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Mario Benavides, C

School: Louisville  |  Conference: BIGE
College Experience: Senior  |  Hometown: Los Fresnos, TX
Height/Weight: 6-3 / 297 lbs.
Projected Ranking
OverallPositionProj. Rnd.
37312-

Player Lowdown

Combine Results
40 Yd 20 Yd 10 Yd 225 Bench Vertical jump Broad Shuttle 3-Cone Drill
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Workout Results
40 Yd 20 Yd 10 Yd 225 Bench Vertical jump Broad Shuttle 3-Cone Drill
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Mock Draft Expert Analysis

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Strengths Weaknesses

STRENGTHS: Possesses the quick hands and feet to be successful in a zone-blocking scheme. Impressive lateral agility as a trap blocker and shows the short-area quickness to get to the second level. Surprisingly stout when anchoring against the bull rush due to good core strength and excellent use of leverage. Adept at shotgun snapping. Highly intelligent. Made all of the line calls while at Louisville and shows good awareness, making late adjustments to handle surprise blitzes. Keeps his head on a swivel and is highly competitive, helping out his teammates and looking to knock defenders over when he senses them off-balance. Proved high toughness by playing through multiple injuries over his career.

WEAKNESSES: Struggled against power when pitted against bigger, more physical defenders. Gets by on guile, toughness, leverage and hand play but might be maxed out. Too often makes it to the second level only to see defenders beat him to the punch. Has fought through various injuries throughout his career (staph infection, MCL tear, among them), which will need to be checked out by NFL teams.

COMPARES TO: A.Q. Shipley, OC, Indianapolis Colts -- Just as Shipley proved while at Penn State, Benavides has proven to be a tough, reliable center at Louisville capable of getting by despite less than ideal physical traits. Like Shipley (drafted by the Steelers in 2009, signed by Eagles a year later but didn't make a roster until latching on with the Colts in 2012), Benavides could have a hard time making a team despite his smarts, quickness and intangibles.

--Rob Rang

Player Overview

Toughness and reliability are two of the most important attributes NFL teams look for in interior offensive linemen prospects, and in Benavides they'll find both.

A highly regarded prep prospect, Benavides elected to sign with Louisville despite playing his prep ball in Texas and has proven a star since, earning Freshman All-American honors in 2009 and All-Big East recognition after each of the past three seasons.

While dominant against Big East competition and a contributor to Louisville's stunning Sugar Bowl victory over Florida, Benavides' lack of power and sustained quickness may have been exposed against the SEC defense. Zone-blocking teams will value Benavides' quickness, intelligence and toughness but he isn't a player without warts, especially concerning his medical history.

Benavides' ultimate pro grade could be determined by his medical, as he's played through some tough injuries over his career, including a knee injury last year that sidelined him for the first three games of the 2011 season. He did end his career showing greater durability, starting all 13 games of his senior campaign and 47 games over his career.

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Latest News
01/02/2013 - Scouting the Louisville running game: This was a strength until the last three games, when the offensive line was routinely pushed around and junior Jeremy Wright rarely had open creases. The Cards rushed for a total of 116 yards against Syracuse, Connecticut and Rutgers, dropping their per-game average to 127.1. Wright finished with 740 yards to lead the team and scored nine TDs, but is a one-cut guy whose longest run was just 32 yards. Backup Corvin Lamb had just 11 carries for 50 yards and was a third-stringer until Senorise Perry, who compiled 705 yards and 11 TDs while sharing time with Wright in the first 10 games, tore his ACL at Syracuse. C Mario Benavides and LT Alex Kupper are the top O-linemen for a unit which relies more on technique and intelligence than raw strength. - The Sports Xchange

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