Data Scout Notes: 2017: NAC...2016: NAC...3* East Carolina Transfer...2015: NAC...(+) Knee INJ, Out for 2015/DS#16 rSoph QB...2014: NA
Kurt Benkert/Virginia football Videos
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Kurt Benkert Virginia Cavaliers Quarterback 6-3, 214, 4.92, #6 Cape Coral, Fla. Island Coast 7/17/1995
…11/21/17 - Nov 21 Stock Report: Who helped themselves? Kurt Benkert, QB, Virginia, rSR. (6-3, 225, 4.92, #6)...Virginia couldn't finish the upset of Miami on Saturday, but that doesn't take away from the productive afternoon from Benkert, who has put together an impressive senior season. The East Carolina transfer finished 28-for-37 for 384 yards, with four touchdowns and one interception. Benkert showed off a NFL-caliber arm, toughness in the pocket and the athleticism to scramble and deliver from different platforms. He was consistently accurate and performed with the toughness, both physical and mental, that NFL scouts covet. It was a much-needed performance for Benkert who started the season strong, but failed to reach 53-percent completions in any of the four games (three losses) leading up to Saturday. Benkert hasn't received an invitation to the 2018 Senior Bowl, but he is in contention for one of the final quarterback spots. Despite the loss, his performance against the Hurricanes' defense won't go unnoticed by scouts and the Senior Bowl. - Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com
A two-year starter at Virginia, Benkert played at three different high schools and two college programs, including the past two seasons as the starter in the Cavaliers zone-read, shotgun offense. He drew NFL attention after Virginia jumped out to a 5-1 start in 2017, although his uneven play down the stretch played a part in UVA finishing 1-6 over the final seven games.
Out of high school, Benkert committed to East Carolina to play for Ruffin McNeil and Lincoln Riley, staying true to his commitment even after Florida State entered the picture late in the process. After redshirting in 2013, he spent his redshirt freshman year as Shane Carden’s back-up, scoring two rushing touchdowns. Benkert was tabbed as the starter entering the 2015 season, but he suffered a knee injury and was sidelined for the year. After McNeil was fired and the new coaching staff didn’t name him the starter, Benkert earned his degree and elected to transfer and two things drew him to Virginia: a realistic opportunity to start and McNeil was hired as an assistant head coach.
Benkert uses his quick feet and athleticism to extend plays and his best throws on film came outside of the pocket on the move. His inconsistent decision-making requires development, especially when he burns holes into his intended target with his eyes, leading to mistakes.
BACKGROUND Benkert was born in Maryland and grew up in southwest Florida before returning to Maryland for high school, playing at Loyola Blakefield his freshman and sophomore years. He moved back to Florida prior to his junior year and enrolled at Cape Coral High School before transferring to Island Coast for his senior season, throwing for 2,261 yards and 20 touchdowns.
At Virginia, Benkert started 10 games as a junior in 2016 and threw for 2,552 yards, 21 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. With a full season under his belt, Benkert showed immense improvement as a senior (13 starts) and set a school-record with 3,207 passing yards and 298 completions, adding 58.5% completions, 25 touchdowns and nine interceptions. He accepted his invitation to the 2018 Senior Bowl.
Benkert married his high school sweetheart (Sam) and his father (Bruce), who also does his tattoos, played semi-pro football.
STRENGTHS Above average athleticism and throws strikes on the move. Strong arm and can make all the NFL throws (deep-out, skinny post, etc.). Plenty of accurate, NFL-level throws on his collegiate tape. Spreads the wealth to his targets. Delivers with timing. Puts the ball in front of pass-catchers to let them catch-and-go. Fearless decision-maker and not shy making high-risk throws. Toughness to pick up yards with his legs, absorbing hits when necessary. High pain tolerance and plays through injuries. Carries himself with a ton of confidence and it shows in his play. Intelligent individual and earned Academic All-American honors. Graduated with a degree in finance (May 2016) in only three years at East Carolina (3.69 GPA); graduated with a master’s degree in higher education (Dec. 2017) at Virginia (3.78 GPA). Set single-season school records for passing yards, completions and attempts in 2017. – Dane Brugler 1/29/2018
WEAKNESSES Stubborn passer and forces throws. Stares down targets, leading to batted passes. Great downfield arm strength, but lacks natural feel for deep placement. Holds the ball too long and takes sacks he shouldn’t. Pressure affects his decision-making. Ball placement tends to run hot/cold, mostly due to shaky body mechanics (57.7% career completion percentage matches the tape). Doesn’t take care of the football, especially under pressure (11 fumbles in 2017). Medicals will be important after multiple injuries to his left (non-throwing) shoulder his junior (Sept. 2016) and senior (Oct. 2017) seasons; missed the 2015 season after tearing the ACL in his right knee (Aug. 2015). Unimpressive career record (8-15) as a starter. – Dane Brugler 1/29/2018
IN OUR VIEW Benkert has traits worth drafting with his toughness, athleticism and arm talent and while he doesn’t need an overhaul with his mechanics and accuracy, he does need to show progress in those areas once in a training camp to earn a back-up role in the NFL. His film brings up vivid flashbacks of Ryan Nassib at Syracuse.
