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Tuls | Bryce Love makes statement in Cardinal win over Bruins

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Scouting Notes

Tuls | Bryce Love makes statement in Cardinal win over Bruins

UCLA Bruins vs Stanford Cardinal


Stanford Stadium – Stanford, CA

Score:  UCLA (34), Stanford (58)

Notable Prospects Entering the Contest

UCLA Bruins

Josh Rosen, QB (Junior): Throwing 60 passes, it was evident from the beginning that UCLA relied on Josh Rosen for everything offensively. Completing 40 of those passes for 480 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions, Rosen had his moments of both good and bad throughout the night. When given a clean pocket, Rosen was able to showcase his accuracy by throwing dimes at all three levels of the field. Also, the velocity on his throws Saturday night were eye popping to say the least. The problem, however, is that Rosen looked like a deer in headlights when the play broke down. Stanford was able to expose UCLA’s lackluster offensive line and force Rosen to play out of structure. That being said, the wide receivers did not help Rosen by dropping many catchable passes.  Stock: Same

Scott Quessenberry, C (Redshirt Senior):  Quessenberry is at his best when he can block in a phone booth with his heavy hands and lower body strength. He struggled against the quicker Harrison Phillips on some reach blocks, but Quessenberry did surprise me with how effective he was at walling off defenders at the second level. Again, he is not the most fleet of foot athlete, but he knows positioning and angles really well. An up and down performance overall. Stock: Same

Kenny Young, LB (Senior): The best player on the Bruins defense Saturday night was undoubtedly senior linebacker Kenny Young. No matter where the play went, Young was there wrapping up the ball carrier. I came into this game thinking Young was a limited athlete, but that went out the window after the first couple of drives. He was able to chase down plays sideline to sideline, showing both range and competitive toughness. Young needs to finish more consistently to assert his draft status, but this was an eye-opening performance nonetheless. Stock: Up

Stanford Cardinal

Bryce Love, RB (Junior): If I did not know any better, I would have though LeSean McCoy was playing in Bryce Love’s uniform Saturday night. With the way Love was cutting and accelerating, before and after contact, you could only look in amazement. 30 carries for 263 yards? UCLA had no answer for Bryce Love, and neither does any team in the Pac 12 conference. His patience to sift through traffic and then turn on the boosters with his track speed is nearly impossible to defend. I still worry about his ability to reliably pass protect, as showed in this game, but you cannot tell me that Bryce Love is not in the top three of the Heisman trophy race now.  Stock: Up

Harrison Phillips, DT (Senior) 

Just as the UCLA defense had no answer for Bryce Love, show me a consecutive string of plays where Harrison Phillips was blocked. I’ll wait. His quickness and lower body strength really gave Scott Quessenberry trouble, but also the guards as well. On first glance against USC, I thought he was a bit of a tweener between a nose and an under tackle, but this performance may have altered my view into that he could play both at the next level. Stock: Up

Quenton Meeks, CB (Junior) 

Right off of the bat, Meeks was able to assert his aggressiveness in run support, a part of the game he does not get enough credit for, especially in terms of lane discipline and wrap up technique. In coverage, Meeks had more bright spots than moments of hesitation. For how big Meeks is at 6’2 with his compact, muscular frame that gives him an advantage at the LOS, it is remarkable to see him thrive in off man coverage the way he does. I’ve been on record saying Meeks is the smartest, most technically-sound cornerback eligible for the 2018 NFL draft, and while he proved me right on several occasions, he also missed an easy interception that could have elevated his stock even more. Stock: Same

Alijah Holder, CB (Senior)

Holder played well in both coverage and run support in the first half, but was ejected for targeting in the early part of the third quarter. Rosen tried to attack the left side with Quenton Meeks and Justin Reid, as opposed to Holder’s side on the right. Not enough of a sample size here to move the needle for his draft stock. Stock: Same

Other Players that Flashed

UCLA’s Jaleel Wadood, S (Senior)

Stanford’s JJ Arcega-Whiteside, WR (Junior)

Stanford’s KC Costello, QB  (Redshirt Sophomore)

Best Players on the Field

Stanford’s Bryce Love, RB (Junior)

UCLA’s Kenny Young, LB (Senior)


Jonah Tuls

Tuls is one of the lead NFL Draft analysts for Draftbreakdown.com and has been a key contributor to several other NFL Draft sites in recent years. At Draftbreakdown, Tuls provides macro-oriented NFL Draft coverage, including comprehensive player rankings, mock drafts and big boards for the site. Tuls has worked with some of the NDT Scouting staff previously before; he worked with National Scout Jon Ledyard to form the core of USA Today’s Draft Wire site for the 2016 NFL Draft season. His work there was centered around draft reports, with additional analysis and breaking news efforts as well.

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