2013 NFL Draft Scouting Notes: Utah vs. Utah State

Did Star Lotuleilei look as good as advertised on Friday Night?


NEPD Editor: Mike Loyko

I start week two of my scouting notes breaking down an in-state rivalry game between Utah and Utah State. The game features one of the best prospects in the country, Defensive Tackle Star Lotuleilei who has a legitimate shot at being the first overall selection in next April’s draft.

Utah State doesn’t get much national attention, but they have started to produce NFL caliber players year in and year out. How did Star look and what other prospects have a shot at the NFL?


#92 Star Lotuleilei, DT
– Recognizes the screen flows with RB out of backfield
– Not getting off blocks in the run game early on, needs to anchor better and not get turned
– Instinctive play – recognizes another screen and stops rushing to get hands up
– Gets out and tries to break up another screen, but misses tackle, because he didn’t break down
– Has a really good motor, is chasing the ball all over the field
– Eyes remain in the backfield, aware of what the offense is trying to do
– Looks tired, not getting off the ball and standing up with minimal effort in pass rush
– Lined up at nose tackle, gets great extension, split double team and blows up the play
– Lines up in 3-Tech, gets off ball quick with leverage, gets arms extended and drives OG 4 yards into backfield, to breakup the play. Had a shot at the QB, but was out of control and didn’t breakdown
– Gets arms extended, sheds quickly and chases down Williams in backfield
– Impressive short area explosion, once he frees himself, he has a sudden burst of quickness at 320 lbs.
– Hasn’t made nearly the impact in the second half, might be winded, but not exhibiting the burst or drive that he did early on.

#44 Dave Kruger, DL
– Driven off the ball by Larsen on first drive
– Lacks leverage early in the game
– Is really tall with long arms, might be too tall to play inside at next level
– Even when he tries to play with leverage he is too high, gets driven back
– Both Dave and Joe have looked stiff when asked to change direction, the QB Keeton escapes pressure multiple times, because they can’t change direction with him
– When faced with double teams, he has no chance, needs to just collapse and clog the line, but gets blown back
– High motor, flows to the ball and doesn’t give up on play. Limited but hard worker

#99 Joe Kruger, DE
– Like Dave has a massive frame with long arms and long midsection
– Plays out of both a 2-Point and 3-Point – plays both LDE and RDE
– Comes up field a little bit undisciplined, tackled the wrong RB at one point
– More of a “max” effort rusher, has decent burst but can’t turn the corner
– Struggles to bend and dip, has gotten his pressure by bull-rushing and shedding
– Forced sack/fumble, after intially being blocked, he uses he strength to overpower and shed the offensive tackle and strip sack the QB. Vs. a better offensive tackle, he is probably blocked
– I haven’t seen much in the way of pass rush moves tonight
– Good initial pop on contact, but can’t recoil and disengage

#15 John White, RB
– On the short size, but well put together
– Makes one quick cut back and gets through the hole, breaks tackle for extra yards
– Gets to the hole and makes sure he protects the ball and keeps a low center of gravity
– Keeps his pads/shoulders over his feet, falls forward when hit
– Nearly fumbles the ball after taking contact and trying to spin off
– Catches the ball 1 yard short of first down, instead of going straight ahead to try to plow way for first down, he dances and tries to finesse past defenders and get stopped on 3rd down.
– Not getting any help from OLine
– Not overly explosive, but runs north/south, with good leg drive and pad level
– Overpowered as a pass blocker, tries to hang in there, but is simply overpowered
– Struggling to gain more than 3-4 yards on a carry, not seeing the hole well and not breaking first tackle
– Huge hole on the draw, but once he gets into it, he isn’t able to do much, stumbles and takes juke step only a 5 yard gain

#10 DeVonte Christopher, WR
– Works as kick returner, able to run by first way exhibiting good burst
– Makes good sideline catch in tight coverage, diving 1 handed catch, gets both feet in bounds
– Hands look very good, watches the ball in + concentration
– Has a good frame, good muscle tone, long arms. Speed looks above average for WR position
– Makes a good block down field, stays engaged and allows QB to pick up yards
– Tries to avoid the jam at the line instead of fighting through it, gets re-routed inside
– Runs a quick slant, catches the ball with defender bearing down, spins out of tackle to gain extra YAC

#26 Ryan Lacy
– Only 5’9″ tall, but a thick frame
– Has been primarily matched up with Matt Austin and has taken him out of the game
– Delivers a nice hit on Austins first catch, to keep him short of the first down sticks
– Comes out of QB option and blows up the play
– Has lined up to press Austin many times, unfortunately I haven’t been able to see the results due to the camera angle haven’t seen the results
– Blitzes out of the slot, but unable to get there

Utah State prospects are on page two.

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