6’1” – 230 lbs. – 4.65e
Team captain. Started on the weakside for his first two seasons, then slid inside in 2013. Reasonably thick for his height but nonetheless appears undersized for a middle linebacker and may draw interest as a potential candidate to convert back to weakside linebacker. Typically lined up in the middle of Southern California’s defense, but played on the outside on occasion. Runs well for his position; has the speed to play sideline-to-sideline and make zone drops in coverage, sometimes from the outside linebacker spot. Looks comfortable planting and driving on routes when in coverage. Has been asked to assume coverage responsibilities on slot receivers; also looks like he would be a strong candidate to cover running backs out of the flats. Not a forceful hitter, but remembers his tackling technique and doesn’t miss many opportunities. Takes on blocks a bit better than anticipated for a player of his size, at least as a downhill player; exhibits active hand use to prevent blockers from getting into his pads. When given a clear path to the quarterback, closes fairly quickly; could be effective on delay blitzes. Contributed on special-teams units, which could offer him an avenue for rookie contributions. Doesn’t diagnose plays as quickly as you’d like; is typically not the first player to arrive at the ball, and can be fooled by misdirection. Lack of top recognition skills neutralizes his athleticism, but he does offer considerable untapped potential for the same reason. Was asked to blitz fairly regularly, but is forced to take indirect routes to the quarterback due to his lack of bulk. Capable of running with tight ends, but may be physically overmatched by some of the true inline “Y” options at the pro level. May not hold up if asked to eat blocks in a 3-4 defense; best suited to a scheme in which he’s protected by bigger defensive linemen. Has enough athleticism to make up for his lack of size and should interest teams as someone who can work in both base and sub defenses, but often finds himself out of position as a result of his below-average diagnostic abilities, which are particularly concerning given his extensive starting experience, including two years under legendary Cover-2 coach Monte Kiffin.
Games watched: Arizona (’13), Arizona St. (’13), Stanford (’13)
6’6” – 315 lbs. – 5.30e
Started eight games at left tackle as a sophomore, then transitioned to right guard in 2013, where he started ten games. Tall with long arms; built more like a tackle than a guard. Carries his weight well. Gets good arm extension on his blocks. Capable of generating push when he wins the leverage battle. Quick puncher who resets his hands quickly. Much better hand-use against rushers than as a run blocker. Creates pop on initial contact and keeps his feet churning, although he has a tendency to lower his head. Mobile enough to pull to either side on rushing downs; could potentially fit into a zone-blocking scheme. Effective double-team blocker. Can anchor against power in pass protection. Experience on both sides of the line and at both guard and tackle should appeal to teams seeking a swing reserve. May be too tall to play guard, as he doesn’t bend his knees particularly well and seems to have some trouble with leverage; a bit of a waist-bender. Temperamentally more of an offensive tackle. Doesn’t play with consistent balance or coordination; ends up on the ground too frequently. Mediocre lateral agility casts doubt on his ability to play on the outside at the next level. Has some problems with his awareness in pass protection, even on routine assignments. Hands find their way outside too often, generally when he’s attempting to compensate for being late to a spot. Struggles to sustain blocks. Durability could be a concern; injured his knee in high school, sustained a concussion in 2012, and broke his ankle in 2013. The type of prospect whose size, length, and experience at multiple positions at a major program should draw interest from pro teams on the third day of the draft, but who is something of a positional ‘tweener; is built like an offensive tackle, but moves like more of a guard and consequently may never develop into a starter at either spot. Some of his flaws may be masked more effectively on the inside, but plays more like a tackle, with a corresponding frame. Played his first season as an offensive guard in 2013; could dramatically improve his stock with further technical refinements, greater consistency, and a healthy year as a senior.
Games watched: Arizona (’13), Stanford (’13), Utah (’13)