Following a bumper group of selections from the school last year, will any of the San Diego State NFL Draft prospects be the next to hear their name called on the draft stage? We examine the credentials of their top four prospects with our San Diego State scouting reports.
San Diego State 2023 NFL Draft Scouting Reports
Alama Uluave, C
Strengths: Two-year starter who saw a lot of action on special teams early in his college career. Explosive, fires off the snap into blocks, and plays with a nasty attitude. Keeps his feet moving and seals defenders from the action.
Quick and fluid pulling across the line of scrimmage, relatively effective blocking in motion, and quickly gets to the second level to knock linebackers out of plays. Keeps his head on a swivel, turns defenders off the line, and plays through the whistle.
Weaknesses: Short, lacks size, and has limited growth potential. Comes with short arms. Average athlete.
Overall: Uluave is a hard-working center who gets the most from his ability, and despite his 40 time, possesses enough short-area quickness to play in a zone-blocking system. He’ll never start on Sundays, but Uluave has enough ability to warrant a spot on a practice squad this fall.
Jesse Matthews, WR
Strengths: Once highly thought-of receiver who is a reliable pass catcher. Plays with excellent balance as well as body control. Uses the sidelines well, tracks the pass in the air, and adjusts to the errant throw. Works his way across the field to make himself an available target and uses his frame to shield away defenders.
Displays a sense of timing, exposes himself to the big hit in order to come away with the catch, and snatches the ball cleanly away from his frame. High points the throw over defenders and comes away with the contested grab.
Weaknesses: Plays to one speed, lacks a burst, and cannot run to the deep throw. Average route runner. Watched his production drop off last season. Was never a dominant wideout on the college level.
Overall: Matthews was graded as a solid Day 3 prospect coming into the season, but he showed very little improvement in his game. He possesses the intellect and reliability to be an underneath receiver, but Matthews must make an immediate impact in camp this summer.
Jordan Byrd, RB
Strengths: Speedy running back who’s also been an explosive kick returner. Quick-footed, bounces around defenders, or makes opponents miss in the open field. Finds the running lanes, has a burst, and beats opponents into the open field. Solid pass catcher out of the backfield who tracks the ball in the air and adjusts to make the reception away from his frame.
Weaknesses: Small and easily brought down at the point by a single defender. Marginally productive as a running back at San Diego State and never rushed for more than 400 yards during any of the past five years. Receiving totals were also pedestrian.
Overall: Byrd is a smallish skill player with short arms, yet he’s an explosive athlete with the ability to score whenever he handles the ball. He needs work on his game, but if he produces returning punts or kicks this summer, Byrd could make a final roster.
Keshawn Banks, EDGE
Strengths: Athletic pass rusher who makes plays all over the field. Agile, plays with terrific pad level, and is rarely off his feet. Immediately alters his angle of attack, fights with his hands, and gets a lot of momentum going up the field. Slices through blocks to penetrate the line of scrimmage and displays a closing burst. Explosive. Comes out of a three-point stance or stands over tackle and gives effort.
Weaknesses: Easily out-positioned from plays or blocked by a single opponent. Must develop more pass-rush moves. Average run defender.
Overall: Banks is a hard-working defender who does the little things well. He possesses a thin build and must fill out his frame, yet Banks comes with upside.
Tyrell Shavers, WR
Strengths: Tall wideout who played at Alabama then Mississippi State before transferring to San Diego State. Displays good route discipline, quickly gets out of breaks, and uses his frame to protect the ball. Works across the field to make himself an available target, possesses terrific eye/hand coordination, and comes away with the difficult catch. Tracks the pass in the air, gets vertical, and extends to make the reception away from his frame. Easily adjusts to the errant throw.
Weaknesses: Must do a better job protecting the football. Plays to one speed and lacks a burst. Not smooth or fluid. Posted average production on the college level.
Overall: Shavers showed a lot of improvement in his game last season, yet he’s unpolished in most aspects of the receiver position. A lack of speed is a major concern, and it could keep Shavers from ever seeing the field in the NFL.
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