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Tuls | Rosen and UCLA outlast Colorado in back and forth battle

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Scouting Notes

Tuls | Rosen and UCLA outlast Colorado in back and forth battle

Colorado Buffaloes vs UCLA Bruins


Rose Bowl – Pasadena, CA

Score: Colorado (23), UCLA (27)

Notable Prospects Entering the Contest

UCLA Bruins

Josh Rosen, QB (Junior): A 28/45 for 371 yards, one touchdown and one interception stat line does not look sexy, but Rosen was the reason why UCLA won this football game, plain and simple. His ability to throw the ball at all three levels on Saturday night gave the solid Colorado secondary fits. The biggest improvement Rosen made in this game was how he handled pressure. Not only did he look comfortable stepping up in the pocket and making tight window throws, but he also looked much better out of structure. His decision making is still too “gambler” for me, as he trust his arm talent to make any throw in any window regardless of how many defenders are in the area, but that is also part of the intrigue that comes with Rosen’s game.  Stock: Up

Scott Quessenberry, C (Redshirt Senior): Quessenberry, who handled strength and struggled with quickness against Stanford had a flip of the script against the Colorado Buffaloes. In pass protection, he was easily pushed back on several snaps by junior nose tackle Javier Edwards, who simply outmatched Quessenberry with hand strength and leverage. On the other hand, Quessenberry looked a lot better protecting against first step quickness in this outing. In the run game, he had yet another solid performance, creating run lanes for junior running back Soso Jamabo. Stock: Same

Kenny Young, LB (Senior): Kenny Young was the best defensive player on the field, regardless of team, for the second week in a row. He is not the best cover guy, but he has sideline to sideline range to make up lateral ground quickly. When he is playing forward, he is an unstoppable force for the Bruins. His instincts and play recognition skills are off of the charts, rarely putting himself in a bad position. He was all over the Colorado backfield in this one, taking good angles and finishing the play before it even started. In a deep linebacker class, Young’s performance so far this season should put him on notice for Senior Bowl consideration. Stock: Up

Colorado Buffaloes

Phillip Lindsay, RB (Senior): Phillip Lindsay is yet another one of these versatile scat backs who can catch the ball out of the backfield. Colorado did whatever they could to get him the ball, feeding him 23 touches in both the run and pass for 130 total yards and two touchdowns. He is not as patient as I would like, but when he hits the hole, it is tough to bring him down because of how shifty and slippery his running style is. Colorado uses him almost like a slot receiver in the passing game too, reminding me of how the Cleveland Browns use Duke Johnson Jr. He will probably have to make his money on special teams, but Lindsay is an interesting dual-threat back to watch.  Stock: Up

Drew Lewis, LB (Junior): The transfer linebacker from Washington is making his presence known his junior season. Lewis is an athletic freak who flies to the football from sideline to sideline, and he excels dropping back in coverage. In fact, he looks like a safety with how well he moves. This explosiveness was captured when he accounted for two TFLs and seven total tackles on the evening. I was impressed by his performance, but if he declares and tests at the Combine, the hype could get ridiculous because of his incredible athleticism. Stock: Up

Isaiah Oliver, CB (Junior): Early on, Rosen tried testing the talented junior Oliver on some deep shots down the sideline, but each of them failed. One in particular was a spectacular pass from Rosen, but broken up at the last second by the extended arm of Oliver, who used his length to time the catch point perfectly for the pass deflection. After that, Rosen did not dare to test Oliver’s side for the rest of the evening, resulting in a small sample size for scouts to look at. Because of this, his draft stock did not move in one direction, but he is one of the most feared cornerbacks in the conference, if not the country. Do not be surprised if he cracks my top five cornerback prospects eligible for the 2018 NFL draft soon, especially with Iman Marshall struggling early. Stock: Same (but trending up)

Other Players that Flashed

Colorado’s Steven Montez, QB (Redshirt Sophomore)

Colorado’s Javier Edwards, NT (Junior)

UCLA’s Jordan Lasley, WR (Redshirt Junior)

UCLA’s Soso Jamabo, RB (Junior)

Best Players on the Field

UCLA’s Josh Rosen, QB (Junior)

UCLA’s Jordan Lasley, WR (Redshirt Junior)

UCLA’s Kenny Young, LB (Senior)

Colorado’s Phillip Lindsay, RB (Senior)

Colorado’s Isaiah Oliver, CB (Junior)

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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