2023 NFL Draft: College Game Recaps - Week 7

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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  • Arkansas quarterback K.J. Jefferson missed last week's game, but returned to the field versus BYU. Jefferson got off a slow start in the first quarter, but then heated up later in the first half. In the second quarte,r Jefferson converted a clutch third down on a third-and-long by firing a missile through zone coverage to get inside the BYU 20 yard line. That set up a six-yard touchdown pass to tight end Tre Knox with a well-placed ball that let Knox go high for the pass and did not allow the two closing defenders a shot at reaching the ball.

    Toward the end of the second quarter, Jefferson made an amazing play when he should have been sacked. He broke tackles from three different defenders in the pocket, using his strong frame to shake them away, before rolling out and finding Knox open along the sideline. Knox then took off on a good run for a gain of 36 yards. To finish the drive, Jefferson found a receiver wide open for a 15-yard touchdown.

    In the third quarter, Jefferson found a receiver wide open deep down the field and lofted in a perfect pass for a 39-yard touchdown. It wasn't long before Jefferson threw his fifth touchdown of the day. He waited in the pocket, stepped up, and then found a receiver come open in the back of the end zone for the score.

    Later on in the fourth quarter with just over three minutes remaining and the Razorbacks up by 17, Jefferson tried driving into the end zone on an option run. He got upended, with his feet getting taken out from under him, and he flew in the air and landed head first. Jefferson seemed okay following some trainer attention, but he was pulled from the game. Jefferson finished completing 29-of-40 passes for 367 yards and five touchdowns. He also had 32 yards on the ground.

    This was an excellent tape from Jefferson that will definitely help his draft grade. He threw the ball accurately, showed the ability to escape pressure, made good decisions, and was extremely efficient. For the NFL, Jefferson has the skill set of a starter. He possesses a quality arm and mobility, plus he is a running threat who is tough. However, Jefferson needs to work on his field vision for the next level. He has to get much better at working through his progressions and reading defensive coverages.

  • BYU quarterback Jaren Hall was seeing an SEC test with the Arkansas Razorbacks, and he was in need of a good showing after disappointing versus Notre Dame. Hall, however, suffered a shoulder injury in the second quarter against the Razorbacks. He managed to keep playing, but BYU admitted in the halftime interview that Hall's arm strength was cut back due to his shoulder.

    Midway through the first quarter, Hall made a clutch pass on a fourth-and-8. Nothing was open, but Hall beat tight coverage with a perfect throw that beat the long odds. It was a beautiful pass, just dropping into Kai Nacua, who made a fabulous catch, dragging his feet for a 31-yard gain to set up a first-and-goal. Hall then threw a tight end screen for a touchdown on the next play.

    Shortly later, Hall added a second touchdown, hitting Kody Epps on an out route that Epps turned upfield for a 21-yard score. On the next drive, Hall made some good throws, including a roll-out boot leg to find a receiver open and also lofting in a pass downfield to Epps for 37 yards. However later in the second quarter, Hall fumbled a snap from under center on a fourth-and-1.

    Hall committed another turnover on his next drive after throwing late across the field while telegraphing where he was going with the ball. That allowed an Arkansas safety to undercut the pass for an interception. Hall's injured shoulder could have played a factor on that throw. He came back to toss a perfect 33-yard touchdown that led his receiver into the end zone for the score. Versus Arkansas, Hall completed 26-of-41 passes for 356 yards, three touchdowns and an interception.

    This was a mixed outing for Hall overall. He made some nice plays with good throws but also had some painful mistakes. Hall showed toughness playing through injury. For the next level, he has a quality arm and mobility, plus he throws well on the run. Hall could end up grading out as a low-level starter. In the 2023 NFL Draft, Hall might be more likely to be a second-day pick.

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  • Texas running back Bijan Robinson is one of the most talented prospects for the 2023 NFL Draft, and he illustrated why against Iowa State. In the second quarter, Robinson made a phenomenal catch, extending out in the middle of the field to haul in a leaping grab. Robinson ran an excellent route to get open and showed tremendous adjustment skill to haul in the ball. Very few current NFL running backs could make a similar catch.

