2023 NFL Draft: College Game Recaps - Week 11

This section breaks down many college football games each week and highlights how 2023 NFL Draft Prospects have performed.

By Charlie Campbell.
Send Charlie an e-mail here: draftcampbell@gmail.com
Follow Charlie on Twitter @draftcampbell for updates.

Back to College Games

Other Weeks:

Covered Games

Jump to Previews
wfdl.REDM.NCAAFTeam img   wfdl.REDM.NCAAFTeam img
  • Tennessee quarterback Hendon Hooker had dominated the competition this year, blowing through the SEC competition until he ran into the brick wall that is Georgia. Hooker had a bounced back against Missouri, which was also Senior Day and the 24-year-old's final home game.

    On the opening drive, Hooker lofted in a pretty deep ball for a 38-yard completion to set Tennessee up for a rushing touchdown. Hooker had a similar throw to Jalin Hyatt that set up another rushing touchdown, and Hooker also tossed a touchdown pass in the back of the end zone early in the second quarter. On the ensuing drive, he did it with his legs, scoring his fifth rushing touchdown on the year. It was a short zone read, but he nade an impressive juke and cut to dart past the defensive back at the two-yard line.

    In the third quarter, Hooker found Hyatt wide open in busted coverage for a sideline completion, and he raced down the field for a 68-yard touchdown. Shortly later, Hooker added a short touchdown pass on a dump-off in the flat. Versus Missouri, Hooker completed 25-of-36 passes for 355 yards and three touchdowns. He also ran for 54 yards and a score.

    Hooker had his way with the Missouri defense, showing the ability to make touch passes down the field. He threw the ball accurately, took what the defense gave him, and made plays with his feet. This tape could help Hooker to be a second- or third-round pick next April during the 2023 NFL Draft.

  • wfdl.REDM.NCAAFTeam img   wfdl.REDM.NCAAFTeam img Game Preview
  • Washington quarterback Michael Penix Jr. has helped himself with a strong senior year. While he did not play perfectly against the Ducks, Penix made some huge plays to help get his team a tough road win over the sixth-ranked team in the nation. He completed 26-of-35 for 408 yards, two touchdowns and an interception.

    Early in the first quarter, Penix used his legs to convert a third-and-long, and on the next play, he made a back-shoulder throw to the tight end for 17 yards. The pass was poorly located, however, because to make the catch the tight end was led out of bounds. but if Penix had led Devin Culp down the sideline, it could have gone for a longer gain or touchdown as there was green grass ahead of him. Penix bounced back to use his arm on an out route to convert another third-and-long that set up a rushing touchdown for the Huskies. For the rest of the first half, Penix was solid, but he had issues operating when under pressure.

    Penix unleashed a bomb midway the third quarter, hitting his receiver in stride and leading him down the field for a 76-yard touchdown. It was a perfectly thrown pass from Penix with a free rusher coming straight at him through the middle of the line. Penix stepped into the throw, took the hit, and put the Huskies up 27-14.

    Early in the fourth quarter at the goal line, Penix made a terrible decision on first down, throwing a pass into a crowd of three defenders and two receivers. The pass was deflected by Noah Sewell and intercepted by an Oregon teammate.

    Penix helped make up for it by lofting in a deep ball to the sideline of the far hash to an open receiver, who raced down the sideline with a 62-yard touchdown to tie the game at 34 with three minutes remaining. A dumb Oregon decision to go for a fourth down inside its own 40-yard line backfired and set up Washington for the game-winning field goal.

    Penix looks like he could start out his career at the next level as a backup. Penix has a good arm with mobility and throws a pretty deep ball, but he struggles under pressure and will have to learn to read the field better. In the 2023 NFL Draft, Penix could get second-day or mid-round consideration.

  • One defender who Penix seemed to avoid was Oregon cornerback Christian Gonzalez, or perhaps Penix targed other receivers because Gonzalez was providing blanket coverage.

    In the second quarter, Gonzalez had excellent coverage on a receiver, and Gonzalez made a superb hands catch. After they landed on the ground, the Washington receiver pulled the ball toward his stomach, and the officials mistakenly awarded the reception to the Huskies even though Gonzalez had control of the ball with his knee on the ground and it should have been an interception.

    Gonzalez has first-round potential for the 2023 NFL Draft, helped by his size, speed and athleticism. He has No. 1 corner potential for the next level, and this tape will only serve to help him.

  • wfdl.REDM.NCAAFTeam img   wfdl.REDM.NCAAFTeam img Game Preview
  • LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels has shown steady improvement throughout the season, and he came through a clutch performance to lead LSU to a huge upset win over Alabama a week ago. While Daniels needs more polish as a pocket passer for the NFL, he has emerged as legit quarterback prospect for the 2023 NFL Draft with second-day potential. However, this let-down game against Arkansas illustrates why Daniels is not a first-round prospect and could end up going in the mid-rounds.

