As the result of an injury that limited Jordan Mack in the postseason, Virginia football fans did not get one good last look at their elite inside linebacker.
Fortunately for Mack, pro football scouts have more time for study.
Mack was on the field for a handful of plays in Virginia’s 62-17 loss to Clemson in the ACC championship game and did not play in the Dec. 30 Orange Bowl, where Florida beat the Cavaliers 36-28.
He finished the season with 69 tackles, giving him 289 for his career and putting him just outside the top 15 on UVa’s all-time list. He almost certainly would have reached 300 if not for a 2018 injury that caused him to miss four games.
His right foot was in a cast at the Orange Bowl, but he’s had the good fortune to receive an invitation to the NFL Combine in Indianapolis at the end of February.
“They were able to verify my numbers in terms of height and weight,” said Mack, who is listed at 6 foot 4 and 230 pounds. “They were able to put my face to a name and see what kind of individual I was.
“I was probably 100% [physically] because the athletic training staff at UVa did a really good job of putting things together for me and still, to this day, keeping on top of me. From a teams standpoint, everything has been pretty positive.”
Most projections give him the best chance for a selection between rounds 5-7.
Virginia’s scheduled pro day for NFL scouts on April 8 was canceled due to the new coronavirus. Similar events at other schools quickly were closed for the same reason.
The NFL Draft, which will be handled remotely and will include NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell doing his job from his basement, is scheduled for April 23-25.
The Cavaliers initially recruited Mack as a defensive back out of Wesleyan High School in Georgia, but he was moved to linebacker almost immediately. That season, which was also the first for head coach Bronco Mendenhall and his staff, ended with a 2-10 record.
“It meant a lot to be at UVa during that time and see UVa go from 2-10 to 9-5,” Mack said. “To be able to experience both the highs and lows is something you’ll carry and cherish for the rest of your life.
“You can also come back and preach to the guys that ‘yeah, it works.’ ”
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