2016 NFL Draft: College Football Game Recaps – Week 10

This section breaks down many college football games each week and highlights how 2016 NFL Draft Prospects have performed. Or look at the 2016 NFL Draft Stock page (link coming soon).

By Charlie Campbell.
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Arkansas 53, Ole Miss 52
  • Ole Miss defensive lineman Robert Nkemdiche is a top-10 athlete, and he was going against one of the best interior blockers in the SEC in guard Sebastian Tretola. Arkansas left tackle Denver Kirland also could challenge Nkemdiche. This tape will get viewed a lot in the months to come, as Nkemdiche and Tretola in particular are being scouted hard.

    In the first quarter, Tretola was late to react to a stunt, and that allowed a sack on Brandon Allen. Nkemdiche then fired by Tretola to get in the backfield, but it didn’t matter on the play. After that, Tretola knocked Nkemdiche about four yards off the line of scrimmage to set up a nice gain for the Razorbacks. Kirkland also pushed Nkemdiche off the ball.

    Later in the third quarter, Nkemdiche beat the right guard to get a pressure on Allen and force him out of the pocket. On that drive, Nkemdiche showed poor ball awareness as he took the wrong player on a read option run, and that allowed Alex Collins to gash Ole Miss for a run of about 20 yards. Nkemdiche tried to bullrush the quarterback against Tretola and it went nowhere. The next play, Tretola went to cut Nkemdiche, but it was ineffective as Nkemdiche pressured the Allen out of the pocket who ran for about 20 yards.

    Tretola wasn’t as impressive as he has been in other games this year, but he still blocked well for Arkansas. He had some powerful blocks to help pave the way for Collins to run for 108 yards on 17 carries. Tretola looks like a second-day talent and a future NFL starter.

    As usual, Nkemdiche had plays where he would fire into backfield with strength or speed but wouldn’t make the tackle or get a sack. That is a common refrain for Nkemdiche, as he struggles to finish plays. That is one explanation for his career sack total of only 5.5 despite being a 3-year starter. Nkemdiche lacks pass-rushing moves as tries to get by blockers with speed or a bull rush. In the NFL he is going to need more than that. He should add a spin, rip, and club move to set up blockers. Nkemdiche has a great skill set, but he doesn’t produce off of that.

  • This game featured two tight end prospects for the NFL in Arkansas’ Hunter Henry and Ole Miss’ Evan Engram. Of the two, Henry is the better player, as he is a good blocker and receiver, while Engram is smaller and limited as a blocker. He had three catches for 35 yards against Arkansas.

    In the second quarter, Henry got open on a play-action boot leg and took off down the field for a gain of 26 yards. He came up with a few clutch catches to move th chains for Arkansas. Henry later ran a good route to get open for a gain of about 20 yards. Henry totaled 77 yards on six receptions in an impressive tape for the next level. He did a nice job as a blocker as well.

  • Ole Miss left tackle Laremy Tunsil has played well after serving a seven-game suspension to start the season. In the first quarter, Tunsil got on a linebacker quickly to seal a lane for an Ole Miss touchdown run. He had a number of good blocks in the passing game to give his quarterback time to throw. There was one play where Tunsil allowed a little pressure on a bull rush.

    Overall, Tunsil is a tremendous NFL prospect. He is extremely quick and athletic. Tunsil has superb feet and the ability to bend at the knees. The areas he could improve include hand placement and power to blast defenders off the line. Tunsil looks like he has the frame to add 10-15 pounds of strength, and that would make him more balanced for the next level. Considering he is only a true junior, he has plenty of time to do it and grow into his body. This tape will only serve to confirm the high draft grade on Tunsil.

  • Ole Miss junior wide receiver Laquon Treadwell has been on a hot streak lately. In the first half, he moved the chains on some short receptions, but couldn’t get separation running deep to have a pass knocked away. Treadwell then got open in zone coverage for a 30-yard gain to set up a field goal. In the third quarter, Treadwell got between the cornerback and safety coming over the top to haul in a 41-yard pass.

