2013 NFL Draft Scouting Notes: LSU v. South Carolina

QB Zach Mettenberger* 8
-Needs to place the ball better on the hitch route, WR had a cushion he could of worked but poor accuracy caused him to go down and make the catch off the turf
-He’s not setting his feet off his drop, seems to be throwing as soon as his back foot reaches the top of his drop
-Hides the screen well and got the South Carolina DL to fully commit to getting up field before he dropped it off to Ware for a big gain
-Completes pass in a tight window on a quick hitch
-Doing a good job to wait for the screen to set up before throwing the ball
-Stares down primary read as soon as the ball is snapped, CB steps under the route and makes an easy INT
-No touch on the fade pass to the back corner, pass was easily 5 yards out of bounds
Overview: It’s pretty clear that Les Miles doesn’t yet trust Zach Mettenberger and Mettenberger didn’t do much in this game to show why Miles should trust him. Despite being very good at the JUCO level, Mettenberger has thus far struggles to adjust to SEC speed. He has not been able to show off his highly vaunted arm strength and has failed to get weapons like Russell Sheppard and Odell Beckham consistently involved in the passing attack.

RB Spencer Ware* 11
-Little shimmy in the hole made Shaq Wilson miss the initial tackle
-Good help on Devin Taylor in pass pro
-Fakes pass pro again and takes the shuffle pass from Mettenberger for a big gain
-Power running, as he lowers his head and squirts through the hole to pick up a first down
-Ware’s smaller frame allows him to get under some of the bigger South Carolina defenders and pick up even more yardage
-Just got lower than almost every South Carolina defensive player
-Following his lead blocker Copeland to day light
-Takes Wildcat snap from under center (former HS QB) to get first down
-Continues to run through arm tackles and keeps picking up short yardage conversions
-Great burst through the hole
-Picks through traffic so well
Overview: Ware may not be an every down back in the NFL but he certainly has a fit who runs with nice power and a good pad level. Ware secures the ball tightly against his body in traffic and does a great getting lower than the defender. His legs are always churning and he does a good job falling forward to pick up extra yardage after contact.

RB Kenny Hilliard* 27
-Doesn’t stretch the ball at the goal line and is stopped short of scoring
-Showing some nice power in the 2nd half, hitting the hole with a good head of steam
Overview: Hilliard isn’t getting a ton of carries with how many backs LSU rotates in and out and he needs to do a better job of taking advantage of his opportunities. Not stretching the ball out for a TD was a mental mistake that could of gotten him more touches later on.

RB Michael Ford* 42
-Turns corner on Holloman and shows nice sideline balance to take shove and still pick up 6 yards
-Nice vision on outside run to stay patient and then turn the corner at the last minute when a lane appears
Overview: Much like Hilliard, Ford isn’t seeing the ball much but that doesn’t mean he isn’t talented. Ford is the speed guy for LSU he mainly runs the ball to the outside and I thought in this game he showed off impressive field vision and burst.

FB J.C. Copeland 44
-Good lead block on toss, takes out CB who was closing
-Gets rare carry but is swallowed by Clowney
-When he hits a defender the defender always falls back
-Gets a good head of steam into the hole and gets a nice shot on a DB on the 2nd level
-Really clearing the way for Ware early on
-Lines up right behind OG and clears hole for Ware on wildcat run
Overview: You don’t traditionally notice the FB when just casually watching a football game but its hard not to see this bowling ball as he starts throwing bodies around. He gets a nice head of steam going and really delivers the blow to the defender. Shows no fear in blocking and seems to love contact.

DE Barkevious Mingo* 49
-Forces Lattimore run back inside and LB cleans up the tackle
-Needs to get more involved on rushing downs, seems to see it’s a run and stops running
-Able to be blocked one on one by LT, through the first half Mingo’s impact has been next to nothing
-Needs to get his hands up when he sees Shaw going to throw the ball
-No power to work through block, getting stood straight up at the point of attack
-Comes off rush to cover Lattimore who snuck through the line to run a route
-Has a chance to make a tackle on Byrd, instead ducks his dead and tries to deliver a hit that he whiffs on
-Takes a wide split and is able to beat the OT with a straight speed rush, uses his long arm to keep OT off of him and gets a sack
Overview: This game was a disappointing one for me when it comes to Mingo. He showed a concerning lack of strength at the point of attack and seemed to really struggle when the OT was able to lock out against him. The tape is a bit deceiving because it was clear he was playing contain on certain packages but for the hype that Mingo is getting it was surprising to see him handled so easily at times.

