2023 NFL Draft: College Game Recaps - Week 2

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 Game Preview
  • BYU quarterback Jaren Hall is sleeper quarterback who has some believers among NFL scouts. Hall was taking on a good Baylor team and was without two of his best receivers.

    Hall opened the game by leading the Cougars on a field goal drive. Later in the first quarter, he took a bad sack due to not throwing the ball away soon enough, and Hall was facing a lot of pressure from the Baylor front throughout the first half. The pass rush and run defense of the Bears prevented the Cougars from sustaining drives. Just before halftime, Hall ran a pretty 2-minute drill, converting some third downs and then lofting in a beautiful 20-yard touchdown in the back of the end zone on the far side of the field. It was a perfect pass that got the better of good coverage with only two seconds left on the clock.

    Hall continued to move the ball through the air in the third quarter, utilizing precision passes to produce a field goal drive. On the next possession, Hall converted a critical third down and then showed his athleticism. BYU wide receiver Chase Roberts took a backward pass and then threw it back to Hall, who followed his blockers and then powered over the goal line for a 22-yard receiving touchdown.

    Late in the fourth quarter, Hall got the ball with 128 seconds left and starting at his 10-yard line. He got the drive started by running up the middle for 14 yards on a draw and used his legs to get another first down. With about 30 seconds remaining, Hall was close to midfield, and he dropped in a dime for a gain of over 30 yards. That pass should have won the game, but the kicker missed a 35-yard field goal attempt, resulting in overtime. Both kickers missed field goals in the first overtime.

    In the second overtime, Hall threw a laser to the sideline for about 20 yards to get to the five-yard line. That set up a short rushing touchdown, which ended up winning the game. Hall completed 23-of-39 passes against Baylor for 261 yards and a touchdown. He ran for 28 yards and notched the 22-yard receiving touchdown on a trick play.

    Overall, this was a good tape from Hall. While he didn't dominate, he made some clutch passes to lead his team to a win and did so numerous times. Hall showed an accurate arm and the ability to work through his progressions. He throws a very catchable ball with nice loft on passes downfield. Helped by his speed and athleticism, Hall has the ability to make things happen with his feet and is a dual-threat quarterback. Hall is going under the radar, but that could change in the months to come if he continues to lead BYU to wins over good teams like Baylor.

  • wfdl.REDM.NCAAFTeam img   wfdl.REDM.NCAAFTeam img Game Preview
  • Last year for Pittsburgh, Trojans wide receiver Jordan Addison was one of the nation's best wideouts. Following Kenny Pickett's departure for the 2022 NFL Draft, Addison transferred to USC to play with star head coach Lincoln Riley and quarterback Caleb Williams. Stanford figured to be a quality test for Addison because of quality cornerback Kyu Blu Kelly, but Addison had his way with the Cardinal.

    In the second quarter, Addison took a wide receiver screen into the end zone with an easy dart through the Stanford defense from 22 yards out. Later in the second quarter, Addison got the better of Kelly for a 75-yard touchdown. On the play, Addison ran a deep post and got separation. After hauling in the deep ball, Addison broke a tackle from Kelly at the 15-yard line, and he coasted into the end zone. To start the third quarter, Addison got open running another deep post for a 48-yard gain.

    Addison finished this contest with seven catches for 172 yards and two touchdowns. This tape will help Addison because he showed off his deep speed, ability to create separation, route running, downfield tracking of the ball, and soft hands. As long as Addison stays healthy, he should get selected in the first two rounds of the 2023 NFL Draft next April.

  • wfdl.REDM.NCAAFTeam img   wfdl.REDM.NCAAFTeam img Game Preview
  • Florida quarterback Anthony Richardson flashed a huge skill set in limited backup duty in 2021, but now is the full-time starting quarterback for the Gators. In his 2022 debut, Richardson played really well and led a late comeback to beat a good Utah team. In Week 2, Richardson had the challenge of taking on a tough Kentucky team and going against another first-round quarterback prospect in Will Levis. Versus Kentucky, Richardson played horribly and did not look like a functional starting quarterback for the next level.

