Some programs are known for producing high caliber prospects at certain positions. LSU seemingly has a first round defensive back every year. Penn State was historically known for sending linebackers to the NFL. Southern Cal is often cited as simply Tailback U.
While Virginia has fallen on relatively hard times, the Cavaliers remain one of the top breeding grounds for top offensive linemen. Aboushi continues that trend.
Aboushi was a three-star offensive line recruit out of Brooklyn and chose Virginia after de-committing from Boston College. He saw limited action as a true freshman in 2009 before starting every game the next season as a sophomore. Aboushi started the first five games at right tackle in 2010 before moving over to the left side because of injury, starting the final seven games.
He started all 25 contests at left tackle over the past two seasons, earning Second Team honors from the league's coaches in 2011 and ascending to First Team accolades as a senior.
Despite his own talents and the success of past Virginia blockers, Aboushi will likely be asked to make the transition to the right side in the NFL. He lacks elite athleticism and balance as a pass blocker. His physicality and aggression, however, could help him emerge as a starter early in his career.
STRENGTHS: Naturally large man with good overall weight distribution. Experienced at both left and right tackle. Shows at least adequate initial quickness off the snap. Gets a strong initial punch onto the defender and possesses the heavy hands to latch on and control his opponent. Extremely physical and aggressive player. Looks to dominate his target and will pancake or drive him deep downfield whenever he can. Rolls his hips into contact and keeps his legs churning to knock defenders off the ball. Good effort blocking at the second level. Solid week of practice at the Senior Bowl. Voted a team captain in 2012. Mentally tough individual, as demonstrated by the fact that he grew up a Muslim American in Brooklyn, NY.
WEAKNESSES: Relies more on his size and physicality to compensate for a lack of ideal athleticism. Lacks the light feet and balance to remain at left tackle in the NFL, struggling a bit with speed rushers and counter moves. Will over-compensate to the outside and leave open cut-back lanes between he and his guard. Will get fundamentally lazy, at times, leaning into his opponent and standing up rather than playing on the balls of his feet and with proper knee bend. Plays to and through the whistle, drawing needless penalties, at times. Less than ideal arm length for a potential tackle (32 and 7/8") and has no experience playing inside over his career.
Compares to: Breno Giacomini, OT, Seattle Seahawks -- Just as Giacomini was downgraded by some as too upright and slow-footed when he left Louisville, Aboushi has his critics. His physicality and aggression, however, will help him find a niche in the NFL if he can keep his temper from drawing too many flags.