2019 NFL Draft: College Football Game Recaps – Week 3

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]
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Texas 37, USC 14
  • USC and Texas renewed their historic rivalry, and as one could expect, there was some future NFL talent going head-to-head. Longhorn wide receivers Collin Johnson and Lil’Jordan Humphrey were taking on Trojans cornerback Iman Marshall and safety Marvel Tell III. All four of them will play on Sundays, and they were all active in Austin.

    Of those players, Humphrey was the most impressive. In the second quarter, Humphrey got open running across the field, and Humphrey made a nice hands catch for a 22-yard gain. Humphrey then caught a short pass and spun out of tackle to sprint down the field for a 38-yard touchdown. In the third quarter, Humphrey got separation from Marshall on an out route to convert a third-and-long. It was a nice reception, but on the next play, Humphrey dropped a pass. Humphrey finished with 84 yards on four receptions with a touchdown.

    Humphrey is a big receiver with some quickness. He is a real competitor who is tough after the catch and has a fighting style of play. The biggest problems for Humphrey are significant off-the-field issues that will hurt his draft stock. His 2018 season is off to a strong start, and he is putting himself in contention to get selected on the second or third day of the 2018 NFL Draft.

  • Johnson had a quality performance against USC as well. To get his game started, Johnson ran a good route to get open and then adjusted to a high pass to make a leaping grab in the middle of the field. In the second quarter, Johnson made another jumping reception downfield, but Iman Marshall used the sideline to his advantage as he pushed Johnson out of bounds for an incompletion.

    Johnson later used his huge size to snatch a pass downfield for a 29-yard reception. It was a superb jumping grab and showed nice body control to high point the ball for a big play that put Texas inside the Trojans’s 29-yard line. Johnson finished with 79 yards on six receptions. He has an early-round skill set, and it was good for him to show the ability to use his size to high point the football for catches over defensive backs. In the weeks to come, Johnson needs to bully cornerbacks more and use his huge size to his advantage. He is too much of a finesse receiver when he has the size to overwhelm cornerbacks physically.

  • The Trojan defensive backs did not have terrible performances, but they were not impressive. In the second quarter, Marshall made a tackle in the flat in run support, and he followed that up by knocking Johnson out of bounds to cause an incompletion. On the first drive of the game for the USC defense, Tell made a critical open-field tackle on a third-and-goal in the flat to save the Trojans from giving up a touchdown. Tell then came down hard on a receiver in zone coverage and hit the receiver hard to force an incompletion. Both Tell and Marshall look like they could be second-day candidates in the 2019 NFL Draft. Tell needs to show more play-making and coverage skills in the weeks to come.

    Alabama 62, Ole Miss 7
  • There was the potential for a good draft matchup in this game with Ole Miss wide receivers A.J. Brown and Damarkus Lodge taking on Alabama cornerback Trevon Diggs. The Crimson Tide quickly blew out the Rebels with 28 points in the first quarter and 49 by halftime, so their starters had little playing time. With Alabama putting up that many points, Ole Miss obviously did not have the ball much with their receivers not getting much of a chance to impress. At the start of the fourth quarter, the Rebels had only completed six passes.

    Brown had an early holding call that took away some big yardage on a long run, but he came back to move the chains by a running a good dig route to get open for an easy completion that moved the chains. Lodge then dropped a pass that hit him right in the chest, and he only had one reception for seven yards. Brown finished with four catches for 34 yards.

    Diggs had a solid game showing the ability to run with the Rebels receivers. Early in the first quarter, Lodge had a half step on Diggs running deep downfield, but Diggs used his length to slap the pass down incomplete. Diggs then ran with Lodge down the field to knock a deep pass away. If the ball was thrown to Lodge’s outside shoulder, it could have been problematic for Diggs, but on the inside of the receiver, Diggs was in good position. Overall, this tape will help Diggs as he showed his good size, length, and enough quickness to run downfield with wideouts.

  • Ole Miss left tackle Greg Little has the potential to be the top offensive tackle in the 2019 NFL Draft. Little has a good skill set with size, quickness and athleticism. However, Little does not play up to his potential and needs to get stronger for the NFL. That was clear against Alabama.

