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NAME: Porter Gustin

SCHOOL: USC

CONFERENCE: Pac-12

POSITION: EDGE

CLASS: RS Junior

JERSEY: No. 45

RECRUITMENT RATING: 4-star

HT: 6’4

WT: 255 lbs

D.O.B.: 05/05/1997



First Step Quickness –Offers very little in the way of twitch and get off at the line. Instead is at the mercy of blockers to afford him angles to press into the pocket. Will not win with speed off the edge and as a result needs a runway to develop power as a means of collapsing the pocket.

Hand Technique/Length – Accuracy with hands and ability to punch and lock out can be hit or miss. When able to align the hands properly, Gustin shows great extension and upper body strength to dictate reps. Is limited in hand quickness and imagination to implement shedding techniques at the point of attack.

Pass Rush Counters –Has not shown a lot of creativity as a secondary counter player. Instead looks to walk blockers back into the lap of the quarterback, often limiting himself and preventing effective pressures. Struggles to find a softened edge and plays as a blunt force rusher looking to bowl over opponents instead.

Flexibility –Hips are super tight. Does not have the ability to drop the inside shoulder and carry any level of pace through turns. Struggles to get the foot to catch when looking to play with feet away from underneath hips…which is likely a catalyst for why injuries have been so frequent in his playing career.

Run Defending –Impressive play when watered down to “hold your gap” style football. Frame is loaded and as a result can play well in linear, tight quarters situations to occupy blocks and force ball carriers to seek an alternative route through the line of scrimmage.

Competitive Toughness –Has illustrated admirable toughness throughout the course of his college career to stay engaged and on the field despite a laundry list of injuries. Competitive toughness shows up in second effort plays to work back into a position to challenge extended plays in the backfield.

Tackling –Gustin puts a long wingspan to good use as a tackler, as he’s able to reach and extend in efforts to grab a limb and pull down the passer. But tightness through the hips and limited foot quickness make open field challenges a chore to finish. Struggles with fluid athletes.

Lateral Mobility –Is extremely limited in his ability to hinge and open as a space defender into the boundary. Labors looking to pull off of a block and disengage as rushers play up past his hip pocket as well. Will be a liability if tasked with playing a firm edge and schemed by offenses to mirror the mesh point.

Stand Up Ability –Has been given some reps off the edge as a stand-up rusher and as an off ball player. Effective in instances of playing forward and stacking up a block to engage in a clean run fit, but otherwise doesn’t have the movement skills at this weight required to play away from the line.

Football IQ –Would like to see some more cerebral play when pressing up the field…a little bit too much “Hulk Smash” in his efforts as a pass rusher. Without some notable improvements with hand usage and intent to read opposing pass sets, Gustin will be a limited football player with a specific niche.


BEST TRAIT – Run Defending

WORST TRAIT – Flexibility

BEST FILM – Texas (2018)

WORST FILM – Stanford (2017)

RED FLAGS – Durability

Porter Gustin has been limited by several notable injuries throughout his time at USC, including a meniscus tear, broken ankle, biceps and more. His limited flexibility is a huge red flag for durability and as such it would be well advised to play Gustin as an interior gap defender, where his tightness can be mitigated and allow him to play primarily vs. the run.

PROS: Long rusher who can corner successfully with good bend through the hips and the physicality to tilt around the edge track. Most successful rush attempts come with impressive inside shoulder dip and twist to immediately create rush angle from the outside. Will throw hands to swat/rip, but hands often are wild, with shaky timing and location. Can work within context of rush and alter moves/rush plans.

Flashes the ability to generate initial displacement with bull rush and has hit a snatch and trap as a counter move, but upright frame can limit power. Has the strength to stack offensive linemen in the running game and can reset the line of scrimmage with length to keep chest plate clean. Is a good hustle player who will make pursuit tackles.

CONS: Lacks requisite explosiveness and quickness to be a penetrating player. Doesn’t threaten outside shoulder with initial steps off the line of scrimmage. Upright out of his stance and will false step. Lateral quickness notably absent when attempting to work hips from square to angle when facing offensive tackles. Despite length and power to stack, doesn’t have the athleticism to get involved in tackles when runners come through the gaps. Can take good angles when defending space plays as EMLOS, but cannot close to make tackles on shifty ball carriers.

Despite strength to forklift offensive tackles, lacks functional mass to anchor and, when he loses hands, will get displaced. Tight ends often win or get to stalemates in both run blocking and pass protection.  Bend is good but limited, and often cornering attempts will end with Gustin on the ground at or behind the peak of the pocket. Double teams wash him into oblivion. Can get reached easily and is late to feel blocks from outside of his periphery.