2019 NFL Draft: College Football Game Recaps – Week 13

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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Alabama 52, Auburn 21
  • Weeks ago, in the Hot Press, WalterFootball.com was the first outlet to report that NFL teams were projecting Alabama defensive tackle Quinnen Williams as a high first-round pick. Since then, Williams has been on firem as he wrecked Missouri, dominated LSU, pummeled Mississippi State’s NFL interior line, and now overwhelmed Auburn in the Iron Bowl.

    Williams worked off a double team in the opening quarter to take down Auburn quarterback Jarrett Stidham when he stopped up in the pocket for a loss of three yards. It may have been recorded as a run tackle for a loss, but really it was another sack from Williams. Williams then used his speed to fly by a guard down the middle of the pocket to sack Stidham, but it was called back as Williams inadvertently grabbed the facemark during the tackle.

    Williams forced an intentional grounding penalty in the third quarter, as he darted up the middle after swimming over the center, running past the tailback, and then forcing a throw-away by Stidham. The next play, Williams created a sack as he collapsed the pocket to flush Stidham to a teammate. Williams later pummeled Stidham and landed a roughing-the-passer penalty as his outstretched arm hit Stidham in the head. That ended the game for Williams, but it was a wise decision by Alabama to protect him from injury or suspension that could cause him playing time against Georgia next week.

    There is no doubt that Williams is a freak athlete. He is extremely fast off the snap with the ability to fire his gap and close on the quarterback in a hurry. He has functional strength to bull rush through blockers, or grab them and toss them aside. On top of his great skill set, Williams shows impressive technique with his hand placement and variety in pass rushing moves. With a sawed off body, Williams has natural pad level and leverage.

    In speaking with NFL sources, Williams is grading out higher than Houston defensive tackle Ed Oliver, Auburn’s Derrick Brown, teammate Raekwon Davis, Mississippi State’s Jeff Simmons, and the Clemson duo of Christian Wilkins and Dexter Lawrence. None of those players have a tape from this season as impressive as how Williams dominated LSU. This performance should add to his resume to be one of the first players drafted next April, and it should help to make him a strong contender to go No. 1 overall depending on how the team needs and quarterback prospects shake out.

  • Auburn junior defensive tackle Derrick Brown is also a future first-round pick, but he was not as active as Williams. Brown still played well, but the Crimson Tide was more effective at limiting what Brown could do.

    Brown had an impressive pass rush in the second quarter, knocking the right guard onto his heels with power and using is speed to close on the quarterback with a hard hit on the quarterback just after the ball was released. Brown showed good instincts to snuff out some perimeter plays and also did a nice job of holding his gap in run defense. Overall, this tape should not hurt or help Brown significantly.

  • Once again, Auburn quarterback Jarrett Stidham’s underwhelming season continued. Stidham gave further proof that he should return to college for his senior year. He was flustered by the Alabama defense and was off the mark while also dealing with some dropped passes. He was only 13-of-30 for 127 yards with a touchdown and an interception, but his stat line actually could have been a lot worse.

    On the first drive of the game, Stidham threw a terrible pass staring down a wideout, and he had the route jumped for a broken up pass, but the cornerback dropped the interception with nothing but green grass ahead of him for what should have been about a 30-yard pick-six. Stidham later hit a long touchdown on an underthrown pass as Darius Slayton pushed off a defender and cut underneath him to get a 52-yard touchdown. Stidham was rewarded by his receiver on that play. Not long after that, Stidham lofted a poor pass off his back foot, and the floater was intercepted by Anfernee Jennings.

    This season, Stidham’s accuracy, composure and consistency have been off. He has a good skill set and the potential to be a NFL quarterback. However, he needs more grooming before being ready to compete at the pro level.

    Ohio State 62, Michigan 39
  • Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins has had a quality season to put himself in play for the NFL, and he put together perhaps his best game of the year while taking on one of the best defenses in the collegiate ranks.

    Haskins found two wide open receivers for 24-yard touchdown passes in the opening half. Haskins located a receiver wide open in blown coverage down the middle of the field for an easy 31-yard touchdown. Haskins then made a beautiful pass over the shoulder of a defender by dropping in a perfectly placed pass along the sideline for a 33-yard gain. It was a great throw by Haskins to set up Ohio State to get some late points before the half. Following intermission, Haskins threw a few more scores in garbage time after Ohio State pulled away. Haskins finished 19-of-30 for 318 yards and five touchdowns.

