2013 NFL Draft: College Football Game Recaps – Week 13

This section breaks down many college football games each week and highlights how 2014 NFL Draft Prospects have performed. Or look at the 2014 NFL Draft Stock page.

By Charlie Campbell.
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Wisconsin 20, Minnesota 7
The battle for Paul Bunyan’s axe has been dominated by Wisconsin in recent years, but Minnesota has had a breakout season led by senior defensive tackle Ra’Shede Hageman, a potential top-20 pick next May. He had the task of helping to stop a Badgers offense with one of the best running games in nation from tailbacks Melvin Gordon and James White. Wisconsin also has a receiving weapon in Jared Abbrederis. Once again, the Badgers were too much for the Golden Gophers.

After White broke a long run to set up a field goal, Hageman stuffed a run for no gain on a third-and-short to force a punt. Wisconsin was later able to run up the middle at Hageman for a goal-line touchdown for White. Just before the half, Hageman almost made an interception on a screen pass.

Hageman blew up the center in the third quarter to make a tackle for a loss. The 6-foot-6 Hageman showed a nice ability to get low for leverage on the center. Early in the fourth quarter on a terrible trick play, Hageman came unblocked to tackle a receiver who wanted to set up a pass. Hageman didn’t make big plays in the pass rush, but he had some decent rushes. This tape will only serve to confirm his high grade.

Abbrederis made plays for the Badgers’ offense to help them get the road win. After a nice reception on a quick out route, he got open on a deep post but couldn’t haul in a diving catch for a long gain. Abbrederis racked up about 40 yards in the third quarter after he beat the safety for a 21-yard gain and added another 20 or so on a screen pass. Later on the drive, Abbrederis drew a pass interference call before getting open for a two-yard touchdown catch in the back of the end zone. He ran an out route and got separation on his cut to get open.

On the final play of the third quarter, Abbrederis had a good punt return going when he fumbled the ball while being tackled. The senior was lucky that a teammate recovered it. Abbrederis finished with seven receptions for 67 yards and one touchdown. His route-running and attention to detail are excellent. Aside from the fumble, this was an impressive tape from Abbrederis as he beat some good corners with his quickness and route-running.

LSU 34, Texas A&M 10
This game featured two high-powered passing attacks with a pack of NFL prospects. The highest rated were Texas A&M redshirt sophomores Johnny Manziel and Mike Evans. Senior left tackle Jake Matthews is also an elite prospect for next May’s draft.

In the first quarter, Manziel and Evans were held in check by LSU. Manziel started moving the ball in the second quarter with some precision passes and good runs. He had Evans wide open for a short touchdown, but couldn’t set his feet after a bad snap to deliver an accurate pass. On third- and fourth-and-goal, Manziel threw incomplete.

Matthews was beaten for a coverage sack on the Aggies’ next possession. Manziel held onto the ball way too long on the play. Matthews had his man blocked for a reasonable amount of time before he worked himself free. For most of the first half, Manziel struggled to get into a real groove. He was missing some open receivers on throws and not seeing some open targets. Just before halftime, Manziel hit a wide open receiver after the cornerback fell down for a 51-yard touchdown.

Things started to get rough for Texas A&M in the third quarter as Matthews had a block in the back penalty and Manziel had a pass intercepted when he was trying to connect with Evans. It was a miscommunication by Manziel and Evans as the quarterback thought he would stop running for a back-shoulder completion, but Evans kept running a nine route down the field.

Manziel completed a long pass to Evans in garbage time after he got open along the sideline. Evans outjumped LSU safety Craig Loston to make the reception. To end the drive, Manziel was baited by Loston into an interception. Manziel thought Loston would double-cover Evans, but Loston undercut a slant to the slot receiver.

Manziel had his worst game of the season as he completed 16-of-41 passes for 224 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions. Evans had 51 yards on four receptions. This tape won’t help either player and is more damaging for Manziel. This wasn’t Matthews’ best game either, but it shouldn’t hurt him significantly.

