2020 NFL Draft: College Football Game Recaps – Week 3

This section breaks down many college football games each week and highlights how 2020 NFL Draft Prospects have performed. Or look at the 2020 NFL Draft Stock page.

By Charlie Campbell.
Send Charlie an e-mail here: [email protected]
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Oklahoma 48, UCLA 14
  • Sooners wide receiver CeeDee Lamb flashes the ability to be a first-round pick even though they are not getting him the ball as well as they did with Kyler Murray or Baker Mayfield at quarterback. ESPN and the other media are gushing about quarterback Jalen Hurts, but he still has issues as a passer that limit the amount of opportunities for receivers like Lamb. Taking on a bad UCLA team, Lamb only touched the ball twice, although he produced points on each of those plays.

    Late in the first quarter, Lamb found an opening when Hurts scrambled and Lamb broke off his route to run into a wide-open window. Hurts tossed an easy pass to Lamb, who coasted into the end zone with a 39-yard touchdown reception. He scored again just before halftime, showing his running ability on an end around to dart into the end zone from a yard out with an impressive cut to knife between two defenders.

    Lamb is making the most of his opportunities, but over the course of the season, it could end up hurting his draft slot if his production is suppressed. The 2020 NFL Draft looks like a strong class of receivers, and team sources say that Lamb is not one to blaze an ultra-fast 40. Thus, having lots of tape showing his good hands, route-running, and receiving production is important. Lamb looks like a first-rounder right now, but having Hurts at quarterback could end up hurting him.

  • Oklahoma linebacker Kenneth Murray and UCLA linebacker Krys Barnes are both pro prospects who were solid in this game. Barnes did not show a lot in against the Sooners as his defense was completely overmatched by their spread offense. Murray for his part flew around the field and made a bunch of tackles. He did a good job of helping to shut down Josh Kelley and the Bruins’ rushing attack. Both Murray and Barnes have three-down starting potential for the NFL.

    Virginia 31, Florida State 24
  • There was a good draft matchup in this game with Florida State wide receiver Tamorrion Terry taking on Virginia cornerback Bryce Hall. They went against each other a lot, and there was a clear winner in that Hall was incapable of covering Terry. This is going to be an important tape for each player’s draft grade and how they are projected for the NFL.

    On Florida State’s first offensive play from scrimmage, Terry got open in zone coverage to get a gain of 28 yards before Hall made the tackle. Terry added a reception in front of Hall on a comeback route a few plays later. Terry was just too quick and sudden for Hall. Early in the second quarter, Terry got open on an out route against Hall, once again gaining space coming out the break. Terry created some separation on a stop route and then broke a tackle from Hall to get a gain of 18 yards.

    In the third quarter, Terry had a ball ripped out of his hands by a linebacker just after snatching it. Terry should have held onto the ball, but it was a hard hit from a bigger defender. Early in the fourth quarter, Terry made a big play with the game tied as he made a leaping grab in the middle of the field to convert a third-and-10 while taking a big shot from the safety. Terry got open despite a double team that was sent his direction on the play.

    With less than 90 seconds remaining, Terry burned Hall on a double move. Hall showed poor eye discipline and bit on the fake, which let Terry get wide open running behind him. Hall got lucky as Florida State quarterback James Blackman overthrew Terry on what would should have been a 50-yard touchdown to tie the game. It was a great route by Terry, an ugly play by Hall, and a horrible throw by Blackman.

    A few plays later, Terry had Hall beaten again running vertically down the middle of the field. All Hall could do was grab Terry, and it correctly drew a flag. Terry ended up catching four passes for 78 yards, but he could have had a huge night if Blackman had thrown more accurately.

    Terry got the better of Hall throughout the night. Terry was too fast and fluid for Hall, as the aggressive corner consistently allowed Terry to get open. Hall struggled with the quick-twitch suddenness of Terry, letting the big wideout generate separation coming out of breaks. Hall looks stiff-hipped and not that twitchy. This tape will help Terry to be a first- or second-round pick.

    Given his struggles with a future pro wideout like Terry, Hall looks like he would be better off in a zone scheme or playing press man. But he really struggled in off man. Hall also might be a candidate to move to safety. This tape will definitely hurt his draft grade.

    Alabama 47, South Carolina 23
  • Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is the favorite to be the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, and he illustrated why with a text book performance, carving up the South Carolina Game Cocks.

