2023 NFL Draft: College Game Recaps - Week 12

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.

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  • TCU quarterback Max Duggan has enjoyed a breakout year while leading the Horned Frogs to an 11-0 record. Duggan had a strong performance against Baylor, leading his team to another comeback win.

    In the first quarter, Duggan took a zone read off the right tackle and darted into the end zone from six yards out. Early in the second quarter, Duggan took a play-action throw and lofted a dime to lead his receiver downfield Taye Barber for a 77-yard gain.

    However in the third quarter, Duggan had wide receiver Quentin Johnston running deep over the top of a cornerback, but Duggan threw the ball late and without enough juice, allowing a Baylor safety to track it down for an interception. Duggan bounced back by lofting in a touchdown pass to Gunner Henderson from 26 yards out. Late in the fourth quarter, Duggan led TCU down the field to set up a potential game-tying two-point conversion, but his back dropped the pass on a play that should have tied the game. Duggan got one more opportunity and led TCU to a walk-off field goal to stay undefeated. Versus Baylor, Duggan completed 24-of-35 passes for 327 yards, a touchdown and an interception. He also ran for 50 yards and a touchdown.

    Team sources say Duggan is exceptionally smart and tough. He has a better arm than people credit him for, advanced processing speed, and he has quality athleticism with surprising speed as a runner. Scouts say he could run sub-4.6 in the 40, which is a fast time for a quarterback. In the red zone, Duggan is very dangerous with his legs. However, sources feel Duggan does not have an elite trait as a thrower or runner other than his toughness. He is a good teammate who should impress in the pre-draft meetings. Some sources feel he could come a starter in the NFL.

  • TCU wide receiver Quentin Johnston could be one of the top wideout prospects for the 2023 NFL Draft, and he flashed his ability versus Baylor. In the first half, Johnston used his quickness to get downfield and body to shield defenders from the ball. He caught four passes for 48 yards, but he also left the game with an injury.

    For the NFL, Johnston has the skill set to be a No. 1 receiver. He is big, around 6-foot-3, 220 pounds, and possesses rare speed and athleticism for a receiver of his size. Johnston also runs very good routes and shows rare smoothness in and out of breaks for such a big wideout. He does not see a lot of targets, but could be a special receiver at the next level.

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  • Michigan junior running back Blake Corum is enjoying a breakout season, and he continued it against Illinois. To open the day, he ripped off a run of about 20 yards, showing cut-back ability and vision. Corum closed out the drive by plowing into the end zone from a couple yards out. On the next possession, he took a screen pass for a 41 yard gain before getting tacked down downfield. Corum ripped off multiple long runs that displayed his quickness, toughness, cutting ability, and instincts.

    Unfortunately, Corum suffered a knee injury later in the first half. Just before halftime, he limped into the locker room. A defender had crashed into Corum's left knee on the previous play, and Corum was in a lot of pain. The sideline reporter said Corum looked to be weeping. He also fumbled the ball away after taking the vicious hit.

    Corum re-entered the game in the second half and took a carry. However, Michigan then kept him on the sideline and fielded his backup. Against the Illini, Corum totaled 18 carries for 108 yards and a touchdown, plus notched two receptions for 39 yards. Michigan really missed him when he was out.

    The 5-foot-8, 210-pound Corum has really carried the offensive for Michigan this year. He is a physical runner with a strong compact build that makes him tough to tackle. Corum has the quickness to hit the hole and a second gear to accelerate into the open field. Corum could be a third-round pick next April who turns into a valuable contributor as a pro.

  • Illini cornerback Devon Witherspoon looks like a first- or second-round pick for the 2023 NFL Draft, and he showed some impressive ability against the Wolverines. Witherspoon was reliable in coverage, but he really showed his toughness and physicality as a run defender. In the third quarter, he made a phenomenal stop in the open field with a hard form tackle that absolutely planted the running back into the turf. A few plays later, Witherspoon came on a corner blitz, and he absolutely destroyed the back with a vicious hit for a tackle for a loss. Late in the fourth quarter, Witherspoon had perfect coverage to produce an incompletion in the end zone.

    Overall, this was an impressive tape from Witherspoon. He showed excellent cover skills, blanketing receivers and was an asset as a run defender, making some clutch open-field stops. Witherspoon could be a quick contributor in the NFL after being a first- or second-round pick next April in the 2023 NFL Draft.

