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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Arizona State 31, Oregon 28
Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert is likely a top-five pick next April, but he didn't play like it losing to a 5-5 Arizona State team. Herbert started well, making some accurate throws in the first quarter to move the ball. He had perfect ball placement, lofting in a beauty down the sideline for a gain just short of 30 yards that set up a short rushing touchdown, but after that the rest of the game was a struggle for the Ducks star quarterback.
Herbert seemed rattled and out of sync starting in the second quarter. His footwork was off, which led to him sailing some throws over open receivers and missing some passes downfield that he normally would complete. Herbert was also fortunate not to throw a pick-six when he forced a ball on a well-covered screen pass that bounced off the hands of a defender. Shortly later, Herbert took a bad coverage sack on a third down despite having plenty of time to get rid of the ball. It was a poor demonstration of pocket awareness and an uncharacteristicly poor decision.
Midway through the second half, Herbert had a rolling pocket with a pass along the sideline, but he was baited into an interception by a cornerback who undercut the pass for the pick. The Sun Devils turned that into eight points to go up 21-7 early in the fourth quarter.
Herbert was now facing some adversity and it was gut check time, but he continued to struggle, throwing to another covered receiver for an interception. The timing was off with a low snap, but it was a poor decision with Herbert forcing a pass when he had a clean pocket and time to work through his progressions.
Herbert came back to make a nice play by opening up a receiver with a pump fake to the other side and then hitting an accurate back-shoulder throw downfield to beat good coverage from the defensive back. To end that drive, Herbert found Johnny Johnson for a 24-yard touchdown strike to bring Oregon within three points. It was a good play design that had Johnson get wide open in busted coverage. Late in the fourth quarter, Herbert threw the ball into a crowd of defenders and two receivers and was fortunate that an easy interception was dropped after it bounced off the shoulder pad of the defensive back. Later on the drive, Herbert had a screen pass that was turned into a 17-yard touchdown, but Arizona State put Oregon away for the win. Herbert was 20-of-36 for 304 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions.
Earlier this year, I remarked to some team sources that I worried about Herbert struggling in tight pressure-packed situations and being able to bring his team back from a deficit in big games. Some team sources agreed, while others felt that wasn't issue of concern. This game gives reason to think that Herbert may not have a killer instinct and an ability to push his team to wins. Herbert is a quiet player, which even his fans in the scouting community acknowledge, who he does not have vocal leadership skills for the NFL. Herbert has a great skill set with a powerful arm, the ability to pass the ball accurately, and mobility. However, some team sources feel something could be missing with him and this tape will help to reinforce that opinion.
There was a lot of hype for Arizona State running back Eno Benjamin entering this season, but it has been a frustrating year for him as his offensive line has struggled to open holes for him consistently. Benjamin stepped up against Oregon to delivered a huge game that helped the Sun Devils pull off the upset of the No. 6 team in the nation.
All night, Benjamin ran well, showing his quickness to hit the hole and accelerate to the second level. In the third quarter, Benjamin displayed his talent as a check-down receiver, making two catches with the speed to rip off yards in the open field. Benjamin broke down defenders in the open field, juking them and dodging tacklers to help move the chains for the Sun Devils. He ran with attitude stiff-arming and carried defenders for extra yardage on some carries. At the end of the third quarter, Benjamin caught a pass in the flat and dove for the pylon on a two-point conversion.
Against Oregon, Benjamin ran for 114 yards on 31 carries while catching five passes for 54 yards. This tape will definitely help Benjamin as he showed good speed, cutting ability, toughness, vision and versatility. His draft grade needed a performance like this, and in the spring, this tape will help him in the leadup to the 2020 NFL Draft.
Oklahoma 28, TCU 24
Oklahoma linebacker Kenneth Murray had a quality outing, patrolling sideline-to-sideline getting in on tackles and limiting TCU on the ground. He was a tough tackler at the point of attack and showed his sideline-to-sideline speed and superb ability to play in space.