    During the second half, Robinson just rolled over the Cyclones defense, ripping off yards in chunks and demonstrating his incredible elusiveness. He finished the day with 28 carries for 135 yards and four receptions for another 36 yards.

    This was a great tape from Robinson that displayed his phenomenal skill set, which includes size, speed and versatility. Robinson is a top-10 talent, but he might go lower in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft because his position simply isn't as valuable as others in a given draft for the current NFL.

  • Iowa State defensive end Will McDonald IV is a likely early-round pick for the 2023 NFL Draft, but this tape won't help him. Texas sendt steady double teams at him throughout the game. He showed phenomenal speed and athleticism to run the edge, but the tandem blockers slowed him up enough to allow the Texas quarterback get the ball out. The Longhorns also stayed committed to the ground game behind Robinson, and McDonald failed to make his presence felt as a run defender. McDonald could be a late first-rounder in the 2023 NFL Draft as a designated pass rusher for a playoff team that has a strong roster and can afford to make a luxury pick. McDonald may not end up as a three-down starter at the next level, but he could be a highly dangerous player against opposing NFL quarterbacks.

  • Cyclones wide receiver Xavier Hutchinson turned in an interesting performance against Texas. He was dominant for most of the game, but a late drop spoiled what should have been a banner day for him.

    In the second quarter, Hutchinson ran a nice route to get a first-down conversion. He then got open deep running along the sideline after separating from his cornerback, but the pass was overthrown and incomplete rather than turned into a long touchdown. Early in the third quarter, Hutchinson made two superb catches, running a dig and also making a back-shoulder sideline completion to total around 30 yards.

    Early in the fourth quarter, Hutchinson ran a corner post, and he made a leaping grab to get a first down and move the Cyclones inside the 20 with a 21-yard gain. Late in the fourth quarter, Hutchinson came up clutch again, reeling another leaping grab for 15 yards to pick up a new set of downs. He got wide open deep down the field on the next play, but he jumped when he didn't have to, which led to him dropping what could have been the game-winning touchdown. Hutchinson bounced back to get open on a crossing route, and he converted a third-and-10 with a nice catch and run. Iowa State, however, fumbled the ball away on the next play. Versus Texas, Hutchinson caught 10 passes for 154 yards.

    Despite the drop, Hutchinson was impressive against the Longhorns. He showed nice route-running, quickness in and out of his breaks, and the speed quickness to generate separation. He also utilized his size to shield defenders from the ball. Hutchinson could be a good second-day or mid-round pick next April in the 2023 NFL Draft.

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  • Michigan junior running back Blake Corum is enjoying a breakout season, and that continued with his dominant game against Penn State. Corum ripped off multiple long runs that displayed quickness, toughness, cutting ability, and instincts. He carried the ball 28 times to collect 166 yards and two touchdowns. He also caught three passes for 15 yards.

    The 5-foot-8, 210-pound Corum has really carried the Michigan offense this year. He is a physical runner with a strong compact build that makes him tough to tackle. Corum possesses the quickness to hit the hole and a second gear to accelerate to the next level.

  • Penn State cornerback Joey Porter Jr. had a quiet game thanks to the Wolverines not needing to throw his way because they were dominating on the ground. Porter played well despite his minimal stat line.

    For the NFL, Porter looks like a future No. 1 cornerback. There is no doubt that he has excellent size, speed, athleticism and instincts. The a really rare quality he possess is freakish length, which will help him match up against NFL wide receivers. Some team sources have said that Porter is like one of those blue aliens from "Avatar" with unusally long arms that have not been seen before. Porter looks like a future top-16 pick next April in the 2023 NFL Draft.

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  • Two weeks ago, Alabama quarterback Bryce Young suffered a strained shoulder that knocked him out for the majority of that game. The injury then forced him to miss last week's game against Texas A&M. Young came back to play impressively against Tennessee. Not only was he his typical dual-threat weapon self as a passer and runner, but he showed some serious toughness, taking hits and playing well at less than 100 percent. Considering NFL teams have size and durability concerns around Young (5-11, 194), this tape will help to ease those fears.

