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
By Charlie Campbell.
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Notre Dame 30, USC 27
USC left tackle Austin Jackson has become a hot prospect, and he showed why with an excellent game against Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish have some talented pass-rushers, and Jackson did well neutralizing their speed and protecting the blind side of his quarterback.
Jackson looks like a first-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. The 6-foot-6, 305-pounder is a great athlete with quick feet and excellent agility. He is an easy mover who can bend at the knee and play with good leverage. There are times when Jackson gets away with some things because he is so athletic, but he will need to work on technique for the NFL. He is raw from a fundamentals standpoint, but his skill set is that of a franchise left tackle.
Team sources say that Jackson is a good kid who will interview well in the leadup to the draft and also will work out well because of his excellent skill set. Earlier this year, Jackson was away from the team while donating bone marrow to his younger sister, and he has played extremely well since coming back to the Trojans. Don't be surprised if Jackson is a steady riser during the 2020 NFL Draft process.
USC wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. has enjoyed a good season for the Trojans, but the Fighting Irish were determined not to let Pittman beat them. They planned on sending double teams his direction, and they were successful at putting the clamps on Pittman with bracket coverage. He had only four catches for 29 yards. Pittman is a big physical receiver, but he has speed limitations, so team sources are projecting Pittman to the third round of the 2020 NFL Draft.
USC employed a similar strategy to keep Notre Dame wide receiver Chase Claypool in check. He was held to three catches for 47 yards. Claypool also is a big wideout who is physical and dangerous after the catch but has speed limitations for the NFL. He also could go in the mid-rounds next April.
LSU 42, Florida 28
This game featured a good draft matchup with Florida cornerback C.J. Henderson seeing two potential first-round wide receivers in Justin Jefferson and Ja'Marr Chase. Henderson showed his good combination of size and speed, but overall, the LSU receivers got the better of Henderson and some of the weaknesses in the cover corner's game were clearly evident.
On the first play of the game, Henderson missed a tackle near the line of scrimmage, letting the receiver was able to break away for first-down yardage. Henderson is an awful tackler, and that has come up at critical times this year. Later on the drive, Henderson ran with Ja'Marr Chase on a go route into the end zone, and Henderson did a superb job of playing the ball to smack it away for an incompletion. However on the next drive, Chase got inside of Henderson on a slant near the goal line and Burrow threw a strike into the tight window for a touchdown.
Late in the first quarter, Henderson made a surprisingly nice tackle in space on Justin Jefferson to limit the reception to a yard and get his defense off the field by keeping Jefferson from first-down yardage. In the second quarter, Jefferson got open on a middle crossing route that he took upfield for a 36-yard gain. He drew a pass interference in the end zone on the next play when Jefferson was close to breaking open for a score. To end the drive, Jefferson caught a short touchdown after he outfightin a defender for the ball.
Early in the third quarter, Henderson had another missed tackle, and that allowed the receiver to run for first-down yardage. Later on the drive, Henderson stumbled when Chase ran a crossing route, and that let Chase get open to move the chains. Jefferson got open on a comeback route versus Henderson on the same drie.
In the fourth quarter, Jefferson made an impressive run after the catch, breaking tackles and getting a gain of about 20 yards. Midway through the fourth quarter, Henderson got picked by the running back and then bumped into his own teammate to let Chase get wide open for a 54-yard touchdown. The pick from the running back should have drew a penalty because that play is illegal, but the officiating was incompetent.
Overall, this tape will help Jefferson and hurt Henderson. Jefferson ended up totaling 10 receptions for 123 yards with a touchdown, showing his mismatch combination of size and speed. Henderson allowed some receptions and, once again, showed that he is a bad tackler for the NFL.
LSU quarterback Joe Burrow has enjoyed a strong senior year to improve his draft stock, and that continued with a very efficient game against Florida. On the first drive of the game, Burrow threw some well-placed passes and used his feet to dodge a sack. He threw a strike into a tight window for a touchdown pass on the second possession. Shortly later, Burrow rolled out and threw another short scoring strike with a well-placed fastball to Justin Jefferson. Burrow had the 54-yard score to Chase in the second half, and Burrow was accurate throwing the ball in rhythm throughout the night. He made good decisions, and also used his legs to total 43 yards on the ground.