In the first quarter, Murray looked like he was shot out of gun when he diagnosed a screen and closed on the back in an instant to dish out a blistering hit on the back for a loss of a few yards. On the next play, Murray pushed a receiver out of bounds after flying from the middle of the field to the sideline to make a third-down stop that forced a punt. Murray later got in on a sack, showing his dangerous speed as a blitzer. Murray also did a nice job in pass coverage in the middle of the field, covering a lot of ground in zone and picking up receivers who came into his area. He did an excellent job of covering backs out of the backfield as well. Murray totaled nine tackles with 2.5 for a loss against TCU.
For the NFL, some team sources think Murray could be a Mike - middle - linebacker or a Will - weakside - linebacker. Other team evaluators think he is a Will linebacker who is a run-and-chase defender. They think he would be better not having to diagnose at the snap and being allowed to just play as a seek-and-destroy defender. Either way, the team evaluators were in agreement that Murray is a future first-rounder, and some think he could go as a top-10 pick.
There was the potential good draft matchup in this game with Oklahoma wide receiver CeeDee Lamb taking on TCU cornerback Jeff Gladney. Lamb returned to the field after missing last week's game with a head injury he sustained against Iowa State. Unfortunately, they did not line up against each other a lot and Gladney had a quiet game as Oklahoma ran the ball a lot.
Midway through the first half, Lamb made his presence felt by catching his 14th touchdown of the season on a short back-shoulder throw along the sideline of the end zone. In the third quarter, Lamb got a step on Gladney while running a corner post and burst into the end zone, but the pass was overthrown on what should have been a 42-yard touchdown. Lamb ended up catching two passes for 16 yards and a touchdown. Overall, this tape won't hurt or help either player.
CeeDee Lamb wasn't the only talented receiver in this game who has been held back all year by a quarterback who struggles as a passer. TCU wide receiver Jalen Reagor is one of the most dangerous receivers in college football, but you wouldn't know it from just watching the 2019 season because the Horned Frogs' quarterback has really struggled to throw the ball, displaying terrible accuracy all year. That played out again against Oklahoma in what extends a frustrating season for the speedster Reagor.
In the second quarter, Reagor had a cornerback burned for a long would-be touchdown and the defender had to grab and hold Reagor to prevent the score, but the call was correctly made by the officials. Reagor later had a good 16-yard run on an end around to set up a touchdown for TCU. Midway through the third quarter, Reagor had his cornerback burned for what should have been a 40-yard touchdown, but the pass was overthrown incomplete. That play puts Reagor's senior year in a microcosm.
Late in the fourth quarter, Reagor had it happen again while running wide open downfield, but the ball was overthrown. This time, he drew a pass interference. Reagor had only one reception for nine yards, but this outing will help him with pro evaluators as he showed major speed to challenges defenses vertically and the ability to separate. Despite the quarterback play, Reagor should be a first- or second-round pick next April.
Baylor 24, Texas 10
Texas left tackle Sam Cosmi could be an early-round pick in the 2020 or 2021 NFL Draft. He was seeing a quality defensive line, led by Bears junior defensive end James Lynch, the Big 12's leading sack producer. Overall, Cosmi played pretty well versus the Bears.
Throughout the game, Cosmi showed that he has quality size, quickness and athleticism. However, Cosmi also illustrated that he must get stronger for the NFL. Cosmi gave up some pressures on a bull rush, as he was pushed straight back into the pocket. There were a few other plays where Cosmi got in good position, but was grabbing and fortunate that he wasn't called for a hold because defenders were about to charge through him or shed the block. If Cosmi can get stronger, he could become a complete player. Cosmi has quick feet, is a knee bender, and does a very good job of getting depth in his drop to cut off the edge.
Scouts like Cosmi and think he is a better prospect than Connor Williams was at Texas. They feel that Cosmi is raw and needs development, but athletically, he is an interesting prospect with some upside. Team sources feel that he should go back to school if he wants to be a secure first-round pick in his draft class.
