2021 NFL Draft: College Football Game Recaps – Week 4

This section breaks down many college football games each week and highlights how 2021 NFL Draft Prospects have performed. Or look at the 2021 NFL Draft Stock page.

By Charlie Campbell.
Send Charlie an e-mail here: [email protected]
Follow Charlie on Twitter @draftcampbell for updates.

Miami 52, Florida State 10
  • Brevin Jordan is looking to keep the Miami tradition alive of ‘tight end U,’ and he got his 2020 season off to a good start against Louisville a week ago. Jordan continued his strong play with a solid performance versus Florida State. In the first quarter, Jordan got open running down the seam for an easy 24-yard touchdown. He made a few more receptions after that to finish with 41 yards over five catches, but the Hurricanes did not need to feature Jordan in their blow out of the Seminoles.

    Jordan showed nice receiving ability against Florida State with quickness to get downfield, athleticism to pick up yards after the catch, and smooth route-running. He also had a respectable night as a blocker. This tape will help his draft grade, and he could be a second-day prospect for the 2021 NFL Draft.

  • Florida State defensive tackle Marvin Wilson is a potential early-round pick for the 2021 NFL Draft, but Wilson has not looked as good so far in 2020 compared to how he played last year. In the early going against Miami, Wilson was quiet, as he was not getting off blocks or causing disruptions a pass rusher. In the second quarter, he laid a hit on the quarterback after pushing through a block from a tight end that was a complete mismatch, but Wilson still got there late and the pass went for a long touchdown.

    Wilson made a nice play in the third quarter, hustling downfield to get a tackle on a receiver screen. Wilson, however, led with his helmet on the tackle and was called for targeting, which disqualified him from playing the rest of the game. Against Georgia Tech and Miami, Wilson was stout at the point of attack, but the senior has not shown improvement as a pass rusher early this season.

  • Miami edge rusher Quincy Roche flashed at times against Louisville, but he played better against Florida State. In the second quarter, Roche came off the edge using his speed to get upfield. He slapped down the hands and dipped underneath the left tackle to chase down the quarterback for a sack. A few plays later, Roche swam to the inside and almost got another sack, but he was held by the left tackle. Despite not getting the call, the disruption Roche caused created a sack for a teammate.

    Roche looked faster, stronger, and more effective versus the Seminoles, but Louisville has a better offensive line. Roche will need to ramp up his edge rush ability in the weeks to come to be more than a mid-rounder in the 2021 NFL Draft

    Alabama 38, Missouri 13
  • Alabama wide receiver Jaylen Waddle is small, but speedy receiver who is dynamic playmaker. In the first quarter, Waddle got downfield and made a leaping grab while taking a big shot from a safety to snatch a 46-yard gain for Alabama. Waddle finished that drive by running a corner post route and managing separation for a short touchdown. Shortly later, Waddle caught a little outlet pass in the backfield and then darted downfield to set up a short rushing touchdown for Najee Harris. Waddle juggled the pass, but he was able to control it on the run to get downfield.

    Waddle scored again late in the first half thanks to running an excellent route with a jab step to the outside and bolting vertically down the field. He ran by the corner and the safety to make a tough over-the-shoulder catch for the 23-yard touchdown. Against Missouri, Waddle totaled eight receptions for 134 yards and two scores.

    Sources with NFL teams said that they love Waddle’s game-changing speed and playmaking ability, but they wanted to see Waddle become a more polished receiver instead of just a gadget player, a la T.Y. Hilton rather than Tavon Austin. This season opener was a good start for Waddle, who ran some good routes and showed improved technique with late hands while making more traditional receiver plays. This tape is definitely going to help his draft grade.

  • Alabama running back Najee Harris got his season off to a good start, cruising over an overmatched Missouri defense. He opened the game by running hard downhill and showing his explosiveness, including leaping over would-be tacklers. Harris scored twice on goal-line carries in the first 16 minutes of the game to give Alabama a quick lead. In the third quarter, Harris had an eight-yard touchdown run on which he burst through three tacklers before backing over the goal line. He totaled 98 yards on 17 carries with three touchdowns. This was a solid start to the season for Harris.

  • Missouri linebacker Nick Bolton has the potential to be chosen in the top half of the 2021 NFL Draft, but he got his season off to a slow start versus Alabama. Bolton was very quiet in the early going while the Crimson Tide built their lead. Early in the first quarter, Bolton got knocked backward at the goal line, which helped open space for Harris to fall into the end zone. In the fourth quarter, Bolton scooped up a fumble, but he did not have any splash plays otherwise. This tape showed that Bolton needs to improve his ability to take on and shed blocks for the NFL. He was disappointing and underwhelming in his 2020 season opener.

