Virginia Football Notes: Hall, Mack & Reed Look To Boost Stock At NFL Combine

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Joe Reed starred for Virginia football as a wide receiver and kick returner. He is hoping to impress NFL scouts this week in Indianapolis, host of the 2020 NFL combine, as a wide receiver or, potentially, a running back. ~ Photo by Kris Wright

Former University of Virginia football players Bryce Hall, Jordan Mack and Joe Reed are looking to enhance their draft stocks this week at the 2020 NFL Combine in Indianapolis, Indiana. Heading into the event, NFL.com has assessed Virginia’s prospects with grades ranging from “chance to make end of roster or practice squad” to “will be starter within first two seasons.”

All-American cornerback Bryce Hall, whose senior season was cut short by a broken ankle, is the most highly rated of Virginia’s prospects invited to the combine. Hall has been given a grade of 6.32, which falls into the NFL.com’s “will be a starter within first two seasons” category. NFL.com draft analyst Lance Zierlein described the former Cavalier star as follows:

Angular outside corner who uses instinctive footwork and long arms to close out and challenge a healthy percentage of throws. His backpedal and transitions are more functional than fluid and could be exploited by NFL route-runners and speedsters. His reactive quickness and ball skills fit nicely into zone-based coverages, allowing greater freedom to spy quarterbacks and squeeze short and intermediate throws. He can handle man coverage, but he needs protection over the top. Hall is a future starting cornerback but might garner attention at free safety at some point in his career.

Hall measured in this week at 6’1”, 202 pounds. Click here to view his NFL combine prospect page, which is where you can find his combine results. Defensive backs are scheduled to bench press on Saturday, February 29, before performing workouts on Sunday, March 1. Hall is DB no. 13.

Reed, who starred as a wide receiver and kick returner for the Hoos, has been given a grade of 5.85 by NFL.com. That puts him as a projected “backup/special teamer”. The next highest grades are 6.0 – “a developmental traits-based prospect” – followed by 6.1-6.2 – “a good backup who could become a starter”.

Well-built slot receiver who tends to take what the defense gives him but doesn’t really have the skillset to threaten and defeat coverage on a regular basis. He doesn’t have a big early burst or desired long speed so he’s likely to wear coverage unless he’s bunched or in motion. His hands are reliable and he’s quick in transitioning from catch to run in the quick passing game. He’s a fearless, downhill kick returner with a running back’s vision and can flip the field for his team, but he needs to prove he’s worthy of a receiver spot on the roster to make a team. – Zierlein’s overview of Reed.

Reed measured in at 6’0”, 224 pounds. On Wednesday (February 26) he benched 225 pounds 21 times, good for third among all wideouts. Liberty’s Antonio Gandy-Golden, a name UVA fans may be familiar with from the past two seasons, finished second among wideouts with 22 reps.

Reed and the rest of the wideouts workout with quarterbacks and tight ends Thursday (February 27) afternoon. Track the former Cavalier standout’s progress by clicking here. You can also catch the action live on the NFL Network beginning at 7 p.m. EST. Reed is wideout no. 46.

A positional note on Reed. The official NFL Draft twitter page published a list of position requests made by teams for the combine. Reed made the list, as at least one team has requested him to work out at running back.

Mack, who started for most of his standout 4-year career at UVA, has a grade of 5.60 from NFL.com. This makes him a prospect with a “chance to make end of roster or practice squad.”

Mack measured in at 6’3”, 241 pounds in Indianapolis. We will see how much he is able to do workout-wise as he had ankle surgery following the 2019 ACC Championship game in December. Zierlein’s assessment of UVA’s former star inside linebacker is …

Bright linebacker with good instincts and production as a four-year starter. He lacks the size and pop to be a will-imposer at the point of attack, but he has adequate straight-line speed as a run-and-chase outside linebacker in an even front. His short-area burst and athleticism are just average and his desire to play fast leads to biting on bait against misdirection. He’s very active and plays with good energy and decisiveness, which accounts for his consistency of production against the run, but he has almost no career production against the pass. There are holes in his game that are unlikely to be filled by coaching, but he might still hear his name late on Day 3.

Click here to follow Mack’s results at the combine. He is linebacker no. 25. Linebackers are scheduled to bench press on Friday with workouts to come on Saturday.

A final note on Virginia’s stalwart student athlete and Campbell Trophy finalist. When UVA holds its pro day, Mack will be performing for more than just himself.

Bryce Perkins … Wow

UVA’s star signal caller may not have gotten an invite to the NFL Combine, but his athleticism appears to be in top form as he works toward the 2020 NFL Draft.

Recruit Herard Shows Off His Athletic Ability, Too

Stranahan (Fort Lauderdale, FL) senior Dave Herard, one of 15 signees in Virginia football’s class of 2020, passed for over 800 yards and 11 touchdowns and totaled 64 tackles and six interceptions his senior season. The standout athlete is a solid contributor for Stranahan’s varsity basketball team as well. In the below clip, the 6’0”, 175-pound Herard shows off his athletic ability on the basketball court, giving Cavalier fans a glimpse of what they could see when he lines up at cornerback in Bronco Mendenhall’s defense.

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