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Mississippi State Bulldogs vs LSU Tigers 9/17/2016

Dan Sanger/Icon Sportswire

Scouting Notes

Mississippi State Bulldogs vs LSU Tigers 9/17/2016

Mississippi State Bulldogs @ LSU Tigers

Tiger Stadium, Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Saturday, September 17, 2016 @ 7:00 p.m.

Score: 20 MSU v LSU 23

Notable Prospects Entering the Contest

MSU Offense

Justin Senior, RT, Senior #58 (6’5” 310 lbs)

I was conflicted to put him on this list because he does some good things but he also has some flaws that are hard to overlook. First off, I was surprised to see that he was 6’5” because he doesn’t look like it on film but that’s not a big deal. In pass protection, he has quick feet that he keeps low to the ground that allows him to shuffle quickly. In fact, I didn’t see any reps where the edge rusher could get around his outside edge. He does a really good job shadowing edge rushers and he can shuffle with the fastest of them. He also has good hand placement to strike inside and because of his hand placement, it helps with him maintaining balance throughout the block. His flaw is his upper/lower body strength. Multiple times I saw him get pushed back because of a hand jolt from the rusher; one time he was completely knocked backwards on his butt. I am concerned that if a hand strike can knock him backwards, what will happen when he faces powerful full on bull rushers? In addition, he needs to get more power at the point of attack when run blocking because I did not see much drive once contact once made. In fact, I question his mean streak. Stock: same; Draft’s bargain round: 7th-undrafted

Fred Ross, WR, Senior #8 (6’2” 205 lbs)

He had some special moments in the game and then he had some moments that he probably wishes he had back. He showed that he is route savvy to beat bump coverage when he faced Tre’Davious White and had to run a 10 yd. out route. He weaved him out-in to defeat the jam at the los and downfield he finally faked in and rolled out and then caught the ball with all hands on the sideline. He also ran a nice double move during an out route vs a safety for another first down. He showed that he has really good jumping ability. He is able to time his jump well, he gets great height, is athletic enough to jump within his running stride and/or turn around while in the air to adjust to the ball, and he is able to extend his arms and catch with his hands at the highest point. His jumping ability is his wow factor and could make him an asset on an NFL team. However, his concentration level is questionable because he dropped an easy 5 yd. pass, a tunnel screen, and a jump ball that I think he should have caught because he had the ball in between both of his hands. Consistently catching the ball is a huge factor for WRs so lack of concentration is a problem.  He also returns punts but he did not get a chance to return one in this game. Stock: same; Draft’s bargain round: 6th

LSU Defense

Davon Godchaux, DT, Junior #57 (6’4” 299 lbs)

He had some key moments in the game but he did not have an overall amazing impact on the game. However, I can tell that he is an above average defensive lineman. Each time he made a play it was because of great technique, strength, and athletic ability. He had a good snag and pull on 3rd down to create pressure up the middle right in the face of the QB. When the offense was backed up in its own end zone, he kept his hands moving and swiping to keep the guard’s hands off of him and ended up on one leg trying to keep his balance. Because he was athletic enough to keep his balance, the play ended with him almost sacking the QB for a safety. On another play, he started in one direction, snagged the O lineman, and then he spun back to tackle the QB who was trying to run down the middle. He has good speed, as shown when he ran to the sideline and tackled the WR running a screen. I want him to develop more initial pass rushing moves.  Stock: same; Draft’s bargain round: 4th

Tashawn Bower, DE, Senior #46 (6’6” 253 lbs)

He is a prospect that may be better in the NFL than he is in college. He showed great power when he literally knocked the tackle on his butt after a quick hand strike to his chest. He has great pass rushing speed. He combines his speed with great bend and a strong rip move. If the tackle is quickly dropping back in pass protection, he’ll rip through the tackle’s arm and bend the edge to still put pressure on the QB. Stock: up; Draft’s bargain round: 2nd, maybe 1st depending on further evaluation

Arden Key, OLB, Sophomore #49 (6’6” 238 lbs)

He is another tall, fast edge rusher. He uses his long arms to knock offensive lineman off of him and keep separation while he rushes around the edge; even violently chopping down on the tackle’s arm if necessary. He uses his long arms and instincts as a DE to the max; on one read option play he was able to get in the path of the RB to force the QB to pull the ball and then he tackled the QB before he even got started running. He has the potential to be a really good pass rusher. On one play he got off on the snap extremely fast and then he bent his body super low to the point his hand was touching the ground and bent the edge of the tackle’s outside shoulder to get to the QB as quickly as possible. Another move that made him dangerous was when he stunted with the DT. He was really good at acting like he was going to attack the tackle and then sneaking behind the DT to rush up the middle; with his momentum and big body, it was really hard to stop him from continuing toward the QB once he got going. He needs to continue to develop his natural hand swiping moves because I he likes to just put his hands on the tackle and then figure out how to get around them which takes too long. Stock: up; Draft’s bargain round: 1st

Tre’Davious White, CB, Senior #18 (6’0” 197 lbs)

He played mostly against the slot WR. His feet are quick and his drive technique is sound enough to keep up with shifty routes such as the whip route (starts out as a slant and then pivots out). He also shadowed a very good route by Fred Ross on his out route. He stayed with the WR through multiple cuts and was in position by the end of the play but the pass was perfectly thrown. He will be a very good man coverage corner. I wasn’t overly impressed with his physicality but he does at least attack the blocker or ball carrier with his body; too bad he only has 197 lbs to fight with. He also punt returned but he danced way too much and needs to be more decisive. Stock: same; Draft’s bargain round: 2nd