The LSU offense features some NFL talent with quarterback Zach Mettenberger, wide receiver Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham Jr. Aggies junior cornerback Deshazor Everett had the tough task of defending this trio.

Late in the first quarter, Mettenberger executed a nice play-action to roll out and hit his tight end on the run for a big gain. Mettenberger moved the ball inside the 10 on a quick slant to Beckham in front of Everett. Two plays later, the senior signal-caller threw a dart to Landry on third down for a touchdown.

From his own end zone, Mettenberger hit an out to Beckham to convert a third-and-16. That was a huge, clutch play in this contest. Beckham caught the ball a couple yards short and ran through a tackle by Everett to get the first down. Mettenberger finished the drive by hitting Landry for a 40-yard touchdown. Landry ran a wheel route and got wide open along the sideline. After halftime, Mettenberger kept it going by throwing a frozen rope to Landry for a good gain. Mettenberger soon hit Landry on a dig from the slot to move the ball inside the 10. A quick slant to Beckham burned Everett for a 15-yard gain to convert a third down. That happened again to move the ball to the one-yard line where LSU ran in for another score.

Mettenberger completed only 11-of-20 passes for 193 yards with two scores as the Tigers featured the ground game. Landry (4-87) and Beckham (5-50) both were impressive and this tape will aide their cause.

This performance will hurt Everett as he struggled to match up in coverage against Beckham and Landry. Everett did make a touchdown-saving tackle on a run of about 60 yards. He tracked down the back a couple yards short of the end zone. Still, Everett looks like a zone corner for the NFL, and he could probably use some senior-year refinement before going pro.

The final prospect worth mentioning is Loston. He was very active against the Aggies as he made some clutch tackles and was consistently around the ball. In the first quarter, Loston had a good tackle against Manziel in the open field. Loston showed a nice combination of quickness and physicality. This game should help him to grade out as a Day 2 pick.

Arizona State 38, UCLA 33
UCLA outside linebacker Anthony Barr was playing in his final home game and had the tough task of taking on Arizona State running back Marion Grice. Sun Devils redshirt sophomore wide receiver Jaelen Strong has been a huge play-maker this season and Barr’s pass rush could help neutralize Strong.

On the first drive, Barr bit on a fake on an option run and that allowed a long gain for Arizona State. He was being kept from making any big plays throughout the first half. The Sun Devils opened up a can on the Bruins in the first half, including a 19-yard touchdown pass to Strong with only five seconds left before halftime.

Barr came close to a sack in the third quarter, but Taylor Kelly was able to get the pass off. That happened again in the fourth quarter as Barr had Kelly in his hands before the quarterback squirted away. Barr has been a phenomenal player for UCLA the past two seasons, but unfortunately for him, his final home game wasn’t one of his better performances.

Grice has had a strong season and played well against a good Bruins defense. He ran well to grind out some tough yards. Grice made an acrobatic 24-yard catch along the sideline to get a big conversion. In the fourth quarter, he spun off a defender to get five more yards and a first down to help run down the clock. Grice ran for 95 yards on 18 carries with seven receptions for 72 yards. This was a nice tape that will help the senior for the 2014 NFL Draft.

On the other side of the ball, there were some good draft matchups. UCLA redshirt sophomore Brett Hundley is rumored to be entering the 2014 NFL Draft and could be a first-round pick. He was going against Arizona State senior defensive tackle Will Sutton and junior linebacker Carl Bradford.

Hundley’s first throw of the game lofted in for a perfect 42-yard touchdown down the middle of the field to Devin Lucien, who got behind the defense. Later in the first half, Hundley tried to throw a quick dump off to his back in the flat, but Bradford read the play and got his hands up to snatch the ball. Bradford rumbled into the end zone from 19 yards out for a pick-six.

Sutton got a nice pressure on the next possession to force Hundley up in the pocket where Bradford wrestled him done for a sack. On the next play, Hundley broke a tackle from Sutton to run for some positive yards. Sutton was in on punt duties as a blocker but he made a tackle to stop a 50-yard return. Beyond his first throw, Hundley struggled in the first half.