  • Illinois running back Chase Brown could be a mid-round pick next April in the 2023 NFL Draft because he is a power runner with a strong build and toughness. Taking on Michigan, Brown had a hard time finding running lanes in the early going, but in the second half, he helped put the Illini in position to potentially pull off an upset, but the Illini defense couldn't hold the lead.

    In the third quarter, Brown went up the middle and broke some tackles near the line of scrimmage before powering into the end zone from eight yards out. Shortly later, Brown gave Illinois the lead midway through the second half with a 37-yard touchdown run. It was a superbly blocked play on which Brown went around the left side and weaved through traffic to dart downfield for the score. Brown took 29 carries against Michigan and turned that into 140 yards and two touchdowns. He also caught three passes for 24 yards.

    For the NFL, Brown looks like a solid No. 2 back who might develop into being a starter. He is a tough downhill runner with quickness to hit the hole and the strength to run through contact. Brown uses impressive knee bend to run behind his pads and possesses contact balance to keep his feet. As a pro, Brown could be a Jamaal Williams-style back.

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  • Kentucky quarterback Will Levis is the consensus third-rated quarterback prospect for the 2023 NFL Draft, behind only Ohio State's C.J. Stroud and Alabama's Bryce Young. However, Levis struggled against Tennessee and Vanderbilt prior to playing the No. 1 team in the nation in Georgia. While Levis played better than in previous weeks, he still did not impress against top competition.

    Early in the first quarter, Levis threw a perfect strike from his own end zone, beating blanket coverage for a 31-yard completion on back-shoulder pass to the sideline. Levis then ran for a first down and extended some drives with his feet, but Kentucky came up short of points.

    Midway through the second quarter, Levis tried to fit a pass in between a corner and safety, but the pass was underthrown, allowing Georgia's Kelee Ringo to make a leaping interception. Levis continued to have issues sustaining drives in the third quarter, but that changed at the start of the final frame. Early in the fourth quarter, Levis hit a slant for a short touchdown pass to complete a 99-yard drive.

    On the next possession, Levis hit a 47-yard pass by lofting in a well-located ball to his receiver in the deep middle of the field, but that drive came up empty thanks to a missed field goal. Levis went 20-of-31 against the Bulldogs for 206 yards, a touchdown and an interception. Overall, this was not a bad tape from Levis, but it was not impressive either.

    Levis has an excellent skill set for the NFL, including a cannon for an arm, good size, running ability, and toughness. However, he has major problems with interceptions and ball security. In many games this year, Levis has consistently had issues due to holding the ball too long. In the good and bad, Levis is reminiscent of Jameis Winston. Levis has a good shot to be a first-round pick this coming April in the 2023 NFL Draft, but he needs to improve significantly on ball security and decision making for the NFL.

  • Some in the media who have hyped Ringo as a top-10 pick, but a number of team sources said they had Ringo graded on Day 2 of the 2023 NFL Draft. This tape versus Kentucky should not hurt Ringo, who was solid in coverage. In the second quarter, he made a nice hands catch in the end zone for an interception on a poor pass that floated right to him. Ringo returned the pick to midfield, showing off his straight-line speed.

    Pro teams like Ringo's size and speed, but they feel he has some stiffness and that change-of-direction receivers are going to give him problems in the NFL. Hence, they see Ringo as more of a second-round pick rather than a true first-rounder, like some have hyped him to be.

  • Georgia defensive tackle Jalen Carter continued his push for the top-10 of the 2023 NFL Draft. He drew double teams from Kentucky, but continued to get a push as a pass rusher while being solid gap stuffer in the ground game. In the second quarter, Carter got off a block and made a stop in the run game.

    For the NFL, Carter is a fast and athletic interior lineman with the strength to shed blocks. He could be a versatile defenisve tackle who possesses the power to play nose tackle and the speed to be a three-technique. Team sources feel Carter is a better prospect than 2022 NFL Draft picks Jordan Davis or Devonte Wyatt, and this game only reinforces that opinion. This tape will help Carter to go early in the 2023 NFL Draft.

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  • Utah cornerback Clark Phillips has not had as strong a season as he did in 2021, and this game against Oregon followed that trend. In the early going, Phillips broke up a pass on a slant after getting away with a hold on the receiver. In the second quarter, Oregon receiver Troy Franklin got position on Phillips for a short touchdown catch. Utah put Phillips in a bad position with outside technique, which was odd, so Phillips deserves to be cut a break on that play.