    In the fourth quarter Treadwell got open on a corner route for a 17-yard touchdown. He came through with a huge blocked field goal on the final play of regulation to force overtime. Treadwell totaled 132 yards on seven receptions with the score. He is a tough possession receiver for the NFL who looks like a mid to late first-rounder. A lack of speed to separate is what pushes Treadwell out of the top of the first.

    Clemson 23, Florida State 13
  • Florida State safety turned cornerback Jalen Ramsey was seeing one of the biggest tests of the season with a talented Clemson offense. On the first drive of the game, a receiver had a step on Ramsey, but the ball was overthrown for an incompletion. Ramsey then was beaten on a slant for a first down and had a late hit after a third-down stop for a penalty that gave Clemson a first down. He came back to help chase down the quarterback at the line of scrimmage after getting pressure on a blitz.

    In the second quarter, Ramsey made a big play when he got off his block from Charone Peak and stuffed the ball-carrier for no gain on a fourth-and-2 carry. That was a huge, clutch stop. After the half Ramsey batted a pass away on a third down to force a punt.

    Ramsey gave up a few short completions, but overall he had sound coverage and played well against Clemson. This tape will help the argument that he can remain a cornerback in the NFL.

  • Clemson junior defensive end Shaq Lawson has been enjoying an excellent season and entered the game with 6.5 sacks. While he didn’t get a sack, Lawson showed some quality run defense with at least six tackles against the Seminoles.

    In the second quarter, Lawson worked to the inside of the left tackle to get a tackle for no gain. Lawson later had a nice rush with a spin move to beat the left tackle and flush the quarterback out of the pocket. He fought through the line to get a tackle for no gain on a stretch run.

    Lawson was doing a nice job of getting off blocks and penetrating the pocket. He has a nice spin move and could use another move to pair with it. In the 2016 NFL Draft, Lawson would be an early-rounder, but if he returns for his senior year he could move up higher with a big season.

  • There were two other defensive back prospects who had noteworthy games. Florida State safety Nate Andrews has had a quiet season, and that continued against Clemson. Andrews let a tight end run by him to get open in zone for a gain of 28 yards down the middle of the field. He got in on some tackles, but something seems off with Andrews this year. He’s not nearly the player he was in 2015, and Andrews should come back for his senior year.

    Clemson redshirt sophomore Mackenzie Alexander has been a tough corner for the Tigers this year. He had a deflected pass and tight coverage overall against the Seminoles. Alexander was beaten on a wheel route and lost track of the ball to give up a reception of about 20 yards. Alexander is a good cover corner but another year of college could improve his chances of being first-rounder.

    Ohio State 28, Minnesota 14
  • Ohio State junior quarterback Cardale Jones was back in the lineup after being benched for J.T. Barrett, who was arrested for a DUI. It’s unknown how many more starts Jones will have in college, so this could possibly be one of the final times to evaluate him.

    Jones looked rusty to start the game. He missed an open receiver with a pass too high on a third down. Shortly later, he held onto the ball too long and took an unnecessary coverage sack.

    Jones started to play better after that, however, beginning with a converted third-and-18 on a quarterback draw. A few plays later, Jones lofted in a beautiful 44-yard pass to Jalin Marshall, who beat Eric Murray running vertically down the field. Jones then had a well-placed fade pass to the corner of the end zone that Michael Thomas went up and caught for a score.

    In the fourth quarter, Jones connected again with Thomas where he showed good field vision to work off his first read and find him open on the other side of the field. However, to end the drive, Jones had the pocket collapsing and didn’t get rid of the ball when he could have. That led to a strip-sack that was recovered by Minnesota.

    Jones came back to hit Braxton Miller for 46 yards. It was nice play, as Jones waited for Miller to work himself open while sliding in the pocket before resetting his feet and delivering the ball. Late in the fourth, Jones had a receiver running wide open, but a poorly thrown pass led to extra time for the corner to recover and break up the pass. After Minnesota made it a one-score game, Jones took a read-option third-down carry for a 38-yard touchdown run to ice the win for Ohio State.

    Jones completed 12-of-22 passes for 187 yards with one touchdown. He ran the ball 12 times for 65 yards and a score. Jones improved to 11-0 as a starter. Overall, this tape was more of the same; Jones showed his great skill set, but he is raw and needs development for the NFL.

  • Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott has been on a streak of dominant play, going back to last season when he was the workhorse for the national champs. This year, he has gone over 100 yards in every game, and that streak continued against Minnesota with 114 yards on 26 carries with a 15-yard score. He ran hard and showed his combination of quickness, balance and vision. This tape will only serve to confirm his first-round grade.

  • Ohio State star junior defensive end Joey Bosa had an excellent game. He made a number of good stops in the ground game where he shed blocks and stuffed backs. He had a tackle for a loss on an end around, had multiple hits on the quarterback, dropped into coverage to break up a pass. Also, late in the fourth quarter, Bosa helped a teammate to record a coverage sack. It was an excellent tape from Bosa that shows why he’s a future top 10-pick.

    Alabama 30, LSU 16
  • The Alabama defensive front seven has a number of future NFL players with linebacker Reggie Ragland, defensive tackle A’Shawn Robinson, defensive tackle Jarran Reed, and defensive end Jonathan Allen. They were seeing the toughest test of the year with LSU star sophomore running back Leonard Fournette. The stud runner would be a top-five pick next April if he were able to declare. However, this night belonged to the Crimson Tide defenders. All night, Reed and Robinson were stuffing gaps, and Ragland was getting in on tackles to keep Fournette from breaking loose.

    They all played well, but the most impressive defender among a great team effort came from Robinson. In the third quarter, Robinson came unblocked to get a tackle for a loss on Fournette. Shortly later, Robinson got a push and batted down a pass. Robinson then drove back Jerald Hawkins into the backfield and tackled Fournette for no gain. This was the best game of the year for Robinson, as he showed overwhelming power at the point of attack with quickness to close. This tape will aid Robinson to grade out as a first-rounder and it will help send his stock up.

  • While Fournette has received a lot more attention this year, Alabama junior running back Derrick Henry was the most effective back in this game. Henry was excellent aside from one play. In the second quarter, Henry had a 40-yard run as he fought off a tough safety in Jamal Adams to get inside the 5-yard line of LSU. Promptly, Henry powered into the end zone for a touchdown. He repeated that twice more with short touchdown runs in the third quarter.

    It wasn’t all good for Henry, as he fumbled the ball away to LSU at the Alabama 20-yard line in the fourth quarter. Henry came back to roll over the Tigers defense and ice away the win for the Crimson Tide. He ran with power, balance and quickness to hit the hole or accelerate to the second level. He churned out 205 yards on 38 carries with the three scores. Even with the fumble, this tape should help Henry’s draft grade.

  • Consistently, LSU junior wide receiver Travin Dural shows that he can produce some big plays despite limited opportunities. Late in the first quarter, Dural went over a cornerback and safety to make a huge 37-yard gain and get LSU outside of their own five-yard line. It was a huge momentum play for the Tigers. Dural then delivered again as he streaked past safety Cyrus Jones on a go route for a 40-yard touchdown catch. Those were his only two receptions of the game, but Dural is an early-round talent.

  • LSU junior left tackle Jerald Hawkins had a rough night. Aside from getting pushed around by Robinson, Hawkins was beaten for a sack by Tim Williams early in the game. He wasn’t getting movement in the ground game and had a hard time sustaining his blocks. Based off this performance, Hawkins could be better off returning to LSU and getting stronger before going pro. If he comes out this tape will hurt his draft grade.

    Notre Dame 42, Pittsburgh 30
  • There was a good draft matchup in this game with Pitt wide receiver Tyler Boyd going against Notre Dame cornerback KeiVarae Russell. They didn’t battle each other that much, but both had noteworthy games. In the first quarter, Boyd took an end-around for 37 yards, as he showed his quickness and running ability to weave through defenders. Boyd almost beat Russell for a touchdown and had a step on him, but Boyd had the ball go through his hands. It would have been a pretty catch, but one Boyd probably should have made. Late in the half, Boyd had another drop. He normally is very sure-handed so this performance was disappointing. At the half he had only one catch for nine yards.

