A year ago thanks to an ankle injury, LSU running back Leonard Fournette was having a subdued season compared to his massive sophomore year, but he had a breakout game against Ole Miss, running for 284 yards on the Rebels. This year, LSU running back Derrius Guice hasn't had the kind of season that many expected after a huge sophomore campaign in 2016. Guice has been hobbled by a knee injury hroughout the year, but like Fournette, Guice used the game against Ole Miss to break out with a massive performance. Guice has been growing healthier lately and was able to practice fully before this game. The better health was evident as he dominated Ole Miss running for 276 yards 22 carries with a touchdown.
Guice broke loose in the first quarter with a 59-yard run on which he was untouched until he was almost 55 yards downfield. The very next play saw Guice charge behind the right side for a seven-yard touchdown run. Early into the third quarter, Guice broke off run with a 48-yard gain before being caught from behind by Ole Miss cornerback Ken Webster. Guice made two excellent cuts with a burst to break free from Ole Miss. To cap off his prolific performance, he showed excellent vision on two carries that totaled almost 50 yards.
Aside from his big runs, every time Guice touched the ball it seemed like he was almost getting 10 yards out of the carry. He saw lanes open on counter runs and cut downhill to rip the Rebels' defense. He looked faster, more decisive, and ran with more confidence than he had all season. This tape definitely will help Guice's draft grade, and if he runs like this down the stretch, his stock will really rise.
LSU defensive end Arden Key is one of the top prospects for the 2018 NFL Draft, and he is starting to round into form. Key was slowed by a shoulder injury that caused him to miss some games early in the year and was heavy from being restricted in training over the summer. Key has been dropping weight and is looking more like the faster and explosive player who dominated the SEC last year.
Late in the first quarter, Key burned the right tackle with a speed rush to pressure Shea Patterson into a sack for some teammates. Shortly later, Key used power to slap down the hands of the left tackle and then closed on Patterson for a blind-side strip sack. In the second half, Key was playing containment on the edge, and once he saw there wasn't a rushing play, he used his speed to close on Patterson for another sack. Key also made some good tackles in run support.
Against Ole Miss, Key totaled six tackles with two sacks and the forced fumble. This tape will help him to get righted in the eyes of evaluators.
Some team sources have told me that Ole Miss cornerback Ken Webster has been the most impressive cover corner they've seen this year. Webster goes under the radar playing for a losing team and coming off a knee injury that stole the 2016 season for him, but he showed some special skills against LSU.
In the second quarter, Webster was challenged deep in the end zone and had tight coverage. It was a great throw by LSU quarterback Danny Etling to drop in the pass over the shoulder of the receiver, but Webster slapped the ball out of the hands of the wideout for an incompletion. Webster perfectly timed his hand slap to avoid a penalty, and he had no issues running stride-for-stride with the receiver on the go route. Webster didn't panic with the ball in the air and made a beautiful play. That helped force a LSU field goal. Shortly after halftime, Webster showed his speed to chase down Guice from behind on a 48-yard run.
Webster may not even be 100 percent yet from his 2016 knee injury, but he is an excellent cornerback. He has speed, athleticism, ball skills, and is put together well. Don't be surprised if he's an early-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.
Ole Miss senior edge rusher Marquis Haynes is continuing to produce despite the Rebels playing from behind in a lot of games. That reduces his pass-rushing opportunities with teams running out the clock with the ground game, but Haynes is still getting the job done. He had three sacks in the previous game and kept up his sack production versus LSU.
In the first quarter, Haynes was blocked on a pass play, but was able to run away from the blockers when Etling scrambled to his side of the field. Haynes closed in a hurry and got to Etling for the sack. In the third quarter, Haynes was called for an unnecessary roughness on a running play that went far away from him. It was costly penalty on Haynes. He had other good pass rushes in the game.
For the NFL, Haynes is a limited player. At roughly 6-foot-3, 230 pounds, he isn't big enough to be a base end in a 4-3 or a 3-4 outside linebacker. He doesn't have the skills to transition to inside linebacker; he is a pure edge rusher. Sources say that his intelligence could be an issue as well. While Haynes has limitations, he could be an excellent DPR - designated pass-rusher - candidate. Haynes could come into the game in obvious passing situations and give offenses a lot of problems with his ability to get after the quarterback off the edge. Haynes will probably be a mid-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, but he could provide a big value as a crunch-time pass-rusher.