    In the first quarter, Little helped seal a rushing lane for a chunk run, but a holding penalty on A.J. Brown erased part of the yardage from that play. Little was then bull rushed into his quarterback to help cause a sack for Alabama. Later on, while pulling, Little tried to blast a linebacker, but he was the one who got rocked back and the linebacker had no issues holding his ground. On other plays, Alabama got a push into the pocket through Little by bull rushing and power rushes to the inside.

    As a player, Little should return to Ole Miss to get stronger before going pro. However, in a weak tackle class, it could be a good time for Little to come out, as he should go in the first couple of rounds as there are many desperate teams for tackle help in the NFL.

  • Alabama running back Damien Harris continued his strong start to his senior season. Early in the first quarter, Harris took a run off tackle and bolted down the field untouched on a 43-yard touchdown jaunt. With Alabama quickly blowing out Ole Miss, Harris barely played, as he only had five carries for 62 yards and the score. However, Harris showed his versatility as he caught four passes for 23 yards. For the NFL, Harris has three-down starting potential. He could be a nice value as a late first-round or second-round pick.

    LSU 22, Auburn 21
  • Auburn quarterback Jarrett Stidham could be a first-round pick this April, and he was seeing perhaps the top cornerback prospect for the 2019 NFL Draft in LSU’s Greedy Williams. Even though he made some good passes, Stidham did not have a good game, and this tape won’t help his draft grade.

    Stidham’s first pass of the game was an interception. He rolled out and then telegraphed his throw allowing the corner to jump the route for the pick. Shortly later, Stidham bounced back to make a pretty back shoulder throw for about 20 yards with good ball placement. Stidham then lofted in a pretty pass to a receiver down the sideline for about 30 yards and that helped set up Auburn to get on the scoreboard.

    Stidham threw a second-half strike to lead his receiver for a 32-yard gain. On third-and-goal, Stidham executed a bootleg well to hit a receiver open in the end zone for a critical touchdown.

    Late in the third quarter, Stidham and his receiver weren’t on the same page as Stidham thought the receiver was going to stop his route for a back-shoulder play and the wideout kept running. As a result, Stidham threw the pass right into the bread basket of Greedy Williams for his second interception of the game. Stidham ended up completing 16-of-28 passes for 198 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions.

    Stidham made some accurate throws while under pressure in the pocket throughout the game. His bad plays came from mistakes in field vision that led to turnovers and incompletions. Improving his field vision will be a point of emphasis for whomever drafts him.

  • Stidham and Auburn avoided throwing at Williams for a lot of the game. Early the third quarter, Williams had tight coverage on a receiver along the sideline to knock away a pass downfield. Auburn had avoided throwing at him and that play was proof of why. Late in the third, Stidham threw a pass right to Williams as the talented corner showed good vision to keep an eye on Stidham while running with his receiver. That resulted in a critical interception, Williams’ second of the season. Overall, this tape will help Williams, as he showed the ability to run with wide outs and prevent separation.

  • The top draft prospect on either team is Auburn defensive tackle Derrick Brown, and he could easily be the first one off the board next April. Once again, Brown saw double teams from start to finish. He helped open things up for his fellow defensive linemen and linebackers, but they did not make enough plays to keep LSU from a comeback win.

    Early on, Davis showed his speed and motor by running downfield to make a tackle off of a screen play. He then had a similar play, showing his rare closing speed by getting to the sideline to make a tackle on a stretch run. Late in the third quarter, Brown came close to a sack with a powerful rush straight down the pocket. That forced the quarterback to scramble, and Brown chased him down to trip him up for a third down tackle that got his defense off the field. Brown then tripped up the quarterback to keep him from running for first-down yardage.

    Brown fought hard, but the double teams kept him from a big tackle total or making a big impact in the pass rush. Still, NFL sources are very high on Brown and he looks like a top-16 pick next April. He is a young player with a tremendous skill set and huge upside.

  • LSU linebacker Devin White is a first-round prospect, and he illustrated why with some fabulous plays against Auburn. On the first play from scrimmage, White fired into the hole to stuff a run for a 2-yard gain. Later in the first quarter on a fourth-and-1, White had a great play where he read the run and fired into the backfield after shedding a block. White slammed down the back for a loss to get a turnover on downs for LSU. That ended up being a huge play as it took away a scoring opportunity for Auburn in their one-point loss.

