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2015 NFL DRAFT

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-
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

12/10/2012 - 2012 ALL-BIG EAST FIRST TEAM (COACHES): C Mario Benavides, Louisville, Sr., Los Fresnos, Texas/Los Fresnos, has been selected First Team All-BIG EAST Conference (Coaches selection) for the 2012 college football season. Benavides earned first team honors. The native of Los Fresnos, Texas, Benavides has started all 12 games this year and owns 46 career starts. - Louisville football

12/03/2012 - 2012 RIMINGTON TROPHY AWARD FINALIST: Mario Benavides (Lousiville)...Benavides is a four-year starter at center for the Cardinals. He has started 46 of the last 50 games, and owns a streak of 21 consecutive starts dating back to last season.

The product of Los Fresnos High School as made 22 starts this season in leading the Cardinals to a 10-2 record, a second-straight BIG EAST title, and a trip to the 2013 Sugar Bowl. Benavides missed three games last season, but went on to start 10 contests in guiding the Cardinals to a league title. - Lousiville football

10/17/2012 - BIG EAST: NFL DRAFT PROSPECT WATCH - WEEK 7: 3. C Mario Benavides, 6-4, 286, Louisville: Why you should watch him? Benavides has started 40 games in his four-year career and is one of the most highly-regarded centers in FBS. The senior center is regarded for his physical demeanor and ability to deliver blocks while moving in space. Benavides bulked up to 318 pounds in 2011 after missing three games with a staph infection. After shedding more than 20 pounds in the offseason, Benavides is lighter and more agile. Season stats (six games): Sacks allowed (as a unit) 8, Cardinals' rushing yards: 167 per game. Player ranking: Benavides is ranked 127th overall and second among centers in CBSSports.com latest player rankings. Up next: South Florida, Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET (ABC). - Matt Rybaltowski, CBSSports.com

10/02/2012 - BIG EAST: NFL DRAFT PROSPECT WATCH - WEEK 5: Keep an eye on: C Mario Benavides, 6-4, 286, Louisville: Why you should watch him? Benavides has started 39 games in his four-year career and is one of the most experienced centers in FBS. Benavides impressed scouts with his athleticism and versatility dating back to his sophomore season. Despite playing in horrid conditions in two straight games, Louisville hasn't lost the ball once on a fumbled exchange between Benavides and quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. The senior center is also regarded for his ability to hit moving targets effectively and play through the whistle. Benavides bulked up to 318 pounds in 2011 after missing three games with a staph infection. After shedding more than 20 pounds in the offseason, Benavides is lighter and more agile. Season stats (five games): Sacks allowed (as a unit) 5.0, Cardinals' rushing yards: 169.2 per game. Player ranking: Benavides is ranked 174th overall and fourth among centers in CBSSports.com latest player rankings. - Matt Rybaltowski, CBSSports.com

09/02/2012 - PLAYERS TO WATCH: C Mario Benavides -- The team's most experienced player in terms of starts, Benavides will make the 35th start of his career against Kentucky. Not only is he the "graybeard" of sorts, he also will have to play well if the Cardinals are to generate the kind of ground game they want to make the offense two-dimensional. If Benavides has a good game, the offense probably will, too. - The Sports Xchange

09/02/2012 - Is an undefeated season in the cards for the Cards, as one player suggested in July? If so, it'll likely occur because the offensive line grew from liability to strength. At this time last year, the line was decimated by the three Is -- injury, illness and inexperience. Just one starter was back, center Mario Benavides, and he missed the season's first three games with an infection. The results weren't pretty. Now the line appears to have matured. Four starters have returned and Louisville appears capable of doing the things a top-level team must do on offense: Control the ball, pass for big plays when necessary and score the required number of points to win games. The O-line gets to display its level of improvement Sunday when the Cards open the season at home with in-state rival Kentucky. While the Wildcats are by no means a Southeastern Conference power, they still have good players up front and will present Louisville's big eaters with a pretty good test. "We basically have five starters back, which is good," offensive line coach Dave Borbely said. "It's hard to beat that experience. We are going to have some 3-and-outs, but we want to finesse the ball and keep our defense off the field and score points." Benavides is the marquee name among the linemen, as he's been named to a variety of watch lists, although right guard Jake Smith has a chance to be an all-conference type of player. John Miller, Alex Kupper and Jamon Brown round out the starting five. "We don't make a lot of mental errors, which is our strength," Benavides said. "We are good right now, but feel we have a long way to go." - The Sports Xchange

