2014 NFL Draft Player Profiles – Stanford ILB Shayne Skov

By Alex Kozora

With the regular season over, our focus has shifted to the offseason. For the next few months, I’ll be providing scouting reports on prospects. Some the Pittsburgh Steelers may look at. Other top players that will be off the board before the Steelers select. All to make you as prepared for the 2014 NFL Draft as possible.

We’ll return with a marquee name today. Stanford linebacker Shayne Skov.

Shayne Skov/ILB Stanford: 6’3 245

The Good

– Playmaker, seems to always make a splash play

– Good anticipation/awareness, times snap count well and gets hands up to knock passes down

– Smart, takes good angles to the ball

– Hard hitter and sound tackler, wraps up and drives with lower half

– Overall, good job of getting off blocks

– Technician in his backpedal, able to get low, stays low on the move

– Did not come off the field often, three down player

– Good motor

– Used on blitzes/Fire Stunts

– Experience on special teams, even in his senior season

– Fairly decorated career

– Leader

– Lots of starting experience

The Bad

– Build seems just average, doesn’t have a lot of bulk

– Nothing special as an athlete, does not have a lot of speed

– Will have some trouble shedding blocks

– Needs to play with proper pad level more consistently and show more active hands

– Strength is just ok, perhaps a tick above average

– Doesn’t offer much as a pass rusher

– Injury history

– Some off the field issues


– 37 career starts

– 109 tackles, 13 TFL senior season

– First Team All-Pac 12 in 2013, 2nd Team AP All-American

– Tore ACL, MCL, and fractured his tibia in left knee in 2011, playing only three games, needing three surgeries to recover

– Returned in time to start 13 games in 2012

– Arrested for DUI January 29th, 2012, pleading no contest and eventually fined and sent to a “diversion program”

– Suspended for the 2012 season opener and suspended from school for the 2013 spring quarter

– Missed two games due to injury in 2010

– Hyperextended right knee in 2013 but did not miss a game

– Team captain in 2013

– Played on punt coverage senior year

The scouting report really doesn’t tell the whole story. Skov is one of those guys you just have to watch play to get the full effect. He is not uniquely athletic or big. But each game you watch him, he has a hand in changing the game.

I watched three of Skov’s games from 2013. Against UCLA, he blows up this zone read, nearly tackling the QB and RB at once.

Versus third ranked Oregon, he forces a fumble and recovers it with the Ducks driving down by two scores (It was reviewed but stood as a fumble).

And in the bowl game against Michigan State, with the game tied and the Spartans driving, Skov forced a fumble the Cardinal recovered.

In that sense, he’s similar to Jarvis Jones. Skov will not blow scouts away at the Combine. He’s going to run an average 40 time. He’ll be smooth in the “pass drop” drill but he doesn’t have the most fluid hips and is not a gifted athlete. But if what he did in college is an indication, he’s going to be a leader that you want on your side.

His backstory is complicated and it would take a novel to attempt to summarize it all. Check out this Sports Illustrated profile on Skov that details his life, from living in Mexico for three years to his time in college.

I’m projecting here and obviously do not know him as a person, but despite the DUI, don’t think he is a bad kid or a character problem. It’s an isolated mistake. One he paid the price for and moved on, hopefully to become a better person from it. The SI story illustrates how Skov handled his time away from school, spending it with his siblings. That is the response you want from a person. Not one that spirals downward.

As noted in the negatives, he will get pushed around and is not the strongest. Example of it in the Oregon game where he loses leverage and can’t disengage.

And you can bet he’ll go through the gauntlet of medical testing at the Combine as teams evaluate his left knee. That will be the most important thing he does at Indianapolis.

My brain says I’m lukewarm on him, but my heart says yes.  Guys in the locker room will instantly gravitate towards him. I would not want to have to play against Shayne Skov on Sundays.

Projection: Early 2nd (think Manti Te’o range)

Games Watched: vs UCLA, vs Oregon, vs Michigan St (Bowl)

About the Author

Alex Kozora
Full-time blogger from mom's basement. Marrying tape and statistics. Chidi Iwuoma is my favorite Steeler of all-time.
  • Jonas

    Thanks, waited for this one!