    In the first quarter, Richardson threw some bullets for completions, but he also was off the mark on a number of passes, overthrowing his targets. Midway through the contest, Richardson had a beautiful pass rolling to his right and lofting in a 28-yard gain to the sideline between two defenders. In the second quarter, Richardson fired a ball to the sideline, showing good anticipation on the third-and-10 conversion.

    For the second straight game, Richardson made a highlight-reel play for a two-point conversion. He stayed patient in a collapsing pocket and then dumped off the ball to late-breaking open running back Trevor Etienne.

    However on the next possession, Richardson tried to fire a pass past a defender in the flat, but the Wildcat made a phenomenal one-handed catch for an interception to set up Kentucky at first-and-goal.

    Throughout the second half, Richardson was completely incapable of sustaining drives, and the Gators were shut out over the final two quarters. Richardson finally got moving after firing a fastball past a few defenders to Ricky Pearsall for a first down near midfield. That drive ended, however, when Richardson thought a receiver was going to sit down on a route but they kept running, and that led to an interception, which was returned for a touchdown. It was unclear if the receiver ran the wrong route or if Richardson executed the wrong play.

    Richardson continued to struggle, missing open receivers and throwing passes too hard for completions. In the second half, his accuracy was truly awful. He finished completing the afternoon having completed 14-of-35 passes for 143 yards, zero touchdowns and two interceptions.

    This game gave proof that Richardson is extremely raw and is not close to being ready to play in the NFL. He flat-out lost this game for Florida. The Gators defense played well, and both of Kentucky's touchdowns were the direct result of Richardson interceptions. His accuracy, footwork, and field vision all need a lot of work. Richardson also has a bad tendency to throw passes with too much velocity and not help his receiver with a catchable ball or take speed off the throw to let his targets get turned toward the ball. Richardson will probably enter the 2023 NFL Draft, but if plays the entire 2022 season hot and cold like he has through two games, he definitely should return to school to get better before going pro.

  • We all know quarterbacks get too much credit and too much blame, and that holds true here as the Florida wide receivers were horrible. Senior Justin Shorter is supposed to be an NFL project, but he does not look draft-able. Shorter had two catches for 26 yards and was a non-factor. He is a big target, but he is finesse and does not use his size. Shorter is slow, stiff, and incapable of creating separation. This tape suggests that Shorter should not be selected next April in the 2023 NFL Draft.

  • While Richardson really struggled, Levis managed the game well and looked like a much more polished quarterback. In the first quarter, Levis did a nice job of standing tough in the pocket and hitting a third-down conversion while the rush was coming down straight into his face. Early in the second quarter, Levis laid out a pretty deep ball down the middle of the field, with Kentucky wide receiver Dane Key making a leaping grab in front of the defender for a score. Just before halftime, Levis scored on a quarterback sneak from a yard out.

    Levis completed 13-of-24 passes against Florida for 202 yards, a touchdown, and an interception. He also rushed for another score. While Levis did not have a prolific night, he was efficient enough to help his team to a road win. The outcome was more due to Richardson playing terribly rather than Levis playing well. Thus, this outing won't help Levis significantly with NFL evaluators.

  • Florida defensive tackle Gervon Dexter Sr. could be an early-round pick, and this tape will help his draft grade. In the first quarter, Dexter got a tackle for a loss on a quarterback draw after Levis was bumped by the right tackle thanks to a great play by Brenton Cox. Shortly later, he notched another run stuff at the line of scrimmage. At the start of the second quarter, Dexter had a good pressure, working off his block and chasing Will Levis out of the pocket.

    In the second quarter, Dexter made a very athletic play making a diving interception after Levis had his arm hit as he threw by Brenton Cox. After halftime, Dexter showed his rare speed for a defensive tackle, getting to the sideline and pushing a scrambling Levis out of bounds. A few plays later, Cox got another tackle in run support, pushing the tailback into the turf.