    The 6-foot-3, 220-pounder has a quality arm with the potential to be a pocket passer who hurts defenses. He has talent, but in other games, everything was just a little bit off with Haskins. His decision making was not consistent, and he made some bad plays with ball security. Haskins’ field vision needs to improve, and he has to get faster at working through progressions. His footwork needs improvement, and his ball placement can be off. However, all those points to address looked improved against Michigan. Haskins should return to Ohio State in 2019 to improve his overall play before going to the NFL. As a first-year starter, that is understandable, and Haskins has a lot of upside to grow.

  • Michigan defensive end Rashan Gary has a superb skill set, but this season has not gone as planned with Gary missing a significant portion with a shoulder injury. Since coming back from missed time, Gary has looked fast and athletic, but not as dynamic as he was at the start of the season.

    Gary recorded a tackle for a loss on a designed run by Haskins in the second quarter. He then combined with Chase Winovich to get a tackle in run support. Gary later showed his speed and athleticism to close on a back in pursuit to get a tackle for a loss. Aside from those plays, Gary was pretty quiet. He had some good pass rushing one-on-ones but did not win them.

    In speaking with team sources, some of them think Gary could be a mid first-rounder, but his stock is fluid. If he enters the 2019 NFL Draft, he will probably go on the opening night. If Gary wants to be a high first-round pick, he should return to Michigan with the goal of a big senior year.

  • Ohio State senior wide receiver Parris Campbell is one of the most explosive playmakers in college football, but many don’t realize that because the Buckeyes have struggled to get Campbell the ball during his collegiate career. Campbell set up the Buckeyes for points in the early going by getting open on crossing routes to move the chains. He had critical receptions of 16 and 20 yards to set up touchdowns for the Buckeyes. Campbell later put the game away on an end around when he exploded down the sideline for a 78-yard touchdown. Campbell then got open on a corner post for a 16-yard touchdown. Campbell totaled five receptions for 114 yards and a touchdown with his 78-yard touchdown run.

    Campbell is an explosive receiver who has the ability to score on any touch. He will challenge NFL secondaries over the top and stretch the field. With excellent speed to go along with a put-together frame, Campbell is a dangerous run-after-the-catch receiver as he turns into a running back with impressive feet, agility, and vision as a runner. Campbell could be a first-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, but may fall to the second frame.

  • Michigan defensive end Chase Winovich was injured last week, and he did not look the same in this game. Winovich played hurt and struggled to get off blocks while not being the quick and disruptive player he typically is. Winovich came unblocked around the left side and chased own the back for a loss in the third quarter, but that was really the only real highlight for Winovich. This tape won’t help his draft grade, but a lot of NFL evaluators will give Winovich a pass for playing injured.

    Florida 41, Florida State 14
  • This rivalry game did not have the talent that it used to, but there were still some quality prospects to play on Sundays next year. The top prospect on either team was Florida defensive end Jachai Polite, and he proved why with a dominating performance against the weak Florida State offensive line.

    Polite tossed off a pulling right guard on the opening drive to stuff a back and get a tackle for a loss. Polite later used speed to loop around the left tackle and then fully extended to get a strip-sack that was recovered by Florida inside the Seminoles 25-yard line. Polite then destroyed the Seminole right tackle and used his speed to chase down Deondre Francois for another sack.

    Polite will probably be a late first-round pick. He is very fast off the edge with a nose for the quarterback. He could work on polishing up more moves, but he has double-digit sack potential with his speed and agility. In the ground game, Polite is a solid defender, and that is surprising considering he is short and a bit light. As a pro, Polite would be a great fit as a 3-4 outside linebacker.

  • Polite having a big season has opened things up for defensive end Jabari Zuniga on the other side. Zuniga put together a good performance versus the Seminoles with Polite dominating across from him. Zuniga burned the right tackle on a third down to start a sack for the Gators that Polite helped clean up. Just before halftime, Zuniga used his speed to dart by the left guard and chased down Deondre Francois for a sack. Zuniga has some natural pass-rushing ability to him. He should return for his senior year to get better before going pro.

  • Florida State junior defensive end Brian Burns is an early-round prospect who is a dangerous pass rusher. However he had an ugly game against the Gators. While taking on a bad offensive tackle in Martez Ivey, Burns was a non-factor. He got in on a few runs, but Florida kept him from making any big plays. Ivey was dominated in many games this year, including embarrassing performances versus Josh Allen of Kentucky and Montez Sweat of Mississippi State. Burns was not of the same caliber as those defenders. This tape illustrates that Burns should return for his sniper year and get stronger before going to the NFL.

