2013 NFL Draft Scouting Notes: LSU v. South Carolina

Bennie Logan was the most dominant player on the LSU defensive line v. South Carolina (Photo: US Presswire)

In another SEC East v. SEC West battle the Gamecocks were looking to further establish their SEC dominance with a big win in Baton Rouge v. LSU. However as the late great Beano Cook once said “Dracula and LSU Football are at their best after the sun goes down” and that was true on this evening as LSU was too much for a beat up South Carolina squad. LSU’s defensive line dominated South Carolina and forced Connor Shaw into making mistakes.

QB Connor Shaw* 14
-Rolls right and finds Ace Sanders open for a TD
-Turns out of play action fake and has a LSU DE right in his face, but gets rid of ball to save from being sacked
-Jukes Bennie Logan all the way to the group while still in the pocket, but has nowhere to escape to and eventually goes down for a sack
-Sees Montgomery getting push on his rush and is forced to roll left and delivers a pass over the middle and into traffic, pass was too high and fell incomplete
-Rolls right to avoid Logan and actually throws back to the left
-Great touch on the pass to get it over the LB and under the closing Simon
-Does a good job reading Mingo on the zone read and delivers a would have been TD pass to his WR but the WR drops the pass
-Rolls left and delivers a pass that is high and gets picked off by Eric Reid
-Delivers the ball off one foot almost like a jump pass, horrible mechanics and it lead to a horrible throw
-Slow developing QB draw and LSU DL eats him up
-Has zero confidence right now late in the 4th quarter, looks nervous
-Happy feet in the pocket, but does complete a pass to Cunningham on a crossing route
-Good pitch and catch to Sanders for a big first down
-Struggling with deep accuracy, leads his WR out of bounds on a deep ball down the sideline
-Steps up in the pocket and delivers a strike down the field
-Stands tall in pocket and find the WR over the middle and he gets down to the goal line on 4th down, plat resulted in first down
-Finds mismatch with RB on LB and hits him on a slant for a TD
Overview: Shaw was his typical self in this game. He made some nice throws and showed the athleticism to escape pressure but in the end his mistakes killed his team’s chances to win. At no point have we seen Shaw as a NFL QB and this game just about closes the book on that.

RB Marcus Lattimore* 21
-Good power on his first run, takes big shot from Reid but falls forward for another few yards
-Good cut block on Mingo to keep pressure off Shaw
-Good cut to step through the tackle attempt by Reid to get into the end zone for a TD
-Slow to get over in blitz pickup and can’t stop Montgomery as he gets a huge sack
-Doesn’t have the burst through the hole that we’re used to seeing
Overview: Lattimore looks slower and uncomfortable out there as he continues to try and return from last year’s knee injury. He’s done well this season to put together multiple 100 yard games but against this aggressive defense his limitations were very apparent. I would not recommend Lattimore leave early for the NFL.

WR Ace Sanders 1
-Beats man in man one on one coverage on the out route and brings in the Shaw TD pass
-Does well to get to the sticks and out of bounds for a first down
Overall: Sanders did the most with his opportunities, he’s a quick twitch athlete who may get a shot as a slot WR in the NFL. He has good short area quickness to make his man miss and pick up some big RAC. Also a big time threat as a return man.

TE Justice Cunningham 87
-High points pass
-Gets his arms outstretched and shows off impressive length
-Is able to show some athleticism to avoid one tackle and then almost keeps his balance on the sideline long enough to score but stepped out
-Good hands to bring in pass over the middle with LB draped all over him
Overview: I actually have overlooked Cunningham in previous games I’ve watched but he’s caught my eye more than once because of the kinds of plays he made against LSU. He’s not the most athletic TE prospect but he does have a nice blend of size and speed that should make him attractive at the next level.

DE Devin Taylor 98
-Facing yet another freshman this week after struggling v. John Theus (UGA) last week
-Beats OT on a speed rush, nearly got to Mettenberger
-Seeing multiple blockers as LSU tries to help out the freshman RT
-Good pursuit by Taylor to throw OT off the block and then chase down Hilliard on outside run
-Is the lead blocker for Legree as he heads towards the end zone
-Seems to struggle to play with his size, doesn’t use his long arms and height as well as he could
Overview: Taylor had a better game this week than he did v. UGA last week but he should be winning the one on one battle much more frequently v. freshman RT’s than he has. LSU protected their RT with a lot of TE and RB help, but Taylor too often was able to be blocked one on one.

ILB Shaq Wilson 54
-Hesitates in the hole with Ware’s juke, tries to jump on Ware’s back and gets dragged for 6 yards
-Struggles to find the hole on 3rd and short
-Gets blocked by Copeland on 3rd and Goal but still gets a hand on Hilliard and helps to delay him enough to allow his teammates to get there and make the stop
-Not fast enough to get to the edge and stop the screen pass
-Looking far more timid this week, almost trying to wait for Copeland to clear hole before filling it
-Getting aggressive late, fills the hole well on the inside toss and stops the running attack
-Can’t get to Hill in the backfield and it leads to a long 50 yard TD scamper which eventually ended South Carolina’s chances
Overview: Early on Wilson looked hesitant to take on Copeland and trying to make a play on the RB in the hole, but as the game wore on and LSU kept pounding the run he got more aggressive and started to do a better job filling the hole.

SAF D.J. Swearinger 36
-Makes open field tackle by tossing Ware to the ground after a big pickup on a screen pass
-Hits LSU running backs as hard as JC Copeland is hitting South Carolina defenders
-Not the biggest guy but he is stopping these backs in their tracks
Overview: Didn’t see a ton from Swearinger throughout the game mainly due to LSU’s inability to get the ball down the field. He did come up well in run supports and really delivers a big shot from his compact frame.

SAF/LB DeVonte Holloman 21
-Playing his spur position, gets out of the box and gets to Ware before he can turn the corner
-Does a good job stringing out running play but can’t close the corner on Ford, who turns it on him
-Can’t get off block by WR on screen pass
-Comes around edge to make hit in the backfield, but can’t finish tackle
Overview: Holloman used his athleticism to get around the edge v LSU a good bit but wasn’t fast enough to stop their backs from going up the middle. On outside runs Holloman was consistently a factor in stringing out the action though he did struggle to get off blocks. Still want to see more of Holloman in coverage but this game was all about helping out in run support which is something Holloman specializes in.

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Tags: Barkevious Mingo, Bennie Logan, Devin Taylor, LSU Tigers, Marcus Lattimore, Sam Montgomery, SEC, South Carolina Gamecocks

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