2019 NFL Draft: College Football Game Recaps – Week 1

This section breaks down many college football games each week and highlights how 2019 NFL Draft Prospects have performed. Or look at the 2019 NFL Draft Stock page.

By Charlie Campbell.
Send Charlie an e-mail here: [email protected]
Follow Charlie on Twitter @draftcampbell for updates.

Virginia Tech 24, Florida State 3
  • This was a disappointing game for Florida State, but one of their bright spots was the play of junior edge rusher Brian Burns. Throughout the night, Burns was active flowing to the ball, helping in run support while also getting pressure in the pass rush.

    On the first drive, Burns came unblocked and hit the quarterback to force an incompletion. Burns then fired into the backfield to help get in on a tackle for a loss. Just before halftime, Burns made a tackle on a third down to help get his defense off the field. Burns later read a counter play to make a tackle that saved the Seminoles from having the run broken downfield for a big gain. Later on the drive, Burns got his first sack of the season as he used a fast spin move to cut back to the inside and chase down the quarterback.

    Overall, this was a good tape from Burns, as he showed his speed off the edge and was a contributing run defender. Given his leaner frame, he looks like he would be better off as a 3-4 outside linebacker in the NFL.

  • Virginia Tech’s defense was superb against the Seminoles, and the biggest reason for that was the Hokies dominating at the point of attack. The Florida State offensive line got whipped, and Hokies senior defensive tackle Ricky Walker was a disruptive presence throughout the night.

    Early in the second quarter, Walker came unblocked to fire into the backfield and get a tackle for a loss. Shortly later, Walker was injured and had to be helped off the field as he couldn’t put any weight on his left leg. Fortunately, he returned to the game soon after and immediately made a tackle in run support. Walker got a number of pass pressure and disrupted the middle of the pocket. This was a quality start to the season for Walker.

  • Florida State cornerback Levonta Taylor had some buzz about him, but he was picked on by the Hokies. In the first quarter, Taylor was beaten for a touchdown on a fade route, as he never located the football and a big receiver takes advantage of him. Shortly later, Taylor was beaten by a freshman for a jump ball downfield for about a 35-yard gain. The height issue for Taylor (5-9) is always going to be a problem, and that was exposed by Virginia Tech. Taylor is going to have to show he can do a better job of defending big receivers in the weeks to come.

  • In the season opener a year ago against Alabama, Florida State quarterback Deondre Francois tore up his knee, and that led to a rough season for Seminoles. Francois returned to the field and showed off his canon for an arm. However, he made some bad decisions while looking rusty. Virginia Tech has an excellent defense, so this was a tough opponent to draw in his first game back.

    In the early going, Francois made some good passes, but as the game progressed, things snowballed on him. In the second quarter, Francois threw a frozen rope in to a tight window for what should have been a touchdown but the receiver dropped the pass. Francois then aired a ball out up for grabs and the pass was overthrown for an interception. In the fourth quarter, Francois forced a bad pass into double coverage and had a safety undercut the pass for an interception. Later on, he had a pass tipped into the air and that led to another pick. Francois completed 22-of-35 passes for 233 yards with zero touchdowns and three interceptions. Francois will have to show significant improvement in the weeks to come.

    LSU 33, Miami 17
  • There was some good NFL talent on display in Dallas, and the best pro prospect for the 2019 NFL Draft was LSU inside linebacker Devin White. He was phenomenal in 2017, as he was all over the field for the Tigers. Taking on Miami, White had a strong start to his season with double-digit tackles and a steady presence around the ball. On the initial third down of the game, White snuffed out a screen to get his defense off the field. White had good instincts and recognition skills to get in position to make that play. Shortly later, he came close to a sack on a blitz up the middle. He made some open-field tackles, including getting downfield and to the sideline to end a screen before it was broken deep down the field. White made some open-field tackles and a lot of good stops in the ground game that helped keep his defense in good down-and-distance situations. This wasn’t a superstar game, but a solid performance from White.

  • LSU cornerback Greedy Williams entered this season as one of the top draft eligible quarterback prospects. The opener didn’t start well though; late in the first quarter, Williams missed a tackle at the second level on a running back, and Williams left the game with an arm injury after that play. He returned to the field on Miami’s next possession.

    The Hurricanes tested him with a deep ball, but Williams maintained tight coverage to force an incompletion. Just after halftime, Williams was tested downfield again and used the sideline well to push a receiver out of bounds to prevent a reception. Williams had a solid start to the year against Miami.