Penn State 42, Michigan 13
Penn State running back Saquon Barkley has been the best player in college football this season and that continued against a good Michigan defense. On the second play from scrimmage, Barkley took a wild cat snap and made a cut back to explode down the field for a 69-yard touchdown run. Barkley was untouched as he ran away from the Wolverines defense. On the next possession Barkley took an option pitch and showed some nifty feet to dodge defenders while smoothly gliding down the sideline for a 15-yard touchdown.
It wasn't all good for Barkley as he got wide open on a wheel route downfield but he dropped the pass after taking his eyes off the ball looking to run before securing the reception. In the fourth quarter Barkley burned Michigan linebacker Mike McCray to get open deep downfield. The ball was lofted in perfectly, but Barkley almost dropped another the ball again, but he was able to control it after a bobble while running into the end zone for a 42-yard touchdown.
Taking on Michigan, Barkley finished with 108 yards on 15 carries with two touchdowns and three receptions for 53 yards and a touchdown. This was a tape that illustrates why Barkley is worthy of being a top-five pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. Barkley has devastating quickness to hit the hole and accelerate downfield. Along with great speed, Barkley has tremendous balance, vision, cutting ability, elusiveness, and power. He also is a receiving threat that presents mismatch problems for a defense in the passing attack. Barkley is an elite running back prospect in the same mold of Leonard Fournette, Todd Gurley, and better than Ezekiel Elliott. Unless Barkley has an injury or off the field issue, he's a lock to be a top-10 pick next April.
Michigan defensive lineman Maurice Hurst has played well for the Wolverines this season. Hurst is fast interior disruptor that can cause havoc behind the line of scrimmage by firing behind guards. However the 6-foot-2, 282-pound Hurst is undersized for the NFL as an interior defensive lineman, and the limitations that come with that were visible against Penn State.
Hurst had issues getting off blocks and holding his ground in the game. He was clearly at his best when working upfield, but in plays where he has to hold his gap and stuff runs, Hurst is in trouble. That will be seen more in the NFL. Early in the second quarter Hurst used his speed to fire a gap between the left guard and center to chase down the quarterback for a sack. Early in the third quarter Hurst disrupted a run by blowing up a run in the backfield that Barkley turned into a two-yard gain. Those were really the only standout plays from Hurst against Penn State.
Just before the half, Hurst showed poor awareness as Penn State allowed him to push the guard into the backfield and then quarterback Trace McSorley ran right by him and through the gap he vacated to get in for a short touchdown run. Hurst's sack was his only tackle of the game and it was his first full sack of the season.
Overall, this game illustrated that Hurst needs to get stronger for the NFL to hold up in the ground game. He has speed and is explosive off the snap. His only real fit in the NFL comes as a three technique defensive tackle in a 4-3 defense. Hurst has early-round talent but this tape isn't going to do much for his grade.
Notre Dame 49, USC 14
USC quarterback Sam Darnold has had a rocky season, with turnovers plaguing the highly touted NFL prospect. Taking on a good Notre Dame team, Darnold's issues with turnovers continued to stalk him and the Trojans.
The first half didn't go well for USC, and the game was pretty much over by halftime with Notre Dame up 28-0. Darnold juggled the ball on the game's first snap and got sacked as he controlled the ball. The officials ruled Notre Dame recovered a fumble, but it was a questionable call to say Darnold wasn't down by contact with the ball.
Late in the first quarter, Darnold had a well-thrown deep ball, but his receiver failed to adjust and dropped a reception for what should have been a gain of about 50 yards. On the same drive, Darnold made a nice play to move in the pocket and buy some time before throwing a well-placed pass for a gain of about 30 yards. In the second quarter, Darnold made a bad read of not seeing a corner drop underneath a receiver in cover 2. The out-route pass floated to the cornerback for an easy interception. It was poor field vision and decision-making on the play from Darnold.
Darnold threw some well-placed passes to move the ball in the third quarter, connecting on a quick slant for a touchdown. Shortly later, he found Deontay Burnett wide open in busted coverage for a short touchdown pass. Darnold left the game during the fourth quarter after aggravating an ankle injury, and with the Trojans being blown out, it didn't make sense to risk Darnold's health in garbage time. He finished completing 20-of-28 passes for 229 yards with two touchdowns and one interception.
Overall, this game continues the trend of Darnold having an underwhelming redshirt sophomore season. He has a good skill, but not great, skill set. Darnold is a rhythm passer who has good timing and anticipation, but he needs to improve his decision-making and ball security. Darnold is a first-round pick who still could go high in the 2018 NFL Draft, but he is not an elite quarterback prospect.