    White had a painful missed tackle on a second-quarter jet sweep, and that allowed the receiver to spring the run for good yards downfield. In the fourth quarter, White came back to make a superb play as he diagnosed the play before it was snapped. He flew into the line of scrimmage and beat the block from the right guard to make a hard tackle for no gain.

    Overall, this was an impressive tape from White. This game performance was reminiscent of Roquan Smith at Georgia or Reuben Foster at Alabama. This performance will help White to grade out as a first-rounder.

  • Auburn cornerback Jamel Dean has been gutting out some quality games despite playing with a huge cast on his right hand. On a third-and-12, Dean was beaten for a 13-yard reception as he allowed the receiver to get open on the inside running a dig route. Dean then used his casted hand to breakup a pass after driving hard on a slant.

    In the fourth quarter, Dean had tight coverage and knocked a pass down to help put his defense in a better down-and-distance situation. Dean later had tight coverage on a receiver downfield and leapt to make a pass breakup, but he was flagged for a questionable pass interference penalty. That penalty ended up being a huge error as it helped get LSU in position for the game winning field goal. Thus, this was a mixed tape from Dean, but he is a big corner who has some quickness and is a physical defender. He could grade out as a early-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.

    BYU 24, Wisconsin 21
  • As usual, the Wisconsin Badgers have future NFL offensive lineman leading the way for a potent rushing attack. Senior left guard Michael Deiter and junior right tackle David Edwards are the top options for the 2019 NFL Draft. Deiter had a decent performance, but Edwards struggled against BYU.

    In the first quarter, Deiter pulled around the right side to help blast open a hole open for Taiwan Deal to get a 2-yard touchdown run. Deiter was solid in pass protection, but BYU loaded the tackle box to make the Badgers beat them through the air and Wisconsin was incapable of doing that.

    Deiter has some power to generate movement in the ground game. He has plays with good leverage and has nice technique with hand placement to latch onto defenders. Deiter has the strength to anchor and is hard on defenders when he bump blocks tackles with his center or left tackle. Deiter could stand to improve his pass protection for going against NFL speed rushers as fast three techniques could give him problems. Still, Deiter has starting potential early in his NFL career and looks like a good fit at left guard.

  • Edwards was not bad early on, but as the game progressed he was getting beaten at the point of attack regularly. In the third quarter, Edwards was called for a holding penalty as he got his hands outside the frame of the defender and hugged him to keep him from getting pressure on quarterback Alex Hornibrook. The very next play, Edwards was beaten with speed for a pressure, and Hornibrook helped him out by getting rid of the football.

    In the fourth quarter, Edwards had his defensive end shed his block to help get in on a sack of Hornibrook. Edwards was holding a lot and he was fortunate that he didn’t get flagged for more holds. Wisconsin started to give Edwards double team help in the fourth quarter. Late on the last drive, Edwards was beaten clean off the snap, and if his back did not get a critical chip, it would have been a game-killing sack. The next play, Edwards stood up too high and got knocked straight on his butt while giving up a pressure on Hornibrook.

    This game illustrated that Edwards has work to do as a pass rusher and is limited to right tackle. If anybody needed any evidence as to why the Badgers aren’t playing him at left tackle, this performance versus BYU should help answer that question. Edwards is a tough run blocker, but he could have problems with NFL speed rushers. He can stand up too high, and that lets defenders get under pads to get some push in the bull rush. Clearly Edwards’ run blocking is ahead of his pass protection. Returning for his senior year to get better might be a wise idea of Edwards. Right now, the projections of Edwards being a high first-rounder seem hasty and he is being overrated given this performance versus BYU.

  • Wisconsin has three linebacker prospects for the NFL in T.J. Edwards, Ryan Connelly, and Andrew Van Ginkel. None of that trio was impressive against BYU. They all had problems getting off blocks, and the Cougars had a ton of success on the ground ripping through the Badgers defense. In the fourth quarter, Connelly made a terrible read of a play to vacate a hole and that helped lead to a 46-yard run for BYU. That play led to the game-winning field goal in the fourth quarter. This tape is going to hurt the draft grade for this trio of players, and they need to perform better in the weeks to come.