    The 6-foot-5, 315-pound Dexter is strong and tough at the point of attack with surprising quickness and athleticism. He could be a nose tackle in the NFL similar to Daron Payne. This performance will help Dexter to be a first- or second-round pick next April in the 2023 NFL Draft.

  • wfdl.REDM.NCAAFTeam img   wfdl.REDM.NCAAFTeam img Game Preview
  • NFL teams were giving Iowa State defensive end Will McDonald IV second-day grades for the 2022 NFL Draft before he was confirmed to be returning for his senior year. The opinions on McDonald were all the same: a dynamic and excellent pass rusher, who was a weak liability against the run. McDonald is trying to show evaluators that he is stronger, tougher, and more stout. This outing against Iowa, however, won't do much to change opinions.

    McDonald did not look like a tough run defender, struggling to get off blocks and not really contributing against the ground game. In the pass rush, McDonald looked quick, getting upfield and getting penetration into the pocket. At the end of the first quarter, McDonald got upfield and was near enough to the quarterback to recover a fumble around midfield. In the fourth quarter, McDonald showed his speed, chasing down a back on a reverse to pick up a tackle for a loss.

    The NFL is a passing-driven league, and McDonald is a proven quarterback hunter. He has a shot at being a first-round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft because teams are always looking for players who can get after the quarterback. If McDonald slips to Day 2 of the 2023 NFL Draft, it will be because of his run-defense issues.

  • There was a decent draft matchup in this game between Iowa State wide receiver Xavier Hutchinson taking on Iowa cornerback Riley Moss. Throughout the contest, Hutchinson made a lot of short catches, with the exception of a 24-yarder. Iowa did a nice job of limiting Hutchinson to short catches underneath.

    In the fourth quarter, Hutchinson got away with pushing Moss' hands away and making a catch. It wasn't a blatant offensive pass interference because Moss lost his feet and fell down. Hutchinson totaled 98 yards on 11 receptions and a touchdown against the Hawkeyes.

    Pro sources told WalterFootball.com they think Moss has mid-round potential as a cornerback and special teams contributor. Hutchinson looks like a mid-round or third-day talent as well.

  • wfdl.REDM.NCAAFTeam img   wfdl.REDM.NCAAFTeam img Game Preview
  • Tennessee quarterback Hendon Hooker was on NFL teams' preseason watch list after a strong finish to the 2021 season. Hooker had a respectable performance against Pittsburgh, but had some missed throws that illustrate why he is more of a backup quarterback prospect for the NFL.

    Just before halftime, Hooker threw a pass up for grabs in the end zone and sailed it closer to the cornerback for an interception, but Hooker was bailed out as the corner's foot landed on the chalk. Hooker had receivers open downfield for some big plays at other times, but threw inaccurately for incompletions. In overtime, Hooker came through with a pretty touchdown pass that helped get his receiver open thanks to ball placement. Hooker completed 27-of-42 passes against the Panthers for 325 yards and two touchdowns. He ran for 27 yards on 15 carries as well.

    Hooker has some mobility and a quality arm, but he is not a sufficiently consistent passer to be a potential pro starter. He could end up being a decent NFL backup if he can increase his general accuracy.

  • Tennessee wide receiver Cedrick Tillman had an interesting game, showing the ability to make plays downfield, but he also had some painful missed opportunities. In the first quarter, Tillman ran a slant and had position for a catch, but he dropped the pass. Tillman came back to make a first-down catch along the sideline, and on the next play, he got wide open running vertically down the field for what should have been a 43-yard touchdown, but Hooker overthrew him and the pass fell incomplete.

    Tillman came back to get open for 61-yard catch as he ran a go route down the sideline and achieved some separation. Tillman had to slow up to make the catch and kept running with a cornerback draped on his back for the final 10 yards. They dragged him down at the one-yard line, but that set up the Volunteers to take the lead close to halftime.

    In the third quarter, Tillman got some separation running vertically down the field. Hooker threw a good pass, but Tillman dropped the ball in the end zone. In overtime, he helped make up for it with a good adjustment to come back to the ball in the front of the end zone to haul in a 28-yard touchdown that proved to be the game-winning score. Tillman caught nine passes against Pittsburgh for 162 yards and a touchdown.

