Porter Gustin, USC: 2018 NFL Draft Scouting Report

PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 02: Defensive end Porter Gustin
PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 02: Defensive end Porter Gustin /

USC’s Porter Gustin is a high-energy linebacker prospect who makes plays all over the field in both the run and passing game.

Porter Gustin plays with a non-stop motor which makes him a threat to make a tackle at every moment. He is someone who will close the back door with authority, chase a runner several yards down field and register a sack on a moving quarterback.

Gustin also brings good athleticism to the field including excellent closing speed. He’s able to go from a standstill and close a gap in a hurry. This allows him to stay in control and balanced while pursing the ball carrier.

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He knows that he’s capable of staying in front of the runner and then pouncing when they make their decision.

Gustin is a hard-nosed player who works to set the edge and support the run. USC often asks him to work at the line of scrimmage where he battles for position and inside hand placement. His hand usage and effort are what helps him hold at the point of attack.

However, there are times where he is overpowered by bigger offensive linemen. In these situations he can be driven a few yards off the ball. This is why I’d personally like to see him work a few yards off the ball more often.

One of the main reasons USC likes to keep Gustin in the trenches is his potential as a pass rusher. He has that quick-twitch ability needed to gain the edge. Gustin also shows good overall balance and the ability to bend and flatten around the corner.

However, his pass rushing skills are very raw and need to be properly developed. He lacks a wide-array of pass rush moves mainly relying on his quickness. The upside is present for Gustin to develop into a top-flight pass rusher. However, he could also be a more rounded linebacker who plays the run and drops into coverage.

Overall, Gustin’s natural athleticism and effort make him a solid prospect. He has the gifts to be a real difference maker at the next level.