2023 NFL Draft: College Game Recaps - Week 8

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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  • Clemson defensive end Myles Murphy is on his way to being a first-round pick next April in the 2023 NFL Draft, and this game will help hum overall. He faced a ton of extra attention with double teams and even some triple teams, but that attention helped free up other rushers to consistently harass Syracuse quarterback Garrett Shrader. Early in the third quarter, Murphy got upfield and then worked his way back to the quarterback for a sack. Murphy continued to create a push late in the game to help Clemson cling to a narrow comeback win.

    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 Murphy is a freak athlete who has a crazy combination of size, speed, athleticism and strength. He should work out well and impress in the eye ball test before the 2023 NFL Draft. Murphy has the skill set to do whatever he wants on the football field. He can burn tackles with speed, use his strength to set the edge in the ground game, and even take over games. Murphy is going to have a lot of NFL teams hoping to land him next April during the 2023 NFL Draft.

  • Syracuse running back Sean Tucker is a future pro who was taking on one of the best defenses he will see all season. In the first half. Tucker helped the Orange grab a lead after running a nice route going out to the flat and then turning up the field to get wide open for a 12-yard touchdown reception. Surprisingly, Syracuse did not use Tucker much in the ground game, as he entered the fourth quarter with only four carries. He finished the game with five carries for 54 yards and five receptions for 18 yards.

    NFL sources say they view Tucker as a backup three-down runner at the next level. They feel he has good instincts, but he is not overly powerful or fast. Tucker also struggles in pass blocking. Hence, sources see him as a backup. Tucker could be a mid-round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft

  • Following Deshaun Watson and Trevor Lawrence winning National Championships at Clemson, there were big expectations for D.J. Uiagalelei as the program's starting quarterback. Uiagalelei had a very disappointing 2021 season, but he has been vastly improved in 2022. This game against Syracuse, however, was a meltdown performance for Uiagalelei. It proves he is still a work in progress who would benefit from going back to school for next season.

    In the first quarter, Uiagalelei hit a big pass downfield with a receiver wide open down the seam. However, the ball was thrown a little late, and Uiagalelei did not lead his target for extra yards in what could have been a long touchdown. To close out the first quarter, Uiagalelei threw the ball late to the sideline and telegraphed the throw to a well-covered receiver, leading a defensive back to undercut the pass for an interception.

    Uiagalelei's rough performance continued in the second quarter. With Clemson at the Syracuse 10, he held the ball too long at the mesh point on a zone-read run, and that led to the Syracuse defense closing around him. Uiagalelei fumbled while getting tackled, and the Orange scooped up the loose ball to returned it 90 yards for a touchdown. Late in the first half, Uiagalelei held the ball too long, bobbled the it when he reached back to throw, and then didn't throw the it away before taking a bad sack that hurt field goal distance.

    Uiagalelei continued to struggle early in the third quarter, failing to read the free safety. Uiagalelei missed the post-snap read and did not see the free safety drop down the deep middle. He sailed a pass over his receiver, and the ball dropped into the defender for an easy interception. After that play, Uiagalelei was benched and replaced by freshman quarterback Cade Klubnik, who led Clemson back.

    Uiagalelei finished completing 13-of-21 passes for 138 yards, two interceptions and a fumble. He needs to improve his decision-making, field vision, and timing. Uiagalelei should return to his senior year to improve before going to the NFL. If he enters the 2023 NFL Draft, he could be a late-round pick.

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  • Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud is in the running to be the top quarterback prospect for the 2023 NFL Draft, and he had a mixed performance taking on Iowa. Stroud made some beautiful throws, but he also had some ugly plays and mistakes.

    After an Iowa interception, Stroud almost gave it right back, overthrowing a receiver in the middle of the field. Stroud got lucky because the pass floated to a safety and should have been easy pick, but it was dropped. Stroud's luck ran on his next drive when he was rocked by a defensive end and fumbled the ball. The end scooped up the loose ball and charged into the end zone for a touchdown.

    At the start of the third quarter, Stroud did not see the field well, missing Hawkeyes linebacker Jack Campbell dropping into a throwing lane to make a phenomenal interception. Stroud came back to toss a short touchdown pass to Marvin Harrison Jr. That score got Stroud going, as he started to throw some dimes, hitting some perfect passes with timing and precision for big completions. He closed out the drive by lofting a beauty to the sideline of the end zone to Emeka Egbuka from 13 yards out. In the fourth quarter, Stroud got lucky because he had an interception taken away by an Iowa penalty.

    This tape is not going to help Stroud to end up as the first quarterback taken or the No. 1-overall pick next April in the 2023 NFL Draft. While he made some great passes, the turnovers and misreadings of the field illustrate that Stroud has aspects he needs work on for the NFL. Stroud finished completing 20-of-30 passes for 286 yards, four touchdowns and an interception.

  • Iowa linebacker Jack Campbell could end up as a second-day pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, and he played like it taking on the Buckeyes. In the early going, Campbell had some good run fills, taking on blocks and helping to stop big runs. He also looked good dropping into coverage, moving well in space. On the first play from scrimmage in the third quarter, Campbell made a fabulous play. He dropped into coverage and read Stroud's eyes. Campbell saw the ball coming in and made a superb one-handed interception. He has good size, quickness, athleticism and instincts. Campbell looks like a future three-down starter in the NFL.

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  • UCLA quarterback Dorian Thomson-Robinson has helped himself this season, leading the Bruins to a 6-0 start. That hot start came to a sudden halt against Oregon, which dominated in Eugene. In the first half, the Ducks owned the time of possession, keeping Thompson-Robinson on the sideline while they built up a huge lead. In fact, Oregon had one drive that took 7:30 minutes off the clock. Thus, Thompson-Robinson was behind the eight ball in this game.