    In garbage time in the fourth quarter, Boyd beat Russell for a 51-yard touchdown. Boyd ran an out-and-up to get separation. Russell thought he had safety help and rather than chasing Boyd he thought to point and shout at his teammate. Boyd coasted for the score. While Russell may have been right about the assignments, but he needed to sprint after Boyd and try to recover rather than ask for help while Boyd is running open down the field. That was a pathetic play by Russell. In the second quarter, Russell was beat by receiver Dontez Ford on a deep post for a 42-yard reception, but the review took the catch away saying the ball was trapped. Russell also got away with an interference and was very lucky on that play. In a rematch, Ford couldn’t get separation from Russell. Overall, this was a bad tape from Russell where he allowed separation and showed a lack of intelligence in his play.

    Boyd finished with three receptions for 84 yards and a score with three carries for 42 yards. This could have been a good tape for Boyd if he didn’t have the two drops, especially the potential touchdown.

  • Notre Dame has a pro receiver prospect of their own in Will Fuller and he is proving to be better than Boyd. A couple plays into the game Fuller streaked down the field and got open for a 47-yard touchdown. He burned the safety with shear speed down the field. After a few more catches to move the chains, Fuller got open in the end zone and had a ball go through his hands for a dropped touchdown. He got open for a deep ball again but this time the ball was overthrown.

    Late in the second quarter, Fuller ran a deep post and hauled in a pretty over the shoulder catch for a 46-yard touchdown. Fuller was covered closely but he was a step faster to get on top of the corner and the ball was thrown perfectly. In the third quarter Fuller caught his third touchdown. The corner had good coverage on the fade pass but Fuller went over the defensive back to make a leaping 14 yard reception.

    Against Pitt, Fuller totaled seven receptions for 152 yards with three touchdowns. For the NFL, Fuller needs to get a little stronger but he has the speed to be a vertical playmaker that takes the top off of defense. This is another tape that shows that Fuller is a first or second-round talent and his stock is climbing with what he has done as a junior with a freshman starter at quarterback.

  • Notre Dame linebacker Jaylon Smith is the best NFL prospect in this game and he flashed against Pitt. In the first half Smith had a hard hit on the quarterback as he blitzed up the middle. He had some nice open field tackles, had close coverage on a tight end running downfield, and exploded into the flat to rip down a running back. This was a typical performance from Smith where he showed his three-down ability for the NFL. Smith is fast, instinctive, physical, and a good tackler. This season he has shown an improved ability to take on and shed blocks. This was another tape that showed he is a legit top 25-pick.

  • Notre Dame left tackle Ronnie Stanley is a likely first-round pick and he showed his pass protection skills against Pitt. He was very reliable protecting the blind side of DeShone Kizer. There was only one lowlight in pass protection but it wasn’t his fault. At the end of the third quarter the guard and defensive tackle fell into Stanley’s legs and knocked him down. That led to his defender getting free for a sack.

    In the ground game, Stanley was generally occupying his defender but he wasn’t blasting linemen off the ball. He got to the second level on some blocks but wasn’t burying linebackers or safeties like you like to see. For the NFL, Stanley could definitely use more power. He needs to be more physical and tenacious in the ground game. The way Stanley is right now, he would be best playing in a zone blocking scheme as a pro.

  • Notre Dame running back C.J. Procise has had an excellent season for the Fighting Irish but he sustained a shoulder injury in the first half and didn’t return to the field.

    Florida 9, Vanderbilt 7
  • Florida cornerback Vernon Hargreaves is a favorite to be the first defensive back selected in the 2016 NFL Draft. Hargreaves had another good game against Vanderbilt. He came close to a pick-six in the second quarter; he was fluid in his backpedal and exploded on the ball to almost get an interception, but the receiver got enough of the ball for an incompletion. Hargreaves had blanket coverage and didn’t allow separation against Vanderbilt. This was another good tape from him.