    Tillman has the skill set to be a pro starter as he has quality size, quickness and strength. Perhaps this was one bad game, but Tillman needs to show better hands in the weeks to come. While Tillman has quality quickness, he looks more like a receiver with second-day-of-the-draft speed over being a burner who could go on the opening night of the 2023 NFL Draft.

  • wfdl.REDM.NCAAFTeam img   wfdl.REDM.NCAAFTeam img
  • Arkansas quarterback K.J. Jefferson is on NFL teams' radar, and he continued his quality start to the season after impressing in Week 1 versus Cincinnati. Throughout the first half against the Gamecocks, the Razorbacks rushing offense ran all over South Carolina, and Jefferson did a lot of short passing in support of his ground game. He also showed his athleticism and mobility with some nifty dodged sacks. In the middle portion of the game, Jefferson made a few well-thrown passes downfield that were dropped. In the third quarter, he should have had a long completion of least 40 yards, if not a 52-yard touchdown, when he threw perfect pass but the receiver dropped the ball.

    Jefferson had a few nice runs midway through the second half, including one that set up a two-yard touchdown run where he went through multiple South Carolina defenders, using his big size to push the pile. Arkansas quickly got the ball back from a Gamecocks fumble, and Jefferson used a rolling pocket to scan the field and found a wide=open receiver for a 23-yard touchdown. Jefferson completed 18-of-21 passes against South Carolina for 162 yards and a touchdown. He also ran 19 times for 67 yards and another score.

    Overall, Jefferson threw the ball accurately, showed field vision to work through progressions, made good decisions, and used his legs to help his line while churning out tough yards on the ground. This tape is going to help his draft grade.

  • South Carolina quarterback Spencer Rattler has a good arm to go along with mobility. He had an excellent 2020 season at Oklahoma before disappointing with the Sooners in 2021 and transferring to the Gamecocks. In his first SEC conference tilt, Rattler was streaky, flashing his big-time ability but also thorowing some ugly balls and inaccurate passes.

    Rattler could not find a rhythm in the first half thanks to the Arkansas rushing offense controlling the game. At halftime, Rattler had only 93 yards after completing 7-of-13 passes. In the third quarter. Rattler found a wide-open receiver in the middle of the field to convert a third-and-17. Arkansas had completely busted coverage on the play, and the receiver took off down the field for a 62-yard score.

    Early in the fourth quarter, Rattler made a bad decision when he forced a pass to a blanketed receiver. The ball was intercepted in the end zone by Arkansas. Rattler came back to move the chains and set up some scores for South Carolina, but it wasn't not enough as the Razorbacks offense dominated the Gamecocks defense. Rattler finished the day having completed 24-of-39 passes for 375 yards, a touchdown and an interception.

    Rattler has a good skill set, but he needs to improve his accuracy and decision making. Given his remaining eligibility, he should return to school and improve before moving on to the NFL.

  • wfdl.REDM.NCAAFTeam img   wfdl.REDM.NCAAFTeam img Game Preview
  • Alabama quarterback Bryce Young is in the running to be the top quarterback prospect for the 2023 NFL Draft, but this tape will not be a big help in that cause. While Young did not play poorly, the Crimson Tide offense underachieved. Alabama offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien was completely out-coached by Texas defensive coordinator Gary Patterson. Young put his team on his back to produce 10 fourth-quarter points to lead Alabama to the road-comeback win.

    In the second quarter, Young threw a terrible pass to a well-covered receiver, and Young got lucky when the cornerback dropped the easy interception. Young came back to convert a third-and-long with a perfect stride to Cameron Latu after Young worked off his first read. However, the Texas defense ramped up the pressure on Young, and the Crimson Tide receivers were not generating separation.

    In the fourth quarter, the Crimson Tide were down 16-10 and their offense was struggling. Young put his team on his shoulders, using his legs to make some plays, including a 17-yard run that converted a critical third down, and making a superb pass for a fourth-down conversion to get inside the 30. To put Alabama ahead, Young scrambled and found running back Jahmyr Gibbs open in the end zone to take the lead.

