Thornhill excited for NFL Draft experience

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 SPORTS) -- Eugene Monroe was the last Virginia football play selected in the first round of the NFL draft in 2009. Some analysts think Juan Thornhill could change that this year.

CBS Sports projects Thornhill to be selected at no. 21 overall by the Seahawks when the NFL Draft begins on April 25. Most projections show Thornhill being picked no later than the third round of the 2019 NFL Draft.

The safety was invited to the NFL combine and caught the eye of people with his performance there. A 4.42 40-yard dash was the fifth fastest among safeties. Thornhill's 44 inch vertical leap and 141 inch broad jump were tops among safeties at the NFL combine.

Thornhill was one of 10 Wahoos to participate in Virginia's pro day Thursday. He said despite his performance at the combine, he knew how important his pro day was.

"I was treating today as if it was the combine," he said. "I wanted to come out here and not leave any doubt."

His next month will be busy. Thornhill said he has workouts planned with a number of teams, including the Seahawks. While the path to the draft will be a long one, he said its a challenge he's wanted for a long time.

"I look at it as a great opportunity to go out there and meet everyone," Thornhill said. "Talk to these different coaches. See these different facilities. I think its really exciting because I finally get the chance to live my dream. Since I was a little kid, I wanted to play in the NFL. I knew I wanted to get to Virginia. I got here. I also knew that I wanted to play in the NFL, so I'm working to get there now."