  • BYU senior running back Squally Canada had a breakout game going against what was considered to be a tough Big Ten defense. Canada showed speed to break into the second level to go along with vision, cutting ability and balance. He totaled 118 yards on only 11 carries with two touchdowns. This game’s impressive performance makes Canada a prospect to watch this season.

  • BYU offensive tackle Ului Lapuaho was on NFL teams’ preseason watch lists of players with first- through fourth-round potential. Lapuaho was rotated in and out of this game. It was not clear if that was to keep linemen fresh or because Lapuaho was playing with an injury. On his snaps, Lapuaho was a tough run blocker who was very physical at the point of attic. He has good zip and length to tie up defenders. In pass protection, he kind of lumbers and is not a smooth mover, but he has length and strength to him tough on the edge. This was a quality tape from Lapuaho, and he could be a mid-rounder who has starting potential as a right tackle in the NFL.

    Oklahoma 37, Iowa State 27
  • This game had two of its intriguing prospects missing with injuries, unfortunately. Oklahoma running back Rodney Anderson is out for the year with a knee injury and Iowa State Kyle Kempt was out with a leg injury.

  • The star of this game from a NFL Draft perspective was Oklahoma wide receiver Marquise Brown. This season, it will be a weekly tradition of Brown putting up big numbers, as the elite speedster is going to dominate the weak Big 12 defenses in college football’s version of the arena league. As one could expect, that was the case against Iowa State.

    In the first quarter, Brown caught a seven-yard pass in the middle of the field in zone coverage. Then Brown did the rest, bolting down the field for 51 more yards before getting tackled inside the 10-yard line. Brown then burned double coverage on a deep post route for a 75-yard touchdown. After hauling in the pass, Brown hit a second gear to run away from the defensive backs for the score.

    In addition to that huge play, Brown made a number of shorter receptions to move chains as he ran good routes with his speed, twitch and burst to get in and out of breaks. Brown totaled 191 yards on nine receptions with a touchdown. This tape will help Brown, as he showed that he is more than just a one-trick pony to run deep routes downfield.

  • Oklahoma left tackle Bobby Evans has first- through fourth-round potential according to NFL teams’ preseason watch lists. Evans had a quality game for Oklahoma. The 6-foot-5, 299-pounder was rock solid in pass protection for Kyler Murray while contributing to opening holes in the ground game.

    Evans has good strength to sustain his blocks. When he gets his hands on defenders, he is able to control them and manipulate them. Overall, Evans plays with good leverage and is not a waist bender.

    That said, Evans looks like a better fit at guard in the pros. His feet look too slow to play tackle. He is not adept at keeping his feet moving with pass rushers and will reach after them. Evans looks too slow and not able to play the typewriter with his feet in pass protection. He is better at taking on blocks head on while using his strength and hands to maintain. That makes him more of a guard for the NFL.

  • Iowa State running back David Montgomery has gotten some hype and some have projected him to being an early-round pick. On NFL teams’ preseason watch lists, Montgomery was not listed as a player who had first- through fourth-round potential. Montgomery is a solid college back and might be able to stick in the NFL.

    Taking on perhaps the most talented defense in the Big 12, Montgomery played well running through tackles and contributing critical conversions to help keep Iowa State in the game. At the end of the first quarter, Montgomery converted a third-and-2 by breaking three tackles and then falling forward after a hit from the fourth Sooner to get Iowa State a first down. It was an impressive run showing Montgomery’s power, ability to keep his legs moving, and effort. Midway through the third quarter, Montgomery again showed his short-yardage skill with a 1-yard touchdown plunge. TMontgomery totaled 82 yards on 21 carries with a touchdown.

    For the NFL, Montgomery could compete to be a backup running back. At 5-foot-11, 215-pounds he has good build to him to shoulder the load as a between-the-tackles runner. He also does a nice job in the passing game of blocking and serving as a check-down back. What holds Montgomery back from being a feature back and three-down starter is a lack of speed. He does not have the initial burst or a second gear. Montgomery does not look fast enough to be a starter or a back who goes early in his draft class, but he could be a nice backup running back that also contributes on special teams.

