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Ledyard | 5 scouting takeaways from LSU’s thumping of Tennessee

Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

Scouting Notes

Ledyard | 5 scouting takeaways from LSU’s thumping of Tennessee

#20 Louisiana State Tigers v Tennessee Volunteers

Saturday, November 18, 2017, 7:00 p.m. ET

Neyland Stadium – Knoxville, TN

Louisiana State (30) – Tennessee (10)

1. Grant Delpit is going to be a special prospect

Delpit a true freshman for LSU, but he’s already shown the ability to be an excellent prospect with play-making ability. I’ve been impressed with his range from a single-high position in recent viewings, but against Tennessee I was blown away with Delpit’s ferocity and physicality against the run.

Delpit consistently flew downhill to the line of scrimmage, wrapping up well and driving through runners. On one occasion he read run and buzzed downhill, saw a crack block coming from a receiver and blew up the block. This pushed the runner further to the sideline, where another LSU teammate made the tackle-for-loss. I’m legit upset that he’s not draft-eligible yet.

2. Derrius Guice not getting much help

Guice has had to show plenty of toughness this season, playing through pain and consistently dealing with poorly blocked runs. Loaded boxes and a subpar offensive line haven’t helped Guice yard-per-carry average, but coming into Saturday night’s game he was still averaging almost six yards per carry.

Toughness, decisiveness, balance and the ability to drop the pads and run through tackles are what I see when I watch Guice on tape, traits that will carry over to the NFL and be maximized behind a better offensive line. I also think he’s dynamic in the open field, with elusiveness and change-of-direction ability that will open up a myriad of ways for offensive coordinators to utilize his talents.

3. Darrel Williams continues to impress

He’s no Guice, but I love a big back with some burst who knows he’s big. Williams won’t drop jaws in the wiggle department, but he’s a bruiser who puts his shoulder down and finishes runs falling forward. I think he’s shown good vision and burst in the games I’ve watched this season, and is a very capable receiver as well. He’s got a home in the NFL.

4. Donte Jackson a raw athlete

Jackson is obviously an enticing athlete with great speed and the ability to close quickly on anything breaking in front of him. But he’s very spotty down the field when targeted, consistently struggling to find the ball fluidly and stay in phase with the receiver.

At times he looks like an athlete running around trying to stay with his opponents, which is fine in college, especially against SEC passing attacks, but I worry that NFL receivers who are more technically savvy will make him look silly. Jackson was beaten for a long touchdown against Tennessee after he lost the ball, grabbed the receiver and then fell down in coverage.

5. John Kelly, don’t declare

The junior running back for Tennessee has had admittedly very little help this season, but he’s too hesitant behind the line of scrimmage and doesn’t show enough decisiveness as a runner yet.

Listed at 5-9, 212 pounds, Kelly doesn’t really look or play to that size consistently enough to make me feel comfortable about projecting him high in this year’s draft. I know Tennessee is going to be a school in transition, but I think Kelly will get lost amidst a strong running back class if he declares early.

Jon Ledyard

Jon Ledyard has been writing about the NFL draft for several years now, and is thrilled to be bringing creative content and unique analysis to NDT Scouting. He lives with his wife Brittany and four-month old daughter Caylee in mid-western Pennsylvania. Jon is also the host of the Locked on NFL Draft and Breaking the Plane podcasts, while covering the Steelers for scout.com. The Office, LOST, weightlifting, ultimate frisbee, grilling, Duke basketball, and all Pittsburgh pro sports teams are his greatest passions.

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