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.
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Miami 52, Florida State 10
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.
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.
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
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.
Mississippi State 44, LSU 34
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
Florida 51, Ole Miss 35
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.
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.
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.
Texas 63, Texas Tech 56 OT
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.
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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