Film Study: Shayne Skov, LB, Stanford

Shayne Skov - Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports

Hey Giants fans! It's been a while since I have been able to write a fanpost. College and what not has gotten in the way of me being able to contribute as much as I would like. Now between Jesse, Invictus, and Raptor, I know yall have had a ton of draft stuff to go over, but I don't want them to have all the fun! Not to mention Shayne Skov is one of my favorite prospects, and I really wanted to delve in a little deeper to his game. I know the local Beezer Brigade will perk up at the mention of a Linebacker, so at the very least I know I have an audience haha.

Meet Shayne Skov, the 6'2, 245lb Linebacker from Stanford. He's an aggressive, strong Linebacker that enjoys hitting, and his physicality and intensity stand out on tape. He tore his ACL in 2011, but his most recent season exhibited explosion and near 100% health. He made a mark this year with 108 tackles and 5.5 sacks, putting together excellent games against teams like Oregon and UCLA.

The Film

Aimal Arsalla·

Speaking of his game against Oregon, how about we take a look at it? Now the format of the film studies I do will be different this year, since I don't really have the time to go through each and every play. However I will point out specific plays that highlight the strengths and weaknesses of Skov, and yall can watch the film in its entirety if you want.

Play One (0:14-0:34) - The second play into this film, and Skov is already making big time plays. On a designed blitz that comes around the edge of the right side, Skov is able to stop mid-blitz, jump, and get his hands up to swat down Mariota's pass. On the whole, this play demonstrates speed, instincts, and awareness. The only way to improve here is to intercept the pass and take it to the house.

Play Two: (0:48-0:57) - Skov isn't in his stance when the play starts, and I'm not sure why. Might have been trying to read the formation and call a defensive audible, but I can't be certain. Either way, he runs up and assists on the tackle to keep the ball carrier held to a short gain.

Play Three: (0:59-1:08) - Here's where some people perceive Skov's greatest weakness to be, which is in pass coverage. Now I can't fault Skov too much on this play, he starts out faking a blitz to the Offense's left side, and then comes all the way back around to the right side in what is a pretty odd zone coverage. Seems like more scheme than Skov to me, but either way the gain wasn't all that devastating anyway.

Play Four: (1:20-1:40) - Now for those of you who have called him "Shayne Slow" in the past, I'd like to direct you to this play. Half of this play is Skov's instincts, he's able to read the ball carrier and begins to head to the edge at just the right time. The other half of this play is indeed speed, or at least quickness, and Skov meets De'Anthony Thomas (no slouch in the speed department) in the backfield for a loss. Also, if Skov gets there a half second slower, the pulling Guard probably gets his hands on him, and Thomas gets the edge. Excellent play by Skov here, reminds me a lot of Luke Keuchly.

Play Five: (1:41-1:56) - This is a very solid blitz up the middle by Skov, but he appears to get tripped up by someone's leg. If he doesn't, that's a sack, plain and simple.

Play Six: (1:57-2:08) - Skov hesitates a slight bit, and then blitzes Mariota, applying slight pressure and forcing the pass probably by about a second. It's enough, and the pass falls incomplete.

Play Seven: (2:09 - 2:23) - Here's my first negative play for Skov. He allows a releasing Lineman to get into his body and block him downfield. Thomas runs to the right for a good chunk of yardage, but at the very least Skov is there at the end, getting off his block and taking the correct angle to cut Thomas off if he has to.

Play Eight: (2:25 - 3:30) - I'm conflicted about this play, mostly because I'm not sure what the cover assignment was. If the coverage is some type of man, than the CB (#2) did his job, and Skov failed to do his. If not, Skov did the right thing by staying in his zone and the CB followed that receiver inappropriately, not picking up the outside receiver that caught the pass. Now despite any possible coverage flaws, there's no arguing what Skov did after the catch was incredible. He comes from behind, makes a solid tackle, and in the process knocks the ball loose. On a heads up play, he then strong arms the loose ball out from under the receiver with one arm and recovers the ball for Stanford. Not only is this a great play, but it's a big time play as well. The score is 14-0 in Stanford's favor, but Oregon is driving and possibly about the score a Touchdown. Grabbing this momentum here is huge. I'm of the opinion that Skov shows up when the lights are bright. That counts for something, at least in my book.

Play Nine: (3:31-3:42) - A pretty average play, although I'd say Skov does a pretty decent job fighting off the Center and helping tackle the ball carrier here.

Play Ten: (3:56 - 4:07) - Another play where Skov's instincts are on display. From what I see, he reads the motion and guesses the play correctly, as he starts to drift to the right side of the Offense almost immediately. He meets the runner at the edge and drags him down for essentially no gain.

Play Eleven: ( 4:08-4:25) - I'm not sure what to make of this play. Skov fakes the blitz, obviously has nobody to cover, and spies the QB. I'm not sure if he was intended to be the QB spy, or if that just occurred due to a lack of someone to cover. Mariota takes off, and Skov just isn't able to get there in time to prevent Mariota from picking up the first down. Granted Mariota is fast, and Skov took the appropriate angle to cut him off before the first down, but he just couldn't get there. If Skov recognizes the run a half second sooner, maybe things go differently.

Play Twelve: ( 4:26 - 4:51) - No sack here, but as the announcers mention, it's a perfectly timed blitz. Skov does a great job of timing the snap and running across the LOS like a wild man. It's enough to cause a slightly off balance throw, which falls incomplete. I think Skov shows enough in this film to be graded out as an above average blitzer, something we haven't had at the MIKE position in a while.

Play Thirteen: (4:52 - 5:06) - A good coverage play from Skov here. He does a great job of sticking with his receiver on this play. I'm not sure why Mariota threw this pass, it seemed like he had time, but Skov does a great job of tearing the ball away and forcing an incomplete pass.

Play Fourteen: (5:45-5:58) - Jumping ahead a bit, Skov does a good job fending off a block and making a play in the run game. Solid play here, but nothing spectacular. These are the plays your MIKE is expected to make. Skov usually doesn't have a problem making the plays he should make, and that's a good thing.

Play Fifteen: (6:16-6:31) - Another perfectly timed blitz here from Skov, he just makes the wrong read. If the blitz is half a second too late, Mariota probably gets away clean and Skov looks a bit silly. But Skov got there just in time to cause enough chaos to disrupt the play. How about the speed huh?

Post-Film Impression

Overall, I come away very impressed with Shayne Skov here. He shows us a little bit of everything in this film,and I think he demonstrates the ability to be a MIKE in either a 4-3 or a 3-4. The tape in general garners an A from me. But lets do some categorical grades.

Run Stop: A

Pass Coverage: B-

Instincts: A+

Speed: B-

Tackling: B+

Blitzing: A

Final Thoughts

Honestly, Shayne Skov is my highest rated MIKE in this draft. I like him more than C.J Mosely, despite not being as athletic. I think the instincts are higher, and I believe he'll be able to get the job done at the NFL level. I'd place a late first round grade on him, even though he'll probably end up going in the early/mid second round. If the Giants were able to snag him in the second round, I'd be thrilled. So are there any thoughts or questions?

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