    In the fourth quarter, Phillips read the eyes of Ducks quarterback Bo Nix and jumped the route to make an interception. It was a good read by Phillips, and he contorted his body well to land on his back while securing the catch.

    Evaluators still see Phillips as an early-round prospect for the NFL, but they have been disappointed with his 2022 film compared to 2021. They feel Phillips has missed a lot of tackles and some ugly missed tackles in space. He has shown some stiffness, and he does not look like the same player as 2021. Perhaps Phillips is protecting himself and trying to avoid injury, but being a 5-foot-9 cornerback has limitations, and NFL teams are projecting him to be a slot cornerback only. Thus, Phillips could be more likely to be a second-day pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.

  • While Phillips is probably going on Day 2 of the 2023 NFL Draft, Oregon cornerback Christian Gonzalez is a likely first-round pick. Gonzalez had a nice performance versus Utah with blanket coverage and some tackles in the ground game.

    Gonzalez is a long corner who is a fluid mover and willing tackler. He has good size to match up with big wideouts and also has speed to run with fast receivers. The weaknesses that teams see with Gonzalez are a lack of ball skills, not doing a good job of playing the ball, and not tracking the ball well downfield. They also feel he is a little finesse and does not play with a competitive mean streak.

  • Oregon linebacker Noah Sewell got off a slow start to the season, but he has played better since midway through the year. He had a solid performance against the Utes. In the second quarter, Sewell darted through the hole and got a tackle for a loss. Sewell showed nice coverage ability versus Utah, eating up space in zone coverage.

    Sewell is a pretty instinctive linebacker who can make plays in coverage. He did a nice job of finding the ball versus Utah. In the 2023 NFL Draft, Sewell could be a second-day pick.

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  • UCLA running back Zach Charbonnet could be a second-day pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, and against the Ducks, he had another solid performance to help put a cap on a strong 2022 season. Charbonnet ran well in the first half, although Bruins turnovers hurt Charbonnet's touches. In the third quarter, Charnonnet made catch in the flat and darted upfield to convert a fourth-and-4 for a first down. Later, he ripped off a 19-yard run that showed his burst and power to charge downfield. Charbonnet finished with 19 carries for 95 yards and four receptions for 29 yards.

    NFL sources like how hard Charbonnet runs and the physicality of his powerful body. They also like Charbonnet's speed, as he is faster than expected. However, Charbonnet is a tall back and runs high, which concerns pro evaluators because he could take a good amount of hard hits that could lead to injuries. That combination of factors, he earned him some comparisons to James Conner.

  • USC defensive end Tuli Tuipulotu entered this game as the nation's leader in sacks, and he continued his breakout 2022 with a strong performance against UCLA. In the first half, he put some heat on the quarterback while staying around the ball in the ground game. Early in the third quarter, Tuipulotu used a speed rush to dart into the backfield and pick up a sack. A few plays later, he exploded into the backfield and swallowed up Charbonnet for a loss of six yards.

    Tuipulotu is an interesting player to evaluate for the NFL. He has some serious twitch and explosion as a rusher. Tuipulotu can fire his gap and create some disruption with his burst to get behind the line. At 290 pounds, Tuipulotu is big and carries his weight well. Tuipulotu is listed at 6-foot-4, but he might be more like 6-3. Thus, Tuipulotu is a bit of a tweener, meaning he lacks the length for defensive end but is a little underweight for defensive tackle. As a pro, he might be able to add some more weight to be an every-down defensive tackle, and he could potentially fit as a 4-3 defensive tackle or a three-technique. In the 2023 NFL Draft, Tuipulotu could be a first- or second-round pick.

  • Trojans wide receiver Jordan Addison had been hobbled with injury during the second half of this season, but he looked back to his pre-injury form taking on UCLA. In the first half, Addison ripped off chunk gains, topping 100 yards over his first three receptions. In the second quarter, Addison streaked down the sideline and was hit on the run to explode down the field, letting him pick up a 48-yard gain before getting pushed out of bounds. In the third quarter, Addison made a phenomenal hands catch, reaching out over his shoulder to reel in a 35-yard touchdown. Addison totaled 11 receptions for 178 yards and a touchdown against USC.

    Addison could be a first- or second-round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. While he is small, he is a fast and shifty receiver who consistently generates separation. Addison could be primarily used as a slot receiver in the NFL, but he presents a speed threat and mismatch problems.

  • 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


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