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USC Trojans vs Washington Huskies 11/12/2016

Christopher Mast/Icon Sportswire

Scouting Notes

USC Trojans vs Washington Huskies 11/12/2016

USC Trojans @ Washington Huskies

Saturday, November 12th @ 7:30 p.m.

Alaska Airlines Field at Husky Stadium, Seattle, Washington

26 USC – Washington 13


Jake Browning, QB, Sophomore #3 (6’2” 209 lbs)

He showed that he can deliver quick and accurate short passes despite throwing the passes side arm and with 2 rushers blitzing off the edge in his face. During another pass, he executed a run fake, set his feet, went through his route progressions and then wisely dumped it to the receiver in the flats with good velocity so that he could get yds. after the catch. He showed some pocket maneuverability as well; he was able to get outside of the pocket to extend the time for his receivers to get open.  On 3rd down passes, he was accurate, on time, and threw with good velocity. I became concerned when I saw plays such as a pass intended to a speed out route thrown from the opposite hash was low and behind the receiver.  In the 3rd quarter, he was sacked because he took too much time in the pocket and failed to anticipate the rush. In the 4th quarter, he seemed to feel the pressure of the game because he looked unsure of himself and became inaccurate with his passes.  For example, during one 3rd down play in the 4th quarter, he intended to throw into coverage instead of scrambling up the middle and taking advantage of the open field in front of him. A few plays later, he threw a pass across the field and was intercepted despite having open field in front of him to scramble towards. With 1:30 left in game, he underthrew a wide open receiver running deep.  Late in the game, he continued to lose his footing when scrambling. He shows some good qualities as a QB, however in order to be great, he must show that he can handle the pressure of a close game. Stock: same; Draft’s bargain round: NA too young

Trey Adams, Tackle, Sophomore #72 (6’8” 309 lbs)

His pass protections were impressive because he maintains a great base, he has fast foot speed, and he executes long arm extensions during his hand fight. He has a quick shuffle to mirror the rusher’s attacks. He keeps a firm base under him to still be able to shuffle even when the rusher swipes both his hands away whereas a lot of linemen would become off balance at this point. During one pass, he fluently shuffled so well that a known quick rusher had no space to get around him. During a different 3rd down passing play, he totally dominated the block despite the rusher’s juke moves and efforts to knock his hands away. To add to his shuffle, he extended his arms far in unison with his steps.  Because of his light feet, he had no problem staying in front against defensive stunts. His powerful strikes consistently landed inside of the rusher’s chest pad.  He maintains an upright position throughout his pass block. He did decently during run blocks. One of his better run blocks was on display during an outside zone run to the opposite side of him, yet he ran full speed and drove the LB outside of the hashes to provide a cut back lane for the RB. Stock: up; Draft’s bargain round: NA more film needed

John Ross, WR, Junior #1 (5’11” 190 lbs)

He is an explosive play maker.  The very first offensive snap, he caught a simple pass in the flat and then he juked and cut across defenders for another 25 yds. downfield. When matched up against top tier DB Adoree Jackson, he showed that he has the quickness, route running ability, and finish ability to consistently dominate. During a 3rd down pass where he was one on one with Adoree Jackson, he ran a post-curl route during which he powerfully planted at the top and ran back downhill to secure the catch and first down. More impressively, he immediately spun after the catch to break the DB’s tackle and gain more yards. His YAC ability is dangerous for the defense. He also showed that he is too quick to be contained in bump coverage. He converted another first down while matched up with Jackson when he ran a slant route and quickly hesitated at the top of his route which caused the DB’s feet to get stuck. With Jackson trying to press cover him he executed another hesitation move and continued on a go route for a touchdown. He showed efficient footwork and hips at the top of his speed out. Once again, after the catch, he spun off the tackler and then cut across another defender. He seems to always be on the lookout for another defender to make miss. YAC ability is a very important aspect for a wide receiver and he has shown that he can be dangerous after the catch. He was also the kickoff returner. Stock: up; Draft’s bargain round: NA more film needed but as of right now 2nd


Elijah Qualls, DL, Junior #11 (6’1” 321 lbs)

He has a low center of gravity, moves well, and uses his hands against the offensive linemen. During multiple run plays, he moved well when tracking the ball carrier before making the tackle. He uses his hands and shuffles well down the los when moving with the run. Multiple times he shed the block at the last second and immediately made the tackle on the RB. He also showed the strength to bull rush up the middle to get pressure on the QB during passing plays. He shows some good skills but more film is needed. Stock: same; Draft’s bargain round: NA more film needed