Burrow is having an excellent season for LSU, showing the ability to be a game manager. He has a skill set that is good enough to play in the NFL, but he has some limitations. Thus, team sources say they see him in the mid-rounds and potentially sneaking into Day 2 of the 2020 NFL Draft as his ceiling.
The top prospect in this game was LSU safety Grant Delpit, and he proved why with a very good performance. At the end of the first quarter, Delpit made his presence felt with a superb tackle on quarterback Kyle Trask, who was close to getting first-down yardage on a third-down scramble. However early in the second quarter, Gators tight end Kyle Pitts made a catch over Delpit. Delpit had pretty good coverage on the play as he was running with Pitts, but it was a better throw and catch by the Florida connection. Later on the drive, Pitts was open for a touchdown, but Delpit flew over and blasted Pitts to separate the ball for an incompletion.
In the second quarter, Delpit showed great range as a deep free safety, flying across the field to break up a pass downfield. He continued to be around the ball with an excellent tackle at the line of scrimmage after beating a block.
This was an excellent tape for Delpit, who showed everything a pro team could want. He played excellent coverage downfield as a single high free safety, he was a tough eighth man in the box, he showed man-coverage skills on tight ends, and was a good physical tackler. This tape will help him to go as a top-20 pick next April during the 2020 NFL Draft.
Florida edge rusher Jon Greenard is a potential early-rounder, but he had a rough night that could really put a damper on his draft stock. Early in the first quarter, Greenard went out of the game early with a leg injury and did not return to the game. Greenard missed almost all of last year with an injury, so another serious ailment could put a big medical red flag on his draft report.
Florida running back Lamical Perine does not get a lot of running room behind his weak offensive line, but Perine is a good player who finds a way to make some clutch plays for the Gators.
In the first quarter, Perine had a tremendous run, breaking a few tackles behind the scrum at the line of scrimmage, and then darting around the left side to get downfield for a gain of 17 yards. Later on the drive, Perine made a nice reception while taking a big hit to get the Gators a first down. He lined up as a receiver and made a nice hands catch on the pass behind him. In the second quarter, Perine came through with a clutch play, catching a deflected pass for a touchdown on a fourth-and-goal. He totaled 65 yards on 17 carries with two catches for 12 yards. This tape will help his draft grade.
Alabama 47, Texas A&M 28
Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is the favorite to be the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, and he proved that once again by continuing to dominate the competition.
Tagovailoa set the tone right away with some short precision throws, including a swing pass that was turned into a 31-yard touchdown. On the next possession, Tagovailoa was blitzed and wisely got rid of the ball to hit DeVonta Smith on the run, and he raced for a 47-yard score. Tagovailoa added his third touchdown pass of the half on a third-and-7 when he scrambled and found Najee Harris for a 16-yard score. Tagovailoa was tricked into an interception late in the first half, as the Aggies gave a lot of space to Jerry Jeudy running into the end zone, but had a safety sneak underneath to undercut the pass for an interception.
Tagovailoa rebounded when he threw his fourth touchdown in the third quarter. He laid out a ball to Henry Ruggs for a 33-yard score. The pass was slightly underthrown, but Ruggs adjusted to make a leaping grab over the defender. Tagovailoa finished completing 21-of-34 passes for 293 yards with four touchdowns and an interception.
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. This tape will help him to be a high first-round pick.
Texas A&M quarterback Kellen Mond has a pro skill set, and he was building a buzz in the scouting community, but that was before hw had an ugly performance against Clemson. Since then, Mond has been better in some games, but he needed a big performance against Alabama to help his draft stock. Mond came through with an impressive showing. He battled hard using his arm and legs to move the ball and put points on the board.
Mond had a strong start to the game, throwing some precision passes to move the ball. He also used his feet to pick up some tough yards on the ground, including a quarterback sneak for a short rushing touchdown.