With the injuries to Washington's Trey Adams and Texas' Connor Williams. Notre Dame left tackle Mike McGlinchey could be the top left tackle prospect for the 2018 NFL Draft. McGlinchey was seeing a future NFL contributor in USC outside linebacker Uchenna Nwosu. This turned out to be an excellent tape for McGlinchey, as he shutdown Nwosu and made it look easy.
McGlinchey was excellent against the Trojans. Notre Dame had a lot of success running behind McGlinchey, who was locking up his blockers and getting a push at the point of attack. The Fighting Irish went behind McGlinchey on a short third-and-goal run as McGlinchey took out two USC defenders to give Brandon Wimbush the edge.
In pass protection, McGlinchey was rock solid. While he isn't an elite athlete on the edge, he has the ability to bend at the knee and plays with good leverage. When taking on speed rushers, he keeps his feet moving against and doesn't lunge after them. McGlinchey uses his developed strength to sustain blocks with good hand placement to latch onto defenders and keep them from getting pressure. This tape will help McGlinchey to be a first-round pick next April.
Nwosu was a non-factor, as his size and length limitations allowed Notre Dame to have success with shutting him down in the ground game. He didn't make any plays in the pass rush either.
Notre Dame guard Quenton Nelson is the top guard for the 2018 NFL Draft and could be one of the safest picks in the draft class. He put on a clinic against USC.
Nelson made a tremendous run block in the first quarter, firing to the second level and then pancaking a linebacker flat on his back. Nelson then showed his speed on the next play, pulling around the right side to spring his back for a gain of about 10 yards.
Nelson was excellent in pass protection while being the dominant run blocker to lead Notre Dame to five rushing touchdowns and 377 yards on the ground. He could end up being a top-20 pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.
USC cornerback Iman Marshall has been in the midst of a disappointing junior season, and things went from bad to worse for him against Notre Dame. On the second play of the game, Marshall was beaten on a double move for what could have been a 91-yard touchdown if the ball hadn't been horribly overthrown by Brandon Wimbush. Soon after that play, Marshall went out of the game with a knee injury and did not return. With his struggles this season and now dealing with an injury, Marshall should probably return for his senior year to improve before turning pro.
Notre Dame wide receiver Equanimeous St. Brown has first-round skill set, but his draft stock has been getting killed this year by quarterback Brandon Wimbush struggling immensely to pass the ball. Against USC, St. Brown flashed what he can do, but once again, he was underutilized.
Early in the first quarter, St. Brown ran a post route that burned USC corner Jack Jones, who had gotten turned around by the jab step and cut by of St. Brown to create separation, running into the end zone for a 26-yard touchdown. The next drive saw St. Brown use his speed to run by a cornerback in press man to get separation while running into the end zone, but the inaccurate throw by Wimbush sailed incomplete. St. Brown finished with three receptions for 29 yards and his score. He also had a perfect block on the perimeter for a touchdown run by Wimbush.
Some team sources say they have St. Brown on the second day of the 2018 NFL Draft. Others think he still could be a first-round pick because of his skill set. St. Brown is going to be a challenging evaluation considering the lack of opportunities he's seen this season.
Alabama 45, Tennessee 7
Alabama junior wide receiver Calvin Ridley could be the top wide receiver prospect for the 2018 NFL Draft. Ridley's production isn't close to what he is capable of because the Crimson Tide have a rushing-based offense with a quarterback in Jalen Hurts who has limitations as a passer. In this game, Ridley impressed with his route-running and hands to illustrate why he is a first-round talent.
In the first quarter, Ridley ran a great route to get some separation and then made a tremendous leaping catch with strong hands to get Alabama a first down. Ridley then got open in the end zone, but Hurts threw the ball late, and that caused Ridley to take a huge hit to break up the pass. Ridley came back into the game and ran a super route to get open for a 26-yard reception. He finished with 82 yards on eight receptions.
Ridley is a consensus first-rounder for the 2018 NFL Draft. He may not be an elite top-10 wideout because he is only 6-foot-1 while being a thin-framed player who needs to add weight for the NFL. Still, Ridley is an excellent route-runner with quickness and superb body control. He also has good hands. NFL teams know of the passing limitations of Hurts, so they aren't holding the lack of production against Ridley.
