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George Uko NFL Draft 2014: Highlights, Scouting Report and More

Southern California defensive end George Uko plays against Boston College during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Los Angeles, Saturday, Sept. 14, 2013. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
Chris Carlson/Associated Press
Darren PageFeatured ColumnistMarch 2, 2014

George Uko, DE, USC (HT: 6’2⅝”, WT: 284 lbs)



NFL Comparison: Everson Griffen, DE, Minnesota Vikings

Combine Weigh-In
602528433 1/4"10 1/8"
Combine Workout
40-Yd Dash10-Yd SplitVertBroad3-ConeBench



  • Big frame with prototypical bulk throughout. 
  • Has a sufficient reach with large hands. 
  • Adequate foot quickness to move laterally across the line of scrimmage. 
  • Flexible athlete who can change directions with sudden feet for a big man. 
  • Can time up the snap and shoot gaps to great effect. 
  • Has an unpredictability factor that keeps blockers on their toes. 
  • Consistently active with his hands. 
  • Strong upper body to ward off blockers’ hands and finish when he gets a step. 
  • Loads up a quick swim move for blockers who lunge into contact. 
  • Can physically overwhelm blockers if he gets into their frame, strong upper body with violent hands. 
  • Extends hands and can create space to disengage if he places them properly. 
  • Carries weight well in open-field pursuit, can close quickly. 
  • Started at defensive tackle in a 4-3 and defensive end in a 3-4, experience in both fronts. 
  • Still a young player who is nowhere near his full potential.



  • Plays with his head down and doesn’t locate the ball quickly enough. 
  • Will guess and take himself out of too many plays. 
  • Pass-rush disruption has been mostly opportunistic, wins when pass-blockers make mistakes. 
  • Rarely showed ability to press the pocket with power rush despite heavy hand and low pads. 
  • Only works a swim move, doesn’t have a developed repertoire. 
  • Poor anticipation or feel for where a blocker wants to take him, slow play recognition included. 
  • Has trouble recovering when a blocker gets helmet across and walls him off. 
  • Gets completely taken out of too many plays when he doesn’t win on initial contact. 
  • Often a half step slow coming off the ball. 
  • Doesn’t consistently fire off the ball into contact with urgency. 
  • Plays bent at the waist, limits ability to generate power or maintain balance through contact. 
  • Doesn’t often fight across or over the top of blocks, tries to duck behind and chase to little effect. 
  • Inconsistent anchoring a double-team, will give ground or get turned too easily. 
  • Has a lot of wasted hand movement, doesn’t use them with any precision. 
  • Doesn’t get to the ball at a high rate in pursuit, few tackles made in both seasons as a starter.
Collegiate Statistics


Personal Notes

  • A 4-star prospect in the recruiting class of 2010, ranked 58th in ESPN150
  • Won USC’s Service Team Defensive Player of the Year award as a redshirt freshman. 
  • Two-year starter for the Trojans. 
  • One of five USC underclassmen to declare after the hiring of Steve Sarkisian.

Ratings Chart

Graph made at nces.ed.gov.



George Uko is one of many underclassmen who may have made a poor football decision to declare for the draft, financial situations factored out.  He struggled to take a step forward in 2013 after the Trojans’ defensive scheme shifted to a three-man front.  Uko was basically a loose cannon on the field in terms of assignment.  He vanished for long stretches of games when he wasn’t able to time the snap, split two blockers and disrupt in the backfield.

Uko has some of the tools you look for in a one-gapping 3-4 defensive end.  His size, athleticism and violent hands are all a big plus.  He just needs significant technical development.  Landing spot will be important, as Uko is an end who needs to be reined in to where you can trust him to control the necessary gaps, especially if he’s asked to control two.


Draft Projection: 5th Round

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