08/01/2012 - University of Louisville center Mario Benavides dropped 20 pounds in the off-season and he's loving his new physique. Benavides, who is 6 feet 2 and 282 pounds, said he gained an advantage being more flexible and agile. Benavides battled a staph infection that kept him out of the first three games last season. When he returned he said he pressed to put weight on and reached a weight of 318. But he said he feels much more comfortable at his current weight after playing in excess of 300 pounds the past few years. Benavides pointed out the success of smallish centers in the NFL such asJeff Saturday of the Indianapolis Colts and Jason Kelsey of Philadelphia. "Weight isn't everything," Benavides said. "...The pros of losing weight is gaining leverage. You can bend your knees more. My knees hurt for the last two years being over 300 pounds and now they don't hurt at all. For me I don't see how that's a negative." - C.L. Brown, The Courier-Journal

07/19/2012 - 2012 ROTARY LOMBARDI AWARD PRESEASON WATCH LIST: Mario Benavides, C, Louisville, has been selected to the Preseason Rotary Lombardi Award Watch List for the 2012 college football season, presented the nation's top college lineman or linebacker each year by The Rotary Club of Houston. Benavides, a three-year starter at center for the Cardinals, has been the anchor of the offensive line. A native of Los Fresnos, Texas, Benavides has started 34 of 38 games during his career, missing four contests due to injury. He missed the entire spring due to injury, but is back working out and running with the team during summer conditioning. - Louisville football

07/18/2012 - 2012 OUTLAND TROPHY PRESEASON WATCH LIST: Mario Benavides, Louisville, C, has been selected to the Preseason Outland Trophy Watch List for the 2012 college football season, which goes to the best interior lineman in college football, as selected by the Football Writers Association of America. Benavides, a three-year starter at center for the Cardinals, has been the anchor of the offensive line. A native of Los Fresnos, Texas, Benavides has started 34 of 38 games during his career, missing four contests due to injury. He missed the entire spring due to injury, but is back working out and running with the team during summer conditioning. - Louisville football

07/10/2012 - 2012 RIMINGTON TROPHY AWARD PRESEASON WATCHLIST: Mario Benavides, Louisville, RS Senior, has been selected to the 2012 preseason watch list for the The Rimington Trophy, presented annually to the Most Outstanding Center in NCAA Division I-A College Football. Benavides, a three-year starter at center for the Cardinals, has been the anchor of the offensive line. A native of Los Fresnos, Texas, Benavides has started 34 of 38 games during his career, missing four contests due to injury. He missed the entire spring due to injury, but is back working out and running with the team during summer conditioning. This is the third straight season that Benavides has been selected to the prestigious list. - Louisville football

07/02/2012 - U of L center Mario Benavides says he's upbeat as he rehabilitates from shoulder surgery. "Knock on wood but I feel as good as I've ever felt," he said earlier this week in an interview with U of L's CardsTV. "The shoulder's not 100 percent, but the rehab as going better than planned and I should be 100 percent in a couple of weeks." Benavides says he's been able to take place in all the running and workouts his teammates are involved in this summer. He said, "I'm running well, probably as well as I ever have." Benavides said the tone of the workouts has changed a bit from the past two seasons. Not considering the increased expectations outside the program, he said he's beginning to see evidence of greater expectations from within. "Expectations are a little higher just amongst ourselves," he said. "We expect to be at a better lever, to be bigger, to be strong and fast...When we started workouts back this summer, it was night and day (to what it used to be). Usually when guys come back from a break, you can tell they were home on a break. With these guys, you can tell everybody was taking it very seriously." Benavides says he's dropped 20 pounds, "something I've needed to do the past three years, and I feel good about it...It feels like I'm in high school again." - WDRB.com

06/27/2012 - Top-five Louisville prospects for the 2013 NFL Draft: 1. OC Mario Benavides (6-4, 302)...Toughness and reliability are two of the most important attributes NFL teams look for in interior offensive linemen prospects and in Benavides (pictured above) 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 two seasons. 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 season. I'd like to see Benavides play with a little more power this season but he has enough athleticism to make an NFL roster as an interior lineman and uses his hands well. He enters the year as NFLDraftScout.com's No. 5 rated center for the 2013 draft. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com

 
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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