    Tagovailoa distributed the ball to start the game, perfectly executing a play-action fake to draw coverage away from running back Najee Harris leaking out the backside of the play to get open for a 24-yard touchdown. Tagovailoa then hit wide receiver Henry Ruggs on a slant and he exploded down the field for an 81-yard touchdown.

    With South Carolina hanging tough in the game in the third quarter, Tagovailoa had a pretty play with a rusher coming free to his face and Tagovailoa got off the pass to hit a slant to Devonta Smith, and he darted downfield for a 42-yard touchdown.

    Tagovailoa made a play at the end of the third quarter that looked simple, but it illustrates why he is a top NFL prospect. On a third-and-3, he scanned his options before throwing a perfect dart on an out route to the sideline on the far hash side of the field. The pass hit his receiver in the hands, leading him open to beat good coverage from the South Carolina cornerback. That kind of throw is exactly what pro evaluators want to see from college quarterbacks.

    Tagovailoa added his fifth touchdown through the air in garbage time. He completed 28-of-36 passes for 444 yards with five touchdowns and zero interceptions.

    Tagovailoa is an aggressive passer who doesn’t hesitate to challenge defenses downfield. He throws a very good deep ball, showing a quality arm and an ability to place his passes well downfield. He may not have an elite cannon, but his arm looks good enough. In the pocket, Tagovailoa shows patience and doesn’t panic when his first read is covered. With presence and feel, Tagovailoa has the ability to function in a vertical passing offense. Tagovailoa is a steady passer who has good accuracy, and that was visible against South Carolina. This tape will help him to be a high first-round pick.

  • South Carolina defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw is a future NFL starter, and he has played really well to start his senior year. Taking on Alabama, Kinlaw had some impressive play in the first half of the game before the Crimson Tide pulled away.

    Kinlaw got an early sack of Tagovailoa as he whipped the right guard with speed and chased down Tagovailoa from behind to drag him down as he tried to step up in the pocket. Two plays later, Kinlaw got in on another sack of Tagovailoa. Kinlaw came on a stunt to get leverage on the center to collapse the pocket while joining a teammate at the quarterback.

    The first thing that stands out about Kinlaw is his size. He is a tall, thick, good-looking athlete. After passing the eyeball test, it’s apparent that Kinlaw has some special ability, as he really fires off the ball. He is quick to close and has strength to fight off blockers. Kinlaw (6-6, 310) gets in trouble when he stands up too high. Working on his technique will help him to get more out of his excellent skill set. Kinlaw has early-round ability, and if he plays up to it, he could be a Thursday night pick.

  • Alabama has a future NFL starter on inside of their line as well with nose tackle Raekwon Davis. Davis was a beast against the run stuffing lanes at the point of attack versus South Carolina, shedding blocks, and making tackles. Davis had some good, early run fills, including an impressive run to the perimeter where he shed two blocks before stuffing the back for a gain of only two. Davis then bulled the right guard into the backfield before redirecting and dragging down a ball carrier for no gain with an impressive play. Davis then came up with an excellent run fill to bull through the guard get a tackle for a loss of a few yards on a third-and-goal. This was another tape that illustrates that Davis is an elite run defender that fits any NFL defense.

  • Alabama safety Xavier McKinney and cornerback Trevon Diggs are both potential first-rounders who could contend to be the top prospects at their respective positions, but both of them had a disappointing game against South Carolina. Bryan Edwards had a step on Diggs in the second quarter, running a deep route downfield, but the ball was overthrown. Diggs was fortunate on the play, as a good pass would have been a long gain or 75-yard touchdown.

    McKinney gave up a reception on a curl route in front of him for a gain of 27 yards. He had some good coverage on a tight end to force an incompletion, but later allowed another reception in front of him for about 20 yards while also having some missed tackles. Both of them will need to play better in the weeks to come to avoid damage to their draft grade.

  • Alabama running back Najee Harris was a top recruit coming out of high school, and he has had a hard time breaking onto the field with the loaded Alabama backfield. Now as a junior, Harris is getting a large number of touches and is starting to make the most of it.

    Harris had a highlight-reel play on a 42-yard touchdown reception. He ran a nice crossing route to get open and darted downfield. He shook a hard hit and tackle to maintain his feet and then hurdled a tackler before flying into the end zone. He ran for 36 yards on seven carries with five receptions for 87 yards and two scores. The receiving production will really help Harris, and this game gives him a much needed jolt to his draft stock.