Leaves UVA as the single-season program leader in passing yards (3,207), completions (298), attempts (509), 200+-yard passing games (9, T1st) and total offense (3,144), all of which was done in 2017 ... also holds UVA records for single-game passing (455, vs. UConn) and single-game total offense (465, vs. UConn), both of which happened in 2017 ... he is also tied for first in program history with three career passes of 80 yards or more ... also holds UVA career record for completions per game (21.91), passing touchdowns per career game (1.92) and the fewest career interceptions per pass (0.0218) ... No. 3 all-time in the UVA record book with 5,759 career passing yards and 46 career passing touchdowns ... invited to play in the 2018 Senior Bowl.
Started all 13 of UVA's games ... is the first player in UVA history to throw for at least 3,000 yards in a season ... tied his 2016 season and Matt Schaub (2003) for being the quickest quarterback to 2,000 passing yards in a season, doing so in eight games ... completed 27-of-39 passes for 262 yards and three touchdowns in season-opening win against William & Mary ... broke the UVA record with 66 pass attempts against Indiana ... completed 39 passes against the Hoosiers, which is tied with Matt Schaub (FSU, 2003) four fourth-most completions in a single game in UVA history ... threw for 259 yards and one score against Indiana 421 against Central Michigan in 2016 ... completed 30-of-40 passing and three touchdowns against the Huskies ... his 465 yards of total offense was also a single-game school record ... for the second time he set the UVA single-game passing record with 455 passing yards against UConn, breaking his previous record of 421 ... was named ACC Offesnive Back of the Week on Sept. 25 after throwing for 273 yards and three touchdowns in a road win at Boise State ... was 24-of-43 for 182 yards and three touchdowns in UVA's home win against Duke ... also rushed five times for 17 yards ... was 19-of-31 for 249 yards and two touchdowns ... found Olamide Zaccheaus for an 81-yard touchdown, which was the fourth-longest one-play scoring drive in program history ... was 22-of-42 for 212 yards and two touchdowns at Pitt ... was 21-of-41 passing for 260 yards and three touchdowns against Georgia Tech.
Against the Yellow Jackets he tossed the 27-yard game-winning touchdown to Andre Levrone with 1:22 left to play in a steady rain ... was 19-of-36 for 214 yards and a touchdown at Louisville ... was 28-of-37 passing for 384 yards and four touchdowns at No. 2 Miami ... his 75-yard touchdown to Joe Reed, four overall touchdowns and 384 passing yards were all season hights against Miami ... threw for 186 yards against Virginia Tech, passing Matt Schaub's 2002 UVA single-season passing record of 2,976 yards. 2016 - Tied Matt Schaub (2003) for being the quickest quarterback to 2,000 passing yards in a season, doing so in eight games ... set the UVA record for passing yards in a game with 421 against Central Michigan ... his five passing touchdowns against Central Michigan are tied with four other Cavaliers for second-most all-time for a game in program history ... holds UVA record for most passing yards through career starts 4-10 ... first Cavalier quarterback to amass at least 1,000 passing yards in his first four career starts ... started 10 of UVA's 12 games ... did not play at Georgia Tech ... saw time against Virginia Tech off the bench ... led UVA with 2,552 passing yards, which ranks No. 6 all-time on UVA's single-season passing list ... his 21 passing touchdowns rank in a three-way tie with Shawn Moore (1990) and Bobby Goodman (1992) for second-most in a season by a UVA quarterback ... made UVA debut against Richmond.
