2023 NFL Draft: College Game Recaps - Week 3

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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  • Miami quarterback Tyler Van Dyke is an early-round prospect for the 2023 NFL Draft, and Texas A&M was one of the toughest opponents on his schedule this year. While Van Dyke did not have a big night, he didn't play poorly and he did not get a lot of help from his teammates. The Miami offensive line was shaky, his receivers dropped a lot of passes, and the kicking game had multiple blunders.

    Early in the first quarter, Van Dyke led a field goal drive. He would then lead the Hurricanes down the field for a few potential scores, but was let down by teammates, including dropped passes on third downs and a missed field goal. In the second quarter, Van Dyke lofted in a beauty to his tight end for a gain of about 30 yards. Once again though, Van Dyke was left empty handed as a chip-shot field goal was blocked.

    In the third quarter, Miami struggled to move the chains as Van Dyke saw pressure, the run game didn't get into a groove, and the receivers were not generating good separation. At the start of the fourth quarter, Van Dyke had a receiver break wide open, but pressure and getting hit as he released the ball caused Van Dyke to inaccurately underthrow . Shortly later, Van Dyke got the Hurricanes moving by hitting his tight end Will Mallory on the run for a big conversion. That possession ended in a field goal. Van Dyke had one more shot to tie the game, and on a fourth down, he threw a perfect pass, but it was dropped by his receiver, which put a fitting ending on the night. Van Dyke completed 21-of-41 passes for 217 yards against the Aggies.

    For the NFL, Van Dyke is a dangerous pocket-passing quarterback with a quality arm, accuracy and instincts. Pro team sources say Van Dyke has impressive instincts and feel as a passer. He also possesses above-average arm strength and is very accurate. Van Dyke lacks the athleticism of a scrambler or a runner, but he can slide and climb in the pocket. This outing won't help or hurt Van Dyke significantly.

  • Texas A&M cornerback Jaylon Jones didn't play in the previous two games, but he made up for it with a phenomenal game against Miami. Jones made some huge open-field tackles, flying over to ball-carriers and limiting gains. In the second quarter, Jones played excellent zone coverage to come down hill and break up a pass. In the fourth quarter, Miami tried to challenge Jones downfield, but he had blanket coverage that forced an incompletion.

    Jones showed excellent cover skills against the Hurricanes, including size, speed and athleticism. He ran the route to prevent separation, read the field well in zone, and had very good eye discipline. This was a tape of a first-round cornerback.

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  • Georgia defensive tackle Jalen Carter is one of the top prospects for the 2023 NFL Draft, but there was doubt if he would play against South Carolina due to an ankle injury. Carter came onto the field during the first third down of the game and got off his block to get in on a tackle that stopped the running back short of a first down. Aside from that play, Carter was not used much as the Bulldogs routed the Gamecocks, which let the Bulldogs save him from a heavy work load. In the second half, Georgia pulled its starters completely. Carter will be needed later in the season, and there will be other games that are better for evaluation purposes.

  • South Carolina quarterback Spencer Rattler has a good arm to go along with mobility. He had an excellent 2020 season for Oklahoma before disappointing in 2021 and transferring to the Gamecocks. In his first SEC conference tilt, Rattler was streaky, flashing his big-time ability, but also having some ugly passes and inaccurate passes in a loss to Arkansas. In Week 3, Rattler saw the toughest defense he will see all season with the Bulldogs, and things did not go well for Rattler.

    In the second quarter, Rattler threw a beautiful bomb down the sideline for a 46-yard gain. He beat good coverage with his throw, lofting in a pass over the head of the defensive back. Two plays later, however, Rattler was starting to feel some pressure, and he underthrew a pass across the field, which turned into an easy interception for Georgia. It was a terrible decision and an awful throw by Rattler.

    Rattler was ineffective for the remainder of the first half, and he did not convert a third down until early on after halftime. Midway through the third quarter, Rattler threw deep into double coverage and had the pass intercepted. It was not a good throw, but the Gamecocks were desperate and his receiver had a size advantage over the defensive backs. Rattler finished completing 13-of-25 passes for 118 yards, zero touchdowns and two interceptions.

    Rattler has a good skill set, but he needs to improve his accuracy and decision-making while under pressure. When Rattler has a clean pocket, he can be deadly, but when he is under pressure, his decision making and accuracy are horrible. Due to his remaining eligibility, Rattler should return and improve before going to the NFL.