    Midway through the first quarter, Thompson-Robinson made a bad decision, throwing into double coverage in the end zone when he had a check down open for a good gain, and Thompson-Robinson was fortunate the pass fell incomplete. He later rolled out to throw a touchdown pass that ended up getting negated by a penalty.

    Early in the fourth quarter, Thompson-Robinson distributed the ball through the prevent defense and helped produce a touchdown. He had an interception on a fourth-down desperation throw into the end zone that resembled a Hail Mary. Thompson-Robinson finished completing 27-of-39 passes for 259 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. He ran for 38 yards on eight carries as well.

    Thompson-Robinson looks like a third-day prospect for the 2023 NFL Draft who could grow into being a backup quarterback at the next level. Coming from Chip Kelly's offense, Thompson-Robinson needs a lot of field-vision development because he stares down his primary read and he will have to get significantly better at reading defenses and working through progressions. However, Thompson-Robinson has a quality arm and running ability to make him an intriguing backup candidate. If Thompson-Robinson pans out, he could be a Tyler Huntley-caliber backup.

  • UCLA running back Zach Charbonnet played well against Oregon even though the Ducks dominated the time of possession. Charbonnet ran hard and picked up a lot of yards after contact. He showed the speed to hit the second level and drove with very good body lean. Charbonnet also has a powerful frame that makes him very difficult to tackle. In the third quarter, he had an excellent run, going up the middle, bouncing to the outside, and then accelerating down the field for a run of 33 yards. Charbonnet finished with 20 carries for 154 yards and a touchdown. He also caught four passes for 28 yards.

    Charbonnet looks like a starting running back for the NFL with the talent to be a three-down contributor. He is a power runner who possesses some quickness and athleticism. Charbonnet looks worthy of being a second-round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.

  • Oregon linebacker Noah Sewell had a quiet start to the year, especially in the season opener against Georgia, but he was more active and around the ball taking on UCLA. In the second quarter, Sewell showed speed, getting to the perimeter to help notch a tackle for a loss and later racing to the sideline to help join a tackle on a wide receiver screen.

    Midway through the fourth quarter, Sewell had a good rush that forced an incompletion despite a receiver wide open in the end zone. On the next play, Sewell had another rush that forced Thompson-Robinson to throw off his back foot, and that ball fluttered short into the arms of an Oregon defender for an interception in the end zone. On the next drive, Sewell made a nice tackle after coming over in zone coverage.

    Sewell needed this tape because his production is down from where it was last year. He has three-down starting potential for the next level, and he could end up being a second-day pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.

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  • TCU wide receiver Quentin Johnston could be one of the top wideout prospects for the 2023 NFL Draft, and he gave some proof of his special ability taking on Kansas State.

    The Wildcats managed to shut down Johnston in the first half. He had a dropped pass and another near completion was broken up by a hit downfield. Late in the second quarter, TCU finally threw deep for Johnston, but the pass was just beyond the reach of his diving grasp. Johnston had only two receptions for nine yards at halftime.

    Things changed in the third quarter, when Johnston burned Julius Brents down the sideline to get wide open for a 55-yard touchdown. Brents seemed to pull a hamstring on the play while trying to run with Johnston, which let him get that wide open, but Johnston still caught it on the backpedal and turned to dart into the end zone. Johnston finished with 74 yards and a touchdown on four receptions.

    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 wide receiver of his size. He runs very good routes and shows rare smoothness in and out of breaks as well. Johnston does not see a lot of targets, but could be a special receiver at the next level.

  • Kansas State defensive end Felix Anudike-Uzomah should join Johnston as an early-rounder next April in the 2023 NFL Draft. In the second quarter, Anudike-Uzomah made a superb play to recognize a screen and spin back behind him to chase down the wide receiver screen for a third-down tackle short of first-down yardage. Just after halftime, Anudike-Uzomah dipped his shoulder and got upfield to turn the corner. He almost had a sack, but the quarterback slipped away only to get sacked by another one of the Wildcats. Later on the drive, Anudike-Uzomah had a clutch play on third-and-3 near the goal line when he worked back toward the line to bear hug the ball-carrier and keep him short of first down or scoring yardage.

    Anudike-Uzomah is a possible first- or second-round pick next April in the 2023 NFL Draft. He is quick off the edge, showing the speed to get upfield and nice agility to bend around the corner. On top of his quickness and athleticism, Anudike-Uzomah is strong to set the edge and has a steady running motor. He could continue to rise in the leadup to the 2023 NFL Draft.

  • TCU guard Steve Avila is an impressive interior blocker. He has a thick build with strength at the point of attack to get a push on offensive linemen. For a round and thick blocker, Avila displays impressive quickness, athleticism, and smooth movement skills. Avila may not be a first-rounder in the 2023 NFL Draft, but he could be a second-day pick who serves as a plug-and-play starter

  • Wildcats running back Deuce Vaughn could be a mid-round steal in the 2023 NFL Draft. He is extremely short, but he is a tough runner with speed. Midway through the second quarter, Vaughn took a run off the left side and exploded down the field for a 47-yard touchdown. He shook off a tackler at the four and dove into the end zone. In the third quarter, Vaughn made a superb play to dodge an open-field tackle and accelerate downfield for a 14-yard gain. Vaughn totaled 83 yards and a score over 14 carries. He also had four catches for 38 yards. Vaughn could be a valuable No. 2 back in the NFL who helps as a runner, receiver, and big-play threat.

  • 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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