Stanford at USC – NFL Draft Prospect Recap

Nov 16, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; General view of the line of scrimmage as Stanford Cardinal center Khalil Wilkes snaps the ball at the line of scrimmage against the Southern California Trojans at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

 

With his 47 yard field goal, kicker Andre Heidari lifted USC out of the Lane Kiffin rut. The 20-17 victory over Stanford proved USC can still compete at a high level in spite of their recent struggles. USC clearly matched up better with Stanford defensively than Oregon. Leonard Williams, George Uko, and JR Tavai weren’t pushed around by Stanford’s stellar offensive line. Tyler Gaffney got his yards (158), but Stanford wasn’t able to sustain long drives. Offensively, USC was patient and got the ball to their dynamic receivers, Marqise Lee and Nelson Agholor. Overall, the USC prospects exhibited why NFL teams still need to watch this team.

USC Offense

Wide Receiver Marqise Lee (6’0” 195lb JR) finally looked like the  Biletnikoff winner he was in 2012. He was sharp coming out of his breaks, and caught some contested passes. Lee also, showed the shifty-ness in the open field that makes him a big play threat. He returned kicks for the first time in a long time. His performance proved that, when healthy, Lee is one of the best receivers in college football. Come draft time, his draft position will be depend more on the projection of future health than talent. Current Projection Up: 1st Round

Right Tackle #77 Kevin Graf (6’6” 300lb SR) was just OK. He got abused a couple of times by Trent Murphy. For the most part, he was able to give Kessler enough time to get rid of the ball. He definitely doesn’t have the fluidity you would hope for in an NFL tackle. He has the straight ahead power that makes him a desirable run blocker, so he’s definitely draftable. Current Projection DOWN: Day Three

Stanford Defense

Outside Linebacker Trent Murphy (6’6” 266 SR) kept doing his thing: get after the quarterback on passing downs, and hold his ground on running downs. He got 4 TFLs (2 Sacks), and a forced fumble. An argument could be made that he’s the best defensive play in college right now. The big question is can he continue to get better? There are no signs of him slowing down. Can he add more weight and be 3-4 defensive end? It sure looks it. Current Projection UP: 1st Round

Inside Linebacker Shane Skov (6’3” 244 SR) had another great performance. It’s never surprising to see him around the ball a recover a fumble. Skov makes his way through traffic and seems invisible to blockers. Always makes the tackle. Is the kind of steady player teams desire. He lacks the speed to make him a game changer in the NFL, but that’s OK. Current Projection STEADY: 2nd Round

Stanford Offense

Quarterback #8 Kevin Hogan (6’4” 220lb SO) was inconsistent. His receivers didn’t help him out by dropping several passes. He threw two INTs, one bad decision, and one misread. He still throws a great deep ball. At this point he has plateaued. He will have to get better to become a Joe Flacco type passer in the NFL. Current Projection DOWN: 2015/16 Draft

Left Guard #54 David Yankey (6’5” 311lb JR) played well but wasn’t flawless. He locked on to players at the line, but struggled a little more than usual in space. He’s still in the conversation of best guards for the 2014 draft, but isn’t a lock. Current Projection DOWN: 1st Round

USC Defense

Defensive End #94 Leonard Williams (6’5” 270lb SO) dominated Kevin Danser and Andrus Peat. Williams has unique size and speed. He has an incredible second effort pass rushing that allows him to pressure the quarterback. Barring injury or lost ambition, Williams will be one of the top players to watch next year. Current Projection UP: 2015 Early 1st Round

Middle Linebacker #10 Hayes Pullard (6’1” 235lb JR) had a hell of a game.  He wasn’t shy mixing it up with the Stanford offensive linemen. One one play, he read the run, got to the line of scrimmage, shed a pulling David Yankey, and made the tackle. There are few players in college football who can do that. He’s not a flashy player, but is going to fit in well on whatever NFL team is smart enough to draft him. Current Projection UP: 2nd Round

Topics: 2014 NFL Draft, Stanford Cardinal Football, USC Trojans Football

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