    In the first quarter, Young scrambled and lofted in a pass for a third-down conversion. Any questions about Young's arm were answered midway through the fourth quarter when he lofted in a beautiful deep ball to Isaiah Bond for a 33-yard gain. Later in the first half, Young rolled to his left and side-armed a throw for a short touchdown.

    In the second half, Young used his arm and legs to move the ball, setting up some rushing touchdowns for Alabama. In the fourth quarter, Young made a few superb plays to tie the game at 42. He scrambled to find a back wide open to convert a second-and-long, and then on fourth-and-goal, Young started to run toward the end zone before pulling up to toss a touchdown. He completed 35-of-52 of his passes against the Volunteers for 455 yards, two touchdowns and zero interceptions.

    As a passer, Young is superb and very advanced. He shows excellent instincts and feel. Young knows where all his receivers and check down options arem and that impressive intelligence gives him the very dangerous ability to work all levels of the field. Young is an accurate passer who will lace some beautiful passes into tight windows to beat good coverage. With timing and precision, Young does a superb job of hitting his receivers on the run and leading them to rack up lots of yards after the catch. Many college quarterbacks don't have Young's confidence to throw into tight windows, much less his skill at doing it. He is an astute and dangerous point guard who can distribute the ball to rip up a defense.

    While Young is looking to pass the ball, he is a good athlete who offers mobility and escapability. Young does a nice job of climbing the pocket, keeping his eyes downfield while getting pressured, and throwing well on the run. The only concern about Young is his size, and whether that will hinder his ability to avoid injury in the NFL, but some team will be willing to take that chance. Young is worth high first-round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft and looks like a future franchise quarterback.

  • After Young was injured two weeks ago, Alabama turned to star running back Jahmyr Gibbs, who helped the Crimson Tide finish off Arkansas. Gibbs then carried the Crimson Tide to a win a week later versus Texas A&M. In the first quarter against Tennessee, Gibbs tied the game at seven with a phenomenal touchdown run that diplayed his superb feet as he juked a defender and darted into the end zone. In the third quarter, Gibbs had a 26-yard touchdown run, breaking a safety at the second level to spring into the open field. Gibbs added another short rushing touchdown later in the third quarter. Gibbs took 24 carries for 103 yards and three touchdowns against the Volunteers. He also caught five passes for 48 yards.

    Gibbs looks like a future three-down starter at the next level. He is put together well and possesses a serious burst to accelerate to the second level. On top of his speed, Gibbs is a tough runner who shows excellent cutting ability to weave through the defense. He is also a good receiver who will be an asset in the passing game. Gibbs looks like he should be high-quality selection in the 2023 NFL Draft.

  • Tennessee quarterback Hendon Hooker has been red hot this season, and he continued his hot streak against Alabama, impose his will on the defense. On the opening drive, Hooker had a good throw and later ran for a first down to set up a rushing touchdown. Midway through the first quarter, Hooker threw a perfect deep ball to Jalin Hyatt for a 36-yard touchdown. Hooker led Hyatt past the coverage to the back of the end zone, and Hooker had perfect touch on the throw. Shortly later, Hooker hit an easy touchdown pass to a wide-open Hyatt in the flat.

    In the third quarter, Hooker had a receiver running wide open deep down the field for a would-be touchdown, but the pass was overthrown. The receiver held up, but Hooker thought he would keep running. However a little bit later, a stop-and-go double move burned Alabama, and Hooker lofted in a pretty 60-yard touchdown to Hyatt.

    Late in the third quarter, Hooker had a receiver wide open, but the Crimson Tide pass rush did not let him step into the throw. The ball sailed and was picked off by Alabama for Hooker's first interception of the season. However, he rebounded, putting Tennessee ahead by hitting Hyatt on the run for a 78-yard touchdown. With three and half minutes remaining, Hooker threw a perfect strike to Hyatt for a touchdown from about 13 yards out. Late in the fourth quarter, Hooker made two clutch passes to put the Volunteers in position to hit the game-winning field goal from 40 yards out and bring home the upset victory.

