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LSU Football 2014 NFL Draft Profile: Craig Loston

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Talking the senior safety's draft prospects.

Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE

Craig Loston

Position: Safety
Combine Height/Weight: 5-11, 217 pounds
LSU Listed Height/Weight: 6-2, 209
Hand Size: 9 3/4 inches
Arm Length: 30 3/4 inches
40-Yard Dash Time: 4.65 (4.58 at LSU's Pro Day)
Bench-Press Reps (of 225 pounds): 12
Vertical Jump: 32.5 inches
Short/Long Shuttle: 4.35/12.02
3-Cone Drill: 7.15
Broad Jump: 119 inches

Strengths

Well-built, physical safety...reacts quickly and closes to the ball faster than his 40 time suggests...flies up in run support...big hitter that will drop his shoulder into a ball-carrier's chest...strong hands and plays the ball well...vocal leader and can keep other defensive backs lined up...hard worker and respected in the locker room.

Weaknesses

First and foremost, has injury red flags: wrist, back and a couple of concussions...really struggles in man-coverage -- gives too much cushion to receivers, and doesn't turn his hips and change directions well...will lose fundamentals as a tackler trying to make the big hit and doesn't always wrap up...can be confused by multi-receiver route concepts in front of him...will over-pursue and get broken down versus the run, and also vulnerable to play-action.

Verdict

If teams can get past his injury concerns, Loston's best game is with his eyes in the backfield. He'd be a good fit as a deep-half safety in a cover-two scheme, where his man-coverage responsibilities can be limited and he can roam, play the ball and punish receivers. He'll also be an enthusiastic special teams player that bust his butt to make a roster. But he's a relatively finished product and there's not much upside to him, and that really compounds his limitations. If the red flags on his medical report don't scare a team off, he might go in the fifth-sixth round. If they don't, he'll be an undrafted free agent.