Mario Benavides: 5 Things You Need to Know About the Louisville Center

Shawn BrubakerContributor IIApril 27, 2013

Mario Benavides: 5 Things You Need to Know About the Louisville Center

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    An assortment of injuries have been the only thing capable of keeping Louisville center Mario Benavides off the field during his collegiate career.

    Following in the footsteps of former Louisville center Eric Wood, a 2009 first-round pick, Benavides has started inside for the Cardinals in each of the last four seasons.

    However, injuries to his knee and shoulder have slowed his journey to the NFL, and he's now a likely third-day pick in the 2013 NFL draft.

    Here's the five things you need to know about the former Louisville center.

Background

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    Full Name: Mario Benavides

    Birthday: November 23, 1989

    Hometown: Los Fresnos, Texas

    High School: Los Fresnos High School

    Major: Marketing

    Year: RS-Senior

    Benavides earned a degree in marketing in 2012. The Los Fresnos product made a big move to Louisville, but he was a relatively well-regarded 3-star recruit for the Cardinals.

Statistics

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    Year Games Played Games Started
    2009 12 12
    2010 13 12
    2011 10 10
    2012 13 13

    Benavides has been very durable for the most part, but he did miss three games in 2011. That's a non-issue, as he has since been tough and constantly in the lineup.

Draft Process

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    Measurables

    Height: 6'3"

    Weight: 290 lbs

    Benavides did not work out at the combine, nor did his pro day produce any numbers. He has gained significant weight this offseason, though, to bulk up for the NFL.

Interesting Facts

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    Benavides racked up 200 pancake blocks in high school, and has since become a starter from the moment he took the field in Louisville.

    He is currently a graduate student.

Observations

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    Benavides' smaller size betrays excellent strength and surprising athleticism. He excelled in big games against North Carolina and Florida while being a catalyst for Louisville's solid offense.

    NFL.com describes him as such:

    Nose tackles rarely bull him back or integrate themselves into plays once in his grasp because of his strength and solid footwork. Reliable on shotgun snaps and manages to get his body into the defender until his hands can get involved after unloading the ball.