Skov was an instant contributor as a freshman at Stanford. He started seven games in 2009 while playing in all 13 contests. Skov totaled 62 tackles and three tackles for a loss. The next season, he was voted Stanford's most outstanding sophomore. Skov also had 11.5 tackles for a loss, 7.5 sacks, 84 tackles and two forced fumbles. With fellow linebacker Chase Thomas, Skov led the Cardinal defense to a tough unit, and the duo created many splash plays.
Skov played extremely well in the first two games of 2011. He had 18 tackles, four tackles for a loss, 1.5 sacks and a pass broken up. In the third game of the year, Skov made a tackle for a loss against Arizona and a bit later, he blew out his knee, ending his season. Earlier this spring, Skov had a DUI arrest, and as a result, he has been suspended for the first game of the 2012 season, against San Jose State.
2012 Season Outlook:
The Cardinal still has some quality talent despite losing some elite players to the NFL on the offensive side of the ball. Even though Skov missed the vast majority of the 2011 season, the knee injury happened early enough that he will have had an entire calender year to rehab and prepare for the 2012 season. In the press release about Skov's suspension, head coach David Shaw said that Skov was already close to 100 percent healthy and was on schedule with his rehab to be ready to play when camp starts.
Assuming Skov doesn't have any setbacks, he will take on Duke in the second game of the season before playing USC's high-powered offense in Week 3. Stanford needs Skov to return to his 2010 form as its offense rebuilds.
Many players have subdued production in the year coming off a season-ending knee injury. It wouldn't be surprising if that happened to Skov, but considering he's had a longer recovery time than most players, perhaps he will buck the trend. Skov could return to Stanford for the 2013 season in order to improve his stock before going into the NFL.
Stanford plays a 3-4 defense, and Skov is a perfect fit in that scheme. He attacks the line of scrimmage and is an aggressive defender. Skov is a hard hitter and obviously loves the physical part of the game. He has a tenacious attitude and presence in the middle of the field.
Skov has the size and bulk to take on blockers and hold up at the point of attack. Even though he doesn't need to get bigger, he has the frame to add more weight if his NFL team would like that.
Skov is a tough run defender. Anticipation and instincts are two plus traits that he possesses for helping him to make tackles in the ground game. Skov reads his keys quickly and gets in position to make tackles. Put simply, he has a nose for the ball. The way Skov fires to the line limits backs to short gains as opposed to running down tackles downfield.
Skov is an excellent interior blitzer in pass defense. He has good agility to weave by blockers and get pressure on the quarterback. Skov will use physicality to knock blockers off balance and get around them. He moves well in zone coverage and is adept at picking up receivers that come in his area.
There are a few things Skov could use more work on for the next level. Like almost all college linebackers, he will need to improve his ability to shed blocks; not as a blitzer - Skov does well there - but in the ground game. He occasionally struggles to free himself when offensive linemen grab ahold of him.
Skov also needs to improve his tackling technique. There are occasions when he doesn't wrap up enough as he's looking to lay hard hits. Skov will need to work on his man-coverage technique in passing situations. He's much better playing zone or blitzing than running with tight ends or backs. His NFL team would be better off by protecting him from being assigned man-coverage responsibilities.
For the NFL, Skov would be best as an inside linebacker in a 3-4. He does have enough speed to play in a 4-3.
2013 Draft Expectations:
Skov currently looks like a quality second-day pick. In order for that to happen, he needs to stay healthy and perform at his 2010 level. If Skov has decreased production before entering the draft, he could be a mid-rounder.