Mond rolled out late in the opening quarter and found a wide open receiver in busted coverage for 31 yards. However, if Mond saw it sooner and threw the ball faster, it could have gone for a lot more yards and potentially a long touchdown. Mond then converted a third-and-10 with a laser to the sideline to put the ball in perfect place for his receiver to make a leaping grab for 17 yards. It was a money throw from Mond that illustrates his pro skill set.
Mond found a receiver wide open in busted coverage for a 35-yard touchdown pass in the second half. He added a 36-yard run later in the fourth quarter, and was superb on the next play to pull himself free from a defensive tackle grabbing his arm and then stepping up in the pocket to throw a perfect 18-yard touchdown strike in the back of the end zone. Mond finished completing 24-of-42 passes for 264 yards with two touchdowns and zero interceptions.
This tape really helps Mond, as he threw the ball accurately into some small windows and showed off a powerful arm capable of beating good coverage with velocity and placement. Mond also was superb with his feet. He dodged a lot of sacks, threw well on the run, and picked up critical yards with his feet when nothing was open downfield. On top of Mond showing a good arm and legs, he was tough as nails taking a lot of hits and not exiting the game while being banged up. He was fearless as a runner and had a very gutty performance. Pro evaluators are going to love the fight that Mond displayed. Compared to how he played versus Clemson, Mond showed vast improvement with his footwork, decision-making, composure and ball placement against Alabama. This tape will really help his draft grade.
Alabama wide receiver Jerry Jeudy (4-50) is the consensus top wideout for the 2020 NFL Draft. Jeudy had a solid game, catching four passes for 50 yards. He got open for other receptions but some passes went to other receivers as the Crimson Tide have an embarrassment of riches at the position. Jeudy has seen a lot of coverage this year, and that has helped open things up for DeVonta Smith, Henry Ruggs III and Jaylen Waddle.
Alabama cornerback Trevon Diggs is a potential first-rounder next April, and he had an eventful game against Texas A&M. Diggs overpursued to the flat early on, and that let Quartney Davis juke him to get into the end zone. However, Diggs was bailed out by an illegal block penalty on the Aggies. He later had what looked like an interception with a long return, but he was called for a suspect holding penalty on the play that negated the turnover. Later in the fourth quarter, Diggs showed some make up ability to work back to the receiver and break up a pass on an out route. He then ran with a receiver on a go route to break up another pass, but he could have been called for holding.
Overall, this was a solid tape from Diggs, showing his ability to maintain coverage, use his length to his advantage and play the ball.
Clemson 45, Florida State 14
The top prospect in this game was Clemson linebacker Isaiah Simmons, and he was seeing a future NFL running back in Cam Akers. Simmons was impressive helping to shut down Akers while flying around the field for Clemson. He was constantly around the ball and making it difficult for the Seminoles to move the ball. Simmons showed his closing speed in the second quarter, as he was spying the quarterback on a third-down play, and when he rolled out, Simmons exploded onto him to get a sack fumble for Clemson. Florida State was lucky the ball rolled out of bounds.
Simmons recovered a third-quarter fumble from Akers after the Seminole took a bone-rattling hit to separate the ball. Akers saw the hit coming, so it was an ugly play from a ball-security standpoint. Akers ended up running for 34 yards on nine carries. This tape will hurt him, as he did not look that impressive going against the better competition and had the ugly fumble.
Simmons is a top-20 pick, as he can do everything on the field. He is a sideline-to-sideline run defender who is fast and physical. He also covers well in pass coverage while being able to contribute to the pass rush as a dangerous blitzer. This tape is going to help Simmons cause teams to fall in love and improve how highly he gets selected on the opening night of the draft.
This game had the potential for a good draft matchups with Clemson cornerback A.J. Terrell taking on Florida State wide receiver Tamorrion Terry, but unfortunately they didn't go head to head much, and Florida State's quarterbacks were completely incompetent.