  • South Carolina defensive tackle Zacch Pickens is viewed as an early-round talent for the 2023 NFL Draft, but that was not evident against Georgia. Pickens had a couple of nice plays in run support, working off blocks to make some tackles. However, he was a complete non-factor as a pass rusher. Pickens did not show the ability to shed blocks or the skill set to fire past or over power blockers. This tape won't help Pickens' draft grade.

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  • Oklahoma offensive tackles Anton Harrison and Wanya Morris were seeing a rushing tandem of Nebraska's Garrett Nelson and Ochaun Mathis. Both Cornhuskers were on NFL teams' preseason watch list, and the Sooners tandem will see a lot of easy opponents this season. Overall, Harrison and Morris cruised over the Nebraska defenders, shutting them down and making it look easy.

    The Oklahoma offense dominated the first half, building up a huge lead and scoring at will. In the third quarter, Harrison and Morris were out of the game because the Sooners put in their backups. During the third quarter, Nelson fell on a fumble after Oklahoma's backups botched a handoff. Nelson was lucky to be at the right spot at the right time. Overall, Nelson and Morris looked like late-rounders against the Sooners.

    Harrison and Morris are very similar players, although Harrison is the more supercharged athletically of the two. Both are quick, athletic, mobile and smooth movers, who also show the ability to bend at the knee. However, Harrison and Morris also lack power and are not physical. They are finesse blockers and could struggle as run blockers at the pro level. They would be better off going to pass-happy teams and are not fits for teams looking to field a smash-mouth rushing offense. Overall, this tape will help them, but they might be more appropriately selected on Day 2 of the 2023 draft.

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  • BYU quarterback Jaren Hall was coming off a good game versus Baylor in which he lead his team to a win in double overtime, and for the second straight week, he was playing without his top two receivers in Gunner Romney and Puka Nacua. While Hall played well against the Ducks, he did not get help from his defense, which was dominated by Oregon's offense from start to finish. Hall seemed to suffer from his top wideouts' absence.

    On the first play from scrimmage, Hall threw his receiver open with a back-shoulder pass that was perfectly located for a 35-yard gain. However, Hall was sacked on the next play due to holding the ball too long, and which set up a down-and-distance situation that the Cougars couldn't overcome. Down 10-0, Hall led a drive midway through the second quarter and then made a jumping throw off his back foot for a 28-yard touchdown to a wide-open tight end down the seam.

    Hall continued to move the ball, throwing a phenomenal third-down pass to the far sideline for a critical conversion, and he scanned the field to hit a crossing route for a third-and-11 conversion. While Hall played well in the first half, his opportunities were limited because the Oregon offense dominated the time of possession and had its way with the BYU defense.

    The second half was more of the same, and Hall was never able to get into a rhythm due to the Ducks owning the time of possession. His backup receivers were struggling to separate, and the score made the Cougars one dimensional. Hall still throw some beautiful balls, including a powerful throw to fit a pass into a tight window for a score from about 20 yards out. Hall had some impressive plays on third down, showing field vision and accuracy. If the BYU defense hadn't been dominated by the Oregon rushing attack, Hall could have had a huge game. He completed 29-of-41 passes for 305 yards, two touchdowns and zero interceptions.

    Overall, this was a good tape from Hall for NFL purposes. He showed an accurate, strong arm alongside the ability to work through his progressions. Hall throws a very catchable ball, putting nice loft on passes downfield. With his speed and athleticism, Hall has the ability to make things happen with his feet and is a dual-threat quarterback who is dangerous throwing on the run. Hall is going under the radar, but that could change in the months to come.

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  • There was the potential for a good draft matchup in this game with Mississippi State cornerback Emmanuel Forbes going against LSU wide receiver Kayshon Boutte. However, Boutte lined up on the other side of the field from Forbes for the majority of plays. Once again, the Tigers struggled to get Boutte the ball. He started the game with an 18-yard completion near the sideline, but he did not see many targets. Boutte was also running some sloppy, lackadaisical routes. He caught only three passes for 31 yards, and this was his third consecutive underwhelming game.