  • South Carolina senior wide receiver Bryan Edwards had an impressive performance against Alabama. His quickness gave the Crimson Tide corners a lot of problems, as he really did well generating separation against sophomore Patrick Surtain. Edwards showed nice run-after-catch skills while totaling 79 yards on nine receptions. He looks like he could be a solid second-day pick who contributes as a No. 2 receiver.

    Arizona State 10, Michigan State 7
  • Arizona State running back Eno Benjamin has early-round potential for the 2020 NFL Draft. He gutted out a tough game for the Sun Devils. While the Spartans kept Benjamin under wraps, Benjamin came up huge in clutch time to help the Sun Devils get a tough road win.

    Benjamin dropped an early pass on a checkdown, and he wasn’t finding good running lanes as the Spartans’ front seven was overwhelming the Sun Devil offensive line. Benjamin did a nice job of blocking pass protection for a lot of the game, but he made two big plays late in the fourth quarter. The first was a reception of six yards to get Arizona State a critical first down on its game-winning drive. Benjamin ultimately scored a touchdown, extending the ball over the goal line to get his team the winning score.

    Benjamin ran for 38 yards on 11 carries with two receptions for 11 yards. While this was not an electric performance, it showed that Benjamin is versatile with three-down potential for the NFL.

  • Michigan State defensive end Kenny Willikes has early-round potential for the 2020 NFL Draft. He was quiet for much of the afternoon, making a few tackles in the ground game but not producing big plays. However, his 20th career sack had the potential to be a game-changer. Willikes used speed to gain leverage on the left tackle late in the fourth quarter and smacked the ball out of the quarterback’s hands as went behind him. A teammate fell on the loose ball and that gave the Spartans possession deep in Arizona State territory. However, a hands-to-face penalty on Raequan Williams gave the ball back to Arizona State. However, that play seemed to wake him up, as a couple of plays later, he fired to the inside of the left tackle to get a tackle for a loss.

    Willikes is a quick edge rusher with a good motor and the strength to shed blocks, but he looks like he could lack length and weight to be a three-down starter in a 4-3 defense. His best fit might come as a 3-4 outside linebacker. Willikes might be a quality second-day pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.

    Kansas State 31, Mississippi State 24
  • Mississippi State running back Kylin Hill has some fans in the scouting community, as he is a tougher runner with a strong build and some dangerous quickness. Hill showed his special ability with a jump cut at the line of scrimmage, a burst to the second level, and strength to finish the run going through defenders for a 23-yard gain in the second quarter. He totaled 106 yards on 24 carries with two receptions for 20 yards. Hill has three-down starting potential for the NFL, and he could be a second-day pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.

  • Mississippi State wide receiver Stephen Guidry may have hurt his standing with scouts since the games started a few weeks ago. Guidry has a very good skill set with size and speed, but he has not played up to his potential in game action. Sources have come away impressed with Guidry in practice, but that has not translated to Saturdays, as he was shut out on the stat sheet against Kansas State.

    Guidry had a pass that was a little high bounce off his hands and get intercepted. It was a catch that should have been made and comes on the heels of a bad drop from Guidry a week ago. Guidry later used his speed to get by the cornerback, and the safety was in poor position so Guidry was wide open for an 81-yard touchdown, but the pass was awful to fly out of bounds. After that, Guidry was quiet, but it wasn’t all his fault as the Bulldog quarterbacks were awful. Guidry needs to be more sure-handed and make the most of his opportunities in the weeks to come in order to rehabilitate his draft stock.

  • Kansas State left tackle Scott Frantz could be a late-round pick or undrafted free agent prospect next spring. He had a quality game taking on an athletic front, as he was solid in pass protection while helping to open some holes in the ground game. Frantz needs to get stronger for the NFL, and probably should move inside to guard. However, every year, there are some late-round or undrafted offensive linemen who manage to stick in the pros and become valuable contributors. Frantz is worth watching as he could have that potential.

  • Mississippi linebacker Erroll Thompson had a good game. Thompson came downhill to get a tackle for no gain on a fourth-down attempt. That set the tone, as Thompson was making lot of tough tackles in the ground game. Thompson made a nice open-field tackle on the sideline coming over from zone coverage to take out a checkdown back right before halftime. Thompson is big and physical in the box while showing some athleticism and quickness to run. This was a a quality tape from him.

