I like the defensive side of football. No, I take that back; I love it. One of my favorite (non-playoff) games of the last few years was the 2010 game against Chicago Bears.
With that in mind, linebacker Shayne Skov is one of my favorite players in the 2014 NFL Draft class to watch. He just plays the right way. However, being a good football player doesn't necessarily mean that he is a fit for every football team.
Let's take a look to see if he might be an option for the Giants.
- Prototypical size
- Plays nasty and extremely physical
- Non-stop motor
- High football IQ and instincts
- Torn ACL in 2011 leads to concerns about both durability and athleticism going forward.
- Limited athlete
- Questionable scheme fit
Does He Fit With The Giants?
Does Shayne Skov fit the Giants? Well, he is a linebacker with high football IQ, excellent instincts, a violent hitter, and a leader. So, yeah. He does.
Is he an ideal fit in a 4-3 defense? Probably not. Skov looked much better in 2013 than in 2012 (his first year back from ACL surgery), but even so, his range in pass defense is limited, which limits him as a 4-3 inside linebacker, who are responsible for a large portion of the field.
Skov's fit with the Giants could depend on a transition outside to SAM, which is something he might have to do if he were drafted by the Giants, who re-signed middle linebacker Jon Beason.
Shayne Skov (LB Stanford) vs Oregon 2013 (via Aimal Arsalla)
Big Board Rankings
List here of where he is on BBV/MTD/CBS and maybe a couple of other Big Boards ... like Draft Countdown (one of my favorites) and maybe WalterFootball or one more.
Big Blue View - 46
Mocking The Draft - 81
CBS Sports - 114
Draft Tek - 49
Shayne Skov plays linebacker the way the position is supposed to be played. He is aggressive, but under control. He is instinctual, intelligent, passionate, and everything you want to see out of a linebacker. He can be disruptive or he can clean up after the defensive line. He has everything you want to see in a MIKE linebacker.
Except the sideline-to-sideline range. Skov is quick within his range, and his IQ and instincts generally give him a head start, so that minimizes his athletic limitations, but they're still there. It's possible he could move to strong side linebacker and either be a two-down player, or move inside on passing downs. That might even help him in this defense, by limiting his responsibilities and playing more to his strengths.