Josh Mauro – Defensive Line
Mauro was not on a lot of pre-season scouting lists, but when you watch tape, he jumps out at you with his effort and consistency. Because of injuries to many of Stanford’s defensive lineman, Mauro has lined up at all three defensive line positions this year.
Mauro is a fifth-year senior and a two-year starter. He is listed at being 6’6 – 282, and he has the frame to easily carry 300 pounds. He has good arm length, plays with strength, and is a fairly good athlete. While he is not extremely fast, he has quickness, stays on his feet, and is a top competitor.
Mauro gets off the ball quickly, and with his quick first step and power, he can get penetration and disrupt the run game. With his strength, he usually wins the battle at the line of scrimmage, and can gain ground. He takes good angles in pursuit and will make some pursuit plays because of his aggressive attitude on the field.
He doesn’t show many moves as a pass rusher, but he is able to push the pocket and never stops coming. While he may not get a lot of sacks, he will get pressures.
Mauro is not a top talent, but he is the type of player that most teams want. While he may never be a starter, he is the type of player that can be effective as a sole player in a rotation. I see him as a “C” level player (fifth – seventh) rounds who still needs some development but should still play early in his career.
Ben Gardner – Defensive line
Gardner played in only one of the games I viewed (UCLA). He injured a pec muscle in late October, had surgery, and is out for the season. In the one game I saw, he looked to be an undersized player with a high motor. He usually plays as a five-technique. He is a fifth-year senior, and a three-year starter.
He lacks ideal size at 6’4 – 275, but he is strong and explosive. He gets off the ball very quickly and can disrupt run plays with his quickness. He has good hand use and can shed. Though he lacks top size, he shows he can hold the point and not give ground. As a pass rusher, he can be effective with his moves and flashes a bull rush.
Gardner is a good player but undersized. He does not look like he can get much bigger than 285. With just one tape viewed, I need to see more before I can come up with a more definite opinion on this player.
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