Jamal Adams, S, Junior #33 (6’1” 213 lbs)

He is an ultra-confident player. All game he was talking trash, encouraging teammates, and pumping up the crowd. I’m not always a fan of the theatrics but I do think that players on defense have to play with a ‘swagger’ and if a team puts a lot of like players together then something special can be made, like the Seattle Seahawks defense. Adams backed up his talk too. He got off of WR and TE blocks to tackle the RB at the los on the outside edge of the tackle. He was right on his WR after a 5 yd. pass to knock it out of his hands. I think at this point in his career, the game is moving slow for him. He was aware of an opportune time to punch the ball out from behind the ball carrier. He has powerful explosion toward the ball carrier once he diagnoses the play. He was also dominant as a punt team gunner. One time he stopped the ball on the 5 yd. line and another play he tackled the returner as soon as he caught it. I want to continue to evaluate his coverage skills. Stock: up; Draft’s bargain round: 1st

MSU Defense


LSU Offense

Leonard Fournette, RB, Junior #7 (6’1” 235 lbs)

Overall, I think that he is pushing as the best running back in this draft class (close race with Nick Chubb). In this game he was coming off an ankle injury from 2 weeks previous however, he was still a load to tackle. He hits the hole extremely hard and anyone standing in his way is going to suffer. He will always fall forward; one play he dragged an LB 3 yds. in order to get into the end zone. He wants to enforce pain; on one play next to the sideline, he decided to lower his shoulder into the LB instead of running out of bounds. A different play, he absolutely killed and ran over a LB after catching a dump off pass in the MOF. He has patience to allow the blocks to develop and he’ll help the blockers by pushing outside a little and then exploding through the hole inside. Once he gets pass the front seven or if he gets on the edge, he is too powerful for DBs to tackle. One play, he literally threw a DB off of him after the DB had him in a bear hug. I think that he is going to be very dangerous on screen passes in the NFL because DBs will not want to tackle him. He is also agile enough to quickly juke and make defenders miss or hop over tacklers diving at his legs. In the NFL, he is going to break tackles like Marshawn Lynch because he always keeps his legs moving and he spins until he is forced to the ground. He has confidence that he can stay on his feet for as long as he wants. He is effective in pass protection because he has a big body. He can cut a blitzer high because his body strength will allow him to handle the thigh power of the rusher. On another play, he met the blitzing LB at the los and battled through the block with good technique and hand placement and gave the QB plenty of room to step up in the pocket. His flaw is that he doesn’t look for the cut back much and would rather explode through the hole whether he’s tackled or not. This may be because of the system he is in but it took him multiple quick steps to change direction whenever he decided to. Another thing to watch is his ball security because he fumbled twice in this game. Stock: same; Draft’s bargain round: 1st

Ethan Pocic, C, Senior #77 (6’7” 302 lbs)

He is really big for a center. His size makes him clog up the middle on pass plays, which I like because it gives less room for rushers to maneuver. In pass protection, he used his long arms to keep the rushers away from him and he kept his head on the swivel to help his other offensive linemen if he could. I was most impressed by his ability to consistently get great hand placement and once he latched onto a defender it was very hard for the defender to get off. His flaw is that he didn’t get much leg drive on multiple run plays. He needs to squat lower and get more leg drive into his blocks. His hands are perfectly placed and this allows him to control the defender, to the point, even without his leg drive he was able to drive defenders into the ground. However, there were too many times that he didn’t get any movement at the los and just stood there with his long arms extended on the rusher. Stock: same; Draft’s bargain round: 4th

Other Players that Flashed

Donald Gray, WR, Junior #6 (5’10” 204 lbs) for MSU

I am intrigued by this player. He showed fire and fight throughout the entire game, never giving up. Even when they were down by 17 pts in the 4th quarter, he was fighting for passes and trying to encourage his teammates with his physicality. Two times he jumped high, adjusted, and caught jump ball passes. I also saw him run a great double move route (out and up) where he fully sold the out route and then quickly accelerated up the seam. On another 5 yd. in route, he had quick feet and fluent hips. Then he caught the ball and immediately pivoted back out to break the DB tackle to gain another 15 yds. Stock: up; Draft’s bargain round: 3rd-4th depending on senior season

Josh Boutte, G, Senior #76 (6’5” 346 lbs) for LSU

I am very interested to do more evaluation on this player. He showed to be very powerful at the point of attack when run blocking. I would describe him as an absolute beast when down blocking. He was knocking everything around that was in his way. He hit LBs with great power as well. He has great hand power to swing rushers in order to get leverage. His lower body strength is great as well; he isn’t going anywhere against a bull rush. I think he is still raw in his technique and can further develop. Stock: up; Draft’s bargain round: 2nd possible 1st depending on further evaluation

Best Players on the Field

Leonard Fournette

Arden Key

Jamal Adams

Forgettable Performances

Kendell Beckwith, LB, Senior #52 (6’3” 247 lbs)

He had some great technique and heavy hits on ball carriers. He also had a great read on 3rd down to see a dig route being ran right behind him and he attacked the ball and almost intercepted it. I wanted him to have a bigger impact on the game as the MLB.

Malachi Dupre, WR, Junior #15 (6’4” 195 lbs)

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Roger Dixon Jr

Roger is a native of Orlando, FL. After excelling in DII football his first 2 seasons, he fulfilled his lifelong dream of playing on the Florida Gators football team, where he was named Special Teams Player of the Year and Team Captain. He earned his degree in Economics from UF's Warrington College of Business. Roger brings a passion for football and unique perspective of what it takes to be successful in football at the highest level.

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