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Craig Loston NFL Draft 2014: Highlights, Scouting Report and More

LSU safety Craig Loston (6) celebrates a defensive stop on fourth down near the LSU goal line in the first half of an NCAA college football game against Texas A&M in Baton Rouge, La., Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Gerald Herbert/Associated Press
Ian WhartonContributor IFebruary 19, 2014

Craig Loston, S, LSU (HT: 6’0⅝”; WT: 217 lbs)

 

 

NFL Comparison: Reshad Jones, Safety, Miami Dolphins

Combine Weigh In
HeightWeightArmHand
600521730 ⅝"9 ⅝"
NFL.com
Combine Results
40-yard dash10-yard splitVertBroad3-ConeShuttle
4.651.5032.5"9' 9"7.154.35
NFL.com

 

 

Positives

  • Standing just over 6'0" and weighing over 200 pounds, he meets the size threshold that most NFL teams desire at safety.
  • Smooth athlete with fluid hip and ankle flexion while in coverage.
  • Physical profile allows him to cover slot receivers and tight ends without being marked by the offense as an automatic target for the quarterback to throw at.
  • Mirrors receivers by reacting to their movements and breaks fairly quickly. LSU felt very comfortable trusting him in isolated situations, lining him up more in man coverage than zone throughout the 2013 season.
  • Active in forcing turnovers due to ability to hit hard and keeping his hands active when assisting on tackles.
  • An in-the-box safety that improved at play recognition as a second year starter in 2013.
  • He’s an efficient tackler because he stays low and balanced when approaching the ball-carrier. He converted on over 70 percent of solo tackles in 2013.
  • Ends up around the ball on passing plays, totaling seven career interceptions in 24 starts.
  • Gained experience on special teams each season; expect him to contribute on special teams as a first-year player. 

 

Negatives

  • Despite being a smooth athlete, he lacks the great sudden burst that top cover safeties have.
  • Shadows the receiver more than locking down a receiver because he reacts inside of anticipating the route. Often, he is a step behind the receiver and unable to defense the pass.
  • Lack of experience and comfort in zone leads to susceptibility on play-action fakes. He falls asleep on the receiver and will focus on the run fake.
  • Takes poor angles when pursuing ball-carriers. Instead of running to where the carrier is headed, he will go to where the ball is currently located. Football IQ can improve over time, but he will have to stop relying on his athletic ability as much as he did at LSU.
  • Despite having a high amount of interceptions, he rarely focuses on the ball in coverage. Instead, he wants to deliver the punishing hit. A majority of his interceptions came from tipped passes, not reading the eyes of the quarterback.
  • Had injuries throughout his career, costing him 16 games in his career.
Collegiate Statistics
YearTeamTacklesPDINT
2010LSU2221
2011LSU1410
2012LSU5513
2013LSU5733
http://www.lsusports.net/ViewArticle.dbml?ATCLID=3660130

Ratings Chart

Graph made by http://nces.ed.gov

 

Personal Notes

  • Former No. 1-ranked safety and 20th overall prospect in the nation.
  • Two-year starter for LSU after spending his first two seasons as a special-teams contributor.
  • 2012 and 2013 All-SEC Second Team (AP).
  • 2014 Senior Bowl participant.

Overall

Loston possesses all of the physical tools needed to become a starting strong safety in the next few seasons. His ability to read, anticipate and finish plays will determine how much of his potential he will fulfill. At worst, he will be a solid special-teams player and reserve safety for his first few seasons, with the potential to be a quality starter.

 

Draft Projection: Second Round

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