    Miami 49, Toledo 24
  • Toledo has a trio of wide receiver prospects for the NFL led by Jon’Vea Johnson. On NFL teams’ preseason watch lists, Johnson was listed as having first- through fourth-round potential. Toledo plays in a conference of weak competition so this was a good game to gauge Johnson, as he was seeing a defense with NFL talent. Miami safety Jaquan Johnson was on that same watch list and cornerback Michael Jackson is a late-round prospect.

    Early in the first quarter, Toledo threw a jump ball for Johnson that was knocked away for an incompletion. Johnson then ran a great route that caused the cornerback to fall down and Johnson was able to get a gain of about 18 yards. That ended up being the only reception in the game for Johnson, as Miami did a good job of taking him out of the game.

    That opened things up for teammate Diontae Johnson (5-10, 180), as the small speedster totaled 119 yards on six receptions with two touchdowns. This was a good tape for Diontae Johnson to show that he is a late-round slot receiver competitor for the NFL.

  • The top prospect in this game was Miami defensive end Joe Jackson, but this was a disappointing tape from Jackson. He saw a lot of one-on-one blocks against offensive linemen who won’t play in the NFL, yet he did nothing in the pass rush. Late in the first quarter, Jackson made a good read on a RPO and took down the quarterback for a loss of a couple of yards. Jackson later came unblocked around the side and chased down the back for a loss of three yards.

    Something seemed off with Jackson as he was not fast off the snap and was not putting heat on the quarterback with speed off the edge. Jackson would try to bull rush frequently and got nowhere. This was a bad tape from Jackson, as he should have dominated against Toledo, yet was a non-factor on plays where he did not come unblocked.

  • Talented but oft-injured Miami wide receiver Ahmmon Richards was out of this game with a knee injury. Richards needs to get on the field and be productive to have any shot at being a first-rounder in 2019 or 2020.

    Boston College 41, Wake Forest 34
  • Already, the 2019 NFL Draft is known to be a class that is loaded with good defensive line talent. Lots of attention gets paid to prospects like Ed Oliver, Nick Bosa, Derrick Brown, Raekwon Davis, and the Clemson defensive line. However, team sources say that Zach Allen is a sleeper because he is really good and deserving of a lot of attention. Last year, some scouts told me they were grading Allen in the first round before he decided to return to Boston College. Without Harold Landry on the other side, it will be interesting to see if Allen is the same player in 2018 that he was last fall. Allen continued his strong start to the season in this game.

    In the first half, Allen was active making a few tackles in the ground game. He is strong at the point of attack to hold his ground and then flow to backs to make tackles. He pressured the quarterback into incompletions and was getting upfield in the passing game. Allen has more speed and athleticism than one would think just by looking at him. Throughout the game, Allen also showed a good motor as he did not quit on plays even though Wake Forest was running a fast tempo and trying to wear down the defense.

    Allen was called for an unnecessary roughness as he hit the quarterback late in the third quarter. That was his one real mistake of the game, but even that hit was close to being a OK. A few plays later, Allen was able to bat down a third-down pass to get his defense off the field. Allen then made a good tackle in run support. Allen totaled five tackles with half for a loss, a pass batted and a number of pressures on the quarterback. This was a quality tape from him that won’t hurt the lofty standards he’s set.

  • Another Boston College prospect who should get drafted next April is right guard Chris Lindstrom. He’s had a good start to the season and has impressed team sources. On the first drive of the game, Lindstrom pulled around to the left side and hit a block on the edge to open a hole for A.J. Dillion to spring a 45-yard touchdown. That set the tone for the game as Lindstrom was opening holes in the ground game while being rock solid in pass protection.

    Lindstrom plays with good leverage and shows some heavy hands to manipulate defenders. While Lindstrom looks well put together, he shows some quickness to the second level and looks more athletic than one would think with the eyeball test. In the pass rush, Lindstrom uses his hands well with good placement and uses his hands to sustain his block.

    Lindstrom reminds me of Cody Whitehair at Kansas State with his body type and style of play. I think Lindstrom could end up grading out as a second- or third-round pick for the 2019 NFL Draft.


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