Virginia's Eli Harold announces via Twitter that he's turning pro

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Virginia junior defensive end Eli Harold, an athletic edge rusher who had seven sacks and 14.5 tackles for loss this season, announced via Twitter on Wednesday morning that he is entering the NFL draft.

Harold (6-foot-4, 250 pounds) had 17.5 sacks in his three-year career with the Cavaliers.

He was a consensus national top-100 prospect out of high school in Virginia Beach, Va., and played in all 12 games in 2012 as a true freshman. He began to blossom in 2013, finishing with a team-high 8.5 sacks in coordinator Jon Tenuta's blitz-happy scheme, then added the seven sacks this season.

He's a good athlete who will test well at the NFL Scouting Combine, and he looks to have the needed athleticism and pass-rush skills to play outside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme.

Harold needs to get stronger and add more bulk to become more effective against the run, but he has a big upside and will be a closely scrutinized prospect for teams seeking a pass rusher.

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

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