DE Sam Montgomery* 99
-Pinches down on 3rd and short to make tackle on Lattimore after Logan blew up the hole
-Not in on goal line package
-Good power rush forces Shaw to flush the pocket
-Left unblocked due to pressure package and gets a free lane and shot on Shaw for a huge sack on 3rd down
-First step is impressive as he fires off the line, will at times beat Mingo with his get off
-Long arms allow him to get into the OT’s body and generate good leverage
-Really generates good power from his legs on his power rush and brings a nice pop on initial contact
Overview: If you’re asking us as it stands today we like Montgomery more than Mingo heading into the NFL. Montgomery has a more NFL ready build and shows some really nice power to compliment his first step and speed. He needs to work on his hands some and we would like to see him become more consistent when trying to shed blocks.

DT Bennie Logan* 18
-Knifes through the line to help stop Lattimore on 3rd and short
-May have the quickest first step of any DL on the team
-Uses his hands very well to get into the A gap and through the OL
-Shoots gap and flushes Shaw right
-Dominating the interior of South Carolina’s OL
-No South Carolina interior OL can block Logan all night
-Now seeing double teams and still working through the blocks and getting pressure
Overview: There was no bigger pest on the LSU defensive line in this game than Logan who appeared to be able to beat the South Carolina interior offensive line with ease. He was consistently in the backfield and was a big part of the reason the South Carolina running game never really got going. Logan used quick hands and his first step to slice through the Gamecocks line drive after drive. It was a very impressive game from the big man in the middle of this LSU defense.

ILB Kevin Minter* 46
-Split out wide covering the slot WR in nickel package
-Great blitz, fights through block by OT and gets back to Shaw, forces throw away
-Flying all over the field with impressive speed
-Fills the hole well and gets enough of Lattimore to hold him up while others come to finish tackle
-Always around the ball
Overview: Many people are starting to talk about Kevin Minter in glowing terms. He has great athletic ability and is a smart defenders who reads the play and reacts quickly. He wasn’t as big a factor in this game as he was the previous week v. Florida. He is a better prospect than previous LSU MLB Kelvin Sheppard.

CB Tharold Simon* 24
-Gets off block from Cunningham on bubble screen to force WR out of bounds quickly
-Is tracking Shaw’s throw from the right all the way back to the left but seems unaware of where the receiver is and runs into his own teammate after the catch is made
-Would of liked to see him attack that pass more and make a play on the ball or man
-Gets out in front of Reid after his INT and helps lead the way
-Good job utilizing sideline as an extra defender to help squeeze WR, pass was off target
Overview: With the Honey Badger gone this year all eyes have fallen on Simon as the man in the LSU defensive backfield. He’s responded with a solid season. He is a big and physical CB who runs well for his size and gets smaller WR’s trouble with his length. Still has some lapses with awareness and understanding of the situation on the field. I would like to see him go after the ball a little more especially with the safety help behind him.

SAF Eric Reid* 1
-Comes up and sticks Lattimore and gets him to stand straight up
-Needs to get a little lower to drive through the hips and not let Lattimore fall forward
-Does a good job to get enough of Cunningham to force him out of bounds just short of a TD
-Good technique to go low on Lattimore, but the second cut doesn’t allow him to wrap up and Lattimore scores
-Playing deep safety, gets a gift from Shaw and takes advantage picking off the pass and returning it into South Carolina territory
-Is down after the tackle and looks to be somewhat seriously injured
Overview: This was not Reid’s best game of his career, he was aggressive in coming forward to help stop Lattimore but didn’t always use the best technique and Lattimore was at times allowed to fall forward for positive yards. Did do well when returning Shaw’s INT to give LSU great field position.

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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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