Film Room Session: Alabama v. LSU

CB Morris Claiborne showed us why he is still the best CB on this team

This game was dubbed as the game of the century by many in the media who were eager to see these two titans of the SEC West face off. In the end what we got was a defensive struggle that was aided by two offenses who struggled to get out of their own way. We saw the demise of Jarrett Lee, a little Nick Saban trickeration, and LSU steal one on the road at Tuscaloosa. For the record this is not a game we want to see replayed in the BCS Championship so we hope you’re listening BCS! Here are the prospect reports:

Alabama:
3 RB Trent Richardson-5’11, 220 lbs.*
-Usually very reliable out of the backfield catching the ball, did have one drop
-Runs with great power and balance
-He delivers the hits to the defenders as opposed to the other way around
-Almost impossible to bring down off first contact
-Routinely took multiple defenders to bring him down
-Acceleration was above average but not elite
-Good open field vision to cut runs back inside
-Speed to turn the corner
-Loose hips that can make you miss
-Makes pads pop when he hits you
-Gave Maze a hand off too hard on the reverse causing him to stumble
-Needs to be more aware when QB escapes pocket, needs to block or get open, instead he just stands and watches
-Refuses to go down
-Got stronger when his team needed him the most
-Will be the most complete back we have seen since Adrian Peterson when he declares for the draft

4 WR Marquis Maze-5’10, 182 lbs.
-Very effective KR, shows great open field vision
-Tweaked his ankle on the first KR and it affected him the rest of the game
-Has a little hip wiggle to make you miss
-Stumbled on the reverse, has to expect hard hand off better
-Ankle injury really became a factor late in the game
-Showed good awareness to read off man coverage and cut inside for a big gain

15 WR Darius Hanks-6’1, 184 lbs.
-Great hands on diving catch
-Was unable to shake coverage for the most part all night long

17 TE Brad Smelley-6’3, 237 lbs.
-Great downfield blocker
-Soft hands
-Easily handled a blitzing Mathieu when asked to stay inline and block
-Much more complete player than we anticipated coming into this game

89 TE Michael Williams-6’6, 270 lbs.*
-Overmatched when asked to block the DE one on one
-Misses seal block but gets enough of defender to spring Richardson
-Good job going up to get high pass
-Absolutely cannot afford to let that INT get ripped out of his hands by Eric Reid
-That is an inexcusable play that arguably would of given Alabama a very good chance to win the game

75 OT Barrett Jones-6’5, 301 lbs.*
-One of the most technically gifted OL
-Athletically limited
-Helping to provide solid pocket
-Struggled with speed rush off the edge
-Struggling to fully engage the athletic LSU DE’s
-Shifted at one point from LT to RT with Fluker inside at RG
-Dominated LB when asked to engage when run blocking
-Look confused on his assignment when LSU overloaded his size with a blitz look
-Seeing a lot of CB and S blitzes to his size due to his issue with speed rushers
-Does not get great depth from his kick step, puts himself at an immediate disadvantage
-Lack of flexibility only work to compound his issues with the speed rush
-Definitely will kicked inside to OG at the next level and if Alabama can groom a youngster sliding him inside next year wouldn’t hurt

65 OG Chance Warmack-6’3, 300 lbs.*
-Stonewalling DT on pass rush
-Gets off the snap very well
-Has exceptional hand placement
-Plays with great leverage and leg drive
-Pushes DL back well off the ball and doesn’t stop till the whistle blows
-Dominant OL whose name isn’t called much and that’s a good thing, looking like a better OG prospect than Jones for now

73 OC William Vlachos-6’1, 289 lbs.
-Good ability to pull
-Holding his own v. LSU DL
-Not being asked to take on many defenders one on one, could be a scheme adjustment
-Does a good job chipping DL and helping out on double teams
-Does not appear to have the awareness to block and keep looking for the blitz
-Still not totally impressed with his ability to take on 34 NT’s at the next level but he looked better this week than he did last time we saw him v. Arkansas

99 NT Josh Chapman-6’1, 310 lbs.
-Underrated 1st step
-Exploded into A gap and got great penetration but couldn’t keep his feet
-Fought through one on one block to flush Jefferson
-Doing a good job of timing snap
-Like we said in our preview piece, Chapman’s numbers won’t pop but he really showed us something on film
-Definitely has a rising stock in a weak NT class

54 DE Jesse Williams-6’4, 326 lbs.*
-Solid strength at POA
-Plays both strong side and weak side DE in the 34
-Did a good job getting off his block and making a tackle on short yardage
-Needs some work on getting better at the POA but is coming along nicely as a 34 DE prospect
-Holds up the POA well but needs to learn to use his hands better when trying to disengage

41 LB Courtney Upshaw-6’2, 263 lbs.
-Looked confused by option play
-Shed cut block very well
-Not seeing the explosive edge rush that he showed us v. Arkansas
-Beat Hurst with good speed rush
-Seems to have gotten some sideline coaching on how to handle the option
-Coming on strong late in the 1st half, getting good pressure in the pocket
-Great blitz adjustment to bounce his blitz inside
-Great power rush to switch it up on the OT who was cheating to the outside rush, got the sack
-The more we see him the more we think he is a 34 ILB prospect and not an OLB prospect
-Should be effective in that role blitzing ala Lawrence Timmons