    Pro sources like Boutte, but they are not as high on him as the media hype suggests. "He's sort of small, more smooth than explosive and twitchy," said an AFC director of player personnel. "He's a lazy route runner and lacks detail. I like his hands; he catches it well and has good ball adjust. Has quickness and juice. His run after the catch is inconsistent, but he can run with the ball. He's more of a vertical receiver than short to intermediate. He's just not as dynamic as I expected. He reminds me of a smaller, less powerful D.J. Moore."

    Boutte is going to need to start playing better. If he does not, his draft stock is going to begin declining dramatically.

  • LSU edge rusher B.J. Ojulari made his presence felt against the Bulldogs, making some big plays. In the first quarter, Ojulari had a sack of Will Rogers coming around the right tackle and eventually chasing down the scrambling quarterback. It was a coverage sack, but a good effort by Ojulari. After a quiet spell, Ojulari got involved in the third quarter when he lined up standing up over the left guard. He started to the outside before swimming back to the inside to get to Rogers for another sack. Late in the fourth quarter, Ojulari had a speed rush around the right tackle to force an incompletion that helped clinch the win for the Tigers.

    While those were some impressive rushes by Ojulari, he had a number of plays where he was completely locked up and tied up by the Mississippi State tackles. Length gives Ojulari problem, and he does not have the power to shed blocks. Ojulari is a pure speed rusher who needs space to win. If blockers get their hands on him, he struggles to get free. Ojulari makes his plays when he is able to run around blockers with speed. Similar edge rushers with his size and issues with length have typically gone in the second round of NFL drafts.

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  • Many years, there are quarterback prospects who soar from late-round or undrafted consideration to being highly coveted in an NFL draft, like Pittsburgh's Kenny Pickett last year for the 2023 NFL Draft. One signal-caller who is trying to follow that pattern is Washington's Michael Penix Jr. The Tampa, Florida product played at Indiana before transferring to the Huskies, and he has been on fire for Washington this season. That hot streak continued with an overwhelming performance that saw him rip up the Michigan State defense. Penix was utterly unstoppable.

    To start the game, Penix lofted in a pretty bomb for a 47-yard gain. Shortly later, he threw an absolute laser on a slant for a touchdown. Penix had one bad throw that he was lucky fell short of an interception, but throughout the first half, he was ripping the ball down the field. Midway through the second quarter, Penix fired a 19-yard touchdown on a back-shoulder throw to the front of the end zone. With about 10 seconds left before halftime, Penix scrambled keeping his eyes downfield, and he then fired a dart for a 17-yard touchdown. Penix led his receiver open, and it was a superb play that capped off a nearly flawless first half. He had completed 18-of-24 passes in the first half, amassing 278 yards and three touchdowns.

    Penix opened the third quarter by hitting a receiver who had gotten wide open deep down the field for a 53-yard touchdown. It was a perfect strike. On his next possession, Penix was passing from his end zone, but first down, he threw a rope to the sideline for a gain of about 25 on a back-shoulder throw. Penix finished the day having completed 24-of-40 passes for 397 yards and four touchdowns. He was phenomenally dominanat against the Spartans.

    For the NFL, Penix (6-3, 214) is an interesting prospect. He has a strong arm with the ability to fire missiles down the field. On top of his arm strength, Penix also has some athleticism and the ability to make plays with his feet. He demonstrates good field vision and will keep his eyes downfield as he moves in the pocket. Against Michigan State, Penix was accurate, instinctive, aggressive and confident. This was a phenomenal tape that really will draw attention.

  • The Spartans were without their top prospect for the 2023 NFL Draft, wide receiver Jayden Reed. He did not travel with the team due to a back injury he suffered in Week 2.

  • Other Games

    Away Team Home Team Time TV
    Florida State  at  Louisville 9/16/2022 12:00:00 PM
    Air Force  at  Wyoming 9/16/2022 12:00:00 PM CBSSN
    Wofford  at  Virginia Tech 9/17/2022 12:00:00 PM
    Georgia  at  South Carolina 9/17/2022 12:00:00 PM
    Connecticut  at  Michigan 9/17/2022 12:00:00 PM
    Texas State  at  Baylor 9/17/2022 12:00:00 PM FS1
    Youngstown State  at  Kentucky 9/17/2022 12:00:00 PM
    Abilene Christian  at  Missouri 9/17/2022 12:00:00 PM
    Villanova  at  Army 9/17/2022 12:00:00 PM CBSSN
    Southern Illinois  at  Northwestern 9/17/2022 12:00:00 PM BTN

    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


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