  • Alabama linebacker Dylan Moses missed the 2019 season after suffering a torn ACL in training camp, so this was his first game play in almost a year and a half. In the first quarter on a fourth-and-2, Moses read a play well to fire into the backfield on the perimeter to take down Larry Rountree for a loss. Shortly later while spying the quarterback, Moses read the play to fire off the right tackle to sack the scrambling signal-caller. This was a solid start to the season for Moses flashing his pre-injury form. It will be interesting to see how Moses plays against tougher competition in the weeks to come.

    Mississippi State 44, LSU 34
  • LSU used to have the best wide receiver in college football in Ja’Marr Chase, but he decided to skip the 2020 season and prepare for the 2021 NFL Draft. Chase really had nothing to gain by playing this fall after his amazing 2019 season, and while that hurts LSU, it benefits teammate Terrace Marshall, who took over as the team’s No. 1 receiver. Even though LSU’s quarterback play was not as good as last year, Marshall played well in to open 2020.

    Marshall had a nice run after the catch early on, breaking two tackles to get a first down. In the third quarter, Marshall got open running a go route down the seam before making a leaping touchdown catch with defenders closing around him. Marshall did it again in the fourth quarter, hauling in a huge touchdown catch to help get his team back in the game. He ran a go route down the sideline and got away with a bit of push off to get open in the end zone for the 33-yard touchdown. Marshall totaled 122 yards and two scores on eight receptions versus Mississippi State. Overall, this tape is going to help Marshall, who had a good debut that showcased his next-level potential.

  • Mississippi State running back Kylin Hill came back to school for 2020 even though he could have been a second-day or mid-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. Hill needed to show more ability in the passing game to help his draft grade, and this tape showed massive improvement on his part. Hill put together a dynamic performance in the 2020 season opener, helping Mike Leach’s pass-happy offense get off to a great start with the Bulldogs.

    Hill made a first-quarter reception for seven yards that saw him hurdle a tackler, and he then had a very nice play in pass protection on which he stonewalled a blitz with a hard hit at the point of attack. In the second quarter, Hill ran a nice route and caught a short pass. He darted downfield with the ball and spun out of a few tackles to pick up 22 yards. Hill made a huge play in the third quarter, catching a pass in the flat after running a wheel route. He dodged two tacklers in the open field after making the catch and exploded for a 75-yard touchdown.

    Hill only had 34 yards rushing on seven carries, but he caught eight passes for 158 yards and a touchdown. This tape will really help Hill, who looked like a dangerous receiver and asuperb weapon in the open field after the catch. He also showed some blocking ability. If Hill can maintain this quality of play in the passing game throughout 2020, Hill could be a second-day pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.

  • This was a good opening game for Mississippi State wide receiver Osirius Mitchell. His first nice gain of the afternoon was about 20 yards on a bubble screen in the first quarter. In the second quarter, Mitchell made a phenomenal catch downfield while being covered closely. He showed late hands to snatch the 34-yard gain before falling out of bounds. Late in the second quarter, Mitchell ran a short crossing route, and after making the catch, he turned vertically to out-race the LSU defense for a 43-yard touchdown.

    Mitchell turned a short crossing route in the fourth quarter into a completion for a gain of 27. He put LSU away in the fourth quarter with a stop-and-go route to get open along the sideline for a 24-yard touchdown. Mitchell totaled 183 yards and two touchdowns on seven catches against LSU.

    The outing against LSU is a good tape for Mitchell, who showed his quickness to get separation, his good route-running, and his yards-after-the-catch ability. Mitchell’s performance against the Tigers is really going to help his draft grade, and he could produce a huge season in Mike Leach’s offense.

  • Mississippi State quarterback K.J. Costello put together a prolific outing in his first game as a Bulldog. Any Mike Leach quarterback will produce big numbers, but Costello showed massive improvement under Leach compared to how he played with Stanford last year.

    Things started out poorly for Costello, who threw a bad pass to a well-covered receiver in the second quarter, which ended up as a pick-six for LSU linebacker Jabril Cox. Costello came back to loft in a pretty 34-yard pass to Osirius Mitchell. A few plays later, Costello tossed a well-thrown ball down the sideline for a 30-yard touchdown. Costello found Osirius Mitchell open on a short crossing route on the next series, and Mitchell rewarded his quarterback by racing about 35 more yards to the end zone.

    In the third quarter, Costello lofted in a beautiful pass to his receiver downfield for a gain of 33. It was a superb touch throw by Costello. On the same drive, Costello hit a corner route with a perfect strike that set up a first-and-goal. Costello got lucky early in the fourth quarter when review saved him from a fumble. He had demonstrated poor ball security while climbing the pocket to avoid the pass rush and had the ball stripped away from him deep in Mississippi State territory. Costello came back to make some huge throws, including his fifth scoring strike, on which he lofted in a perfect 24-yard pass from the far hash to the end zone sideline.