Alabama running back Damien Harris continued his breakout junior season. The Crimson Tide didn't need to feature him much because Tennessee was completely overmatched. In the second quarter, Harris had a pretty run showing some patience to wait for a hold to open, and then he cut back to dart downfield and bang into the end zone from about 10 yards out. Harris ran hard fighting for yards after contact, showing balance, quick feet and the speed hit the hole quickly. Harris totaled 72 yards on 13 carries with a score. Scouting sources have compared Harris to Doug Martin, as they are very similar players. Harris is a likely second-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.
Tennessee running back John Kelly has run well this year for the Volunteers as the replacement for Alvin Kamara. Kelly was excellent against Florida in September, and he was seeing a defense loaded with NFL talent in this contest. Kelly ran hard, but Alabama's defense kept Tennessee's offense from maintaining possession of the ball. He ran for 63 yards on 12 carries with two receptions for five yards. The 5-foot-9, 205-pound Kelly is undersized for the NFL, but he runs hard with some quickness and athleticism. He could be a rotational backup in the NFL and a mid-round pick.
Alabama safety Minkah Fitzpatrick didn't have a big stat line in this game, but this tape is going to impress evaluators. Fitzpatrick did a superb job as a general on the field, audibling his defense into rolling coverage to the correct side of the field and moving teammates to make blitzes more effective. Fitzpatrick showed his versatility covering receivers as a corner on slants, contributing as a strong safety in the ground game, and protecting the deep part of the field. This is a tape that will help Fitzpatrick to be a high first-round pick.
Oklahoma State 13, Texas 10
Oklahoma State quarterback Mason Rudolph has some vocal fans in the media who have him projected as a first-round prospect. In scouting circles, Rudolph is very much a love-hate prospect. I've heard from some NFL sources who think he could be an early-rounder and I know others that have him buried in the mid-rounds. I've heard grades as low as the fifth and sixth round on Rudolph. This game against Texas isn't going to win over any skeptics and probably won't lose his supporters.
In the first quarter, Rudolph took a third-down coverage sack after rolling out. Rudolph should have thrown the ball away rather than take a negative play that had his team punting from their own end zone. Rudolph came back to throw a few good deep balls to move into Texas territory, but drives stalled as the Longhorn secondary did a good job of keeping the Cowboy receivers from running free. Rudolph completed 25-of-38 passes for 282 yards against Texas.
I'm of the opinion that Rudolph is a day-three prospect. I would grade him as a fourth- or fifth-rounder. For the NFL, Rudolph has some limitations. His arm strength is just average. He is not very athletic and isn't a running threat. His accuracy is shaky and needs improvement, while his anticipation is terrible. Routinely, Rudolph doesn't pull the trigger on a throw until his receiver has long since gotten wide open rather anticipating the play to get the ball out faster. The length of time he holds the ball in the pocket is going to be a problem in the NFL, but in the Big 12, he can get away with it. Rudolph is also inconsistent with his field vision, as he can work off his first read but other times, he stares down targets. He is going to need a lot more impressive tape to be a first-round pick.
Oklahoma State wide receiver James Washington has media hype around him as well, but I haven't heard any team sources who are high on him. Like Rudolph, this game won't help Washington. He typically runs free against weak Big 12 defenses, but Texas kept Washington in check. They played a lot of Cover 2 and Cover 4 to prevent plays over the top. Texas has some good talent in the secondary at corner and safety. Washington has build-up speed but is not twitchy or explosive to get quick separation. Hence, he struggled to get open against Texas. Washington was held to four receptions for 32 yards. I know some teams are giving Washington day-three grades, and I think he's likely to be a mid-rounder in the 2018 NFL Draft.
Texas linebacker Malik Jefferson is a future NFL starter, as he has an excellent combination of size, speed and athleticism. He has been playing better this season and continued his strong play against Oklahoma State.
Early in the first quarter, Jefferson forced an incompletion with a blitz that pressured Rudolph before the play was ready. He then flew to the perimeter to make a tackle for no gain. Jefferson was flagged for a late hit at the end of the first quarter, which was a dumb mistake by Jefferson throwing the back to the ground when they were well into the sideline.
Throughout the game, Jefferson made a number of tackles. When he goes unblocked, he is very dangerous and hard to slow down. In overtime, Jefferson made a nice tackle in space for no gain after going unblocked on the play.
Jefferson definitely has a starter's skill set for the NFL. He is going to need a lot of work on his pass coverage, but he has the physical tools to cover. Jefferson could be a second-day pick if he enters the 2018 NFL Draft.