    On the opening drive, Daniels took a few coverage sacks after not finding anything open downfield while scanning his targets. To end the drive, Daniels was intercepted when the defender made a good read on the fake zone-read run and snatched the ball as Daniels tried to fire it past him. Later in the first quarter, Daniels held onto a zone-read run, but he did not tuck the ball away and lost a fumble at the LSU 10-yard line.

    Daniels continued to have some struggles reading the field, thanks to Arkansas doing a nice job of spying him and not letting him ad lib the Tigers into big plays. The Razorbacks held Daniels to six points going into the second half. In the third quarter, Daniels made a nice play to accurately deliver a third-down pass in the face of pressure, but the ball was dropped.

    Midway through the third quarter, Daniels finally hit a big play when Kayshon Boutte ran a slant for a gain of about 20 to set up the Tigers for a rushing touchdown from a yard out. That ended up being the game-winning touchdown. Daniels finished completing 8-of-15 passes for 86 yards, no touchdowns and an interception.

    For the NFL, Daniels has a quality arm with the ability to fire strikes to all levels of the defense. He also is very athletic and a fantastic runner. However, Daniels needs to significantly improve as a pocket passer. He does move his eyes and work through progressions, but he needs to speed up the process while also advance at reading coverage. Daniels really struggled against the blitz versus Arkansas. Identifying the blitz and getting the ball out faster are necessary for the NFL. While Daniels has really improved throughout the 2022 season, he still needs a lot of work for the NFL, and that is why he is more of a second-day or mid-round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.

  • LSU edge rusher B.J. Ojulari had an impactful game against the Razorbacks. On the second drive for Arkansas, Ojulari made tackles near the line of scrimmage on second and third down to get the ball back for his offense. Late in the first quarter, Ojulari had a critical pressure on fourth-and-goal to help disrupt the play for a huge stop. Ojulari was blocked on the play, but his second effort paid off by initiating a clutch play. Ojulari managed other pressures in the second half. This was a quality tape for Ojulari that could help his grade for the 2023 NFL Draft.

  • Arkansas quarterback K.J. Jefferson also is a potential second-day pick for the 2023 NFL Draft. However, Jefferson was out of this game because of an injury.

  • wfdl.REDM.NCAAFTeam img   wfdl.REDM.NCAAFTeam img Game Preview
  • Once again, Alabama quarterback Bryce Young showed why he is a high first-round talent and future franchise quarterback. Versus a good Ole Miss team, Young brought the Crimson Tide back and made some clutch plays on third downs, using his arm and legs to make critical conversions. NFL teams really value quarterbacks who make big plays on third down, and Young was deadly on third down against the Rebels.

    The Alabama offense sputtered with mistakes through a lot of the first half, but Young got rolling midway through the second quarter. He used his legs to make plays and then threw a frozen rope for a 19-yard touchdown on a deep slant.

    Later in the second quarter, Young held the ball too long and took a third-down sack. But just before halftime, Young used his legs to take off on a good run that set up a first-and-goal. With just seconds remaining on the clock, Young was clutch on third-and-goal, firing a strike high to tight end Cameron Latu for a touchdown.

    To open the third quarter, Young showed his crazy elusiveness by dodging a would-be sack in the pocket and then hit a checkdown to wideout Ja'Corey Brooks, who turned that into a huge gain of 35 yards. Young was clutch again later in the third quarter, rolling out and firing a touchdown strike on third-and-goal to tie the game at 24.

    Late in the fourth quarter, Alabama had a third-and-long, and with nothing open, Young converted the critical first down with his feet. He completed 21-of-33 passes against Ole Miss for 209 yards and three touchdowns.

    The only real knock on Young is that he is short and thin. However, in recent years, NFL teams have been willing to look past a lack of height. Young is a dynamic playmaking weapon with an accurate arm, an ability to throw from the pocket, excellent mobility to make plays with his feet, and composure in pressure situations.

  • This game featured two future NFL starting running backs in Alabama's Jahmyr Gibbs and Ole Miss' Zach Evans. Surprisingly, both players did not have impressive performances. Late in the second quarter, Evans fumbled the ball away while taking a hard hit, and that was a huge turnover to help Alabama cancel out a 10-point deficit. Evans has been banged up, and he exited the game in the second half with injury.

    Alabama used other backs in the second half despite Gibbs not being injured. It seemed odd and strange given Gibbs game-breaking ability, but considering the Crimson Tide have a terrible offensive coordinator in Bill O'Brien, it's not a shock that they make some bad decisions. After all, O'Brien was on staff for many years during the prime years of Tom Brady and New England did not win a Super Bowl while O'Brien was there. This is O'Brien's second season at Alabama, and both last year and this year Nick Saban's dynasty is going without a National Championship. O'Brien has a terrible reputation in the NFL scouting community, and Gibbs is known to be a good kid, so teams won't hold this game against Gibbs no matter what O'Brien says as the reason.