    Hooker completed 21-of-30 passes against the Crimson Tide for 385 yards, five touchdowns and an interception. He also ran for 56 yards on 14 carries. Hooker looks like a potential second-day pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. Hooker has good size, athleticism, smarts, and a good work ethic. However, he is going to need a lot of developmental time coming from a college scheme that has not produced a lot of successful pro players. Hooker could start out as a backup and might develop into a NFL starter.

  • This was a breakout game for Tennessee wide receiver Jalin Hyatt, who destroyed the Alabama secondary. He had an insane day, catching six passes for 207 yards and five touchdowns. Entering this contest, Hyatt only had 27 catches on the season for 388 yards and five touchdowns. Most of that production game against Akron, and in previous seasons in 2021 (21-226-2) and 2020 (20-276-2), Hyatt had not produced well for the Volunteers. He was a man possessed in this game, however, showing speed, route-running, hands, and an impressive ability to track the ball. If Hyatt plays like this in the weeks to come, he will firmly put himself on the map for the NFL.

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  • LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels has the potential to be a mid-round or late-round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, and he had a superb outing against Florida, leading LSU to a shootout win in the Swamp. To get the game started, Daniels shook a tackle from Brenton Cox Jr. to avoid a sack, which set the tone for a huge night.

    Daniels' first touchdown toss was a short pass to the flat, and he made a good read to work off his primary receiver. To tie the game at 14, Daniels led a drive by throwing some good passes to move the chains and then rushing for a short touchdown. Florida was helpless defending Daniels, who threw some well-placed passes to move the chains, hitting a rope to his tight end and then lofting in a 24-yard touchdown pass to tie the game at 21. Just before the half, Daniels drew the Gators offsides and took advantage of the free play, lofting in a beautiful 54-yard touchdown pass to Jaray Jenkins.

    Early in the third quarter, Daniels showed his speed on a nine-yard touchdown run. He then had another nine-yard touchdown scamper, using his quickness to outrun Brenton Cox Jr. on the score. Daniels finished completing 23-of-32 passes for 349 yards and three touchdowns. He also ran for 44 yards and three touchdowns.

    Daniels is a very interesting prospect for the NFL. While he still needs work as a pocket passer, he has a quality arm and can challenge defenses at all levels. Daniels is a dangerous runner who is a true dual-threat quarterback and is difficult to sack. This game will help Daniels to be a potential mid-round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.

  • LSU wide receiver Kayshon Boutte entered the 2022 season as one of the top receiver prospects for the 2023 NFL Draft, but he has really struggled this year with dropped passes, lazy route running, and an alarming lack of production. Against Florida's weak defense though, Boutte came alive for the first time this season, catching six passes for 115 yards.

    Boutte looked much better in route-running, finding soft spots in zone, creating separation on comeback routes, and being shifty after the catch. However once again, Boutte had a dropped pass on a third down in the fourth quarter. Overall, this was a better performance for Boutte, but it was still not a clean game.

  • The Florida defense was completely inept in terms of stopping Daniels, but one player who impressed was edge rusher Brenton Cox Jr. He had a number of pressures and consistently worked his way into the pocket. In the first quarter, Cox bull rushed through the right tackle to notch a sack of Daniels. Cox continued to abuse the right tackle with his heavy hands, long arms, and strength. While Cox lacks the speed of a first-round pick, this tape will help him to be a second-day pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. He could be a solid, if unspectacular, pro.

  • Gators quarterback Anthony Richardson has been very inconsistent this season, playing a superb game against Utah, throwing for over 400 on Tennessee, underwhelming versus South Florida, and performing so terribly as to give the game away against Kentucky. This game versus LSU was a microcosm of Richardson's season, containing some highlight-reel plays and some ugly lowlights.

    Richardson laid out a beautiful deep ball for his first pass of the game, and it dropped in perfectly for a 51-yard touchdown to Justin Shorter, leading him into the end zone for the score. Close to the goal line, Richardson had an easy touchdown pass, rolling out to a wide-open tight end, but he threw the ball way too low, resulting in an incompletion.