  • Miami defensive end Joe Jackson has first-round potential as well. He didn’t play poorly and made a few tackles in the ground game. Jackson showed his pass-rushing skills with a number of pressures on the quarterback. He had multiple hits and pressures while coming close to a few sacks. The LSU tackles were struggling with Jackson’s speed off the edge, and he showed some variety in moves. This wasn’t a bad tape for Jackson to start the 2018 season.

  • Miami defensive tackle Gerald Willis III had a strong start to his senior season, as he caused a lot of disruption in the backfield. Willis has some off-the-field concerns after starting out at Florida, but having to leave the Gators and sit out before starting to play again for Miami. This was a good start for Willis.

    Alabama 51, Louisville 14
  • Alabama cruised over an undermanned Louisville team, as the Crimson Tide was barely challenged. Alabama’s highest-rated prospect entering this season was defensive tackle Raekwon Davis. Quietly, Davis had a good game before Alabama emptied the bench and pulled its starters.

    In the first quarter, Davis pushed through the guard and center to get a tackle for a loss with edge linebacker Christian Miller. Shortly later, Davis shed his block to make a tackle near the line of scrimmage. Davis later got a push through the right guard to force the quarterback up in the pocket, and teammate Isaiah Buggs was there to clean it up for a sack. Davis was strong at the point of attack and showed the speed to collapse the pocket in the pass rush. It was a quality start to the year for him.

  • Crimson Tide running back Damien Harris could have been an early-round selection in the 2018 NFL Draft before deciding to return to Alabama. Harris did not take on a big workload as the ball was spread around through the starters, backups and third-string players. Harris totaled 55 yards on seven carries and had a nice 32-yard gain. He also caught a pass for 14 yards.

    Having the heavy platoon of Alabama running backs could end up helping Harris, as it will help to keep him healthy and fresh throughout the season without entering the NFL with a lot of wear-and-tear. That rotation will hurt Harris’ production, but some team sources say they doesn’t bother them and they believe that Harris will end up going in the first few rounds of the 2019 draft.

  • Alabama lost their 2017 starting secondary to the NFL, but as usual with the Crimson Tide, they have some talented players ready to step in. A cornerback that some sources have said has early-round potential is Trevon Diggs. He had a strong start to the season as he helped limit Louisville wide receiver Jaylen Smith to one reception for 22 yards.

    Diggs came close to a leaping interception and had an impressive diving pass break-up. With size and speed, Diggs has the skill set to compete, and it will be interesting to see if he can develop the consistency and discipline to maximize his physical talent. This was a nice start to his season, as Diggs is a prospect to watch this year.

    Ohio State 77, Oregon State 31
  • The top prospect in this game was Ohio State defensive end Nick Bosa, and he lived up to the billing. Early in the first quarter, Bosa ran unblocked into the backfield and recovered a fumbled shotgun snap. Shortly later, Bosa used speed and power to go through the left tackle to force an incompletion with Bosa coming very close to a sack. Bosa then got home as he burned the left tackle with speed to get his first sack of the season.

    Late in the second quarter, Bosa found pay dirt recovering a fumble in the end zone for a touchdown. He then combined with teammate Chase Young for another sack. Bosa’s day was done at halftime but he totaled 1.5 sacks, two fumble recoveries and a touchdown, and he was constantly harassing the quarterback. It was a game of domination that illustrates why Bosa will be a high first-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.

  • Not to be outdone, but Ohio State defensive tackle Dre’Mont Jones was phenomenal against Oregon State. He and Bosa were a lethal tandem that the Beavers were incapable of blocking. Early in the first quarter, Jones showed serious speed and hustle to chase down a wide receiver screen about 15 yards downfield while making a clutch tackle. Shortly later, Jones got his first sack of the season as he used a swim move to beat the left guard and then showed his speed to chase down the quarterback for a sack.

    In the second quarter, Jones recorded his second sack of the season as he used speed to the inside to come straight down the pocket and take down the quarterback. Shortly before halftime with Oregon State throwing out of their own end zone, Jones once again used his speed to start a sack and this time he forced the fumble that Bosa recovered for a touchdown.

    Jones got his season started in excellent fashion with 2.5 sacks, a forced fumble, and a lot of disruption behind the line of scrimmage. This game will help Jones’ draft grade and shows that he is an early-round talent.