    Late in the fourth quarter, Young made a great play to dodge a sack and then run for 19 yards to get inside the Texas 20 and set up the game-winning field goal. Young completed 27-of-39 passes against the Longhorns for 214 yards with a touchdown.

    Young has special ability for the next level. While he is short, Young sees the field extremely well and does a phenomenal job of working through his progressions. He is also a shifty runner with adequate arm strength. Young looks like he could be a Kyler Murray- or Russell Wilson-type quarterback for the NFL.

  • Aside from Young, Alabama's best offensive weapon was unning back Jahmyr Gibbs. He did not find a lot of running lanes against a fierce Texas defense, but Gibbs had a superb game as a receiver. In the first half, Gibbs helped get Alabama the lead, turning back-to-back catches into 33 yards, using his speed to get downfield and his strength to break tackles. Multiple times, Gibbs came through clutch third-down catches to move the chains. One negative was when Gibbs misdiagnosed his blitz protection to the wrong defender, which allowed a third-down sack that forced a punt.

    Gibbs came back to make a huge reception late in the fourth quarter to help get Alabama across midfield for a gain of about 20 yards. He totaled 22 yards over nine carries, but he lead the Crimson Tide in receiving, turing nine catches into 74 yards and a touchdown.

    For the NFL, Gibbs looks like a starter who is worthy of consideration late in the first round or in the second round. Gibbs was very impressive as a receiver against Texas, showing that he runs fluid routes, has soft hands, and does a nice job of adjusting to the ball. This tape is going to help Gibbs in the months to come.

  • Texas running back Bijan Robinson is one of the top talents for the 2023 NFL Draft at any position. He ran hard against Alabama, but the Crimson Tide loaded the box to stop Robinson, giving him no running lanes. It was even worse than normal for Robinson, because early in the game, the Longhorns had their starting quarterback Quinn Ewers get injured, so the Crimson Tide were daring backup quarterback Hudson Card to beat them through the air.

    In the second quarter, Robinson showed his goal-line ability when he used his speed to jet around the side of the scrum to burst into the end zone. Just before halftime, Robinson ran down the sideline and made a spinning catch for a gain of 42 yards that put Texas in position for points just before the half. He also made some excellent blocks in pass protection. Against Alabama, Robinson took 21 carries for 57 yards and made two receptions for 43 yards. This tape won't hurt Robinson, but it won't help him tremendously either.

  • Alabama edge rusher Will Anderson is the consensus best prospect for the 2023 NFL Draft, but this was a frustrating outing for the superstar. Throughout the first half, Anderson was getting close to the quarterback and routinely putting pressure on them. Texas did a nice job of slowing up Anderson with enough extra attention and sliding protection to keep him from getting a sack. Anderson also had a bad offsides penalty that helped the Longhorns midway through the first half and just before halftime.

    On the first play from scrimmage during the third quarter, Anderson used his speed to chase down Bijan Robinson for a loss of four yards after Texas allowed Anderson to go unblocked on a stretch run to the other side. Shortly later, Anderson laid a completely unnecessary hard hit on a running back who was getting up after being down, and that led to a painful 15-yard penalty that moved the ball inside the Alabama 30. Anderson came back to get an unblocked sack late in the fourth quarter that knocked Texas further back on a field goal attempt, but the Longhones still took the lead.

    This tape won't help Anderson because it showed some problems with penalties. Overall, however, it won't hurt him significantly with pro evaluators. Anderson still is a stone-cold assassin as a pass rusher and a lethal quarterback hunter for the NFL.

  • 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 - Week 14


    NFL Picks - Dec. 8

    2023 NFL Mock Draft - Dec. 7

    NFL Power Rankings - Dec. 6

    Fantasy Football Rankings - Sept. 7

    2022 NBA Mock Draft - June 23


    © 1999-2022 Walter Cherepinsky : all rights reserved
    Privacy Policy
    2 5 9

    WalterFootball.com is part of the NESN digital network.