Keishawn Bierria, LB, Junior #7 (6’1 221 lbs)

He was the Washington player that I was most impressed with, which is saying a lot because they have a few players that are top quality prospects. He flew around the field with great speed. Even when he ran in the wrong direction, he was moving fast. He showed fluent hips and quick acceleration when he dropped into zone coverage and then redirected to tackle the scrambling QB. His hips were on display when he tightly covered a WR one on one and then burst to dive in front of the ball to tip it away. He can swiftly change direction. During one play he initially covered the RB swing route and then backpedaled to protect against the wheel route before bursting downhill inside in the direction of the scrambling QB before finally rapidly changing direction to the sideline to finish the tackle. Against many running plays, he tracked the ball carrier to the hole and delivered solid tackles. He has a feel for the game; effectively fitting and filling the running lanes at the los. He has the speed to travel side line to sideline combined with a motor that lets him go full speed each play. He was the only LB with enough speed to recover against a reverse play, during which he had to run through a sturdy block that delayed his pursuit. Also, he ran down speedster Adoree Jackson during a pitch toss.  He used that same speed to shoot the gap before the pulling lineman could get to the hole. In addition, his physicality was on display when he threw his shoulder into the blocker to clog the hole.  I was very impressed with his film and look forward to watching more of him. Stock: up; Draft’s bargain round: 3rd

Sidney Jones, DB, Junior #26 (6’0” 181 lbs)

I was excited to watch another top tier DB of this class. Most of the game, he was tasked with guarding top tier WR JuJu Smith-Schuster and yet I came away impressed with his speed, reaction quickness, competitiveness, and overall coverage ability. He rapidly diagnosed and evaded a pick when covering a slant route on the goal line. He had the speed to defend the go route and quick reaction to decelerate and stay right on JuJu’s hip when the WR ran a comeback route.  While in bump coverage, he was patient at the los and didn’t lunge for foot fire or juke moves from JuJu. He showed that he has a large cover radius when in zone coverage. During one play when he was in cover 3, he sat on an 8 yd. wide hitch route but still made it before the safety to the intended WR running a seam route. When tasked with blitzing, he timed it right and rushed without hesitation to get  into the backfield in a hurry. During a RB screen, he had a speedy reaction and defeated the WR’s block, although he didn’t have enough weight behind him to tackle the RB single handedly. His lighter frame was on display during other plays as well. Such as when JuJu ran through his shoulder, knocked him off balance, and caught the first down pass during a 3rd down situation. Later in the game, he didn’t have enough power behind his frame to defend against Juju’s push off during a slant route which created a lot of separation. Overall, he is a good prospect but his weight could be a hindrance against physical receivers. Stock: up; Draft’s bargain round: NA more film needed

Budda Baker, DB, Junior #32 (5’10” 192 lbs)

I like his versatility as a safety because he is a force in the run game and yet has the speed to cover as well.  When he blitzed into the backfield, he violently threw the RB pass protector to the side to continue his pressure on the QB. There were several plays where despite him being in coverage outside of the hash marks, he rushed in and still made the tackle on the RB because he attacks fast and doesn’t hesitate as soon as he senses the play. When he dropped into the coverage to defend curl routes, he immediately planted and burst toward the ball carrier no matter where the pass was thrown on the field. He continually finished once at the tackle point,. He made a fantastic play by explosively bursting past a WR’s block during a reverse to tackle JuJu. He has very good speed for a LB/S. His speed was shown on plays such as when he ran around a pick set by the outside WR in pursuit of the inside TE’s flat route and yet he was still in position to make the tackle immediately. His physicality was on display during plays such as when he made a solid one on one tackle against a TE in the flats. He could be a prime candidate to be chosen in the middle rounds that could have the same impact as a Jabrill Peppers for teams that don’t want to trade up to choose Peppers. Stock: up; Draft’s bargain round: NA need to diagnose coverage skills more

Kevin King, DB, Senior #20 (6’3” 192 lbs)