    Costello completed 36-of-60 passes for 623 yards with five touchdowns and two interceptions against LSU. He showed a quality arm with the ability to make touch throws downfield for long gains. Costello definitely needs to improve his ball security, but this was a good tape that will help his draft grade.

    Auburn 29, Kentucky 13
  • Auburn wide receiver Seth Williams could be an early-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, and he got his season off to a good start against a talented Kentucky defense. Early on, Williams couldn’t get away from the safety on a long pass, with the safety breaking up the attempt in blanket coverage. Williams came back to get open on an out route and make a nice run after the catch for a first down.

    In the third quarter, Williams ran a go route and got open in zone coverage for a long gain. He followed that up a bit later by breaking off his route when Bo Nix scrambled, working himself open for Nix to open up a 25-yard gain. Williams ended the drive by using his size to out-leap two defenders for a short touchdown reception.

    Williams did it again early in the fourth quarter, reaching around the back and head of a cornerback to snatch a short touchdown catch. It was not a good pass, but Williams made a superb catch that demonstrated strong hands to secure the reception. Against Kentucky, Williams totaled 112 yards on six receptions and two touchdowns.

    Williams is a big receiver who is dangerous on 50-50 passes, has some run-after-the-catch ability, has secure hands, and is a red-zone weapon. He does not look like he has elite speed for the NFL, but he is a big wide out who runs well enough to be a starting outside receiver as a pro. This tape will help his draft grade.

  • Auburn linebacker K.J. Britt had a good season opener. eH made a superb play at the end of the first quarter, flying to the flat to make a critical open-field tackle on a Kentucky back when there was nothing but green grass behind Britt. That tackle went for no gain, and saved the Auburn defense from giving up a big play. Britt was a force in the ground game, making a lot of tackles and causing disruption in the tackle box. This tape will help his draft stock.

    Florida 51, Ole Miss 35
  • Florida quarterback Kyle Trask is a potential early-round prospect for the 2021 NFL Draft, and he got his senior year off to a good start. Trask led his first touchdown drive in the first quarter, standing tall in the pocket and throwing the ball well in the intermediate level. He made a nice third-down conversion after using his feet to buy some time before finding tight end Kyle Pitts for the first down. Trask closed out the drive by lofting in a short touchdown pass to Pitts. Shortly later, Trask put his arm strength on display by firing a bullet to the front corner of the end zone from the far hash to complete a 22-yard back-shoulder touchdown pass to Trevon Grimes.

    In the second quarter, Trask made some excellent throws to move the chains, despite having to throw flatfooted because of pass rushers hitting him as he let the pass loose. Trask was efficient on another drive late in the first half, using Kadarius Toney in the short passing game and finishing the drive by throwing a perfect strike to Toney in the back of the end zone for a 16-yard score. Trask threw another 16-yard touchdown with less than 10 seconds left in the first half, and it was a particular beauty. Pitts was covered closely, but Trask threw open the tight end, lofting a pass to Pitts’ back shoulder, him turn away from coverage for the score. Trask made the throw from the far hash with perfect touch on the ball to let it drop in to Pitts.

    In the first minute of the third quarter, Trask laid out a deep ball for Pitts for completion of about 30 yards. Pitts stiff-armed a safety away and exploded down the field for a 71-yard touchdown. Trask threw the ball a little late, so Pitts had to slow up for it, but Trask still made a throw to let his playmaking tight end finish the play. Trask put Ole Miss away late in the fourth quarter with a jump ball to Pitts for a short touchdown. Against Ole Miss, Trask completed 30-of-42 passes – 71.4 percent – for 416 yards with six touchdowns and zero interceptions.

    Overall, Trask showed pocket-passing ability for the next level. He displayed accurate, if not impressive, ball placement and made good decisions. With his powerful arm capable of making touch passes, Trask put on display some natural passing ability. He also used his feet at times to help produce positive plays despite not being a running threat. This tape is going to help Trask’s draft grade.

  • I’ve had Pitts in the first round of my 2021 NFL Mock Draft for a long time, and this game gave more support to that projection. Pitts was awesome, dominating the Ole Miss defense. Aside from his two short touchdown catches and long 71-yarder, Pitts put Ole Miss away late in the fourth quarter when he made a touchdown catch over two Ole Miss defenders on a jump ball in the end zone.