    In the third quarter, Richardson hit a few nice completions to move down the field, but then he threw a bad pass on a fourth-and-4 inside the 10. Richardson threw way too hard and flew by Shorter incomplete. The big receiver Shorter didn't help by running a finesse route and not using his size or any physicality to box out the corner. Throwing passes with too much velocity and not throwing a catchable ball for his wideouts has been a problem for Richardson in other games.

    On the first play of the fourth quarter, Richardson took off on a spectacular 81-yard touchdown run. He showed excellent speed, the strength to break tackles, and crazy athleticism. Lamar Jackson is maybe the only quarterback in the world who could have made that play; it was one of the best runs you will ever see from a quarterback. Richardson completed 15-of-24 of his passes against LSU for 185 yards and a touchdown. He also ran nine times for 109 yards and another score.

    As a passer, Richardson throws a good deep ball, but he struggles mightily with accuracy in the short to intermediate part of the field. Richardson has to work on improving his accuracy, throwing a more catchable ball, reading the defense, and maintaining more poise when things aren't going well. Richardson is not even close to NFL ready, and he should go back to school for 2023 to play more before going to the pro level.

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  • Clemson defensive end Myles Murphy could be marching his way to the top 10 of the 2023 NFL Draft, and this game will help him in that quest, as he overwhelmed the Florida State defensive line. Early in the evening, Murphy showed his dangerous speed, blowing by the left tackle to sack Seminoles quarterback Jordan Travis. Late in the first half, Murphy burned the left tackle again, and Murphy used excellent hands to smack the ball out of Travis' hands. The strip-sack Travis gave Clemson the ball just past midfield in Florida State territory, and less than a minute later, Clemson scored the decisive touchdown to firmly control the game for a road win. On top of the good pass rushes, Murphy played well in run defense, adding 1.5 tackles for a loss in the ground game.

    The 6-foot-5, 275-pound Murphy could be a riser in the leadup to the 2023 NFL Draft. Not only is he putting together a season of excellent tape, but he is a freak athlete who has a crazy combination of size, speed, athleticism and strength. Murphy should work out well and impress in the eye ball test. He has the skill set to do whatever he wants on the football field, as he can burn tackles with speed, use his strength to set the edge in the ground game, or simply take over games. Murphy is going to have a lot of NFL teams hoping to land him next April during the 2023 NFL Draft.

  • Florida State quarterback Jordan Travis has been vastly improved this season, and he had a decent game against Clemson overall. Travis had a painful fumble that Murphy stripped from him, but otherwise, he avoided turnovers and was not the reason the Seminoles came up short. The Clemson offense was more opportunistic, but Travis completed 24-of-42 passes for 254 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran 14 times for 64 yards and another touchdown.

    Early in the first quarter, Travis took a zone-read run and had a nifty juke on a safety to explode down the field from around 20 yards out for his rushing touchdown. Later in the first quarter, Travis made a nice play by rolling out to this right and keep his eyes downfield before lofting in a well-placed ball for a touchdown. In garbage time, Travis had a short touchdown pass on a roll out.

    Travis could return to Florida State in 2023, and that could be his best route to becoming a more viable pro. Travis is improved this year, but he still could stand to improve his pocket passing, field vision, and mechanics.

  • Clemson quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei continued his improved junior season in helping the Tigers to a road win at Florida State. Midway through the first quarter, Uiagalelei had an excellent play on which he avoided a blitzer before lofting in a pass to an open receiver for a 59-yard touchdown. It was an impressive throw that displayed his arm strength because he could not get his feet in sync before pulling the trigger. Midway through the second quarter, Uiagalelei was fortunate after he stared down one side of the field because Florida State had blown the coverage, which left a tight end wide open for a short touchdown. Just before the half, Uiagalelei helped put Clemson in firm control of the game with a short rushing touchdown.

    Uiagalelei completed 15-of-23 passes against the Seminoles for 203 yards and three touchdowns. He ran for 26 yards and a score as well. Uiagalelei needs to continue to improve his pocket passing for the NFL, but he is vastly better this year. If Uiagalelei returns to school and continues to build on this season, he could be a more viable prospect in the 2024 NFL Draft.

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    Utah 7 14 7 15 43
    USC 14 14 7 7 42

    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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