The 2011 version of Virginia left tackle Oday Aboushi left something to be desired.
When watching Virginia a year ago, Aboushi definitely stood out. He's a mauler up front and flashed athleticism throughout the season.
But in some games, most notably against Florida State, a major weakness emerged in Aboushi's game; he couldn't handle speed rushers. The Seminoles' athletic edge rushers took Aboushi to school on multiple occasions. Aboushi proved to be inconsistent in his technique, often bending at the waist and ending up on the ground.
Now a senior, Aboushi has begun to put it all together in 2012.
Some say Aboushi has improved his athleticism. That may be true to an extent, but Aboushi was a solid athlete a year ago, too. His improvement is more in his consistency. He's more technically sound, which is making his athleticism flash more often.
His footwork is greatly improved, and as a result, he is not getting beat around the edge as often this season. It appears he may be a first or second round prospect at this stage in the game. Aboushi has already been invited to the Senior Bowl and will have a chance to prove himself among the best prospects in the country.
The 2013 NFL Draft is establishing itself as one that is strong in the trenches. An insane amount of talented defensive lineman will be available in the early rounds, and while Luke Joeckel of Texas A&M is the lone elite prospect at offensive tackle, the offensive line positions will be well represented early on in the draft.
Don't be surprised to see Aboushi's name a lot more leading up to April. He has taken the opportunity to refine his game during his senior season, and with his physical skill set, there is no reason why he can't develop into a reliable left tackle in the NFL. Athletes like Aboushi are often coveted early on in the NFL Draft.
Aboushi will be on full display on Saturday, as Virginia takes on Miami at 12:00 p.m. EST on ABC.