  • srdan

    I think he is a much better pick than Teo. If we were in the market for a ILB (jury is still out), we need play makers so he wouldn’t be out of the question. I don’t watch college ball a lot. By your guys judgement, is he a sizable upgrade over V. Williams?

  • lefnor

    Thank you for these player profiles.
    He is one of my favorite players in college. The Steelers LB corps and the whole defense needs his badass attitude badly. He is not the playmaker MACK LB type that the coaches looking for the past years, like Sean Spence, Brian Rolle or Garvin (or the ILB Polamalu), he is an improved Vince Williams. I’m not sure that is what they are looking for but I would be glad with this selection.
    My bet they are targeting a CJ Mosley or Telvin Smith type very fast, playmaker ILB. Would you analyse Smith’s game against Duke (his best game of the year IMO) and versus FSU (there is no video so far, but i’m sure there will be soon, Devonte Freeman already has)? He needs to bulk up, but Spence needed too and Smith has the 6’2 height for it.

  • steeltown

    Possibly…but V.Williams could end up being the real deal.

    IMO OLB is a much much bigger need, we could actually draft 2OLBs this year

  • RW

    I’m not as sold on Williams… he had to come off the field a lot on obvious passing downs. Based on the tape, it didn’t seem like he was a liability in coverage, but most of what I saw had him dropping back in zone coverage. The few times I saw him cover a RB he looked to be a little slower.

  • steeltown

    Yea but that’s based more on subpackage, they chose to play an extra DB a lot this year. In the 3-4 base Defense V.Williams looks every bit the part of a BUCK ILB, lets not forget he was thrown in the starting lineup as a rookie

  • srdan

    Plus an off season getting starter reps will help him work on technique.

  • srdan

    I think that Vince brings some of that attitude. Cam definetly does. The jury is still out on Shark, but from what I saw in the early parts of the season, we should get some from him..

    I agree with steeltown. OLB is a huge need on this team. ILB is somewhat of a luxury pick. We have Tim, Garvin, Vince. I am also assuming that Foote or Spence will be on the team next year. A late round ILB pick I could see.

  • RW

    Oh for sure, I’m all for giving him a shot – he more than deserves it and played ‘above the line’ all year. I just don’t know how much of a difference maker he’ll be on a defense that sorely needs difference makers. Time will tell…

  • Lucus Rodriguez

    One would be needed for when woodley takes his annual four game break, but jarvis is gonna be at the very least serviceable on the right side. CB is the position they need to draft twice and possibly safety

  • Lucus Rodriguez

    All they need is a solid player at buck. Timmons is the play making ILB. If they got a great ILB in the draft all it would mean is that him or Timmons will be gone in 3 years cause they would not be able to afford both. Sometimes just solid is good.

  • srdan

    Timmons is not a playmaker. He is a linebacker that leads your team in tackles and plays every game. A good player on all accounts, but not a playmaker.


  • Anthony Renzelli

    I would disagree with that statement. He has a nose for the ball, gets to the quarterback when he blitzes, and comes up with picks and fumbles. Most underrated player on the defense IMO

  • srdan

    I think he is better than my statement gives him credit, but not as you give him credit. Somewhere in between. I however do think that some of that is due to the situations he has been thrust into the last couple seasons. I like Tim and have a jersey. But I would not say he is a playmaker like a polumalu or cam hayward. He is very steady, and there is a lot to be said for that.

  • steeltown

    2CBs, 2OLBs and a Safety, if I had my way

    Even if they re-sign Worilds, because Carter is as good as gone and Woodleys future is up in the air.

  • David Edward

    I just don’t see them spending a 2nd round pick on a ILB this year. I liked the progress I saw from Williams and I think they did too. He’ll likely be the starting Buck again next year. If they actually spend a draft pick on ILB, I could see it being for a hybrid type like Garvin or Spence…depending on how they feel about Spence actually being able to play.

    Skov is a guy who might be good in the NFL, but like Jarvis could struggle due to his average to below average athletic ability for the position.

