Kurt Benkert, QB, Virginia
Draft Prospect Outlook:
Volatile quarterback prospect with outstanding displays of great arm strength, confidence, and accuracy and many more instances in which he's fooled by coverages, has poor ball placement and struggles under pressure.
A three-star recruit according to the 247Sports Composite out of Cape Coral, Fla., Kurt Benkert took a winding road to appearing on the NFL Draft radar. After signing with East Carolina and then-head coach Ruffin McNeil, Benkert redshirted in 2013 before seeing action in three games in 2014. Tabbed as the starting quarterback heading into the 2015 season, a knee injury forced Benkert to miss the campaign. Meanwhile, McNeil resigned his position and became the defensive coordinator at Virginia following 2015 season. Benkert, a graduate transfer, picked UVA and was immediately the favorite to start under center for new head coach Bronco Mendenhall. In Benkert’s first year in Charlottesville, despite injuring his shoulder in the third game of the season, he passed for 2,552 yards, 21 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions in 12 games. As a senior, Benkert looked like a different player. Confident and finally healthy, Benkert passed for a UVA record 3,207 yards, along with 25 touchdowns and nine interceptions, and helped lead the Cavaliers to a bowl game for the first time since 2011. - Jamie Oakes