Baylor wide receiver Denzel Mims is having a quality senior year, and he made some big plays against the Longhorns. In the first half, Mims made some receptions to move the chains for Baylor, but Texas kept him from producing any big plays. That changed in the third quarter when Mims made a superb finger-tip grab on a back-shoulder throw, showing strong hands and body control to make that reception. To finish the drive, Mims climbed the ladder to make a catch over a cornerback in the end zone. He totaled seven receptions for 125 yards and a touchdown against Texas.
Mims is a bigger receiver, but he could have speed issues in the NFL. Team sources say they are projecting him to being draftable on the final day of the draft.
Georgia 19, Texas A&M 13
Georgia quarterback Jake Fromm could be a first-round quarterback prospect for the 2020 NFL Draft, and he has been an excellent game manager throughout his collegiate career. However, Fromm's skill set is not that of a high first-rounder, and this tape won't help Fromm, as he let some big-play opportunities get away from him.
Fromm had his running back wide open running down the sideline in the first quarter, but the pass was fired late and underthrown, as it sailed behind his target and out of bounds. Fromm then missed another receiver running wide open for a touchdown. Georgia executed a flee-flicker, and Fromm had his receiver running behind two defensive backs, but he overthrew the receiver incomplete. Fromm came back to throw a 16-yard touchdown pass, but he had a receiver streaking open down the sideline after getting away with a push off. On the next possession, Fromm had another receiver open downfield, but the pass was slightly overthrown.
Fromm started to get more accurate after halftime, and found some receivers downfield for a couple of critical completions to move the chains and keep the hot Kellen Mond on the sideline. Late in the fourth quarter, Fromm made a poor read at the line of scrimmage not changing the protection set, and that led to a tackle for a loss. Fromm got chewed out by teammate D'Andre Swift for the missed read. Swift bailed out Fromm a few plays later, making a big third-down run to get a first down that clinched the win for Georgia. Fromm completed 11-of-23 for 163 yards with one touchdown and zero interceptions.
Fromm does not have a great skill set, but he is an accurate passer in the short to intermediate part of the field who makes good decisions and manages the game well. In this game, Fromm's downfield accuracy was poor, but that hasn't always been the case. 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. Thus, Fromm has a good shot to be a first-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft if he declares.
Texas A&M quarterback Kellen Mond has a good skill set, and he has shown improvement throughout the 2019 season. Taking on a good Georgia defense, Mond had a mixed outing, but was overmatched. His receivers had issues getting open and his offensive line allowed him to see steady pressure. Mond had some bad plays where he held the ball too long to take coverage sacks when he should have thrown the ball away. He also had a few passes sail high on him.
There were also some beautiful passes made by Mond when he had time. Mond made some gorgeous throws over defenders into tight windows with perfect ball placement to beat coverage. Those throws had good gains, but many of the drives stalled, as the Aggies' line was not winning in the trenches. In the fourth quarter, Mond threw some beautiful strikes downfield with perfect accuracy as Mond was hitting deep crossing routes with great precision. He was showing confidence as well going into windows where if he was off a yard in placement he could have had interceptions, but with his receivers not providing big separation, Mond did not have a choice but to make perfect throws to move the ball. To end an impressive drive, Mond threw a 19-yard touchdown. Mond then made an excellent read of the Georgia coverage to help get Kendrick Rogers open for a gain of about 25 on the next drive.
Mond finished completing 25-of-42 passes for 275 yards with a touchdown. This game was somewhat similar to Mond's tape against Alabama. Mond had some early struggles, but finished the game strong and put his team on his back to make it closer with points in the second half. Just like against the Crimson Tide, Mond gutted it out taking a lot of hits and playing while getting progressively banged up.
