Skov will be a 24-year-old rookie in 2014. He's a team captain and is the heart and soul of one of the best defenses in the nation at Stanford. Was born in San Francisco, CA, but spent four years of his childhood in Guadalajara, Mexico. He eventually went to high school at a private school in New York. Skov is a fifth-year senior and a Management Science and Engineering major. His younger brother Patrick is a fullback on the Stanford team.
He was a big high school recruit, a five-star linebacker by Rivals, with offers from programs all over the country and a top 50-national recruit who was in the Army All-American game as a senior. Entered Stanford and hit the ground running as a freshman, becoming the starter at MLB for Jim Harbaugh’s team. He had 62 tackles as a freshman and led the team with 84 tackles as a true sophomore. He injured his knee his junior year and missed the majority of the season. Returned from his knee injury in 2012 –- totaling 80 tackles -- but was never fully healthy. He helped lead Stanford to a Rose Bowl victory, and anchored one of the best defenses in the nation.
In 2013, Skov was named the team captain again and is on various watch lists for defensive awards. Skov is averaging around eight tackles a game and has put Stanford in a position to win the Pac-12 for the second straight year.
A four-year starter who lines up at MLB in Stanford's 3-4 defense. He has good size (6'3", 244) and a very strong build that should help him make an easy transition to the NFL. He is a good athlete who has adequate top end speed. Plays faster than he will time because he is very instinctive when breaking on the football. Has helped anchor a defense that has dominated the conference for two years running.
Skov excels in the run game, especially between the tackles. Has natural feel for reading and reacting on his keys –- playing fast down hill. A physical player at the point of attack, who can stack/shed and put himself in position to make tackles. Plays fast in short areas and is a good tackler within the box. Doesn’t have the explosive qualities to run sideline to sideline, but takes very good angles to the football. He plays with a chip on his shoulder in the run game.
Has the short area burst to be a good blitzer, taking direct angles to the QB and firing through offensive lineman. Shows good burst and closing ability on the quarterback. In the passing game, is not an ideal man-to-man cover guy, but does a good job as a middle-of-the-field zone dropper. Can make up for some limited change of direction in space in the passing game by using his instincts and not just being a robot. Can recognize routes naturally, working his way to the football.
Overall, Skov should be a solid two-down MLB in the NFL who could function in a 3-4 or 4-3 defense. He should transition immediately to the NFL when it comes to playing the run game and should improve in the passing game as his knee continues to strengthen from his ACL injury a couple years ago.
WHAT THE NFL SCOUTS WANT TO SEE IN 2013: The Oregon game is very big for Skov to show he can keep up with the level of speed he will see in the NFL. Prove that he can function against the pass and doesn’t need to be taken off the field on those downs.
UPDATE: Skov had 10 tackles (2 TFL), a pass breakup and forced two fumbles vs. the Ducks.
-- John Middlekauff, Reese's Senior Bowl West Coast Scout/Correspondent
2013: Utah, Washington
2013: San Jose State