  • Ohio State has two wide receiver prospects for the NFL with Parris Campbell and K.J. Hill. They both made NFL team’s preseason watch lists, but this game was a coming-out party for senior wide receiver Terry McLaurin. Early in the game, McLaurin helped Ohio State establish a lead with a short touchdown reception and some other chunk gains to move the chains. He then got a short pass that he sat down in zone coverage. McLaurin slashed across the field and raced down the sideline for a 75-yard touchdown. McLaurin totaled 121 yards on four catches with two scores.

    Campbell (4-22-1) and Hill (6-82) contributed as well. Hill made some impressive plays showing good hands and some run after the catch skills. Campbell caught an eight-yard touchdown in the third quarter. With quarterback Dwayne Haskins showing a lot more passing potential than J.T. Barrett, Campbell and Hill could have big seasons.

  • Ohio State running back Mike Weber dominated Oregon State and partied Al Bundy style with four touchdowns in one game. He totaled 186 yards on 20 carries with three scores on the ground and one touchdown catch. Weber ran through a lot of tackle attempts with power and used his quickness to break into the second level. He showed some nice speed on a 49-yard touchdown run. Weber has an early-round skill set, but shares the load with J.K. Dobbins. This game could help Weber to get more carries throughout the season.

    Notre Dame 24, Michigan 17
  • The most impressive draft prospect in this game was Michigan edge defender Chase Winovich. The outside linebacker dominated Notre Dame’s offensive tackles and was constantly hitting or pressuring the quarterback. This was a superb game from Winovich that illustrates early-round ability for the 2019 NFL Draft.

    Just before halftime, Winovich used power to shed the right tackle and then chased down Fighting Irish quarterback Brandon Wimbush for a sack with a hard hit to the midsection. Winovich later got a hit on Wimbush as he threw and that helped produce a floating pass that was intercepted by Michigan. In the fourth quarter, Winovich came off the edge unblocked and snuffed out a draw for a loss of five.

    Winovich showed serious speed off the edge with the athleticism to dip underneath blockers and the strength to fight off the hands of blockers. Winovich is able to use his hands and feet at the same time while seeing the field well. With a non-stop motor, Winovich pursues plays all over the field.

    This was a phenomenal game from Winovich. His physical look and style of play resembles Packers linebacker Clay Matthews. This tape will definitely help Winovich in his draft grade.

  • Michigan defensive lineman Rashan Gary has a high first-round skill set, and he put it on display against Notre Dame. Like Winovich, Gary was consistently beating the Notre Dame offensive tackles off the edge with speed to get upfield. Gary stuffed runs, had numerous hits on Wimbush, and came close to multiple sacks. This tape will definitely help Gary to grade out highly.

  • Notre Dame defensive tackle Jerry Tillery had an impressive night with some big plays for the Fighting Irish. In the first quarter on a third-and-2, Tillery came up with a run stuff for no gain after fighting through a block. Tillery then had an impressive rush to get his first sack of the season. Tillery used strength to shed a guard and then took down Shea Patterson as he stepped up in the pocket. Late in the fourth quarter, Tillery came up with the play of the game as he got a rush up the middle before strip-sacking Patterson. Teammate Te’Von Coney picked up the fumble to clinch the win for Notre Dame.

    Throughout the night, Tillery was pushing through the Michigan interior line to get pressure and was stuffing runs at the point of attack. With multiple sacks showing speed, power, length and size, Tillery really impressed. He could be a 4-3 defensive tackle or an end in a 3-4. This tape illustrated that Tillery has a day-one or day-two potential for the 2019 NFL Draft.

  • Fighting Irish edge defender Daelin Hayes had a really nice performance as well. Hayes was pressuring the quarterback all night, causing a lot of disruption for Michigan. Hayes helped create a sack for Tillery in the second quarter by shedding his block and firing into the backfield to force Shea Patterson up in the pocket. In the fourth quarter, Hayes flushed quarterback Dylan McCaffrey from the pocket and combined with Tillery to make a third-down tackle that got Notre Dame’s defense off the field. Hayes had a strong start to the season and this tape will help his draft grade.

  • Quarterback Shea Patterson was making his first start for Michigan after his transfer from Ole Miss. Patterson has had some first-round buzz from the media, but this game illustrated that Patterson is still very much a work in progress as he struggled to move the ball against Notre Dame. In the first half, he never got into a rhythm and made some bad decisions, holding onto the ball too long and taking some unnecessary sacks.