In the second quarter, Terry had a step on his cornerback for a deep-ball touchdown but the pass was under thrown to let the corner break up the pass. Terry later showed his big-play ability, running a slant and after getting open for a 15-yard catch. He spun back to the sideline to run away from the defense for a 63-yard touchdown. Terry had only two receptions for 83 yards and a score versus Clemson, but Terry has a special combination with size and speed to make him a first- or second-round pick in his draft class.
Clemson running back Travis Etienne had a bounce-back performance against Florida State. Etienne needed it as he was coming off an ugly game versus North Carolina where he didn't run well, fumbled the ball, and also was weak as a blocker. He looked much better taking on the Seminoles, and Clemson quickly got him in a groove. Etienne had a few good runs in the second quarter to pick up yards and set up scores for the Tigers that put the game away for the Tigers.
Etienne ran for 127 yards on 17 carries while catching a short touchdown pass. Using his speed, vision and cutting ability, Etienne did a good job of weaving through the Florida State defense. He looks like a potential day-two pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.
Oklahoma 34, Texas 27
Sooners wide receiver CeeDee Lamb has the skill set to be a first-round pick even though Oklahoma is not getting him the ball as well as they did with Kyler Murray or Baker Mayfield. When Lamb touches the ball, big things happen for the Sooners. He put that on display in the Red River Rivalry, as he totaled three touchdowns and 171 yards on 10 receptions.
Lamb had a short touchdown catch early in the game, as he got open running to the front corner of the end zone while getting help from a pick. Lamb was showing his good route-running throughout the opening half to consistently gain separation and move the chains with some moderate gains.
In the third quarter, Lamb got wide open in busted coverage and then dodged a few tacklers to get into the end zone for a 51-yard score. Lamb later struck again, as he made a few defenders to miss on a 27-yard touchdown catch.
Lamb is making the most of his opportunities this season, showing that he could be a potential No. 1 receiver in the NFL. 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, run-after-the-catch skills, and receiving production is important. This tape will help Lamb's draft stock.
Oklahoma linebacker Kenneth Murray is another potential early-rounder that was impressive versus Texas. Murray made his presence felt early when he used one arm to rip down a wide receiver into the turf to destroy a flanker screen. He then came on an interior blitz and blew up a third-down run to create a tackle for a loss that got the Oklahoma defense off the field. He followed that up by firing to the perimeter to get an open field tackle for no gain.
Early in the third quarter, Murray came through with a big sack as he lined up as a defensive end and then looped around the middle to explode down the pocket for the sack. Aside from those plays, Murray was flying around the field and made a bunch of tackles. He is an excellent run defender with instincts and sideline-to-sideline speed. In pass defense, Murray is fast and athletic to cover a lot of ground while also being a dangerous blitzes. Murray looks like a future first- or second-round pick, and this tape will help his draft grade.
Texas wide receiver Collin Johnson has missed some game action in recent weeks, but he returned to the field against Oklahoma. Early on, he got open on a stop route along the sideline, creating big separation for a gain of about 15. Johnson later had a great block downfield to help his running back get an extra do yards and set up a first-and-goal. He then made a superb diving catch, showing strong hands to snatch the ball out of the air. Johnson totaled 82 yards on six catches. This was a solid tape from him.
South Carolina 20, Georgia 17
Jake Fromm is the consensus third-rated quarterback prospect for the 2020 NFL Draft. He has cruised over mostly easy competition this season while also leading a comeback win over Notre Dame. Fromm is known as being a quarterback who takes care of the ball and has superb ball security. However, this game was an anomaly for Fromm, as he really struggled with turnovers against South Carolina.
Fromm threw his first interception of the season late in the opening half, and it was returned 53 yards for a touchdown. Fromm was under pressure from South Carolina defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw and made a terrible throw floating a ball out to the sideline. The cornerback jumped the pass and coasted down the field for the score. On the next drive, Fromm held the ball too long and took a coverage sack, as Kinlaw worked through right guard Cade Mays to bring down Fromm.
