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NFL Pittsburgh Steelers

Pittsburgh Steelers Prospect Spotlight-Shayne Skov, LB Stanford

Shayne Skov

Matt Kartozian-US Presswire

These scouting spotlights are sort of a Cliff’s Notes version of the full scouting reports I will be completing at the end of the college football season. I always look at players more closely for the NFL draft as how they would fit as potential picks for the  Pittsburgh Steelers. This week I am moving outside of the first round prospects, and looking at Stanford‘s Shayne Skov, a versatile linebacker who has been incredibly productive in his career in a 3-4 defense, which the Steelers run. Let’s break Skov down a little.

Shayne Skov
Linebacker
Stanford
Height-6’1″
Weight-253lbs

Positives

-Excellent size
-Aggressive athlete
-Intelligent, diagnoses plays quickly
-Great initial burst especially as a blitzer
-Hits like a sledgehammer
-Experience in 3-4 defense
-Can play inside or outside
-Does a good job dropping into coverage
-Good leadership abilities

Negatives

-Lacks elite speed
-Struggles in man coverage
-Injury and character concerns
-Need to improve tackling technique
-Overly aggressive at times

2012 Outlook-Skov is coming into the season with a lot of questions. He was coming off a knee injury that cost him a chunk of the 2011 season, and had to serve a 1 game suspension to start the year. But since that time he’s come in and picked up right where he left off. Skov looks like a hardcore NFL linebacker and plays like one as well. He’s so smart, can break down a play and can get to the football in a hurry. He spends a lot of time on the offense’s side of the football, and is very well rounded in terms of where he can play and in what scheme. He’s racking up the statistics and looks healthy which is a huge plus for him. Personally, I don’t know if there is a player in this draft that screams, “born to be a Steeler” like Skov. I can see him in the black and gold for a very long time.

Steelers perspective-The Steelers have to be thinking about upgrading their linebacking unit. While the starters have played well when healthy, some have missed games, some are getting older, and there is almost no depth at any of the 4 starting spots. Skov can play any position in a 3-4 scheme and would be able to rotate between spots until he’s ready to start.

How do they get him?-I have seen the rating for Skov all over the place from the 2nd round to 6th. Personally, I think he can be a mid to late 2nd, into the early 3rd round pretty easily. Depending on how the Steelers finish the season, he could snatch them toward the end of round 2 or beginning or round 3. Either way, Skov or a player like him must be high on their board.

Come find me on Twitter @nfldraftboard for all things Steelers and NFL draft related, and make sure to check back right here at Rant Sports for a full scouting report on Skov after the season.