Virginia's Brent Urban remains bothered by a high ankle sprain

Virginia defensive tackle Brent Urban had an uneven college career, and an injury caused him to leave the Reese's Senior Bowl early and miss the NFL Scouting Combine and means he won't be able to participate in the Cavaliers' March 17 pro day.

Still, he's a potential second-day pick because of his athleticism and perceived versatility.

Urban, a Canadian, was a two-year starter for the Cavaliers and finished with 75 career tackles, three sacks and 16.5 tackles for loss. He redshirted in 2009 as a true freshman, barely played in 2010, was a key reserve in 2011 and started in 2012 and '13. He missed four games as a senior in '13 with a high ankle sprain suffered in the sixth game, against Maryland on Oct. 12. He returned for the final two games at less than 100 percent, and the injury still lingers five months later.

Urban was playing at a high level before the injury, with 22 tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss and a sack. He said experience was the reason behind his improved play.

"Coming in as a Canadian, I was behind the eight-ball," he told the Charlottesville (Va.) Daily Progress. "I hadn't been playing football as much as the American guys. So every year, I just kind of got better. That senior year, I really felt like I finally got over the hump and started playing pretty well."

Game video from the first half of the 2013 season is going to be key because he missed showing off his athleticism at the Senior Bowl and the combine.

"I tried to go the best I could (at the Senior Bowl) and tried to fight though the pain a little bit, show teams what I could do," Urban told the Daily Progress. "I got two practices in and then decided to drop back because it was starting to hurt a lot and swell up and stuff."

Urban attended the combine but just for the interview process. He measured 6-foot-7 and 295 pounds, and speculation continued that he could be an end in a 3-4 set. He has good athleticism for his size -- he played for a top-flight junior hockey team in Canada -- but remains somewhat raw and could stand to add more strength.

Still, he has an upside, and the tape from the first half of the '13 season shows that. "To have that tape to show my ability, teams need that," he said.

Before the combine, NFL Media draft analyst Mike Mayock spoke highly of Urban in a teleconference.

"Yeah, the Urban kid is interesting," Mayock said. "I wanted to see more of him at Senior Bowl and he got hurt. But he's what a lot of people call a 'five technique' ... (and) probably his best position is a defensive end in a 3-4 defense. I think he could go in the third round. ... I like him and I think there's some significant upside to him."

Mike Huguenin can be reached at mike.huguenin@nfl.com. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.

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