Fromm had another critical turnover, as he fumbled a snap and South Carolina was able to recover the loose ball. Fromm threw another interception in the fourth quarter, as he and his receiver weren't on the same page. Fromm thought the receiver was running an out, but he didn't, and the pass floated to the cornerback for an interception.
Fromm led a game-tying drive late in the fourth quarter, as he made some accurate throws and a scramble to move the chains. He finished the drive with a well-placed ball in the back of the end zone for the touchdown that forced overtime. However, Fromm had some bad luck in overtime, as he threw a perfect pass to a receiver wide open in zone coverage, but the wideout dropped the pass, which was intercepted off the deflection.
The Georgia receivers really hurt Fromm, as they really struggled to get separation. Fromm finished completing 28-of-51 passes for 295 yards with three touchdowns and an interception.
This tape hurts Fromm's draft stock, as it illustrates some of his limitations. Fromm does not have a strong arm or mobility to make big plays with his feet. He is an accurate passer who is a good game manager, but in this game he couldn't produce big plays based off his skill set. Fromm needs a strong supporting cast to make plays and let him be a point guard who distributes the ball to playmakers rather than being depended on to produce the huge plays himself.
Fromm does not have a great projected NFL skill set, but he is an accurate passer wgo makes good decisions and manages the game well. Multiple team sources from different teams say that Fromm's arm strength is average at best. He also is not a dynamic athlete or running threat. However, scouts rave about his intangibles and intelligence, so while Fromm may not have elite physical traits, they think some evaluators and coaches will fall in love with him because he has been a winner throughout his college career. Thus, Fromm has a good shot to be a first-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft if he comes out.
This game had an excellent draft matchup in the trenches with Kinlaw taking on Georgia's talented interior line led by left guard Solomon Kindley, a potential first- or second-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. They did not go up against each other a lot, as Kinlaw mostly went against the right side of the line, but Kinlaw was impressive with his performance against Georgia.
Kinlaw had a good rush in the second quarter, as he came on a stunt and ran by right tackle Isaiah Wilson to pressure Fromm into a pick-six. Kinlaw then worked through right guard Cade Mays to bring down Fromm on a coverage sack. Kinlaw later used speed to dart by the right side of the line and get to Fromm again.
The first thing that stands out about Kinlaw is his size. He is a tall, thick, and good-looking athlete. After passing the eyeball test, one can see some special ability as Kinlaw really fires off the ball. He is quick to close and has strength to fight off blockers. Kinlaw (6-6, 310) gets into trouble when he stands up too high. Working on his technique will help him to get more out of his excellent skill set. Kinlaw helped his draft grade with this performance, and it will improve his chances of being a Thursday night pick, as he had provided a big impact and had a lot of wins while going against an NFL offensive line, as all five Georgia blockers will play on Sundays.
Kindley gave up a few pressures on bull rushes and one was a great rush by Kinlaw bulling him straight back like Kindley was on roller skates. There was another play were Kinldey gave up a pressure getting knocked back and the defender chasing Fromm out of the pocket. There was a tough-luck play in the third quarter for Kindley, as he had his man blocked, but on a second effort, the defender got free as the coverage downfield caused Fromm to hold onto the ball too long and Kindley's defender worked off him to get a sack as Fromm climbed the pocket. This tape won't help Kindley to be a first-round pick, but it won't hurt him significantly. It illustrates he could stand to improve his technique to not play as high and it would help him to drop some weight.
Georgia left tackle Andrew Thomas is one of the top prospects for the 2020 NFL Draft, and he was seeing some quality defenders on South Carolina's offensive line. Thomas gave up a few pressures, but he played well against the Game Cocks. Thomas had some big run blocks getting a push at the point of attack. Late in the fourth quarter, Thomas allowed a hit on Fromm as the quarterback held onto the ball long trying to set up a Hail Mary.
This tape shouldn't hurt Thomas' draft stock, as he is a franchise left tackle for the NFL. He is a skilled pass protector with quickness, athleticism, size, technique and length. As a run blocker, Thomas is a good contributor and is more effective than many left tackles. If Thomas maintains this level of play, he should hear his name being one of the first announced in the 2020 draft.
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