  • Mississippi State linebacker Willie Gay is a pro prospect, but he hurt his draft grade in this game by landing a team-imposed suspension.

    Ohio State 51, Indiana 10
  • Ohio State defensive end Chase Young is considered a future first-round pick with top-10 potential, and he proved why with a dominant game against Indiana. Young had an early tackle for a loss of three yards as he read a screen and took down the back immediately after the catch. Young then recorded his fourth sack of the season as he got upfield with speed, used his hands to shed the right tackle, and then closed on the quarterback for the sack. Just before halftime, Young added his second sack of the game, as he came on a stunt and used his speed to dart between the right guard and center to get to the quarterback.

    Young should have recorded his third sack of the game right after halftime, as he burned the left tackle, but Young missed the tackle to let the quarterback escape for an incompletion. Shortly later, Young’s day ended as Ohio State pulled their starters.

    This tape will help Young to be a high first-rounder, as he showed the ability to get after the quarterback with speed, some variety in moves, he had the strength to fight through blocks, and was instinctive to track down ball carriers. Young looks like a future pick in the top half of the first round. He’s slotted to the Giants in our 2020 NFL Mock Draft.

  • Ohio State running back J.K. Dobbins had an easy game to dominate Cincinnati last week, and he followed through with another impressive outing taking on Indiana. Dobbins started the game running well, but he had an easy touchdown catch wide open in the flat bounce off his hands incomplete. Dobbins made up for it with a 56-yard gain, as he stiff-armed a defensive tackle and broke another tackle to get free downfield. Shortly later, Dobbins had a great, 26-yard touchdown run. Dobbins broke about six tackles on the play while plowing through two defenders to fall over the goal line for the score.

    Early in the third quarter, Dobbins got open a route in the flat and he hauled in a short touchdown pass with a defender closing on him. Dobbins totaled 193 yards on 22 carries with a touchdown rushing to go with two receptions for 14 yards and a score. He showed speed, strength, vision and big-play ability. This tape will help his draft grade.

  • Ohio State has two future NFL competitors at cornerback with Jeff Okudah and Damon Arnette. They both have good skill sets, but their play is of different caliber, as Okudah looks like a future first-rounder, while Arnette looks like a mid-round pick, although this game is going to help the draft grade for both players.

    Okudah showed some physicality early on with a hard hit on a ball carrier along the sideline. Indiana wide receiver Donovan Hale blocked off Okudah later during the drive on a comeback route for a 12-yard gain. Other than that, Okudah was superb. Okudah ran with Nick Westbrook on a deep post in the second quarter, and Okudah slapped the ball out of Okudah’s hands for an incompletion. He was running the route with ease preventing separation and blanketing receivers. Okudah is fast, athletic, big and physical. He is a tough player and willing tackler. If Okudah can show more ball skills as a junior, he has high first-round potential.

    Arnette started the game breaking up a jump ball fade pass in the end zone to prevent a touchdown. With the pass coming over his shoulder, Arnette did not look back at the ball but he was able to slash it out of the hands of the receiver once it dropped in over his head. Shortly later, Arnette was called for a pass interference on a slant. Arnette was way too physical with the receiver.

    Arnette was in zone coverage on a third-and-goal at the end of the third quarter. Arnette read the quarterback’s eyes to jump the route and pick off the pass. He sprinted down the field for a 97-yard pick-six. This was a good tape from Arnette, and he played the ball much better than he did a week ago against Cincinnati. If Arnette continues to show improvement me could end up getting day two consideration.

  • Indiana safety Marcelino Ball impressed NFL advance scouts, and he was put on their preseason watch list. Some teams even projected him with the ability to be a pick in the top half of the draft. Unfortunately, Ball was pretty quiet in this game. Indiana had him playing deep free safety, and he did a solid job of defending the deep part of the field, but J.K. Dobbins and the Buckeyes offense ate up the Hoosiers underneath.

    Ball had a good pressure early on versus Justin Fields, as he came off the edge, bounced off the left tackle and almost grabbed Fields, but got hit again as he continued to fight off offensive linemen to hound Fields while drawing an illegal block penalty. It was an impressive play showing Ball’s strength to fight blockers that are much larger than him. Ball contributed to some tackles, but did not have the opportunity to make some big plays. This tape won’t hurt or help Ball’s draft grade significantly.


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