  • Florida running back Lamichael Perine is talented runner who goes under the radar. He is a power back with a thick build to run downhill and pick up yards after contact. Perine went behind the left side of the line in the second quarter, and Florida State had no defense at the second level. Perine exploded down the field for a 74-yard touchdown. Perine then started punishing the Seminoles defense with multiple broken tackles on carries.

    Perine totaled 129 yards on 13 carries with a touchdown. If Perine enters the 2019 NFL Draft, he could be a day-two pick.

    Washington 28, Washington State 15
  • Washington running back Myles Gaskin could have been a day-two pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, but he decided to return to Washington. That was a good decision, as Gaskin is an underrated back and the 2019 running back class is not as strong as the 2018 group. Thus, Gaskin could be a player who rises in the lead up to the draft.

    Gaskin was running well in the opening quarter. He broke through some arm tackles and used his speed to slash the Cougars defense. Gaskin then darted into the end zone on a short touchdown run. Gaskin added another short touchdown run in the second quarter.

    Gaskin put the game away with an 80-yard touchdown in the final frame. He set up a block for his tight end by leaning to the left side, but then cut back toward the middle and exploded into the second level. Gaskin veered towards the sideline and outran the defense to kill the Cougars’ hopes to win the Pac 12. Gaskin totaled 170 yards on 27 carries with three touchdowns.

    For the NFL, Gaskin would fit as a platoon back who also can contribute in the passing game. He probably does not have size to be a feature back who handles a big workload of carries. Gaskin could be similar to Gio Bernard, a solid contributor. Gaskin could be a second-day pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.

  • Washington State senior left tackle Andre Dillard goes under the radar, but he is a good player who could be a starting left tackle in the NFL. Dillard played well against Washington. He was rock solid in pass protection while doing a quality job of contributing to run blocking.

    In the second quarter, Dillard used his speed and athleticism to fire to the second level. He hit a key block to spring his back for an 11-yard touchdown run. The Cougars later went behind Dillard again in short yardage on the goal line for a touchdown as Dillard was able to manipulate his defender just enough to create an opening for his back. Dillard did his job to protect quarterback Garner Minshew all night.

    Dillard is a good athlete on the edge with quick feet to get depth in his drop. He is adept at heading off speed rushers and keeping them from getting turned to the quarterback. Dillard plays with good leverage, as he is a knee bender and does not bend at the waist. There were a few plays where Dillard allowed rushers to get speed upfield, but he showed nice recoverability to push the rushers deep and around the pocket to protect his tackle. With Dillard’s quickness and athleticism, he could be a starting left tackle in the NFL. He probably won’t ever be a forceful run blocker, but the NFL is a passing-driven league, so he does not have to be a bull in the ground game to be a valuable starter. Dillard could be a good value pick on Day 2 of the 2019 NFL Draft.

    Oklahoma 59, West Virginia 56
  • For years I’ve been calling the Big 12 the arena league of college football, and this game between two of the top teams in the conference lived up to that billing as this was a pathetic display by the two defenses. West Virginia quarterback Will Grier could be a day-two pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, and he had a record-setting game taking on the Sooners, but Grier’s two fumbles returned for a touchdown were the difference in this game to lead Oklahoma to a road win and cost West Virginia its hopes of winning their first Big 12 Title.

    On his first drive of the game, Grier lofted in a 41-yard touchdown pass to David Sills, as Sills got open running a go route along the sideline. Sills then had leverage on a cornerback running down field and that drew a pass interference, as Sills would have had a touchdown without the penalty. Sills then ran a fade out, and he made a leaping catch for a touchdown. It was a superb catch by Sills, as he high-pointed the ball and adjusted to an overthrown pass to get his foot down inbounds for the score.

    Just before halftime, Grier was getting sacked and was unable to tuck the ball away as he dropped it to the turf. Oklahoma scooped up the loose ball and returned it for a touchdown. Grier bounced back, as he had a nice throw hanging tough with a rusher bearing down on him, and he lofted a ball deep down the middle of the field to his receiver streaking open. Gary Jennings held up slightly but made the catch and accelerated for a 57-yard score. They hooked up again shortly later to a convert a third-and-18 on the same route. Jennings ran by cornerback and deep safety for a 52-yard reception. Jennings ran a go route out of the slot and burned the corner and free safety to get open for a 75-yard touchdown on the next possession. Jennings then had a dumb unnecessary roughness penalty, blocking an Oklahoma player far out of bounds. That penalty took away a huge gain for West Virginia.