    In the third quarter, Patterson connected downfield for a 52-yard gain as wide receiver Nick Collins laid out for the ball. If Patterson had the pass placed better, it could have gone for a long touchdown as Collins was running free. Patterson then broke a tackle in the backfield before taking off on a run of about 10 yards, but the next play, Patterson was pressured and threw a ball up for grabs that was intercepted by Notre Dame.

    Patterson was pulled from the game early in the fourth quarter, and it wasn’t clear if it was for injury or performance. However, after sitting on the bench for awhile Patterson went into the locker room, but then came back onto the field and replaced Dylan McCaffrey with five minutes remaining. The break seemed to do Patterson some good as he started to move the ball by using his feet to by time and then throw some receivers open. That drive ended in a short rushing touchdown. On the final drive, Patterson moved the ball some, but then he had poor ball security when he fumbled the ball away. Tillery hit and grabbed his chest and that caused Patterson to drop the football because he was holding it loose away from his body as the rush was closing in on him.

    Patterson completed 20-of-30 passes for 227 yards with an interception and a fumble. Patterson showed a bad habit to retreat and backpedal in the pocket rather than getting the ball out. He felt the rush when it wasn’t there at times and held the ball too long when the pocket was collapsing. This is not a tape that makes Patterson look like a first-round pick.

    Auburn 21, Washington 16
  • Auburn quarterback Jarrett Stidham has first-round potential for the 2019 NFL Draft, and Stidham led his team to a hard-fought win over a very good opponent. While Stidham didn’t light it up, he executed well enough for Auburn to beat the sixth-ranked team in the nation that has some quality NFL talent on their defense.

    Early in the first quarter, Stidham threw a well-placed pass high to the back corner of the end zone for a 10-yard touchdown. Wide out Sal Cannella leapt to make the catch over a defender, but it was a perfect pass where only the 6-foot-5 Cannella could make the catch.

    Stidham then made a series of nice plays, including showing his athleticism to escape a sack and then throw on the run for a first down, throwing a dart to get his receiver open for a back-shoulder reception, and then a slant for about 20 yards. That led to an Auburn field goal. Throughout the first half, Stidham moved the ball with accurate passes, but Washington’s defense came up with red zone stops.

    In the second half, Auburn’s offense stalled as Stidham had some plays where he was indecisive and failed to find any open receivers. There were also some plays where Stidham held the ball too long. In the fourth quarter, he came back to make some good throws and used his legs to move the ball as Auburn took the lead for good midway through the final frame. Stidham finished completing 26-of-36 passes for 273 yards and a touchdown. This tape won’t blow NFL evaluators away, but it also shouldn’t hurt him considering the quality of his opponent, as well as the fact that Stidham led his team to a win despite the offensive line really struggling with Washington’s defense.

  • Unfortunately, Washington left tackle Trey Adams was held out of this game with a back injury. Coming off an ACL tear last year, Adams needs to get on the field and stay there to avoid major medical/durability concerns during the lead up to the 2019 NFL Draft.

  • Auburn defensive tackle Derrick Brown is a first-round talent, but he was largely held in check by double teams from Washington during the season opener. In the first quarter, Brown made a good run stuff to stand up his block, flow to his left and take down the back for no gain. Brown later came close to a sack and forced an incompletion. He then had a single block opportunity on a zone stretch run and Brown had a tackle for a loss.

    Brown did a nice job of stuffing runs at the point of attack and holding his ground throughout the game, and he helped the Tigers to keep dangerous Washington running back Myles Gaskin from getting loose. Overall, this tape shouldn’t hurt or help Brown significantly.

  • Gaskin decided to return to college in 2018, and that looks like a wise decision. The 2018 NFL Draft was very strong at running back, while the 2019 class doesn’t appear to be as talented, so Gaskin could be one of the top five backs.

    In the third quarter, Gaskin found some running room to rip off a run of 25 yards. Aside from that play, Auburn’s tough defense did a nice job of stifling Gaskin. He ran for 50 yards on his other 16 carries to total 75 on 17. This game could bolster the view that Gaskin being a thinner, smaller, and fast back is better as part of a platoon in the NFL. He may not have the size or power to be a three-down starter as a pro.

  • Washington nose tackle Greg Gaines and Auburn nose tackle Dontavious Russell both played really well. They stuffed runs at the point of attack and came up with some clutch plays. This was a good tape that will help both of their draft grades.