  • wfdl.REDM.NCAAFTeam img   wfdl.REDM.NCAAFTeam img Game Preview
  • After being hobbled by an ankle injury, TCU wide receiver Quentin Johnston was a game-time decision. Johnston played, and played well, although he did not get many targets and the Horned Frogs did not put a big work load on their star receiver.

    Midway through the first half, Johnston ran a deep post and hauled in a pass for a gain of 29 yards. Early in the fourth quarter, Texas had busted coverage, leaving Johnston wide open in the deep middle of the field, letting him make a leaping grab in the end zone for a 31-yard touchdown. Surprisingly, Johnston dropped a third-down pass a little bit later. He made up for it with a leaping grab to secure a catch for a critical first down. Versus Texas, Johnston caught three passes for 66 yards and a touchdown.

    For the NFL, Johnston looks like a future No. 1 receiver. He has mismatch size and the speed to get separation, plus is a very good route runner. Team sources have said Johnston is super smart and the hardest worker on the team. With his skill set, Johnston is a favorite to be the first wide receiver taken in the 2023 NFL Draft and is likely to be a top-10 pick.

  • Johnston could be joined in the top 10 of the 2023 NFL Draft by Texas running back Bijan Robinson. The Longhorns star back is one of the best prospects for the 2023 NFL Draft regardless of position, but TCU did an excellent job of winning at the point of attack and not allowing Robinson to see any open rushing lanes. He was held to 29 yards on 12 carries. This tape, however, won't hurt Robinson's draft grade.

  • wfdl.REDM.NCAAFTeam img   wfdl.REDM.NCAAFTeam img Game Preview
  • Some NFL team sources are intrigued with Louisville quarterback Malik Cunningham because he put together a lot of impressive tape in the 2021 season. This year, Cunningham has dealt with some injuries and has been held back by a young receiving corps. Taking on Clemson, Cunningham was seeing the toughest defense of his 2022 schedule.

    In the first two quarters, Cunningham was held in check by the Tigers defense. He threw the ball accurately on short completions, and he flashed some running ability while leading one touchdown drive. On the final play of the first half, Cunningham ran with the ball and suffered an injured right throwing hand after a hard landing. That injury knocked Cunningham out of the game after completing 10-of-13 passes for 75 yards and running for 20 yards.

    The 6-foot-1, 190-pound Cunningham is an intriguing quarterback prospect. In 2021, he had some rushing touchdowns that displayed speed and elusiveness that were reminiscent of former Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson. Cunningham also has a quality arm capable of airing the ball out deep. However, he needs refinement as a pocket passer. Cunningham needs to improve his field vision, at working through progressions, and at understanding coverage. He might be a second-dauy or mid-round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft who could serve as an intriguing backup with upside.

  • The Tigers have good defensive line talent for the 2023 NFL Draft, and they showed that ability in their win over Louisville. Defensive end Myles Murphy has top-20 potential for the 2023 NFL Draft, and he showed his excellent skill set to help clinch Clemson win. Murphy was quiet in the early going before getting very active in the final two quarters. In the fourth quarter, Murphy blew past the left tackle to get a pressure that forced an incompletion. Shortly later, Murphy drew a holding penalty as the left tackle had to tackle Murphy in order to keep him from hunting down the quarterback. Overall, this tape won't move the needle up or down for Murphy.

    Clemson defensive tackle Bryan Bresee has had a rough season while dealing with a family tragedy, but he played better against Louisville. He needs to show more pass-rush ability, and he helped himself with a nice start. In the first quarter, Bresee ran a twist to the inside and notched a sack of Cunningham. Bresee was solid against the run as well. This was one of his best games of the season.

  • Other Weeks:

    2023 NFL Draft: College Football Game Recaps - Week 1
    2023 NFL Draft: College Football Game Recaps - Week 2
    2023 NFL Draft: College Football Game Recaps - Week 3
    2023 NFL Draft: College Football Game Recaps - Week 4
    2023 NFL Draft: College Football Game Recaps - Week 5
    2023 NFL Draft: College Football Game Recaps - Week 6
    2023 NFL Draft: College Football Game Recaps - Week 7
    2023 NFL Draft: College Football Game Recaps - Week 8
    2023 NFL Draft: College Football Game Recaps - Week 9
    2023 NFL Draft: College Football Game Recaps - Week 10
    2023 NFL Draft: College Football Game Recaps - Week 11
    2023 NFL Draft: College Football Game Recaps - Week 12
    2023 NFL Draft: College Football Game Recaps - Week 13
    2023 NFL Draft: College Football Game Recaps - Conference Championships
    2023 NFL Draft: College Football Game Recaps - College Playoffs
    2023 NFL Draft: College Football Game Recaps - National Championship Game


    2023 NFL Mock Draft - March 21

    2024 NFL Mock Draft - Feb. 19

    NFL Power Rankings - Feb. 17

    NFL Picks - Feb. 14

    Fantasy Football Rankings - Sept. 7


    © 1999-2023 Walter Cherepinsky : all rights reserved
    Privacy Policy
    2 5 9

    WalterFootball.com is part of the NESN digital network.