Was 26-of-34 for 264 yards and three touchdowns against Richmond ... his three touchdowns and 26 completions tied Mike Groh for most in UVA history by a quarterback making his first career start ... was 20-of-39 for 193 yards and two interceptions at then-No. 24 Oregon ... was 23-of-42 with 241 passing yards at UConn ... set a UVA passing record for a game with 421 yards against Central Michigan ... also matched the second-best game output in program history with five touchdowns against Central Michigan ... completed 27-of-43 passes against CMU ... was 23-of-41 for 336 yards and three touchdowns against Duke ... was 20-of-44 passing for 278 yards and one touchdown against Pitt ... found Olamide Zaccheaus on a 74-yard scoring strike in the first quarter ... was 19-of-32 for 126 yards against then-No. 22 North Carolina ... finished 25-of-39 for 238 passing yards and three touchdowns in a near upset of then-No. 5 Louisville ... found Doni Dowling on a four-yard scoring strike with 1:57 left against the Cardinals and then connected with Albert Reid for the two-point conversion to give UVA a 25-24 lead ... was 20-of-39 for 190 passing yards and two touchdowns at Wake Forest ... was 16-of-27 for 143 yards and one touchdown against Miami.
Transfer from East Carolina.
Is a 2016 graduate of East Carolina where he played for head coach Ruffin McNeil ... was tabbed the starting quarterback at ECU heading into the 2015 season before suffering a knee injury during fall camp on Aug. 25, 2015 ... missed the entire 2015 season.
At East Carolina...Appeared in three games during the 2014 season ... saw time against North Carolina Central, North Carolina and Florida as a reserve ... completed 8-of-10 passes for 58 yards and rushed five times for 23 yeards ... scored two rushing touchdowns and led three scoring drives in five overall (complete) series for the Pirates.
At East Carolina...Redshirted the 2013 season.
Topped all Southwest Florida quarterbacks in passing yards with 2,261 as a senior at Island Coast High School ... completed 147-of-236 passes (62.3 percent), which included 20 touchdown tosses and just four interceptions to help the Gators to an 8-3 overall record and 5-1 6A District 11 mark (co-champions with South Fort Myers) ... on the ground, rushed for 300 yards on 80 carries ... ICHS advanced to the Florida High School Athletic Association 6A playoffs, but fell to eventual final-four participant Naples in the first round ... earned third-team 6A All-State honors from the Associated Press while also picking up first-team All-Area recognition from the Fort Myers News-Press ... transferred into head coach Joe Bowen’s program as a senior (from Cape Coral High School) after the Gators changed their offensive scheme from the veer to a pro-style attack, and followed by averaging 34.4 points per game in 2012 ... selected as the News-Press Player-of-the-Week (Oct. 12) after leading ICHS to a 55-0 victory over Bishop Verot ... was listed 33rd on the Orlando Sentinel’s MidWest Florida Super 60 list heading into his senior campaign.
Helped lead CCHS to a 7-5 record (5-0 in league play) as a junior, completing 189-of-367 passes for 2,771 yards, 25 TDs and seven interceptions ... additionally, rushed 55 times for 150 yards and three touchdowns for coach Brad Metheny ... also served as the Seahawks’ punter, averaging 37.7 yards per boot with a long of 56 yards and 11 downed inside the 20-yard line ... named to the News-Press All-Area first team unit as a punter in 2011 ... an Honor Roll performer in the classroom ... born in Baltimore, Md. ... moved to Florida before entering third grade and remained there until the start of eighth grade ... returned to Maryland and helped lead Perry Hall to the state recreational football title and subsequently earned a scholarship to Loyola Blakefield (Towson) before moving back to Florida after two junior varsity seasons ... quarterbacked the Fort Myers (Fla.) Firecats to a state championship and third-place finish in the national Pop Warner playoffs while in seventh grade.
Draft Scout Player News
11/21/17 - Nov 21 Stock Report: Who helped themselves? Kurt Benkert, QB, Virginia, rSR. (6-3, 225, 4.92, #6)...Virginia couldn't finish the upset of Miami on Saturday, but that doesn't take away from the productive afternoon from Benkert, who has put together an impressive senior season. The East Carolina transfer finished 28-for-37 for 384 yards, with four touchdowns and one interception. Benkert showed off a NFL-caliber arm, toughness in the pocket and the athleticism to scramble and deliver from different platforms. He was consistently accurate and performed with the toughness, both physical and mental, that NFL scouts covet.
