2013 NFL Draft Scouting Notes: USC vs. Stanford

Shayne Skov and the Stanford defense were able to slow down the USC Offense and Matt Barkley.


NEPD Editor: Mike Loyko

For the third week in a row NEPD is scouting and breaking down the University of Southern California football team, which is loaded with NFL prospects. This week they face Stanford, which has it’s share of quality prospects.

How did Matt Barkley look against better competition, after shredding two soft defenses in a row? How did Stanford’s defensive prospects look against this high powered offense?


#11 Shayne Skov, ILB
– Takes on FB in the hole, able to clog the hole and allow other LB to make tackle in the hole
– Goal to goal situation Skov takes on the FB in the hole and is able to keep leverage and make the play short of EZ
– On next play Skov shows athleticism and IQ by “Lavar Leaping” the offensive line and grabbing hold of Barkley before he could hand off the ball. A penalty was ultimately called, but it was an impressive show of athletic ability
– Takes a false step on almost every play action, in the run game he also appears unsure at first
– Lines up over TE (Grimble) and tries to jam him at the line, his technique is very bad and he actually falls over
– Definitely not as fluid in coverage as Thomas, he’s good coming forward at one speed

#44 Chase Thomas, OLB
– Being used to fake the rush and dropping into coverage
– A little slow off the ball from a 4 point stance, beats running back inside and forces a quick check down throw
– Playing backside contain role to guard against reverses and misdirection, staying home and not chasing away from him
– Not getting off the block by OT, gets shoulders turned and can’t stay square to the line
– Impressed with the way he stops mid pass rush and turns and runs with Silas Redd out of the backfield on swing pass, good change of direction in coverage
– Chases Marquis Lee down, 20 yards down field, doesn’t give up on play – Popped OT, read screen and took off down field
– Fluid pass drop, sinks his hips and has a pretty good back-peddle for a linebacker
– Looks like an everydown OLB at the next level, plays enough different coverages and roles to succeed in NFL pass defense system

#22 Stepfan Taylor, RB
– 59 yard touchdown run, gets to the edge quickly, then makes two high speed cut backs and runs away from the defense
– Making quick, decisive decisions, not hesitating
– Runs with good pad level, not a big back but he can take first contact and keep feet moving
– Splits out wide in “empty” sets, also has lined up in the slot
– Wildcat QB, good at gaining yards when it looks like there is no hole
– Has fallen forward every time today, it’s tough to make him lose yards
– Sells block on the screen pass well, then sneaks out and outruns the linebackers angle
– Has pretty good hands out of the backfield, looks comfortable in space running routes
– Exhibits GREAT balance and change of direction on 23 Yard TD, catch screen, break 4 arm tackles and keeps balance despite making cuts at full speed. Big time catch and run in a big time situation
– Picking up tough yardage between the guards in the 4th quarter, clock killing drive – always going forward

#11 Levine Toilolo, TE (Jr.)
– Solid block on 59 yard TD run, gets big push on DE, creating big hole to run through
– Runs fade into corner of the endzone, triple coverage, doesn’t have a very good vertical leap it appears
– In tight coverage down the seam, finds the ball, turns and jumps in one motion to catch ball over the LB – Length a huge factor there, a normal size TE probably doesn’t make that catch
– Looks unnatural and stiff running the back-shoulder route, can’t adjust to the ball in the air and allows the much smaller CB, get position and contest for jump ball

#86 Zach Ertz, TE (Jr.)
– Lining up in the slot, runs a nice litter hitch route and picks up YAC
– Moveable tight end, looks like a wide receiver with the ball in his hands
– Runs corner route out of the in-line position, rounds the route some at top of the break – uses his size to get position on Nickell Robey drawing the interference call
– Runs the same route as Toilolo down the seam, he can’t turn back and make the catch like Toilolo did
– Stems his route off the line to get position on nickel CB, able to run the corner route and create big time separation, because of positioning off the line
– Big time double move beating Toren Harrin out of the slot, down the seam – the route is a bit sloppy, but catches ball with his hands and makes athletic cut to make two defenders miss and walk in for touchdown
– Finds soft spot in zone, sits down instead of continuing to sideline – big first down

USC Draft prospects are on page two.

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