30 LB Dont’a Hightower-6’4, 260 lbs.*
-Very good delayed blitz
-Struggling to disengage in traffic
-Again very effective when asked to blitz
-Terrific stuff inside the 5 at the end of the 1st half
-Flowing exceptionally well
-Moving very good laterally, taking advantage when Ware tries to bounce outside
-Flies in on an option play, Alabama defense really adjusted well to that wrinkle in the LSU offense
-Not quite to the same level of Rolando McClain but not far behind it either

24 CB DeQuan Menzie-6’1, 195 lbs.
-Needs to sink his hips and explode out of his back pedal
-Active in coming off his CB spot to help in run support
-Strong tackler
-Wraps up very well
-Injured his shoulder in the 1st half
-Was impressive in locking down LSU’s WR’s for most of the night, definitely gave the scouts a show

21 CB Dre Kirkpatrick-6’3, 190 lbs.*
-Delivered good shot on Jefferson scramble
-Flagged for pass interference in end zone, has been very physical with LSU WR’s
-Was solid but not spectacular in coverage for most of the night
-Completely clotheslined by the Honey Badger on one of the dirtiest plays we’ve seen in some time
-Helped out in run support but did show some struggles to get off blocks to make plays despite holding the size advantage

37 S Robert Lester-6’2, 206 lbs.*
-Fills holes well
-Beautiful CF play on his INT
-Read CB had inside position and saw the throw was inside for the easy pick
-Some think he may need to move down to CB in the NFL, but we see no reason why he can’t stick at S
-Ideal FS prospect to us given his athleticism, range, and tackling ability

4 S Mark Barron-6’2, 210 lbs.
-Coming up in run support all night long
-Does a good job keeping almost everything in front of him
-Made an easy pick when Lee failed to recognize the coverage scheme and Barron simply undercut the route
-Wraps well and takes the ball carrier down consistently
-Still the top S prospect in this draft

Don’t forget to take a second and check out our Updated Mock Draft!

LSU:
QB Jarrett Lee-6’2, 207 lbs.
-Telegraphed too many passes early
-On both picks he needs to recognize that the WR does not have inside position and throw that ball to the outside shoulder
-Solid pocket awareness
-Saw limited snaps due to two INT’s
-Throws are not on target, he is causing his WR’s to have to adjust to his poorly thrown passes
-Never saw the bracket coverage on his 2nd INT, pre-snap alignment fooled him into throwing a pass into coverage

WR Rueben Randle-6’4, 207 lbs.*
-Good hands
-Catches the ball with his hands, can extend his arms out away from his body to make grab
-Has to catch ball in the end zone, even with full arm extension
-Struggled all night to get open
-Blocked well down the field and did a good job giving it his all
-He is being overlooked in the 2013 WR class but could be a sleeper pick in Rounds 2 or 3 who could explode once in the NFL

WR Russell Shepard-6’1, 188 lbs.*
-Good body control to adjust to poorly thrown ball
-Excellent acceleration
-Took a huge shot when Jefferson led him and had him vulnerable
-Got behind the defense deep for what should have been a TD had Jefferson not under thrown him

TE Deangelo Peterson-6’4, 243 lbs.
-Average blocker who can do it if he has to
-Was completely ineffective v. Alabama’s coverage
-We were hoping Peterson would show us something with his ability to stretch Bama’s defense or get open in the middle but we didn’t see that

OT Alex Hurst-6’6, 329 lbs.*
-Solid strength at POA
-Unable to lock out and control man
-Destroyed by Upshaw on speed rush
-Got caught over extended a few times
-Not a natural knee bender
-Had more issues with speed rushes than Jones did on the other side
-Unimpressed with Hurst who needs to stay in school without question

OC PJ Lonegran-6’4, 300 lbs.*
-Did not start the game but came in the 2nd quarter for Hebert
-Threw down Josh Chapman on first play
-Gets to the 2nd level well
-Athletic prospect and its not hard to see how he took Hebert’s job
-Keeps his head on a swivel and did a good job picking up blitzes in the middle
-More than held his own when going against Chapman, one of the best battles to watch by far

22 LB Ryan Baker-6’0, 227 lbs.
-Good coverage on Richardson in flat
-Seeming to struggle in traffic
-Showing a lack of instincts
-Lack of strength at POA to take on offensive lineman
-Definitely a read and react LB who we need to see get more aggressive and get after it when filling holes and taking on blocks

17 CB Morris Claiborne-6’0, 177 lbs.*
-Great recovery speed
-Wonderful job getting hands on the ball after getting beat by Hanks deep
-Providing absolute lock down coverage
-Extremely smooth transition from back pedal to sprint
-Strong at the line when asked to press
-Bama WR’s cannot shake Clairborne’s coverage
-Would have had the INT of the night had his fellow defensive back not made quite possibly the best INT of the year
-Is without a question the best CB on this LSU team

18 S Brandon Taylor-6’0, 195 lbs.
-Great timing on pass breakup v. Maze
-Poor open field tackling technique v. Richardson
-Really had a strong game in pass coverage and run support but was overshadowed by Reid who was all over the field and making plays

If you enjoyed this Film Room Article, please make sure to check out our Film Room Archive with over 40 games scouted!

Tags: Claiborne, Crimson Tide, Game of the Century, Hightower, Kirkpatrick, LSU, Richardson, Tigers, Upshaw

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