Breaking down Rueben Randle and the vertical game

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WR Rueben Randle is seeing his stock rise as we get closer to the NFL Draft. After posting a 4.55 40 at the combine in Indianapolis, the LSU product produced a mid 4.4 on the stopwatch at his pro day on campus. Size (6-3, 210) and speed at the WR position that multiple clubs are looking for at the end of the first round and early in the second.

Today, let’s go back to the LSU-UNC game and take a look at Randle running the 8 (post) route vs. Cover 4. Some positives here with the vertical speed (and separation), as well as some coaching points on Randle’s route running ability.

LSU vs. UNC
Personnel: Posse (3 WR, 1 TE, 1 RB)
Scheme: Skinny Post (Wheel)
Coverage: Cover 4 (quarters)

Quick coaching points…

- A Cover 4 beater. Use the “Wheel” concept from the No.2 WR to the closed (strong) side of the formation to create leverage vs. the CB on an inside breaking route. With the SS pushing to the “Wheel”, Randle now has inside position on a ball throw back inside of the numbers.

- How would I coach the secondary here? Use a “Zorro” call (pass off routes) pre-snap between the CB and the SS (will see this often vs. "Scissors" concept). In Cover 4, the CB expects help from the SS to the inside on the post route. With the “Wheel” concept built in to the route scheme, the SS and CB should switch. Run the SS to the inside shoulder of Randle to play the post with the CB matching to the “Wheel.”

- Straight route stem from Randle because of his pre-snap alignment (bottom of the numbers). That sells at the college level when you have this matchup outside of the numbers and the inside leverage on the CB, but Randle will have to use more than the slight “head fake” to the outside vs. NFL DBs.

- The separation speed is what stands out on this play. Randle forces the UNC CB to open his hips (and “step in the bucket”) because of how quickly he eats up his cushion (distance between WR and DB). And while the LSU product will see much better technique on Sundays outside of the numbers, this is still a solid example of vertical speed for pro scouts to check out.

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