In a match-up of one of the country’s most talented quarterbacks vs. one of the fastest and most under rated defenses in the country, this game certainly didn’t disappoint in terms of scouting notes.
Syracuse’s Ryan Nassib impresses in a loss, Justin Pugh shows left tackle upside, and Rutgers star linebacker Khaseem Greene dominates the game. That and more in this scouting recap of Syracuse vs. Rutgers from my notes live in the pressbox.MDD Lead Editor: Eric Galko
Ryan Nassib, QB #12
-Great level throw over linebackers, delivering high with velocity
-Can hold the ball too long when initial read struggles to get open
-Over-trusts first read a little long at times, needs to progress by reading DBs
-Anticipates receiver routes/breaks very well, high velocity
-Showcasing fantastic arm strength consistently
-Better than usual velocity control I the middle of the field
-Can throw from different foot platforms without losing ball control
-Will hang in the pocket for developing route throws.
-Understands route timings very well
-Showing outstanding pocket presence and use of his eyes under pressure
-Footwork in pocket efficient and resets well without movement needed to find next option
-In need-pass first, gets in rhythm quickly
-Doesn’t let open read get skipped, decisive in decision making as passer
-Frustrating to see drops by receivers slow his consistency as a passer
Overview: Ryan Nassib played a very impressive game. He showed his outstanding velocity, progression reads, footwork, mechanics, and elite anticipation as a passer. As far as NFL-level throws go, few quarterbacks showcase as much as he did in this game. Unforunately, 6+ drops, multiple poor routes, and overall offensive issues slowed what should have been a huge game and win for Nassib and Syracuse. Don’t sleep on Nassib, he may end up being a 1st round level prospect.
Justin Pugh, LT #67
-Opening up with great balance, bending well on the outside
-Extends with great footwork, in position to pop on incoming rushers
-Allows rushers to get just close enough to body to extend and utilize strong hands to direct
-Protects inside well with reach block, doesn’t lose balance
-Actively exchanging hands when fighting in pass protection
-Can be more consistent with initial hand placement to protect vs. speed rush
-Could get little thicker in lower half to handle power rush more consistently
Overview: Coming back from injury, I was curious to see how Pugh would perform against a fast Rutgers defense. Outside of some concerns with initial hand placement, Pugh looked like the NFL left tackle prospect he did a season ago. Great footwork, kick slide, active hands, and balance throughout, showing he can be viewed as a top level left tackle prospect.
Shamarko Thomas, SS #21
-Some man coverage ability as press slot coverage, staying physical in short area
-Reacts very quickly upfield, turns hips to redirect
-Flows upfield smoothly and quickly, angles body well to track ball
-Delivers strong pop in pursuit, doesn’t lose form tackle
Overview: While the running game of Rutgers didn’t get past the second level all that much and the passing game was based around a handful of deep plays, Thomas still flashed the closing speed, hit power, and tackling form that is ideal for a strong safety prospect. He has the quickness and burst to the ball, but it’ll be interesting to see if he can show off a complete skill set in a different game.
Jawan Jamison, RB, #23 (RS SO)
-Sudden cuts, balanced initially in his first move
-Over-searches for cutback lane and tries to maneuver to hole
-Fights through arm tackles with balance very well
-Catch and run ability, turns into a runner quickly after bringing the ball in
-Slips through holes with narrow body positioning, smooth running style
-Explosive up step when hole is opens
-Fantastic 2nd step and jump cut ability after the first block
-Gets skinny well through delayed zone block
-Slows to contact at times, doesn’t always run through it
Overview: Jamison didn’t get many running lanes in this game, as the Syracuse defensive end seemed to be getting off the ball much quicker and their linebacking corps scraped well vs. the zone blocking scheme. While Jamison showed some concerns in slowing through contact at times and not being as consistent in his cut reads, his burst through the hole, ability to get skinny, and second step through the hole explosion is what will get him serious looks as a zone blocking running back, if the redshirt sophomore declares.
Khaseem Greene, LB, #20
-Strong hands for his size
-Attacks backfield well in pursuit, strong lower half to drive effectively
-Strong as tackler, drives runner back in the box
-Size doesn’t seem to effect ability as in the box run supporter
-Quick to flow as a blitzer, violent attacking the quarterback when it’s available
Overview: Few linebackers in college have had a game like Greene had this season. Three forced fumbles (all of them after wrapping up and then having the understanding to attack the ball) and one interception (staying low in the middle, transitioning off his initial coverage and staying hidden) to go along with a very dynamic run support game as well. His size is a concern that will likely keep him out of round one, but few linebackers have the speed, explosion, and playmaking ability of Greene in the upcoming NFL Draft.
Steve Beauharnais, LB #42
-Slower to the ball than usual, not shedding to track ball
-More of gang tackler than effectively attacking the ball
-Lacks quickness in short area to be a gap shooting blitzer
-Efficient tackler, wraps up well in short area
Overview: Beauharnais has the better NFL body than Greene, but it’s clear that not only has Greene far surpassed him as a prospect, but also seems to be taking away any chance Beauharnais has at thriving in this system. A solid tackler who finishes plays in his area, he’s a linebacker without much of a set NFL position and lacks ideal range to get to the edge. Still, he has flashed the ability to play all three 4-3 linebacker spots and has the size and enough athleticism to be an NFL draftable linebacker.
RJ Dill, RT, #76
-Needs better initial recognition of pass protection responsibilities
-Little stiff in upper half and when extended
-Fights with hands well, but lacks efficient balance to last like that in the NFL.
-Pivot blocks well in zone scheme, but doesn’t get off snap well enough to be consistently effective
-Lacks great leg drive as run blocker on the outside.
Overview: Expected a lot for the Maryland transfer, but Dill looked more stiff and not as powerful as a run blocker than expected. Still, his ideal size, length, and experience as a blocker allows him to consistently get by thanks to technique and natural size. He’ll need to get off the snap lower and with better initial pop and stay lower as a run blocker without losing balance. Still is a draftable prospect as a fringe right tackle in the NFL.
Logan Ryan, CB, #11 (JR)
-Staying tight to hip of receiver consistently, subtle hand usage
-Transitioning upfield as efficient tackler when in run support
-Could open up a bit cleaner on in breaking deeper routes
-Transitions to switching of receivers well
-Rarely targeted all game long
Overview: This game wasn’t a great opportunity to watch Logan Ryan in action because Ryan Nassib seemed to (wisely) throw opposite him. But the times he was tested and even when he wasn’t, he showed very good fluidity, few wasted steps in his turn and run transition, and was an efficient tackler. Not sure he’s a lock to declare, he has flashed the ability to be a mid-rounder at least if he does declare.
DC Jefferson, TE, #10
-Staying wide with physicality as a pass blocker, where used mostly
-Few routes outside of five yard upfield and turn
-Doesn’t seem to consistently set up well as run blocker upfield
-Used in redzone on one play, showcased vertical leap and body control, but pass too high
-Not often used as pass catcher in this game an in system in general
Overview: I’m a big supporter of Jefferson despite him rarely being used in the Rutgers offense. His athletic ability is certainly prevalent, and he got a chance to show off that red zone ability and vertical ability in this game. Still, his development as a blocker is a good “best of a bad situation” when scouting him, and he seems to be at worst a 2nd or 3rd tight end with the upside to be a starter over time in the NFL, if he gets that opportunity.