He could be an interesting prospect because he showed very good coverage ability in this game. There were several plays that he allowed no space between him and the WR. Even when a WR tried to stutter and continue to the next hole during a slant route, he kept his hand on the WR’s hip the entire route and left no space between them. Against a 5 yd. hitch route, he got hands on after the snap, and shuffled side to side to stay in the WR’s hip. Especially on 3rd down, his coverages against the WR’s were very tight. When he blitzed off the edge, he speedily tracked down and tackled the RB’s ankles trying to run a sweep to the opposite side. The only play that I didn’t like was when I saw him hang back and not attack a toss pitch to his side with 3 minutes left in the game. That play shows some cowardliness and non-competitiveness that could be a concern. Stock: up; Draft’s bargain round: NA more film needed


Josh Fatu, DT, senior #96 (6’1” 320 lbs)

He once again showed the strength to be a force up the middle by executing numerous powerful bull rushes. Multiple plays during this game, he bull rushed and knocked the guard straight back into the QB. During one 3rd and long, he flushed the QB out of the pocket by bull rushing up the middle. However, he did not show great agility to track down the QB/ ball carrier once they ran away. He showed another quick swim move to penetrate up the middle but once again he did not have the agility to track down the ball carrier after he bounced it. He did not move laterally down the los well.  However, he can be very effective containing his position up the middle. He showed that he can hold off the offensive linemen, even if he uses only one arm, and hold his position against the run. He is powerful and sturdy at the los. Stock: same; Draft’s bargain round: 4th-5th

Porter Gustin, DE, Sophomore #45 (6’5” 260 lbs)

He showed many of the same qualities I have come to know of him. He relies on his strength, grit, and hustle. He consistently executes a strong rip move around the offensive tackle’s outside edge to bully his way toward the QB. He executed a strong snag move to defeat a blocker when the RB bounced the ball to his outside. He plays with a fighting mentality. However, he did not have enough burst toward the QB to secure the tackle once the QB scrambled away. He showed slow closing speed again when trying to run down the QB after a fake run roll out pass. Stock: same; Draft’s bargain round: 7th-undrafted

Uchenna Nwosu, LB, Junior #42 (6’3” 235 lbs)

He showed fast speed when closing on the ball carrier. He even had enough speed to not allow John Ross get outside of him on a reverse. During another sweep run, he physically set the edge and then exploded to make the tackle on the RB once he ran outside. He was also physical at the poa when a TE came across the formation to block him from the inside out by using his harms to immediately shed the block and make the tackle. Against a tunnel screen he sensed the play quickly and sprinted out to the WR catching the pass. However, his ability to gain a consistent pass rush was limited and he didn’t display many pass rushing moves, which hurts his stock. Stock: down; Draft’s bargain round: 5th

Adoree Jackson, DB/WR/PR, Junior #2 (5’11” 185 lbs)

Overall, he was beaten all day by top tier WR John Ross. During a 3rd down when he matched up one on one with John Ross, he had inefficient footwork against the WR’s post curl route so his feet got stuck in the ground when he tried to drive on the WR’s curl back to the QB. Even worse, he missed the tackle after the catch. During another 3rd down where the WR ran a simple slant route, he slowly reacted to the WR’s juke move and was beat for another 1st down conversion. Later in the game, he was beat on a speed out route and then dove for the tackle during which the WR spun off. He did not trust his speed against a pass in the red zone when he was beat by a 5 yd. hitch route because he was cautious of the stop and go route. When he tried to press coverage John Ross, the WR’s move at the los made him fall backwards as the WR flew past and scored. His one on one coverage technique needs work but I really like his ability to finish at the catch point when his opportunity to intercept a pass arrives. During one pass, he dropped into zone coverage and baited the QB to throw the ball. Then he showed amazing athleticism to jump and stay high in the air for a long time to secure the interception with his hands. When a pass was thrown across the field, he drove on the pass and easily intercepted another pass. He has raw athleticism and looks to make a big play. He will need time to develop his coverage technique. Stock: down; Draft’s bargain round: 3rd-4th


Sam Darnold, QB, Freshman #14 (6’4” 225 lbs)

