NEPD Editor: James Christensen
After a fast start by Star Lotulelei and the Utah Utes, Matt Barkley led the USC Trojans to a comeback win.
Read on to see how all the 2013 NFL Draft prospects performed.
#7 QB Matt Barkley
-Can’t handle rolling snap, ball ripped from his hands.
-Senses backside blitz, steps up and delivers accurate ball on in route – hit Lee in stride.
-Buys some time in the pocket, on-target pass on the move to his right.
-Play action, rolls right, sails ball over the head of everyone.
-Nice touch, throws lob into a tight window off his back foot.
-Not on the same page with Woods, lob pass to the pylon should have been suspended.
-Soft toss on deep dig to Woods, ball floated a bit.
-Slips a bit rolling out, takes a huge hit – should have thrown ball away.
-Nice touch pass down the sideline, held the safety and dropped it over the CB.
-Reads out the disguised Cover-3, hits WR in the hands over the LB and under the FS.
-Not staring down his receivers, reads from left to right and hits 3rd option for TD on in route in the end zone.
-Hard count draws defense offside.
-Stands tall against pressure, hits WR on deep dig.
-Pumps, pulls the ball down, picks up seven yards with his feet – good hook slide.
-Beautiful touch on deep basket toss, TE can’t hang on.
-Throws it sixty yards in the air, hits Lee for the huge touchdown.
Overview: We’ve all seen Barkley carve up defenses underneath before, but I really liked his ability throwing the ball down the field against Utah. He needs to show more of that ability as the PAC-12 conference season progresses.
#2 WR Robert Woods
-Lining up as outside receiver, also in the slot and backfield.
-Returned a punt as well, elusive in the open field.
-Poor blocking attempt on screen play, didn’t get a hand on corner.
-Easy catch on flare route, can’t make defensive back miss in space.
-Smoke route, slips two tackles in space – makes something out of nothing.
-Can’t separate off press, ball tipped out – draws interference penalty.
-Big block on punt return – suffers head injury, but incredibly returns later.
-Not on same page with Barkley, ran a slant, Barkley threw the fade.
-Very dynamic with the ball, nice step back move and picks up chunks of yardage.
-Runs away from CB on square in, separates easily and catches TD.
-Sustains block on receiver screen.
-Snags the ball at its highest point, bounces off of a tackle.
Overview: Woods performs well on all three levels of the passing game – he is a true threat that should be a first round pick whenever he declares for the NFL Draft. That said, he isn’t even the best receiver on his team – Lee is something special.
#78 OC Khaled Holmes
-Lining up at center, ankle looks healed.
-Making the line calls.
-Low snap, rolled it to the quarterback.
-Got a little high out of his stance, had to hold to hang on to Star.
-Knocked back by Star, exchange botched and fumbled – snapped it early.
-Getting blown off the ball, still gets a little high.
-Regroups a bit in the second quarter, showed good awareness in pass protection.
-Combo block on Star, comes off him to help out his tackle.
-Getting help when asked to block Star, effective combination blocker and is effective helping out other linemen.
-Long arms, got a good initial punch in on DT.
Overview: Holmes had a very rough start, but showed some composure and resiliency bouncing back and holding his own against the Utah DL other than Star Lotulelei.
#7 SAF T.J. McDonald
-Lining up as deep safety, in the box as ILB/OLB, and on the slot.
-Closes quickly on the ball carrier, delivers monster hit, creates fumble.
-Drives on the route, receiver short arms the catch.
-Looks much better against play-action this year, a lot more disciplined.
-Very comfortable in the box, looks like a linebacker out there.
-Punishing hit on the sideline, really brings some power, but is staying under control.
-Breaks down in space and drives through the ball carrier – located the ball quickly.
-Good angle to the ball carrier, solid tackle in the open field.
-Slips block from OT, able to bring down the TE on a TD-saving tackle.
-Picks his way through some trash, blows up the ball carrier.
Overview: McDonald lined up all over the field for the Trojans. He showed better tackling fundamentals and instincts than last year. If a team is looking for a physical strong safety, they need not look any further.
#21 CB Nickell Robey
-Lining up at the outside corner, both field and boundary – also sees time on the slot.
-Returning punts as well – good burst with the ball.
-Closes on the receiver, immediate tackle and wrap up.
-Tracks the ball well down the field – comes off his man and makes the tackle.
-In-phase on the vertical route, opened his hips and easily ran with WR.
-Reads the screen play beautifully, jumps the route, picks it off and returns it for six.
Overview: Robey was very impressive. He showed fluidity in both man and zone coverage, as well as good instincts and athletic ability. Like McDonald, he was all over the field.
#96 DE Wes Horton
-Lining up as 7-tech defensive end.
-Looks a bit tentative on the rush early.
-Good discipline staying, takes away the cut-back lane.
-Looks top heavy, not flashing at all.
Overview: Unimpressive night for Horton, wasn’t able to get anything going.
#29 SAF JaWanza Starling
-Lining up at deep safety and on the slot.
-Sits on the route, breaks on the in route and disrupts the catch.
-Tracks the deep ball well, cuts in front and high points the ball – great catch but an inch out of bounds.
Utah draft prospects, including top defensive prospect Star Lotulelei can be found on page two.