    NFL teams saw everything they could hope to see out of a receiving tight end in this game. Pitts showed the speed to run past defensive backs and get open vertically. His 71-yard touchdown was astounding with the way the 6-foot-6, 240-pound tight end ran away from the defensive backs, who couldn’t catch him from behind. Pitts used his size to win 50-50 passes, showed good hands, ran excellent routes, and was utterly unstoppable. He totaled 170 yards on eight receptions with four touchdowns against Ole Miss. This tape showed off his talent and could help him be a top-20, and maybe even top-10, pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.

  • Like Pitts, Toney dominated the Ole Miss defense and had a breakout performance to open up his senior year. Toney showed his big-play ability at the end of the first quarter by breaking a tackle near the line of scrimmage before exploding down the field for a 50-yard run that set up a touchdown. Shortly later, he caught a short cross and shook a tackler off his back to dart downfield for more yards.

    Late in the second quarter, Toney ran great reverse whip route for a gain of about 20 yards. He finished the drive by running another great route to get open and slash across the end for a 16-yard score. On the day, He caught five passes for 59 yards and a touchdown with two rushes for 55 yards on the ground. This tape will help Toney to be an early-round pick.

  • Florida linebacker Brenton Cox was a five-star recruit who first played for Georgia before transferring to the Gators. He was forced to sit out last season, so this was his Florida debut. Late in the first quarter, Cox changed the game. Ole Miss had just made an interception and managed a long pass play to get close to the end zone. Then Cox flew into the backfield to get a tackle for a loss, and on the next play, he bulled the tight end into the pocket before leaping high to bat a pass into the air, which a teammate caught for an interception. Cox looks like he has some serious next-level ability and will be a prospect to watch this fall.

  • This was a breakout game for Florida inside linebacker Ventrell Miller. In the first half, he dished out some punishing hits and was a big presence in the ground game, including a third-and-short on which he fired into the backfield to bury the back into the turf. Miller also collected a sack that showed good vision to help him weave around the scrum before he closed on the quarterback in a hurry. In the fourth quarter, Miller had another tackle for a loss on the perimeter sniffing out a bubble screen. Miller ran with a tight end deep down the middle of the field on the next play, and while that tight end made a nice catch over Miller, it was impressive that Miller was able to run with him and maintain close coverage deep downfield.

    Texas 63, Texas Tech 56 OT
  • Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger is a dual-threat quarterback with a strong build and running ability a la Tim Tebow at Florida. Ehlinger started the scoring in this game, putting Texas in front with a short rushing touchdown early in the first quarter. In the second quarter, he laid out a ball downfield for a receiver who outjumped the cornerback in the end zone, notching a touchdown of just over 30 yards. Ehlinger added a short touchdown pass on a bubble screen just before halftime.

    At the end of the third quarter, Ehlinger telegraphed a pass to the sideline and had the route jumped for an interception. It was a poor pass that showed bad field vision on the part of Ehlinger. Late in the fourth quarter while down by eight points, Ehlinger led a drive down the field that ended with an 18-yard touchdown pass and a two-point conversion pass from Ehlinger to tie the game at 56. Ehlinger added a score in overtime to lead Texas to a comeback win. He completed 27-of-40 for 262 yards with five touchdowns passing, one rushing and an interception.

    Ehlinger has gotten off to a solid start to open 2020, but he needs to show more pocket-passing ability to rise as a senior.

  • Texas Tech wide receiver T.J. Vasher has a phenomenal skill set, as the 6-foot-6, 210-pound receiver possesses mismatch size and is fast for a big wideout. The Red Raiders have not been great about getting him the ball during his collegiate career, so it was interesting to see if Vasher would get the targets to have a big senior year that would propel his draft grade. Texas was also one of the better defenses Vasher will face all year.

    Vasher illustrated his speed at the start of the second quarter, running a go route and getting a step on the cornerback. Vasher was streaking downfield, but the pass was overthrown for an incompletion. His speed on that play, however, was impressive for such a huge receiver, as big guys don’t typically get open vertically running by defensive backs. Shortly later, Vasher got open on a quick slant to convert a third down for Texas Tech.

    In the third quarter, Vasher was about to get open on a third-down slant, but he was held by Texas safety Caden Sterns. Sterns kept him from running the route to get a completion, plus the referees blew the call. Texas blocked the punt on the next play and returned it for a touchdown, so the officials really hurt the Red Raiders with their incompetence.

    Shortly later, Vasher got open running a slant to move the chains, and he finished the drive by getting into into the end zone. He made a good catch in traffic, broke a tackle, dodged a tackle and darted downfield before diving over the goal line for a 29-yard touchdown. It wasn’t all good for Vasher, who dropped a wide receiver screen a short time later. Vasher totaled 74 yards and two touchdowns on four catches. This was a good tape for Vasher that will help him in the months to come.


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