Following an exceptional freshman marketing campaign, USC quarterback Kedon Slovis earned early NFL Draft hype. Nonetheless, after a tumultuous 2020 season, his projection seems to be removed from clear. Had been the struggles from final season famous in Slovis’ scouting report a product of damage and uncertainty? Will a return to freshman kind make sure the USC QB garners first-round consideration within the 2022 NFL Draft?
Kedon Slovis NFL Draft Profile
- Place: Quarterback
- Faculty: USC
- Present 12 months: Junior
- Top: 6’3″
- Weight: 215 kilos
Kedon Slovis Scouting Report
A two-year starter and a workforce captain final season, Slovis has proven himself to be a pacesetter since assuming the position of beginning QB for USC. Final season alone, he led the Trojans to 3 comeback wins within the remaining two minutes of the fourth quarter. Two of these wins got here on the street, additional demonstrating a capability to win below strain. On one hand, it must be famous that lowered or zero capability stadiums because of the world scenario mitigates the significance of this considerably.
Along with this management, Slovis shows a superb stage of soccer intelligence. He usually surveys the sector with urgency, strikes rapidly from one learn to the subsequent, and makes nice selections primarily based on what he sees from the protection.
Slovis additionally makes use of his soccer intelligence to govern the pocket, really feel for strain, and lengthen performs whether or not with a fast dump-off or together with his legs. Though he received’t impress within the 40-yard sprint, Slovis has enough athleticism and shows short-area burst when required.
Slovis’ most spectacular trait is his ball placement. He routinely places the ball able the place his receivers could make performs. Throughout his faculty profession, Slovis has proven he could make performs to all areas of the sector. His 2019 tape, particularly, exhibits some lovely deep ball throws.
Areas for enchancment
General, Slovis is extraordinarily technically sound. It’s clear that he had early involvement with high-level quarterback teaching. That stated, there are examples the place a late launch causes points for him. That manifests itself in a large number of the way.
There are examples the place his final launch results in balls being batted down simply on the line of scrimmage. At different instances, the late launch causes accuracy points. Most dangerously, nevertheless, is that it provides defenders time to learn the play and get in place to trigger a turnover.
Though Slovis excels with accuracy and ball placement on his throws, there are inconsistencies in arm power. This was particularly prevalent final season when he appeared to place a number of effort into getting zip on the ball. This resulted in some wobbly-looking passes on throws that he would normally make in 2019.
The latter difficulty could also be a results of not being totally wholesome final season.
Kedon Slovis’ Participant Profile
A Scottsdale native, Slovis performed highschool soccer in the identical state as fellow 2022 NFL Draft quarterback prospect Spencer Rattler. Nonetheless, their soccer journeys aren’t even remotely related. Whereas Rattler was attracting nationwide consideration, Slovis toiled away in relative anonymity for Desert Mountain Excessive Faculty. As Rattler was smashing state passing data, Slovis was posting modest numbers.
As a junior, he accomplished 64 p.c of his passes for two,987 yards, 32 touchdowns, and 5 interceptions. Throughout his senior season, Slovis threw for two,542 yards, 18 touchdowns, 6 interceptions, and a 62.2 completion proportion. Slovis earned USA Right this moment All-Arizona honorable point out in each seasons whereas studying the sport below the tutelage of Corridor of Fame quarterback Kurt Warner.
Though his head coach raved about his “poise, expertise, arm power, management, and toughness,” Slovis was solely seen as a three-star recruit and the twenty sixth pro-style quarterback within the 2019 class. He earned presents from eight packages, however USC was the clear frontrunner. The Trojans had lengthy been a favourite to land Slovis, and on the time of his dedication, he stated: “Their teachers are so nice there. The soccer program is storied.”
Slovis’ profession at USC
Little did Slovis know that he was about to create a narrative of his personal in Southern California. After impressing throughout camps, the brand new USC QB secured the backup position to former five-star passer J.T. Daniels.
When Daniels suffered a severe damage within the season opener towards Fresno State, nevertheless, Slovis had an early alternative to make his faculty soccer debut. Displaying what would turn into trademark accuracy, he accomplished 75% of his passes for 57 yards, however sadly, threw his first profession interception.
With Daniels achieved for the season, Slovis was named the beginning quarterback for the subsequent recreation towards Stanford. In a efficiency that electrified faculty soccer, Slovis threw for 377 yards and three touchdowns with zero interceptions. Extremely, the brand new USC QB accomplished 84.8% of his passes.
A star had been born.
Regardless of lacking the sport towards Washington with a concussion, Slovis began 11 video games in 2019. He ended the season with 3,502 passing yards, 30 touchdowns, and accomplished 71.9 p.c of his passes. In truth, his completion proportion broke Andrew Luck’s Pac-12 file that had stood since 2011.
Slovis’ passing makes an attempt, completions, and yardage all broke program freshman data. Within the regular-season finale towards UCLA, he set a brand new single-game passing file for this system with 515 yards.
Setting expectations forward of his sophomore season
Slovis earned Pac-12 Offensive Freshman of the 12 months honors; the Related Press named him their Pac-12 Newcomer of the 12 months. He unseated Daniels as USC’s beginning QB, resulting in Daniels’ switch from this system. Expectations grew to become sky-high that Slovis may ship the Trojans a Pac-12 Championship.
Amongst the disruption of the 2020 faculty soccer season, Slovis led USC to a 5-0 file and a spot within the Pac-12 Championship Sport towards Oregon. His completions, passing yards, completion proportion, and factors chargeable for led the convention. Slovis threw for five touchdowns in two video games (Washington State and UCLA) whereas engineering come-from-behind wins in three video games. Because of this, he earned first-team All-Pac-12 honors.
Within the Pac-12 Championship Sport, nevertheless, Slovis accomplished a career-low 53.8% of his passes. Slovis additionally threw 3 interceptions because the Trojans struggled to comprise the pass-rush presence of Oregon’s Kayvon Thibodeaux.
For the second consecutive season, Slovis’ remaining recreation could be marred by an arm damage. This time it was a sprained shoulder. The earlier yr, the USC QB had suffered a sprained elbow, which many individuals had attributed to a decline in efficiency.
Studies out of spring camp recommend that the newest damage has healed properly. Trojans head coach Clay Helton described Slovis as being wholesome and powerful.
Can the USC QB have a season that helps followers and analysts neglect his perceived sophomore stoop and catapult him again into competition for a first-round choice within the 2022 NFL Draft?
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Oliver Hodgkinson is a employees author for Professional Soccer Community. You may comply with him on Twitter at @ojhodgkinson.