  • Despite an arm injury in training camp, Auburn cornerback Jamel Dean started the season for Auburn. In the first quarter, Washington quarterback Jake Browning threw a terrible pass that floated right into the breadbasket of Dean for an easy interception. Dean made the catch despite a big cast on his right hand. In the third quarter, Dean had tight coverage downfield before the receiver pushed off to make a reception. The officials made a terrible call and flagged Dean for a pass interference when it was the receiver who pushed off. Dean is a corner who has a nice combination of size and quickness. This was a good start for the season, and especially impressive considering how well he played with his right hand in a cast.

    Oklahoma 63, Florida Atlantic 14
  • There were two running back prospects for the NFL in this game. Florida Atlantic’s Devin Singletary and Oklahoma’s Rodney Anderson were both on NFL teams’ preseason watch list of players that graded out as having first- through fourth-round potential by the advance scouts. This was a great game to watch Singletary get challenged by a higher level of competition than he sees during his conference schedule. If Singletary could have success going against a more talented Sooners team, that would help his draft grade.

    On his first run, Singletary broke two tackles on an impressive carry for just a few yards. That set the tone as Singletary ran hard on proceeding carries, but Oklahoma controlled the point of attack, so it was difficult for Singletary to find any running lanes. Late in the third quarter in garbage time, Singletary ran a good route to get open for a 13-yard reception that set him up for a short touchdown run. Singletary totaled 69 yards on 18 carries with the score.

    As a runner, Singletary is put together well for being a short back. NFL scouts measured him at 5-foot-7, 199 pounds. He has 29 7/8-inch arms, 8 3/4-inch hands, and a wingspan of 69 3/8 inches. He is said to run the 40 in 4.58 seconds. At that size, Singletary could be better as a platoon back, and he could be too undersized to be a three-down starter. He was durable in 2017, and that will be important for him to prove again in 2018.

  • Anderson only played in the first half with the Sooners blowing out Florida Atlantic. Early in the first quarter, Anderson took in a 30-yard touchdown, showing a nice cut, vision and speed. Early in the second quarter, Anderson caught an option pitch and he raced down the sideline for a 65-yard touchdown while breaking a couple of tackles along the way.

    Anderson totaled 100 yards on five carries with two touchdowns. The real question for Anderson is how fast he is. If he runs well, he could be a first-rounder, but if his speed is average, then Anderson is more of a second-day prospect. Against very weak competition, that concern was not resolved.

  • Oklahoma wide receiver Marquise ‘Hollywood’ Brown could be one of the top receiver prospects for the 2019 NFL Draft. He got his day started using his speed to make a couple of receptions for about 30 yards. Late in the first quarter, Brown made a superb play, out-fighting a cornerback for a catch about 15 yards down field. Brown broke two tackles and used his speed to race down the field before falling into the pylon for a 65-yard touchdown. Brown then made a surprising reception of 29 yards as he high pointed the football to make a leaping catch over a cornerback.

    In the second quarter, Brown torched Florida Atlantic for a 65-yard touchdown, as Brown burned the corner deep down the field to haul an over the shoulder catch before coasting into the end zone. That ended Brown’s day, totaling six receptions for 133 yards with two scores. Brown tore up the easy competition and he probably will do that all year against the weak Big 12 defenses. While this wasn’t a real test, Brown showed well using his dynamic speed to make plays. He also tracked the ball well, and surprisingly showed some nice fight to beat defensive backs for a few contested catches. This was a strong start to the 2018 season for Brown.

    Northwestern 31, Purdue 27
  • Less than nine months after knee surgery to repair a torn ACL, Northwestern quarterback Clayton Thorson started the first game of his senior year. Thorson is an early-round prospect for the NFL, as he has good size, a strong arm, mobility, and excellent character with leadership skills. To open the 2018 season, Thorson had a quality showing, and it could have been much better if Northwestern had allowed him to stay in rhythm rather than platooning its quarterbacks.

    Thorson started the game well, going 6-of-7 for 51 yards on his first two drives, both of which finished with short rushing touchdowns. Most of his throws were quick passes and screens to the outside. He did make one superb play on which he read a linebacker stepping out of a lane and fired a bullet behind him to a slanting receiver between a corner and safety. That excellent throw illustrated Thorson’s arm, field vision, and accuracy.

    After that scoring drive, Thorson was pulled from the game due to being on a “pitch count.” Northwestern planned to play both Thorson and the backup T.J. Green – son of Trent Green – extensively, but pulling Thorson disrupted his and the offense’s rhythm. In the second quarter, Thorson came back into the game after Green had two drives. Thorson connected on a deep pass that led his receiver open for a gain of 40 yards. Thorson threw one more strike near the goal line to set up another short touchdown run.

