The Jaguars, among a few other AFC teams have taken an active interest in small school offensive tackle, Heath Benedict. Benedict attended little known Newberry College in Newberry, South Carolina. Benedict's Newberry Indians finished the 2007 with a 9-2 record, and ranked 19th in the final Division 2 football poll, the second consecutive season that they finished in the top 25.
The 6'5", 332 lb. Benedict started his college career at the University of Tennessee where he redshirted, before transferring to Newberry College where he started every game at right tackle in 2004. Benedict looked great in Senior Bowl practices all week where he played both left and right tackle. Draft expert Tony Pauline had this to say about Benedict-
"Heath Benedict/OL/Newberry: Stood out at both the left and right tackle positions this afternoon. He stopped defenders dead in their tracks on almost every snap and drew the applause of coaches a number of times."
Entering the Senior Bowl, Benedict was rated as an early second day prospect, and while he was interviewed by Scout.com correspondent Michael Lombardo of SDBoltReport.com, Benedict talked about what he needed to improve-
"I'm working on coming out of a three-point stance rather than a two-point stance. I'm struggling a bit, because in college all we did was a two-point stance."
Benedict could fit into the Jaguars plans, as starting left tackle Khalif Barnes seems to be in and out of trouble, mostly relating to problems with alcohol. Barnes is currently under contract with the Jaguars through the 2009 season, and is still under his rookie contract, making him easy for the Jaguars to keep despite his off the field issues.
Charlie Bernstein is the Editor-in-Chief of JagNation.com, and a regular syndicated contributor to FoxSports.com, Sirius NFL Radio, MySpace Sports and Sportsillustrated.com. Charlie is also a member of the Pro Football Writers Association, and is a columnist for the New Smyrna Observer. Feel free to contact him -HERE- with questions or comments.
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