  • Florida wide receiver Demarcus Robinson was shut out last week against Georgia, so it was interesting to see if he could rebound against an inferior opponent. Early on, Robinson took off on a 36-yard run after running a short cross and darted down the field for a chunk gain. In the fourth quarter, Robinson made a nice play with catch along the sideline and dodged a few tacklers to get the ball to midfield on a gain of about 20. However, Robinson’s fighting for extra yards led to him fumbling the ball away inside the Vanderbilt 20 to kill that drive.

    Robinson came back to move the chains on a couple of plays during the Gators’ game-winning drive and finished with nine receptions for 103 yards. The fumble spoiled an otherwise good game from Robinson.

  • Florida defensive end Jonathan Bullard has put together a strong season, and that continued against Vanderbilt. On his first play of the game, Bullard blasted into the backfield to almost get a safety and slammed the back to the turf for a loss of two. Bullard then knifed into the backfield to trip up a back for a loss of four. Late in the fourth quarter, with Florida needing a third-down stop, Bullard came through fighting off a block and taking down the back at the line of scrimmage. That forced a punt, and Florida scored the game winner on the next possession. Bullard looks like a day-two prospect for the NFL.

  • Florida junior safety Keanu Neal injured his ankle and left the game early. Neal is a second-day prospect.

    Baylor 31, Kansas State 24
  • One of the most prolific receivers in the nation this year has been Baylor’s Corey Coleman. The speedster set the program’s single-season touchdown mark less than halfway through the year, and he continued his dominance over a weak Kansas State secondary.

    On the first play from scrimmage, Coleman ripped off 36 yards on a quick pass to the flat. After an easy reception on a curl to move the chains, Coleman burned Kansas State on a go route down the field for an 81-yard touchdown. He had five receptions for 146 yards and the score by the half.

    In the third quarter, Coleman ripped off another long reception on a short pass where the corner tried to go for an interception, leaving the sideline open for Coleman to explode down the field. The 5-foot-11 Coleman finised the drive by jumping over the cornerback and catching the score over the back of the defender. It marked his seventh-straight game with two touchdowns. Coleman finished with 11 receptions for 216 yards with those two scores. He had one drop, a rare sight.

    Coleman is a vertical receiver who offers a lot of speed for the NFL. He won’t win with size, but he could be a home-run hitter who stretches a defense vertically. He’s big enough to line up on the outside and isn’t just a slot receiver. Coleman’s huge year should have him on a path to eventually grade out as a late first-round or second-round pick.

  • There were some good draft matchups in the trenches, with Baylor defensive tackle Andrew Billings being a potential first-rounder. Kansas State left tackle Cody Whitehair and Bears defensive end Shawn Oakman are also early-round prospects.

    There was an eventful stretch for the latter two late in the first half and early in the second half. Late in the second quarter, Oakman was flagged for a hands to the face on Whitehair and Whitehair returned the favor with a hold. On the last play before halftime, Kansas State tried to set up a Hail Mary from midfield. Whitehair had Oakman blocked for awhile, but eventually, he worked free and helped a teammate to get a sack. The first play from the second half saw Oakman bull through Whitehair to get a tackle on the quarterback for no gain.

    Oakman ended up putting together a decent stat line with a few run tackles and at least two tackles for a loss with the sack. There were plays where he was very strong and tough while there were others where he was blocked easily. Oakman isn’t consistent, and he often plays too high. Oakman looks like a better fit for Day 2 of the 2016 NFL Draft. Whitehair also is more of a second-day talent. He should move inside to guard and get stronger for the NFL.

  • Billings missed the last game with ankle injury, and he didn’t look as good as he did prior to the injury. Early on, Billings stuffed some runs and got pressure on the quarterback. He also almost caught an interception on a tipped pass. Curiously, Billings dropped into pass coverage on a number of plays. Having that happen more than once makes little sense with an interior bowling ball like Billings. On one of those plays, Kansas State threw a touchdown down the middle when the quarterback had plenty of time to throw.

    That being said, Billings didn’t look as explosive or powerful against Kansas State. He got pushed back in the ground game on some snaps and didn’t seem to have the anchoring strength he normally has. Baylor said Billings was less than 100 percent, and he certainly looked it. This tape shouldn’t hurt his draft grade considering he played hurt, but it certainly won’t do a lot to help it.


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