That tune changed after halftime as Hundley moved the ball with some passes. Sutton was pancaked by Xavier Su’a-Filo on one play and Miles Jack ran by Sutton for a short touchdown. Hundley and the Bruins were set up close to the end zone after a botched Arizona State punt. The redshirt sophomore signal-caller came up with a clutch throw to covert a third-and-11 and set up a short touchdown run.

Early in the fourth quarter, Sutton recorded his third sack of the season when he beat a freshman guard with a speed rush. Sutton came close to a sack on the next play. Hundley bounced back to make an accurate throw on the run for a big gain to covert a fourth-and-2. To finish the drive, he threw a rope to hit Shaq Evans on the run, and he bolted into the end zone for a 27-yard touchdown.

On a third-and-9, Hundley made a few defenders miss for a 13-yard run and a clutch third-down conversion. Sutton almost sacked Hundley again, but Hundley escaped for another long run of 19 yards. The drive ended in a missed field goal, but Hundley converted another fourth down on the next drive with a dart to Evans. Bradford came up with a clutch sack on a third-and-30 and that basically clinched the win for Arizona State.

Bradford added another good tape to a stack of strong performances this season. He could be a second-day pick if he enters the 2014 NFL Draft. Sutton had one of his best games of the season and took advantage of some freshman linemen.

Hundley caught fire in the final two quarters to almost lead a comeback win, but UCLA’s offensive line allowed him to be sacked nine times. There was too much pressure for him to overcome. He completed 18-of-26 passes for 252 yards with two scores and an interception. Hundley picked up some critical yards on the ground for UCLA. He was generally very accurate in the final two quarters with one missed opportunity on a deep ball to an open receiver late in the fourth quarter. Overall, this performance showed that Hundley has a lot of talent, but needs more refinement.

Oklahoma State 49, Baylor 17
Baylor entered this game in the national title hunt, but the Bears were facing their toughest test of the season in the Cowboys, and without the services of running backs Lache Seastrunk, Glasco Martin, wide receiver Tevin Reese and others due to injury. Going against the depleted Baylor offense was Oklahoma State senior cornerback Justin Gilbert, one of the top cornerback prospects for the 2014 NFL Draft.

Gilbert has had an excellent season. He had a rough junior year in 2012 after a breakout sophomore campaign. If Gilbert finishes the year strongly and does well in the pre-draft tests, he could end up being a first-round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft.

Throughout the first half, the Bears avoided Gilbert. They targeted other cornerbacks and showed Gilbert a lot of respect. The senior was playing with a shoulder injury, and it looked like the Cowboys coaches were trying to protect Gilbert by rotating him out of the game for some snaps.

Late in the third quarter, Gilbert was beat for a 40-yard touchdown on an out-and-up, but the receiver was flagged for going out of bounds. Thus, Gilbert was saved from giving up the score. Gilbert’s injury meant he wasn’t as physical or gritty as he typically plays. This performance shouldn’t impact his draft stock significantly.

Baylor senior guard Cyril Richardson has played very well this season, but this was probably his worst game. He blocked well in pass protection, but wasn’t getting much of a push in the ground game. The injuries finally seemed to catch up to the Bears as they really missed Seastrunk, Martin and Reese. This tape won’t help Richardson’s chances of being the first guard selected.

Iowa 24, Michigan 21
There were two good left tackle prospects in this game in Michigan senior Taylor Lewan and Iowa redshirt junior Brandon Scherff. Lewan is the higher rated of the two, while Scherff could return to Iowa next season.

There isn’t much to say about Lewan outside of the fact that he was superb. Lewan was rock solid in the first half. He pushed some defenders around in the ground game, and he was mirroring all the pass rushes.