Mond should return for his senior year. He has a good skill set with arm strength, size and running ability, but he has consistency issues. There are times where Mond throws passes with phenomenal accuracy and ball placement. Other times, he needs to get more consistent to avoid overthrows, and not hold onto the ball too long. Mond has a lot of upside so he could continue to improve his accuracy, field vision, timing, precision and decision-making with more reps. Mond has shown a lot of improvement this season while getting more time with Jimbo Fisher, but he still needs more work for the NFL and it would be a mistake for him to come out early. If he improves as a senior, he could be a potential first-round pick in 2021.
Georgia left tackle Andrew Thomas is one of the top prospects for the 2020 NFL Draft, and he was seeing some quality young defenders on the Texas A&M defensive line. Thomas gave up a few pressures but he played well overall against the Aggies. Thomas had some big run blocks getting a push at the point of attack. Thomas also allowed a sack, as the Aggies sent two blitzes at him with one to the outside and one to the inside. Fromm needed to recognize that there were too many rushers for his blockers to handle and get rid of the ball quickly, but he held on and took the sack. Thomas later whiffed on his block allowing a speed rusher to dart to the inside to get a tackle for a loss.
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. Thomas should hear his name being one of the first ones announced in the 2020 NFL Draft.
Georgia running back D'Andre Swift is the favorite to the first running back drafted next April and showed his special ability against Texas A&M. In the fourth quarter, Swift made some clutch runs to get first downs to clinch the win and keep the Aggies offense from getting another possession. He totaled 103 yards on 19 carries and four receptions for 29 yards. On top of running well, Swift had some good blocks in blitz protection, stone walling linebackers and giving his quarterback time to get rid of the ball. This tape will definitely help his grade.
Ohio State 28, Penn State 17
After serving a two-game suspension for taking a loan from a family member, Ohio State defensive end Chase Young returned to the field for the Buckeyes in time to take on the best team on their regular-season schedule. Young was in the same dominant form that he's been in all season, as he completely dominated the Penn State right tackle.
Young started his day with a tackle for a loss in the ground game, as he redirected to take down the back for the loss of a few. He used speed to burn the right tackle by dipping under the block to get the sack on the very next play that set Ohio State's single season record at 14.
In the third quarter, with Penn State threatening to tie the game, Young was single blocked by the right tackle, and it was an easy sack for him to run around the corner to force a field goal attempt. He had what could have been considered a sack shortly later after a fumbled snap, and he burned the right tackle again, but it was ruled a tackle for a loss. Young later had another sack off a speed rush, as he was single blocked again. Young totaled nine tackles, three sacks and four tackles for a loss.
It was a fantastic performance for Young and will help him to be a top-five pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. Young has an innate ability to get after the quarterback. He has a quick first step with a nice get off that gets offensive tackles on their heels. Young has quickness around the edge and is able to close on the quarterback quickly. Young shows functional athleticism to sink his hips and dip under tackles to beat their blocks. He also is effective working to the inside as he has some strength to execute a rip move to the inside and also is able to knock tackles off balance with a hard shove and then cut to the inside to collapse the pocket. Young also shows nice vision to keep his eyes on the quarterback, and that along with his athleticism, allows him to redirect for chasing down scrambling signal-callers. Young is a balanced pass rusher and should continue to improve as he gains experience. Young looks like a potential double-digit sack producer in the NFL who is a No. 1 edge rusher for a defense to be built around.
Penn State defensive end Yetur Gross-Matos should also join Young in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft, as Gross-Matos has top-20 potential. The Nittany Lions don't let Gross-Matos rush the quarterback like Ohio State does with Young. Gross-Matos gets moved around a lot with some snaps on the inside, and they have him play a lot of containment on the edge rather than giving him a green light to go after the quarterback. The result is Gross-Matos' sack total does not reflect as good of a pass rusher as he is.