    In the second half, Thorson showed some nice field vision to work through progressions, and threw some well-placed passes to move the ball. Once again, he split playing time with Green. Thorson finished the evening having completed 16-of-27 passes for 172 yards. Overall, it was a solid start to the season. Thorson does not look 100 percent yet as a runner, but he showed some improved ball placement and mechanics in his season debut.

  • Northwestern senior Nate Hall, outside linebacker Nate Hall and cornerback Montre Hartage both were placed on NFL teams’ preseason watch lists of players who have first- through fourth-round potential. Each prospect proved why with some splash plays to help the Wildcats produce 31 points in the first half.

    Hall made a great play in the second quarter. The senior from Toledo dropped into zone coverage and made a leaping one-handed catch for an interception. Late in the second quarter, Hartage snatched his first interception of the year. He was in zone coverage and had a weak pass float right to him for an easy pick.

    Hall was active beyond those plays, showing some speed to close and physical tackling in the ground game. He could fit on the outside of a 4-3 or the inside of a 3-4. Hartage, meanwhile, is a tough corner who could be short on twitch and speed. He looks like more of a zone corner for the NFL.

    Wyoming 29, New Mexico State 7
  • There were three NFL prospects in this game. New Mexico State linebacker Terrill Hanks, Wyoming defensive end Carl Granderson and Wyoming defensive tackle Youhanna Ghaifan all had impressive 2017 seasons. Granderson and Hanks made NFL preseason watch lists as players who have the potential to go in the top half of the 2019 NFL Draft. If Ghaifan were a senior, he probably would have been on the list as well. Each of these prospects made some nice plays in their season opener, but none of them dominated.

    Midway through the first quarter, Granderson made his presence felt with a safety. He fought off blockers to knife into the end zone and start a tackle of the back to give Wyoming two points. Later in the third quarter, Granderson got upfield and showed some awareness to get his hand up to slap down a pass attempt. Aside from that, Granderson had the game go away from him. New Mexico State’s offense struggled all night, and the Aggies’ drives ended quickly while Wyoming controlled the ball on offense to eat up a lot of the clock. Granderson totaled two tackles with .5 for a loss, one pass batted and the safety.

    Granderson has the look of a NFL player. He has some size, speed and athleticism, plus he plays hard. This tape was that of a second-day prospect, but obviously this is very early in the season, so he could definitely rise.

  • Ghaifan played well and showed some nice speed at the point of attack. In the second quarter, Ghaifan pushed his way into the backfield to start a tackle for a loss. Shortly later, Ghaifan came close to a sack. He used a swim move to beat the left guard and forced the quarterback into an intentional grounding penalty. Like Granderson, Ghaifan’s opportunities were limited. He has a nice combination of length, speed and athleticism. He’s a prospect to watch in 2018, and possibly 2019 if he returns for his senior year. Ghaifan recorded two tackles with .5 for a loss.

  • Hanks had a decent performance, but was not overly impressive. On the first third down of the game, Hanks moved into the hole and took down the running back for no gain on a third-and-1. Shortly after that, Hanks had a bad missed tackle in the flat on a bubble screen. Later in the second quarter, Hanks fired into a hole and tackled the back for a loss with a teammate.

    In the third quarter when Hanks was matched up as a slot corner, a Wyoming wide receiver ran by him and had a few yards of separation deep downfield, but an inaccurate pass saved Hanks from giving up a long touchdown. Hanks has some speed for a linebacker, but is not a Myles Jack type who had the speed to play some corner in college football. A few plays later, Hanks had a nice run fill and tackle in the ground game. He showed some speed running from the far side of the the field to help push a running back out of bounds on the opposite side.

    Against Wyoming, Hanks notched 11 tackles with one for a loss. He looks like a fit as a potential Will linebacker in a 4-3 defense for the NFL. In a 3-4, he could be one of the inside linebackers, and would be better as the run/chase backer rather than the one who is taking on a lot of blocks. Hanks is willing to take on blockers and doesn’t run around them, but he can get washed out and pushed around by offensive linemen. He is quick to read his keys and has the speed to be a pursuit linebacker. Hanks put together impressive production in the passing game over his first three seasons – five interceptions and 12 passes broken up -, and showing better pass-coverage skills in the weeks to come will be critical for Hanks to end up getting selected in the top half of the 2019 NFL Draft.


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