  • David Edward

    Lol! Hopefully, Woodley takes his annual break with another team next year.

  • Chad H

    I still have a gut feeling Garvin will win the starting job.

  • steeltown

    I don’t know, Garvin is a good depth guy, more a read and react coverage LB in my opinion. He’s only like 225lbs so I doubt he would ever be a traditional BUCK LB I don’t see him taking on and shedding blockers at his size. He seems like a subpackage nickel LB

  • DrakePirate

    I as well dont see or want a 2nd/1st on ILB … more pressing issues and give VW another year to see what he has, we should firmly know by the end of next year if VW is the future or just a gap until we get the guy we need.

  • steeltown

    Agreed, we need CB, S, OLB, DL and WR before we need ILB

  • John Hinton

    I agree with Alex…I would hate to have to face Skov on Sundays. His playmaking reminds me a lot of Carolina’s Luke Kuechly and their measurables are similar.

  • dgh57

    I’ll pass on Skov as to many things listed under The Bad sections reminds me of another guy we drafted last year in J. Jones. Besides that we need a OLB not ILB.

  • Alex Kozora

    Just want everyone to keep in mind that not every player we profile is an endorsement saying we should pick him or even select that position (I;m a big fan of Vince Williams myself). There will be a ton of these profiles from now until the draft. Some will be the top guys in the draft the Steelers can’t get or just don’t need (i.e. Manziel, Bridgewater, Mack) while others will fit what the team is looking for.

    So this is a little bit beyond just what the Steelers should do/need in the draft. Really about learning about who these prospects are and if they can translate to the next level. Way I see it, at least.

  • Aric Brown

    I thought I was all alone in the Vince Williams fan club

  • Steve

    Foote is as good as gone. Vince and Timmons should do well on the inside. The OLB and CB are needs. Shark and Troy will be our Safetys.

  • Steve

    Skov is a late 2nd or 3rd round. Mack looked good.

  • dgh57

    I’ve been a big fan of V. Williams since last year when I saw a youtube video clip of him blowing up a OG in a practice session during the East-West Shrine Game. I was happy when we drafted him!

  • Alan Felicia

    Skov is average at best and he’ll be lucky to get drafted in the 2nd or 3rd Rd.
    A better profile would’ve been his teammate, Trent Murphy. He’ll probably be average during the Combine which will drop his stock to say late 2nd or Third Round.

  • SteelerDave

    If Shayne Skov is there in round 2 for us we would be fools to pass on him. Yes, he is not perhaps the positional need but he is a very special player and leader. We need more players of his kind. To me he is a young James Farrior.

  • Lucus Rodriguez

    IMO they have bigger needs in the first two rounds. I wouldn’t even look at an OLB till rounds 3-5. And they would need to ad another first rounder if the plan is to add depth next year. they need to do everything they can to keep worilds cause they cant waste picks replacing a position of strength which is what the OLB position would be if they had Jarvis/wooldey/worilds

  • Lucus Rodriguez

    Timmons gets about 8 sacks (this year it was down because he dropped into coverage more because Foote was out), about 100 tackles, and usually 1-3 INTs to along with that. He is also the one of biggest hitters on the defense. Id say he is playmaker.

  • srdan

    He has never gotten eight sacks, his average is about half of that. He has once gotten 3 INTs. The tackles you are right about, which makes him a good player. But not a great playmaker.

    I love timmons, you don’t have to make me like him. All I am saying is if he is your best playmaker on defense, the ceiling for that defense is low. Thus, he is not a good playmaker. In contrast, if Polumalu is your best playmaker, potentially you can have a very good defense if you have others to contribute.

  • steeltown

    First Rd is BPA most of the time, I agree but regardless 2LBs and 2CB/DB need to be drafted at some point

  • Brian 43

    If your talking about number 93 can’t remember his name but he stood out in every Standford game I saw not sure if he would play olb or de seen him listed at both position on some of the Draft sites I’ve seen

  • Josh Knepshield

    I think he is more of a 3rd-4th rd guy