NFL Draft '07: Scouting Virginia

Consistently signing the nations top recruits, the Cavaliers rarely live up to expectations on the field. Yet once again their roster is full of talented NFL prospects from both the senior and underclassman ranks.

Offensively three pass catchers are being closely monitored by the NFL.  Deyon Williams is the teams "go to" receiver and a deceptively fast wide out who gets separation from opponents.  Finding the soft spot in the defense Williams always works to make himself an available target.  A solid late round selection, Williams could make it as a third or fourth receiver in the NFL.  Fontel Mines is a king sized receiver who gets vertical and out muscles defenders to make the reception.  Displaying surprising quickness running routes he comes back to the ball and uses his large frame the box out opponents.  A possession wide out, Mines could make a move up draft boards with a big senior campaign.  Junior tight end Tom Santi is a terrific pass catcher who consistently makes the important grab.  Santi lacks top playing strength and must improve his blocking to become a complete player at the position.  Lined up at a lead blocker the past two seasons Jason Snelling will be used at tailback as a senior.  Aggressive, he removes opponents from the action and displays outstanding vision in all aspects of the game.  Also possessing solid hands, Snelling could find his way into the NFL as a short-yardage back or lead blocker for a west coast offense.

Al Groh has had a run of success signing top linebacker recruits yet the best NFL prospect on defense is a chip off the old block. End Chris Long is a nasty lineman, who, like his father Howie, disrupts the action up the field. Chasing hard, Long is rarely off his feet, displays good awareness and makes plays in every direction of the field. The athletic junior must physically mature yet possesses outstanding potential for the next level. After a terrific sophomore campaign Marcus Hamilton was slightly disappointing last year. A fluid cornerback with a good closing burst, Hamilton is instinctive and quickly locates the ball. Positioning himself against opponents to defend the throw, he also displays top ball skills. Hamilton needs to brush off his fundamentals yet offers good upside for the next level. Safety Tony Franklin was dismissed from the program earlier this year yet is still looked upon as a solid NFL prospect. Showing great sideline-to-sideline range from his free safety position, Franklin was explosive in run defense and also displayed solid ball skills. Undisciplined on and off the field, Franklin must mature to have a chance of making it at the next level.

Virginia Prospect List

Name Pos Year #
Tony Franklin S 5Sr N
Marcus Hamilton CB 5Sr 3
Chris Long DE 3Jr 91
Fontel Mines WR 4Sr 84
Tom Santi TE 3Jr 86
Jason Snelling FB 5Sr 38
Deyon Williams WR 4Sr 81

Scouting the Nation for the '07 Draft

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