Gross-Matos fought off a block from left tackle Thayer Munford early in the game to get a tackle for a loss and set up a third-and-11. Gross-Matos then drew a holding penalty from Munford, as Gross-Matos had leverage to cut into the backfield. The very next play, Gross-Matos had a superb rush as he used speed to get upfield and then shed Munford with strong hands to work back to the middle and take down Justin Fields for the sack.
Gross-Matos later fired to the inside of the line and joined a teammate to get another tackle for a loss in the ground game. Gross-Matos then had a courage sack. He started out in containment on the edge, holding his gap against the right tackle, but when Justin Fields started to climb the pocket, Gross-Matos chased him down.
This was a very good tape for Gross-Matos. He showed the speed to get upfield and hunt the quarterback with the functional strength to shed blocks. Gross-Matos does a nice job of using his hands and feet at the same time. In the ground game, Gross-Matos does a nice job of holding his gap, and Ohio State ran away from Gross-Matos in short-yardage situations. Gross-Matos has an excellent motor and plays through the whistle. This tape should help him to be a top-20 pick next April.
Ohio State cornerback Jeff Okudah is a future top-10 pick, and this game showed why, as he blanketed the Penn State receivers. It was a quiet game from Okudah, but that was because he was preventing separation and keeping his receivers from getting open. This tape will help his draft grade.
Ohio State running back J.K. Dobbins set the tone for his game on the opening drive, ripping off a run of about 15 and then adding another chunk run powering through a tackler to set up a short rushing touchdown. Dobbins later added another short rushing touchdown.
It wasn't all good for Dobbins, as he had a critical error that helped get the Nittany Lions back in the game. Midway through the third quarter, Dobbins fumbled the ball away as he was stripped by Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons. The Nittany Lions recovered the ball at the Ohio State 12-yard line.
While that fumble was disappointing, Dobbins showed is toughness, taking 36 carries against Penn State and turning them into 157 yards with the two scores. He had one reception for 11 yards. Dobbins showed quickness to hit the hole, cutting ability to weave around defenders, and strength to finish his runs well. If Dobbins does not produce more games with ball-security issues, this tape shouldn't hurt him significantly.
Ohio State left tackle Thayer Munford was a candidate to be a potential early-round pick who entered the draft early, but this season, he has not been that impressive. This was another disappointing performance that indicates he should return to the Buckeyes next year. Gross-Matos beat Munford for a sack and tackle for a loss, and he drew a holding penalty. Clearly, Munford had his hands full and did not look like a player ready to compete at the NFL level.
In speaking with some team sources, they feel that Munford is not making the case that he should skip his senior year and enter the 2020 NFL Draft. Munford needs to improve his technique and get more polished to take on pro edge rushers. This tape will hurt his draft grade if he comes out.
Oklahoma State 20, West Virginia 13
Oklahoma State redshirt sophomore running back Chuba Hubbard has taken college football by storm this season and has emerged as an early-round prospect for the 2020 NFL Draft. Hubbard is taking no team by surprise anymore, and it would be interesting to see how he did with lots of defensive attention focused on stopping him.
Hubbard showed tons of NFL talent on one screen pass early in the game. He made an acrobatic one-handed catch with the pass off the mark, he then followed his blockers well, broke a tackle with superb contact balance, an then accelerated downfield for a 46-yard gain. Aside from that play though, West Virginia did a nice job of containing Hubbard on the ground. He was churning out some tough yards and running well, but the big run fronts kept him from ripping off long gains. Hubbard was doing damage as a receiver on checkdowns to move the ball well through the air. Hubbard totaled 106 yards on 26 carries, his ninth-straight outing with at least 100 yards. He also caught seven passes for 88 yards.
Hubbard lacks elite power and is a bit of a straight-line runner, but he has good vision and feel. Hubbard is a hard runner who has good contact balance with instincts. While Hubbard is a former track competitor, he is not a blazer. Hubbard has starting NFL potential and can make some plays in the passing game, as evidenced by this performance. Some scouts I spoke to feel that Hubbard could go in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft.
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