. He may only be a one-dimensional player at the next level who can help on early down work, but not much else because his lack of sideline-to-sideline athletic ability will get exposed in open space. In confined quarters?

Kiser is a stud, but I’m not sure he is a fit in today’s NFL to play all three downs. He may have to make his money on special teams given that he does take good pursuit angles and is a reliable tackler, but his value is going to be diminished by NFL teams for his inability to stay on the field in passing situations.

4. Boston College’s secondary dominates, led by Kamrin Moore, Isaac Yiadom and Lukas Denis

One of the most underrated defensive back groups in the nation belongs to the Boston College Eagles. With stud cornerbacks on the outside in Kamrin Moore and Isaac Yiadom, the Eagles have been able to shut down opposing wide receivers in ACC play this season.

In the back end, Lukas Denis has been an interception machine this season with five picks already. In addition, Denis also has seven pass deflections on the year. They were able to limit Kurt Benkert to only 126 yards without giving up a touchdown on 33 pass attempts. This was one of the best secondary performances of the year for any team, and I am interested to see them match up against Florida State.

5. Wyatt Ray was the best pass rusher for Boston College, not Harold Landry.

Yes, Harold Landry is still recovering from an injury, which limited him to only playing on third down for the Eagles in this game, but even then, he still was not the best pass rusher on the field. That status belonged to junior defensive end Wyatt Ray. He finished with 1.5 sacks on the game, but it could have been more considering how many times he was able to corner and win off of the edge with impressive athleticism and bend. In addition, he was a force in the run game as well.

This was a statement game for Wyatt Ray, almost as if to say that Harold Landry is not the only edge defender prospect to look at on this team.

Jonah Tuls

Tuls is one of the lead NFL Draft analysts for Draftbreakdown.com and has been a key contributor to several other NFL Draft sites in recent years. At Draftbreakdown, Tuls provides macro-oriented NFL Draft coverage, including comprehensive player rankings, mock drafts and big boards for the site. Tuls has worked with some of the NDT Scouting staff previously before; he worked with National Scout Jon Ledyard to form the core of USA Today’s Draft Wire site for the 2016 NFL Draft season. His work there was centered around draft reports, with additional analysis and breaking news efforts as well.

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