Shayne Skov   LB   Stanford

TALENT BOARD ROUND  1

STRENGTHS
Shayne will be a difference maker, a playmaker, and a tone setter for the team that drafts him. He shows very good athletic talent and is a heads up, wrap up, squeeze, and drive tackler. Shayne is a smart player who understands down and distance. He shows leadership skills through his play on the field and has the skill set that allows him to shock the blocker, shed, and make tackles. He has solid cover skills, and because of his instincts and anticipation skills he can cover most Tight Ends in a matchup zone coverage scheme. Shayne has an excellent burst to the play and is the type of linebacker that has to be accounted for and blocked on every running play and every pass play because of his ability to attack the line of scrimmage. He can play any linebacker position in any style of defense because of his football intelligence and instincts to make big plays all over the field. He reminds me a lot of the Texans’ Brian Cushing. I suspect Shayne will be just as impacting as Brian has been for the team that drafts him. I call him Shayne (The Reaper) Skov because he cuts down and gathers tackles like a machine cuts down and gathers wheat in a field at harvest time.

CONCERNS
Shayne has been suspended and looks like he likes to have fun off the field as well as on the field. He also has been coming off a knee injury that looks to be a non-issue, but he seemed to struggle athletically coming all the way back from it. There will be some people that suggest Shayne is just a two down linebacker because he might not have the skills to cover in the pass defense. Don’t listen to that B.S. This kid knows exactly what to do and where to go when his responsibility is to defend against a first down pass. It is true that Shayne is better going forward and attacking the line of scrimmage but taking him out on passing downs will be a big mistake because he knows how to form tackle, punish the receiver, and strip the ball. You’re just going to have to coach better if his lateral agility is not what you think it should be. Personally I would not take this talent to make an impact play off the field for any down.

BOTTOM LINE
Do you think you need a player who plays like Brian Cushing for your defense? A player who knows how to time his blitzes, make game changing plays, shock the blocker, shed, and make tackles, lead by example, and understands how to set the tone for your defense? Well if you don’t need that type of linebacker, then don’t draft him. Personally I think every team needs that type of player and whatever limitations Shayne might have athletically are not limitations, just challenges for him to overcome. Shayne tackles players before they make first downs. He doesn’t chase them down after because he takes the right angles and is instinctive. I know teams are in love with linebackers who can tackle all over the field, but the truth is most of them cannot handle being blocked which is why they are chasing down players from behind and making the tackle after the first down markers. Teams complain all the time about the defense not being able to get off the field. I believe that’s happening more and more because linebackers are not taking on blocks to let others on the team make tackles or are running around blocks and then chasing after players to make the dramatic tackle down the field -- too late to stop the play from gaining another first down. Shayne not only takes on the block, he shocks the blocker with two powerful, quick straight arms setting the big blocker off balance allowing Shayne to shed and make tackles. As I said before, Shayne cuts down and makes tackles like a reaper machine cuts down a field of wheat at harvest time. Hence the nickname…”The Reaper.”

Drew Boylhart
Dec/2013