I was extremely impressed with his game. He maneuvers the pocket very well. During a pass where he read 2 routes that were covered, he kept his feet moving, flipped his shoulders to avoid a rusher, moved up in the pocket and then quickly delivered a pass to an open route moving across the field as a different rusher tackled him. He always kept his feet alive in the pocket while scanning through his progressions. Almost like Peyton Manning or Aaron Rodgers does. During one pass, he moved lightly on his feet while in the pocket by dancing and skipping around until he delivered a bullet to the back of the end zone for a td. During one pass, he easily avoided a rusher who ran free off the edge by stepping up at the last second. He has a natural feel for the pocket and the rush. He showed mental toughness and confidence when he delivered multiple bullets across the middle the next series after he threw an interception. He quickly read the defense and diagnosed where the blitz was attacking from, and anticipated the open window where the receiver would be open. He has a burst when he decides to tuck the ball and run for a first down and the athleticism to execute draw plays and gain chunks of yards. There were times when he had mental lapses such as when he threw an interception right into the hands of the LB or when he threw a pass to a RB screen pass into the dirt. Sometimes, he floats the pass when he throws on the run.  He is not extremely accurate on all his throws. For instance, he threw behind the WR running a seam route. Yet, I am really excited about his potential, especially if he can increase his accuracy and the velocity on his passes while on the move. Stock: up; Draft’s bargain round: NA too young

Zach Banner, RT, Senior #73 (6’9” 360 lbs)

He did very well to protect his corner while in pass protection by using his long arms. Even when he allowed the rusher inside of his chest, his body is so big that he still didn’t budge. His big body allows him to patiently wait for the rusher to get to him when in pass protection. He protected his corner very well; rushers could not get around or through him. His big frame allows him to totally swamp the defender when he gets a hand on them when run blocking, although sometimes he attacked with wide arms which limited his power after contact. He showed a very powerful run block during a double team but he would need to work on his consistency of proper hand placement to get drive after contact consistently. I didn’t see elite foot speed while in pass protection or when changing direction. More importantly, I did not see high effort. His big body frame makes him a high risk of injury which decreases his stock. However, I feel that a team could gain a quality depth and potential starter if chosen in the middle rounds or later. Stock: down; Draft’s bargain round: 4th-5th

JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR, Junior #9 (6’2” 220 lbs)

I was more impressed with this game than previous games. Mainly because he showed physicality against the DB when running routes. He ran straight through the DB’s shoulder to throw him off balance before catching a 3rd down conversion. During another 3rd down pass, he dove out to complete the low pass. He showed that he has zone coverage awareness and sat in the hole to catch another first down pass. During run plays, he runs well to get to the spot however; he doesn’t drive after contact once he gets hands on with the DB despite his larger frame. I still don’t feel that he has elite route running ability and relies too much on his physicality of pushing off at the top of routes that could get him penalized in the NFL. Also, his attitude toward the game and teammates is questionable. For example, he was visibly angry with a teammate who missed a block during his reverse. Based on this game and past game reports, I feel that he is a prime player to be chosen too high because of his athletic ability/potential yet never live up to the potential. Stock: same; Draft’s bargain round: 4th-5th (where I would choose him but not where he will be chosen)


Deontay Burnett, WR, Sophomore #80 (6’0” 170 LBS) for USC

He had a few decent plays. During an out route, he leaned on the DB at the top of the route to gain separation when he broke out. Then he had the awareness to quickly convert to an out-and-up route when the QB didn’t throw the initial out route. Later in the game, he showed fearlessness and focus when he went up to catch the pass with his hands during a seam route. Stock: same; Draft’s bargain round: NA too young

Damien Mama, LG, Junior #51 (6’4” 325 lbs) for USC

He did a decent job in this game. Some of his high points were when he travelled through the chaos on the 1st level and got up to the 2nd level to deliver a good pop on the LB. He showed that he can shoot his hands inside and drive D lineman off of the ball during run plays. He also ran well during a RB screen pass and cut blocked the D lineman. Although, he showed some good plays, I do not see elite athleticism. He is a decent player that I feel could provide some good depth. Stock: same; Draft’s bargain round: 4th-5th

Leon McQuay III, DB, Senior #22 (6’1” 195 lbs) for USC

When he was lined up in 2 high coverage, he still sprinted downhill and to the opposite side of his initial alignment to wrap up the RB’s legs. Later in the game, he quickly reacted to a tunnel screen and disrupted the play. Stock: same; Draft’s bargain round: 6th-undrafted


Sam Darnold, QB, Freshman #14 (6’4” 225 lbs) for USC

Keishawn Bierria, LB, Junior #7 (6’1 221 lbs) for Washington

John Ross, WR, Junior #1 (5’11” 190 lbs) for Washington

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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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