Aboushi broke into the starting lineup as a sophomore in 2010. He started all 12 games for the Cavaliers at offensive tackle. Aboushi was at right tackle for the first five contests before he was moved to left tackle for the remaining seven games.
Aboushi stayed at left tackle in 2011 and started all 12 games there. He showed real improvement and was a Second-Team All-ACC selection. Aboushi held his own when taking on the best pass-rushers he faced.
Versus North Carolina defensive end Quinton Coples, Aboushi allowed some pressures, but kept Coples from recording a sack. Aboushi had a mixed outing against Florida State. He had some impressive and dominant blocks against defensive end Brandon Jenkins, but also was beat badly for a sack. Jenkins also got in some coverage sacks, but Aboushi shut him down on the final drive of the game when Virginia pulled out a late comeback road win.
2012 Season Outlook:
Aboushi has a very manageable schedule for his senior season. He will be tested in two games in particular, but, overall, it looks like he'll face an easy slate of pass-rushers.
Aboushi's first test will come against TCU and its dangerous rusher Stansly Maponga. The speedy Maponga is tough off the edge and that should be the best senior year game by which to evaluate Aboushi.
The final difficult test will come against in-state rival Virginia Tech. Defensive end James Gayle will present a nice challenge for Aboushi. Overall though, there is no reason why the senior shouldn't produce a season of good tape for NFL scouts this year.
There is a lot for NFL teams to like about Aboushi as a potential starting left tackle. First of all, he is extremely athletic. Aboushi has unique speed and athleticism that are in demand for the next level. Those makes him ideally suited to be developed into a good pass-protector against speed-rushers coming off the blind side. Aboushi has light and quick feet that allow him to mirror edge-rushers, too. He moves quickly to get back and be in position to pick up blitzers.
Aboushi has nice length that he uses to help keep rushers at bay. His arms look long and shouldn't hurt his draft status like it has other tackles. There are times when Aboushi gets sloppy and is too reliant on his long arms. He reaches rather than moving into position. Aboushi needs to accentuate his ability to use his hands and feet at the same time.
Aboushi's quickness and burst also allow him to be a dangerous run-blocker on the second level of defenses. He fires out of his stance and uses his agility to get in position to hit blocks beyond the line of scrimmage.
When Aboushi goes up against undersized defensive linemen or linebackers, he sustains his blocks well. The defenders struggle to get off Aboushi once he gets into their pads and he finishes his blocks well. Aboushi will punish defensive linemen or other defenders who go to the ground with some violent blocks to finish them off.
Aboushi is put together well for the pro game. He is not overweight and has good stamina. However, the tackle could use another 10-15 pounds of muscle. That will definitely be possible with an NFL strength and conditioning program.
Aboushi needs to be consistent this year. He is dominant sometimes, coming across as the total package. He shows sloppy technique at other times, which gets him beaten. Aboushi needs more development, but he has real potential to be a starting offensive tackle in the NFL.
Aboushi definitely would fit best in a zone-blocking scheme that emphasizes athleticism and movement skills. He doesn't look like a natural in a power man-blocking offense.
2013 Draft Expectations:
Aboushi looks like a second-round pick as we approach the 2012 season. It is very possible that he produces a good senior year to break into the top-32. There is always a huge demand for left tackles with his athleticism. If Aboushi plays like he did in 2011, he is more likely to be a second-day selection.