    Grier gifted the Sooners another touchdown. He was being sacked, and rather than eating the play, he tried to spin away and got careless with his ball security. Grier fumbled the ball away and Oklahoma scooped up the loose ball to return it 48 yards for a touchdown. Grier then underthrew a pass down the middle of the field and got lucky that a Sooner safety dropped an easy interception. Grier ended up completing 32-of-49 passes for 539 yards with four touchdowns. However, his two fumbles were the difference in the game.

    In this analyst’s opinion, Grier is more of a mid-round prospect. He does not have the skill set of a top of the draft quarterback. Grier passes accurately and has average arm strength. However, Grier needs a clean pocket to be successful. His arm strength gets sapped when his feet aren’t set. That is a problem for the NFL, as pockets are not as clean as they are in the defensively challenged Big 12. Perhaps Grier becomes a starter, but I think he’s more of a backup-caliber quarterback.

  • The senior Jennings really helped himself with an impressive game against Oklahoma. He burned double coverage on a number of plays to produce some huge plays for West Virginia. Jennings got separation and had enough quickness to run away from the defensive backs. He totaled 225 yards on seven receptions with two touchdowns. This tape should help Jennings’ draft grade for the 2019 NFL Draft.

  • The top prospect in this game was Oklahoma right tackle Cody Ford. Sources say that Ford is a guard for the NFL, but he could be a late first-round or early second-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. Taking on West Virginia and their weak defense, Ford dominated the Mountaineer defenders with ease. He was rock solid in pass protection while opening holes in the ground game. Ford had an impressive play in the third quarter, blocking two defenders to spring his back for a good gain. Ford pushed the defensive end off the snap and then flew to a linebacker and knocked him out of the play. Ford finished the game without issue, and this tape will only serve to help him.

    Ford could be the top interior offensive lineman in this draft class. He is thick blocker with good bulk for the next level. Scouts who have been through Oklahoma say that Ford is an outstanding athlete for his size. He has good knee bend with quick feet and excellent size. Ford has the skill set to handle fast interior rushers with the size to take on the heavy powerful tackles. Ford does a nice job of keeping his feet moving and his hands engaged to sustain his blocks. I think Ford is worthy of going in the 20s of the 2019 NFL Draft, and he could be one of the better guards in the league during his pro career.

  • Oklahoma speedster wide receiver Marquise Brown dominated West Virginia, as the Mountaineers were incapable of running with Brown. In the first quarter, Brown got open in the deep middle of the field for a 25-yard touchdown catch. He used his speed to get open slashing across the field as the West Virginia safeties could not run with Brown over the top. Shortly later Brown got open running a deep post, and after hauling in the pass, he flew across the field for a 65-yard gain. That set up a short rushing touchdown for Trey Surmon.

    Brown made a great play in the third quarter. He caught a short crossing pass and broke a tackle to turn up the field. He bolted down the field, broke a second tackle, and then darted into the end zone with a 45-yard touchdown. While it was a superb play by Brown, it was pathetic tackling by the West Virginia defenders, as Brown is a small wideout and not a power player who is tough to get on the ground. Brown totaled 11 receptions for 243 yards and two touchdowns. In speaking to team sources, Brown will probably be a second-day pick if he enters the 2019 NFL Draft.

    Mississippi State 35, Ole Miss 3
  • Ole Miss wide receiver A.J. Brown and left tackle Greg Little were likely playing in their final collegiate football games. Both are expected to enter the 2019 NFL Draft, and the Rebels will not be participating in a Bowl game this year. Brown is the consensus top wide receiver prospect, while Little is the consensus top offensive lineman for the 2019 NFL Draft. Both of them were seeing some good defensive talent from Mississippi State that will be playing against them in the NFL. While neither one played poorly, they did not impress in their final game as the Mississippi State offense controlled the time of possession as the Bulldogs cruised over the Rebels.

    Little was solid in pass protection, and unfortunately, he did not draw Mississippi State edge rusher Montez Sweat. Little had a nice run block in the first half, manipulating his defender by guiding him to the inside and that opened up a gap for his back. There was also a low light where Little did not sustain a block on a blitzing defender and that player chased down Ole Miss quartberack Jordan Ta’Amu to start a sack.

