USC Game, random thoughts
Watching the USC versus Stanford game I was focused on their defense, Taylor Mays (S), Rey Maualuga (ILB) and Brian Cushing (OLB/DE).
Mays - it is difficult to grade Safety play because often they are not even in the picture, from what I did see he moves very well and hits very hard and plays with a lot of confidence. If his size is real (225+ estimates) he would be a nice match beside Merriweather. I haven't seen enough to give a rating but likely between 15 -25 based on his pub.
Rey Maualuga - He has been hated on my some but every game I watch him play he is the best player on the field, moves very well, punishes when he hits, can blitz, can cover. Specifically I heard he could not take on guards, he must read this board because several times he slammed a FB or a guard at the point of attack, closing a running lane. I see him as a top 10 pick, and early favorite for DROY. If SF takes him and places him beside Willis they will have quite the set of young studs at ILB.
Cushing - Reminds of a faster Vrabel, not dominant or elite in any category but solid or above average across the board. Big kid, moves well, get to the QB, sets the edge. I see him being picked around 30-40.
Of course these players are protected by superior college D lineman and it was Stanford but don't be surprised to see 3 Trojans on defense taken in the first round plus 3 or 4 more by the end of the draft.
Random thought - looking back at the 03 & 04 defenses the Patriots had a B or better player at every position, plus decent depth. Maybe Law was an A or A+ but what made them good was there was no obvious weaknesses, with 4 picks in the top 100 hopefully they can add a B+ and a B player to the defense.
I was more impressed with Stanford's OL. They created some nice holes for that huge RB, Gerhardt (or something like that). In the first half they nearly trapped the USC defense into submission there for a while.
The only reason USC won was because Stanford lacked the depth that USC has and wore down in the second half.
PS: I am still thinking that Mathews is a Patriot next season. Alexander or Izzo needs to start sweating on this one.
Re: USC Game, random thoughts
This defense is stacked, expect them to dominate against Notre Name in Weiss' last game as coach.
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