Stanford, UCLA Notes

by Tommy Lawlor   –

I re-watched the Stanford/UCLA game to check out some prospects. Rahim Moore is the number one Safety prospect, but he’s not in the same class as Eric Berry or Earl Thomas from last year. Moore is a good player. He’s just not an impact player. Moore looked athletic at the Combine and you see that on game tape as well. He is a classic centerfielder type. Put him deep and let him attack the ball when it’s in the air. Moore is an adequate run defender. He’ll come down in the box, but he’s not the kind of rugged DB who will fight through blocks to get to the ball. His tackling near the LOS isn’t ideal. He had a chance for an easy TFL vs Stanford and couldn’t get the RB down. Moore is better out in space when he can attack his targets on the run. Moore could go late 1st or early 2nd.

Akeem Ayers had a solid game. He was in on 7 tackles. He didn’t make any standout plays. Stanford ran the ball 49 times so there weren’t a lot of chances for impact plays in the passing game. Mike Mayock reported recently that some scouts think Ayers freelances too much. I didn’t see any of that in this game.     DT David Carter is very quick off the ball. Unfortunately he’s a straight line guy. He doesn’t have the COD ability you want in a DT. He can be disruptive with his quickness, but he lacks the strength to be a good run defender. He struggles to hold his ground or shed blocks.

As for Stanford, this was my first time watching LB Tom Keiser (6’5, 252). He’s a Junior and caught me off guard by coming out early. Keiser had a good year (9.5 TFLs, 1 INT), but wasn’t so special that it was a no-brainer. I was impressed as I watched him. Keiser might be the most physical LB I’ve seen this year. He has some quickness off the ball, but isn’t anything close to explosive. What he does is engage blockers and move them backward. On some pass plays Keiser lines up at RDE. UCLA tried to block him with a TE on one play. Keiser just shoved the TE out of his way and went and sacked the QB. Keiser battles to set the edge on run plays. OL aren’t going to move him off the ball easily. I need to watch more tape on Keiser, but he is an interesting player.

Sione Fua is a beast in the middle. You don’t want to single-block him consistently. He will drive the C backward most of the time. Fua is powerful enough to hold his ground against double teams a lot of the time. Good effort as a pass rusher.

Richard Sherman is a good CB. He has excellent size and is another quality press corner in this draft class. Sherman isn’t as physical with receivers as some of the other press corners.  He is a former WR so that probably explains why he’s not jamming receivers all the way downfield. Against UCLA he picked off a downfield pass and broke up another pass. Both plays showed good awareness and ball skills. The more I watch of Sherman, the more I like.

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