Texas safety DeShon Elliott is a player I've heard some good things about in the scouting community recently. Elliott created that buzz with five interceptions in a three-game stretch against USC, Iowa State and Kansas State. Elliott continued his strong play with a solid game against Oklahoma State.
Elliott was very good in deep coverage, keeping Oklahoma State from getting their vertical pass attack going. Elliott was good in coverage over the top, covering a lot of ground on his side of the field. In the third quarter, Elliott had a blistering hit near the goal line on a receiver trying to reach for the end zone. Elliott's hit jarred the ball loose for a fumble.
For the NFL, Elliott has the size of a strong safety but is more of a free safety. He lacks elite athletic ability, but makes plays in coverage while being a willing participant in the ground game. Elliott looks like a good value pick on the second day of the draft.
Northwestern 17, Iowa 10
Northwestern quarterback Clayton Thorson has a lot of fans in the scouting community despite not having a huge stat line. Sources like Thorson's size, arm strength, accuracy, mobility and intangibles. The Wildcat offensive line is dreadful and the wide receivers are even worse. That leads to Thorson trying to do too much and makes him more difficult to evaluate for the NFL. This game against Iowa was a mixed performance for Thorson, as he showed good traits but had some bad plays as well. Overall, this tape made Thorson look more like a second-rounder than a first-round pick.
Early in the first quarter, Thorson had a pass underthrown that was almost picked off by Iowa cornerback Josh Jackson. Northwestern had a hard time moving the ball, as Thorson was under steady pressure with his receivers unable to get separation. Thorson had a few bad plays where he fired too high of receivers and took a few coverage sacks while waiting for a receiver to get open. Northwestern was shut out in thr first half.
Thorson threw some excellent pass to move the chains and set up a rushing touchdown in the third quarter. Thorson threw some frozen ropes that were well-placed bullets to move the chains. The big play on the drive though was Thorson using his legs to convert a third-and-15. Later, he made a nice throw to convert a fourth down and used his size to move pile on a fourth-and-1 quarterback sneak. That set up the Wildcats to take the lead with a field goal.
In overtime, Thorson converted a third-and-9, hitting his running back Justin Jackson on the run to set up a first-and-goal. Thorson pushed over the goal line from a yard out for the game-winning touchdown. He finished 21-of-36 for 192 yards with zero touchdowns or interceptions through the air.
Thorson has all the tools to be a good NFL starter. His accuracy is improved this year, and he needs to continue to work on that. However, his throwing windows are extremely difficult because his wideouts are slow and incapable of getting separation. Thus, every throw has to be perfect because the only time he has targets open are in zone coverage in the short part of the field. Thorson looks like more of a second-round pick, but his great intangibles and good skill set could cause him to rise in the lead up to the draft with plenty of teams desperate
for a franchise quarterback. Sources have told me that Thorson will go back to school if he doesn't hear a first-round grade from the NFL Draft Advisory.
Iowa Running back Akrum Wadley could be a second-day pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. He ran well against Northwestern, but the Wildcats sold out to stop him. Thus, Wadley didn't have good lanes as Northwestern challenged Iowa to move the ball through the air. Wadley totaled 90 yards on 26 carries. This game shouldn't hurt or help Wadley's draft grade.
Iowa linebacker Josey Jewell was held out with a shoulder injury.
Louisville 31, Florida State 28
Last year, Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson embarrassed the Seminoles with a prolific outing, leading the Cardinals to beat Florida State, 63-20. That game put Jackson on the map and was the defining game of his Heisman Trophy-winning season. One could be sure that Florida State would be out for revenge. A year ago, the Seminoles were without their best defender in safety Derwin James, a top-10 talent for the 2018 NFL Draft. With Jackson's running and throwing ability, Jackson was going to be a tough test for James.
On the first drive, Jackson showed his speed and athleticism with a 23-yard run. He took a run off tackle and sprinted down the field for a 22-yard touchdown run. Jackson then had a win over James, running at the safety and then using speed to get to the sideline for a first down before James could push him out of bounds.
Jackson had a receiver running down the field for a 60-yard touchdown in the second quarter, but Jackson showed poor footwork on the play and that led to him overthrowing the receiver for an incompletion when it could have been a touchdown with an accurate throw. A couple plays later, the drive ended with James and Josh Sweat combing for a sack of Jackson.