    Overall, Little showed his athleticism and quick feet to mirror speed rushes. Taking on fast and athletic pass rushers is Little’s strong suit. He has more problems with strong bull rushes and cuts to the inside. In the ground game, Little is not a road grader, but he is quick to get to spots. He does not pack a punch, struggles to sustain blocks, and is not a blocker who blows defenders off the ball.

    Little has to get stronger for the NFL. He has the skill set to be very good with quickness, athleticism, length and natural size, but he has to become more consistent and get stronger to be a true franchise left tackle. Still, he will be a first-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, and in all likelihood, the top-rated offensive line prospect.

  • Sweat closed out his Mississippi State career in style. On the first drive of the game, Sweat took down Ta’Amu for a third-down sack. Sweat was virtually unblocked by the right tackle and closed on Ta’Amu quickly for the sack. Sweat later joined a teammate to get a sack of Ta’Amu. Sweat used his speed to get upfield and then peeled back to chase down the quarterback. Sweat totaled 1.5 sacks with six tackles.

    Sweat would fit best in a 3-4 as an outside linebacker for the NFL. The 6-foot-6, 240-pounder can get covered up in the ground game and could have problems holding his ground versus pro offensive tackles. Sweat is best using his speed, functional strength and pass-rushing moves to rush the quarterback. A five-technique end would help protect him in the ground game. Sweat could be worthy of a mid-to-late first-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.

  • This was probably the final game for Mississippi State defensive tackle Jeffery Simmons, and he went out in style. Simmons chased down Ta’Amu in the first quarter, as he scrambled out of the pocket, ripped Ta’Amu to the ground and punched out the football. Mississippi State recovered the fumble to set up its offense for easy points. Simmons later used a powerful but rush to collapse the pocket, and that prevented Ta’Amu from stepping up in the pocket to help create a sack for an edge rusher.

    Simmons used a swim move to get free of the right guard and then closed on the quarterback with a burst to get a sack early in the fourth quarter. Simmons recorded four tackles with two for a loss, one sack, one forced fumble and a batted pass. He dominated the Ole Miss offensive line, and they were incapable of blocking him.

    Simmons has been one of the best tackles in the SEC and is among the conference’s leaders in tackles. Considering there are other star tackles like Alabama’s Quinnen Williams, Auburn’s Derrick Brown, Alabama’s Raekwon Davis, and a good pair at Clemson, that is really saying something for Simmons. He is quick at the point of attack with a fast first step and impressive athleticism. Simmons has functional strength and holds his ground as a run defender. Simmons could be worthy of a top-20 pick.

  • Ole Miss wide receiver A.J. Brown could also go in the top 20 next April. This was a rough game for Brown, and it almost looked disastrous as an awkward tackle had Brown’s leg bending the wrong direction. Fortunately, he escaped injury and finished the game catching four passes for 61 yards.

    It looked like Brown had a 41-yard touchdown catch in the third quarter, as he hauled in a pass and used his strength to fight through some tackles for the score. Brown got open in zone coverage around the 10-yard line and then used his strength to power through a few tacklers to get into the end zone. After the play, the teams got into a fight, and Brown threw a punch. However, the play clock was at zero when the ball was snapped so Brown’s touchdown was taken off the scoreboard.

    Brown could fit best as a Z (flanker) receiver. He does not look like a burner who will roast defenses downfield with speed. Thus, Brown is not the caliber of a Julio Jones, A.J. Green or DeAndre Hopkins. Brown is more of a possessional receiver to work the short to intermediate part of the field and hurt defenses with his run-after-the-catch skills. This tape will only serve to confirm Brown as a first-round pick.

  • Another player who helped himself in this game was Mississippi State safety Johnathan Abram. In the first quarter, Abram had tight man coverage on a tight end and was able to slap a third-down pass away to get his defense off the field. Abram then used his speed to get to the flat and make a tackle for a loss in run support. In the third quarter, Abram picked off Ta’Amu, as Abram read the eyes of the quarterback and made an easy interception on an underthrown pass. With a decent return from Abram, that turnover set up the Bulldogs offense inside the Rebels 20-yard line. He added another pass break-up later. Abram totaled five tackles with one for a loss, one interception and two passes broken up. This game should help his draft grade.

    Team sources like Abram and feel he plays the game the right way. He is put together well with strength to tackle in the ground game. In the NFL, he could be a good strong safety who functions as the eighth man in the box and provides some quality coverage in the middle of the field. Abram can help cover tight ends, slot receivers and backs. He is not a deep single high free safety, but Abram could be a good second-round pick who turns into a good starter quickly in his pro career.


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