That continued in the final two quarters as Iowa didn’t have a defensive end who was challenging Lewan. Lewan did a better job in this game of keeping his emotions in check and not drawing penalties. That has been issues for Lewan during his collegiate career. This tape will serve as confirmation for Lewan to be a first-round pick.

In the early going, Scherff was blocking well for the most part, although he allowed a pressure on a spin move and was called for a clipping. It was a bad call as he tried to make a cut block at the second level and whiffed on the defender. In the second quarter, Scherff hit a nice block on a zone run to his side to spring a 20-yard gain for his back. That happened again in the fourth quarter.

At one point, Scherff misread an assignment and didn’t pick up a blitzer off the left side. He blocked down on the defensive tackle when the end dropped in zone blitz. Scherff came back to get nasty with some run blocks. He rocked defensive linemen off the line of scrimmage and drove them downfield. Iowa went to a power running game to take the lead. To follow that up, Scherff had a nice block on a zone run to open up a cut back lane.

Scherff could be a better candidate for the 2015 NFL Draft. He could stand to improve his ability to sustain blocks and work on upgrading his feet for NFL speed rushers. If Scherff (6-5, 315) improves as a senior he could have a shot at the first round.

Iowa senior tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz provided NFL scouts with an impressive tape taking on Michigan. Fiedorowicz ran a corner post and made a leaping catch for a gain of about 20 yards. Late in the first quarter, Fiedorowicz ran an out route off a bootleg play action in the end zone and came open for a short touchdown reception.

Late in the fourth quarter, Fiedorowicz clinched the win for Iowa when he converted a third-and-10 as he ran an out route. He caught three passes for 42 yards and a score. Fiedorowicz showed some good blocking ability. He opened up holes on the edge and was able to get to blocks on the second level. This tape will help Fiedorowicz to be a second-day pick.

Miami 45, Virginia 26
This was crunch time for Miami quarterback Stephen Morris. The senior only has a few games remaining in his collegiate career to impress NFL scouts. Virginia has had a rough season, so this was a game that Morris should have dominated. However, Morris failed to impress.

Morris came close to an interception on his first third down of the game as threw high in the middle of the field to a well covered receiver. Shortly later, he was able to get the ball into the end zone on a slip screen as his receiver broke downfield for a score of 62 yards.

In the second quarter, Morris threw a ball up for grabs into double coverage in the middle of the field. Virginia safety Anthony Harris was reading the eyes of Morris, and Harris undercut the pass to make his eighth interception of the season.

Morris almost threw another interception after halftime; he had a receiver wide open for a touchdown, but underthrew the ball. Late in the third quarter, Morris hurled an easy 26-yard touchdown into busted coverage. He finished the game completing 13-of-26 for 214 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. This game won’t help Morris’ draft stock. He’s currently slotted in the second round of Walt’s 2014 NFL Mock Draft.

Virginia left tackle Morgan Moses has enjoyed a strong senior season. He blocked well against Miami. Moses didn’t allow pass pressure and looked good in the ground game. In the fourth quarter, Moses did a nice job of passing off a linemen to his guard to pick up a defensive back blitzing from the outside. He did pick up a false start penalty, however.

Moses was pulled from the game midway through the fourth with Miami having a huge lead. The Cavaliers wanted to get some young players some playing time. Moses could stand to improve his ability to sustain some blocks. For the NFL, Moses looks like a better fit at right tackle. He played right tackle prior to his senior year when Virginia had Oday Aboushi manning the blind side. Moses could warrant second-day or mid-round consideration.

Miami junior linebacker Denzel Perryman has played well this seaosn for the Hurricanes. Perryman was getting blocked on the outside on a few runs in the early going. He also couldn’t get off a block on a screen pass to a running back that went for a touchdown. Late in the second quarter, Perryman squared up a running back in the hole and planted him on his back.

Perryman was in pass coverage and was beaten for a 10-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter. It was a tough play and a mismatch, but Perryman allowed separation and his receiver to get open in the back of the end zone. This tape could hurt Perryman’s draft stock, and he may be better off returning for his senior year.

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