It got worse for Jackson shortly later, as he was stripped of the ball on a zone read run. Florida State linebacker Matthew Thomas scooped up the ball and took it back to the house.
On the next drive, Jackson missed an open receiver with an inaccurate throw, but then Jackson responded by lofting in a beautiful touch pass into the end zone to beat good coverage with a perfectly placed 26-yard touchdown pass. It was a pretty lofted throw by Jackson and supplied proof to the old adage that a perfect throw beats good coverage.
Jackson got moving in the third quarter with an electric run where he juked one defender, sped by a few others, spun out of tackle, and then kept racking up yards before James got him to the ground inside the 10-yard line after a run of 51 yards. The next play, James made another touchdown saving tackle two yards short of the end zone.
Jackson had two perfectly thrown deep balls into the end zone that were dropped by his receivers in the final quarter. They were terrible drops to let down great throws by Jackson. Jackson made a few clutch passes and a chunk run to convert a third down to set up the game winning field goal. Jackson completed 13-of-21 for 156 yards with one touchdown and zero interceptions. He also ran for 178 yards on 23 carries with a touchdown.
There clearly is a lot of room for improvement for Jackson as a passer for the NFL. The main issue is accuracy, and that could be seen against Florida State. Jackson can miss too high and his footwork fundamentals can get out of whack, leading to inconsistent accuracy. He can make some perfect throws with excellent ball placement and then miss wildly on his next throw. More than anything, Jackson needs work on his accuracy for the NFL. Gaining weight to get thicker in his frame is another important task for him.
That being said, there is no doubt that Jackson has a starting skill set for the NFL, and that could be seen in this game. He has elite arm strength with a powerful gun than other strong-armed prospects like Pat Mahomes or Jared Goff. Jackson's arm is so strong he can make throws off platform that other quarterbacks must have their feet set to make. With just a flip of the wrist, the ball explodes out of Jackson's hands, and he can beat good coverage with perfect throws that very few quarterbacks can make. When Jackson's in the NFL next year, his arm will be one of the strongest in the NFL; it'll be in the same ballpark as Matthew Stafford or Joe Flacco.
On top of elite arm strength, Jackson is a great athlete with incredible mobility, speed, and moves to rip up defenses with his feet. From a skill-set perspective, Jackson is very similar to Michael Vick. With his physical talent, I think Jackson will rise throughout the lead up to the draft and end up being a high first-round pick.
Overall, James played well and made a lot of touchdown-saving tackles. He showed good instincts and stayed home. He didn't bite on misdirection or overpursue on plays. This tape illustrates James' versatility and his ability to make clutch tackles in space. This tape will only serve to help James to be a high first-round pick.
Florida State linebacker Matthew Thomas and defensive end Josh Sweat are early-round talents who both played well against Louisville. Thomas had a number of nice tackles and hard hits in the box. He also had a huge plays with his 34-yard fumble return for a touchdown. Sweat had multiple sacks, including one in the fourth quarter where he worked off the right tackle to get a big sack. This tape will help the draft grade for both Thomas and Sweat.
Florida State junior Auden Tate (6-5, 225) could be one of the top wide receiver prospects for the 2018 NFL Draft. He is supremely talented and has made a lot of clutch catches this season. However, Seminoles freshman quarterback James Blackmon struggles to get passes consistently to Tate, and that is limiting Tate's production.
In the early going, Tate dropped a pass, but he came back to make a difficult reception as he stretched out on an out route for a gain of 17. He double caught a ball, but then carried a defender for seven yards on a 14-yard reception. Tate then bailed out Blackmon to make a grab over a defensive back on a poorly located pass that easily could have been intercepted.
Tate finished with 62 yards on five receptions. He could be a Kelvin Benjamin-type receiver for the NFL. If Tate enters the 2018 NFL Draft, he could be a first- or second-round pick.
Louisville defensive end James Hearns has had a bit of a disappointing season. That continued, as he really didn't do much against a terrible offensive line. The Seminole tackles were dominated by other pro prospects like N.C. State's Bradley Chubb or Wake Forest's Duke Ejiofor.
Hearns had a few pressures and run tackles, but wasn't producing big plays like those ends did against the Florida State offensive tackles. In the fourth quarter, Louisville's defense got off the field with a fourth-down stop, but Hearns gifted Florida State a first down with a stupid roughing-the-passer penalty. That ended up giving the Seminoles another chance that they turned into a critical touchdown. Overall, this tape won't help Hearns during his underwhelming season.