It was a much-needed performance for Benkert who started the season strong, but failed to reach 53-percent completions in any of the four games (three losses) leading up to Saturday. Benkert hasn't received an invitation to the 2018 Senior Bowl, but he is in contention for one of the final quarterback spots. Despite the loss, his performance against the Hurricanes' defense won't go unnoticed by scouts and the Senior Bowl. - Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com
11/04/17 - Virginia became bowl eligible for the first time in six years, scoring late for a thrilling 40-36 win over Georgia Tech on Saturday in Charlottesville, Va. The teams combined for 49 second-half points as Virginia (6-3, 3-2 ACC) overcame a 15-point second half deficit. Georgia Tech (4-4, 3-3) scored two touchdowns in the first 35 seconds of the second half but couldn't hold its lead as the Cavaliers roared back for 27 points in the final two quarters. But after 20 consecutive points from Virginia, the Yellow Jackets regained the lead at 36-33 on a 33-yard pass to wide receiver Ricky Jeune with 3:10 to play in the game. Virginia answered with a 64-yard drive, capped by a 27-yard pass from Kurt Benkert to receiver Andre Levrone with 1:22 to go. Georgia Tech drove to the Virginia 32 on its final drive, but turned the ball over on downs with 15 seconds remaining after an incomplete pass on fourth-and-15. Virginia totaled 357 yards, with 260 of those coming through the air. Benkert completed 21 of 43 passes for 260 yards and three touchdowns. Two of those touchdowns went to Levrone, who had three catches for 67 yards. - The Sports Xchange
10/14/17 - Virginia quarterback Kurt Benkert threw two touchdown passes and his team's defense had a big game in a 20-14 victory against North Carolina on Saturday in Chapel Hill, N.C. Virginia (5-1, 2-0 ACC) continued its best start to a season since 2007 while snapping a seven-game losing streak in the series. The Cavaliers had a possession of more than eight minutes in the fourth quarter, but that drive ended with a fumble by Benkert. A 13-yard return by Cayson Collins gave North Carolina the ball at its 40-yard line with 2:56 remaining. The Tar Heels (1-6, 0-4) reached the Virginia 37 before a fourth-down sack with 1:07 sealed the outcome. Benkert completed 19 of 31 passes for 249 yards. Virginia junior Jordan Ellis posted his first career 100-yard rushing game by racking up 136 yards on 27 carries. Quarterback Brandon Harris, playing the entire game in place of ill starter Chazz Surratt, was 7-for-18 for 46 yards for the Tar Heels, who lost their fourth game in a row. - The Sports Xchange
10/07/17 - Virginia stopped a late Duke drive to hang on for its third consecutive victory, a 28-21 decision Saturday afternoon at Scott Stadium in Charlottesville, Va. The Blue Devils (4-2, 1-2 ACC) managed just 255 yards of offense as quarterback Daniel Jones completed 14 of 42 passes and was picked off twice.
The Cavaliers' defense held late, sacking Jones for a 10-yard loss after Duke reached the Virginia 30. Jones threw incomplete on fourth-and-16 with 1:08 left, and Virginia ran out the clock as the Blue Devils were out of timeouts. Virginia (4-1, 1-0) went ahead 28-14 midway through the fourth quarter as quarterback Kurt Benkert connected with wide receiver Doni Dowling on a 17-yard touchdown. Dowling recorded two touchdowns as Benkert overcame a slow start to finish 24 of 43 for 182 yards and three touchdowns. Duke pulled within 28-21 with on a 4-yard run by Quentin Harris with 6:14 to go.
Virginia tallied 310 yards of offense and held the ball for more than 35 minutes. Running back Jordan Ellis ran for a career-high 96 yards on 25 carries. After the teams combined for 83 yards and four interceptions in the first quarter -- with each team scoring off an interception return -- they settled in and found a groove on offense in the second quarter. Jones, who started the game by completing only one of his first 13 attempts, found Davis Koppenhaver on a 7-yard touchdown pass to give the Blue Devils a 14-7 lead midway through the second quarter. Virginia managed only 86 yards in the first half but answered Duke's touchdown with a score of its own as Benkert connected with Olamide Zaccheaus for an 11-yard touchdown to tie the game 14 heading into halftime. - The Sports Xchange
09/25/17 - SEPT 25 ACC OFFENSIVE BACK OF THE WEEK: Kurt Benkert, Virginia, Sr., QB, 6-4, 220, Cape Coral, Fla.,...Benkert completed 19-of-29 passes for 273 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions in the Cavaliers' 42-23 win Friday night at Boise State. UVA became the first non-conference opponent to defeat the Broncos on the blue turf in 17 years. Benkert had scoring strikes of 30, 27 and 64 yards during the game. - ACC Football