Scouting the SEC: LSU

After sharing the national championship last season, LSU hopes to hold the title for themselves this year. Yet this is a program which lost a tremendous amount of talent, specifically on the offensive side of the ball. Even with that the team is still rife with top NFL prospects.

Since he was a freshman center Ben Wilkerson has been one of our favorite prospects on the pivot.  A terrific athlete effective blocking on the line of scrimmage or out to the second level he displays explosion at the point of attack and is quick in every aspect of his game.  And while Wilkerson lacks the top size as well as playing strength he has tremendous upside potential and should easily be a top 60-pick next April.  Junior tackle Andrew Whitworth is another offensive line prospect with a bright future at the next level.  An intelligent blocker, Whitworth immediately picks up assignments, blocks with patience and is also quick off the snap of the ball.  An outstanding position blocker who seals defenders from the action, Whitworth does an effective job using blocking angles shuffling out just enough to protect the quarterbacks blind side.  With a nasty attitude he blocks down well on opponents and works very hard.  Lacking the great balance as well as leverage, Whitworth is not a dominant blocker but has the frame to fill out physically and should improve in time.  Skyler Green is another junior prospect scouts have their eye on.  An explosive receiver with tremendous quickness Green is also an outstanding punt returner that alters the momentum of games with his skills on special teams.  A terrific route runner, Green runs well laterally, adjusts and scoops up the low or errant throw.  With more of compact build Green will be best as a complimentary receiver at the next level who's main duties will be a special teams.

On defense LSU has a pair of outstanding senior prospects, one of whom is defensive end Marcus Spears.  Another terrific athlete, Spears displays speed off the edge, easily redirects to the action and breaks down well at the point of attack.  Bending his knees Spears is effective in space and can be used off the line of scrimmage  or in pursuit from the backside.  A difference maker when he applies himself, at times Spears is easily pushed from his angle of attack and does not always give top effort.  Playing a priority position, Spears is a prospect that can make a huge jump up draft boards should he put together a dominant senior campaign then stand out in the post season.  The other prospect from this side of the ball that has scouts buzzing is cornerback Corey Webster.  Another terrific athlete, Webster displays good footwork moving in reverse, hips transitioning to run with opponents and speed in any direction on the field.  Also possessing good ball awareness, he keeps the action in front of him and rarely gets beat.  Webster quickly locates the pass in the air and also possesses good hands for the interception.  While he could become a little more physical Webster has first round potential and should be a top 30 to pick next year.  On the other side of Webster a senior Travis Daniels, a technically sound cornerback who looks best suited for zone system.  Quick in his hips, Daniels displays a good burst on the ball and does a solid job reading the action.  Occasionally playing back on his heels, he is not overly efficient and takes incorrect angles to the action.  Senior linebacker Lionel Turner is solid in the middle defending the run.  Easily holding his ground against blocks, Turner defeats opposing lineman and displays a good head for the ball.  More of the two down defender he lacks speed to the sidelines and gets marginal depth on pass drops.  Finally keep an eye on junior linebacker Cameron Vaughn, a good athlete who pursues to the with play speed, gets depth on pass drops yet at the same time is a disciplined defender who does a good job diagnosing the action.

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