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Tuls | LSU pitches a shutout against sputtering BYU offense

SEP 02 AdvoCare Texas Kickoff - BYU v LSU
Photo by John Korduner/Icon Sportswire

Scouting Notes

Tuls | LSU pitches a shutout against sputtering BYU offense

BYU Cougars vs #13 LSU Tigers

09/02/2017

Mercedes-Benz Superdome/New Orleans, LA

Score:  BYU (0), LSU (27)

Notable Prospects Entering the Contest

LSU Tigers 

Derrius Guice, RB (Junior)

Honestly, I’m not sure Guice can do to raise his draft stock this season because he is already a consensus top-10 prospect for the 2018 NFL draft. With that being said, he had yet another impressive performance rushing for 122 yards and two touchdowns against the Cougars. While Guice did not break any big runs, he showed the elusiveness, vision, power, and pass protection that he showcased as the 2016 SEC rushing leader. As long as Guice stays healthy, I doubt his stock moves at all. Stock:  Same

DJ Chark, WR (Senior) 

Chark caught four passes for 77 yards on Saturday, confirming his primary role as Danny Etling’s top outside weapon and deep threat for the Tigers this season. I was also impressed by his ability to create after the catch and make defenders miss. Chark has plenty to work on with his route refinement, but he checked off all of the boxes without moving the needle for his draft stock either way. Stock:  Same

Toby Weathersby, OT (Junior)

Saturday’s game showed everything we already knew about Toby Weathersby. He is a big, powerful blocker who struggles with quickness and consistency. His performance in the run game was up and down, but he was able to make steps forward in pass protection. He held up well for the most part with flashes of outstanding hand strength. The upside is there for Weathersby to continue progress, but he is still a raw prospect nonetheless. Stock:  Same

William Clapp, C (Redshirt Junior): 

If there was an MVP of Saturday’s game, my vote would have gone towards LSU redshirt junior center William Clapp. He mauled over BYU’s defensive linemen in the run game, exposing them over and over again with several reach and pancake blocks. Another important note of Clapp’s performance was his ability to wall defenders at the second level. His mobility was much better than I expected. In pass protection, he was rock solid, matching power and quickness against a technically-sound BYU defensive line. Stock: Up

Arden Key, EDGE (Junior)

Key missed Saturday’s outing because of a shoulder injury that was surgically repaired in the summer. He did practice during the week without a brace, so I would expect him to suit up next week against Chattanooga. Stock: Same

Kevin Toliver II, CB (Junior)

Toliver was a standout freshman who suffered an injury-riddled sophomore campaign in 2016. Coming into his junior season with high expectations, Toliver was one of 13 LSU players who did play on Saturday due to a violation of team rules. It is unclear if Toliver will miss any more games as a result of this suspension, but for a player who desperately needs reps to shore up his raw technique, this is not a great start. Stock: Down

Donte Jackson, CB (Junior)

Donte Jackson is a crazy-athletic cornerback with all of the physical tools necessary to excel at the next level, but he got off to a poor start on Saturday against BYU. Whether it was a cluster of missed tackles in the open field or just his undisciplined impatience at the LOS in Press, Jackson looked anxious throughout the game. With Tre’Davious White gone, many expected Jackson to step in as the veteran cornerback of the LSU secondary, but he looked like a lost freshman against the Cougars. Stock:  Down

BYU Cougars 

Tanner Mangum, QB (Junior)

There is no nice way to say this: Tanner Mangum had a dreadful performance against LSU. In fact, it was a game that might have incinerated any hopes he had of declaring for the 2018 NFL draft. His final stat line: 12/24, 102 yards, one interception. He underthrew his receivers on multiple occasions, with one resulting in an interception by LSU redshirt freshman Andraez Williams. When the team needed a spark down the field, Mangum settled for check downs. Even then, he struggled to complete those easy, short throws. It was about as uninspiring of a performance I’ve seen from a hyped up quarterback prospect in a while. Stock: Down

Tejan Koroma, C (Senior)

One of the lone bright spots for the Cougars was their four-year starter at center in Tejan Koroma. The veteran center served as the anchor of the offensive line, playing a rock-solid game against top-level athletes on the LSU defensive line. He was able to match their interior quickness and at times, overwhelm them with his functional strength. Koroma’s timing was spot on and he was able to wall off defenders at the second level. He may not be receiving the hype of someone like William Clapp, but Koroma is a stud center prospect. Stock: Up

Fred Warner, LB (Senior) 

Arguably the best prospect coming into this game for the Cougars was weak-side linebacker Fred Warner. That did not change after his impressive performance against LSU. The first thing I noticed about his game was his mobility and athleticism. He can cover ground across the field quicker than some safeties. In fact, BYU put him in the slot on several snaps. Warner also showed the ability to stack and shed at the point of attack, but he failed to finish the play on a couple occasions. Nonetheless, Warner is a rising linebacker prospect who fits today’s mold of an NFL weak-side linebacker. Stock: Up

Micah Hannemann, SS (Senior) 

Hannemann showcased his superior processing speed and reactionary quickness with quick breaks on both passes and outside runs early in the game. His versatility to play in the back end or in the nickel is also impressive. However, he was ejected in the second half because of a targeting call. A promising performance negated by an unnecessary helmet-to-helmet collision. Stock: Same

Other Players that Flashed 

BYU’s Corbin Kaufusi, DL (Junior) 

Kaufusi is a 6’9 behemoth on the defensive line, but he showed impressive athleticism on a play where he crossed Toby Weathersby’s face, forcing a holding call with his disruption. This surprising nimbleness could be attributed to his basketball background. His pad level is always going to be a disadvantage, but his hand strength and technique was eye-popping for sure.

LSU’s Devin White, LB (Sophomore)

The best player not named Derrius Guice for the LSU Tigers is not even draft eligible. His name is Devin White, a sophomore off-ball linebacker who has the range to run from sideline to sideline and also the the power to blow up inside runs. He is as instinctive as you’ll see for a sophomore linebacker. His sheer athleticism allowed him to get in the backfield consistently, but he also takes great path angles to the football. White is only going to get better as the season goes along, and that could be a scary revelation.

LSU’s Andraez Williams, CB (Redshirt Freshman)

With Kevin Toliver suspended for violating team rules, redshirt freshman Andraez Williams got the start opposite Donte Jackson at cornerback. While many would expect Jackson to be the veteran, it was Williams who outclassed the competition. He simply shut down BYU’s receivers on the outside and intercepted a pass with his back to the ball in man coverage early in the game. Toliver may come back next week, but Williams put these cornerbacks on notice.

Best Players on the Field 

Derrius Guice, RB, LSU

William Clapp, C, LSU

Devin White, LB, LSU

Andraez Williams, CB, LSU

Tejan Koroma, C, BYU

Fred Warner, LB, BYU

Forgettable Performances

Tanner Mangum, QB, BYU

Donte Jackson, CB, LSU

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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