2021 NFL Draft: College Football Game Recaps – Week 10

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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Notre Dame 47, Clemson 40 2OT
  • There was an excellent draft matchup in this game with Clemson running back Travis Etienne going against Notre Dame linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah. Both of them are undersized and fast athletes who are good fits for the passing-driven NFL. Both had impressive moments in South Bend.

    In the second quarter, Etienne bobbled a pitch and Owusu-Koramoah caught the fumble in air before racing down the field for 23-yard touchdown. Owusu-Koramoah went unblocked on the play, firing into the backfield, and that penetration caused Etienne to take his eye off the ball on the pitch. That was enough for Etienne to bobble the catch and set up Owusu-Koramoah for the turnover.

    Late in the second quarter, Eitenne made a reception while running down the seam. He then accelerated downfield to get inside the Notre Dame 30. In the third quarter, Etienne made a phenomenal leaping grab with a defender blocking the lane. That spectacular reception helped set up a game-tying score.

    Notre Dame sold out all night to stop Etienne and the Clemson ground game because of the absence of Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence. As a result, Etienne did not find many good lanes and did not get in a rhythm on the ground. He scored a short rushing touchdown late in the fourth quarter that demonstrated his excellent vision and ability to dart through a tiny hole. Etienne totaled 28 yards on 18 carries while catching eight passes for 57 yards.

    Etienne has shown significant improvement as a receiver and blocker this season. His ball security issues, however, remain problematic. He showed some issues with fumbles last season, and entering this contest, he had fumbles in three straight games. Etienne did not have a traditional fumble in this game, but that bobbled pitch resulted in a touchdown for Notre Dame. He must prove he can secure the ball over the remainder of 2020.

  • Owusu-Koramoah had a nice evening. He flew around the field, getting in on tackles in the ground game and covering a lot of space. The media hype train has ramped up about Owusu-Koramoah, but that happens with a lot of Notre Dame players – Manti Te’o is a perfect example. For the NFL, Owusu-Koramoah is a Will – weakside – linebacker. He is a fast player with some coverage skills, but he is very undersized. Some team sources say he weighs in the 210-220-pound range, which is the size of many NFL safeties. Owusu-Koramoah should be a Will in a 4-3 defense, and he is going to have some issues with taking on and shedding blocks at the pro level. Some teams are grading Owusu-Koramoah in the second round of the 2021 NFL Draft.

  • Notre Dame left tackle Liam Eichenberg entered this contest with a streak of having not allowed a sack for over a year, and he kept that up against Clemson. Eichenberg was rock solid in pass protection, keeping Ian Book clean without incident. In the ground game, Eichenberg was solid and helped produce points. On one of the first plays of the game, Eichenberg hit a block on the second level to spring his back for a 65-yard touchdown run. In the first overtime, Eichenberg helped open a hole at the goal line to tie the game at 40.

    For the NFL, Eichenberg as the ability to be an edge protector. He has enough quickness to glide with speed rushers while still possessing the size and strength to anchor. He is also scraper in the ground game who manipulates defenders and turns them away from getting in on tackles. Eichenberg is not a true bull in the ground game who will blast defensive lineman off the ball. He has strong hands to sustain his blocks well and fights through the whistle though. Overall, Eichenberg looks goo,d but may not be an elite prospect who is a high first-rounder.

  • Clemson senior wide receiver Cornell Powell stepped up with an impressive performance at Notre Dame. With Trevor Lawrence out, Notre Dame selling out to stop the run, and a freshman at quarterback, Powell came through with some clutch plays. Throughout the night, Powell made things happen after the catch, ripping off yards while showing the power to go through tackles. Powell played with a mean streak, running through contact with impressive physicality and his strong build. He set up two short rushing touchdowns via excellent receptions and totaled six catches for 161 yards and a touchdown. Powell’s performance against Notre Dame is really going to help his draft grade.

    Florida 41, Georgia 28
  • Florida quarterback Kyle Trask had another prolific game throwing the ball, and he did it against a talented defense this time. Early in the year, he beat up on some of the weaker defenses of the SEC, but in this game, he torched one of the better ones relentlessly. Trask put on an impressive display of pocket passing with accuracy, field vision, decision-making, timing and precision.

    In the early going, Trask threw some beautiful passes into tight coverage but suffered a few drops from his receivers. The receivers finally started holding on to the ball after falling behind 14-0, letting Trask hit a pass downfield and then throw a short touchdown pass. On the next possession, Trask made a beautiful throw for 22 yards with excellent timing to fit the pass into a narrow window.

    It wasn’t all good for Trask, as a Florida freshman receiver ran the wrong route, and that led cornerback Eric Stokes Jr. to undercut a pass intended for a different receiver. The interception was returned for a touchdown in a bit of bad luck for Trask.

    Trask came back to lay out a beautiful wheel route to lead his back down the field for a gain of 50 yards. After that, Trask lofted in a touchdown to Kyle Pitts. Shortly later, Trask tossed an easy touchdown pass to his backup tight end. Just before halftime, Trask lofted in another well located pass to Trevon Grimes who made a leaping scoring grab over Tyson Campbell. Trask completed 30-of-43 passes for 474 yards with four touchdowns and an interception against Georgia.

    Overall, Trask showed pocket-passing ability for the NFL. He was accurate with impressive ball placement and made good decisions. Thanks to his powerful arm capable of making touch passes, Trask put on display some natural ability. The big knock on Trask is a lack of mobility, and that hurts his chances of being a first-round pick next April in the 2021 NFL Draft.

  • I’ve had Pitts in the first round of my mock draft for a long time, and he has been incredible for Florida this season. That continued against Georgia until Pitts went out with an injury. In the first quarter, Pitts made his presence felt by going down the sideline and then making a difficult leaping grab for 34 yards. Later in the first half, Pitts got leverage on Georgia cornerback Tyson Campbell to make an acrobatic 25-yard touchdown catch. Pitts took a hard hit to the head midway through the second quarter, which led to him going into the locker room. NFL teams saw everything they could hope to see out of a receiving tight end in Pitts’ performance. He showed the speed to run past defensive backs, getting a step of separation on Campbell, an early-round cornerback prospect, and out-positioning defensive backs for the ball. The 6-foot-6, 240-pound tight end used his size to win 50-50 passes, showed good hands, ran excellent routes, and showed he is a mismatch nightmare for the next level. This tape suggests Pitts is a top-20 talent, and maybe even top-10 talent.

  • This game will hurt Campbell’s grade. While he wasn’t roasted, he allowed some receptions over him, and a big cornerback like him is supposed to take those plays away. Campbell did not play the ball well in the air against Pitts or Grimes, allowing them to get better position. Pitts gaining some separation is also an ugly result for Campbell. Campbell looked more like late first- or second-day pick against Florida rather than a true first-round candidate.

  • Georgia has one of the top edge rushers in the SEC with Azeez Ojulari, and he was taking on a quality tackle in Stone Forsythe. Overall, Forsythe got the better of Ojulari, tying him up often with size and length. This game illustrated that being undersized gives Ojulari problems with getting off blocks. Ojulari can’t make his arms grow longer or add more height, but for the next level, he is going to need to improve his hand technique and strength to shed blocks.

    Forsythe helped his draft grade with how he handled Georgia. He may not have the necessary speed, feet and agility to be a left tackle in the NFL, but he showed he can hold up on the edge and is a steady blocker. As a pro, Forsythe could be nice value pick to be a right tackle or guard.

    TCU 34, Texas Tech 18
  • Texas Tech wide receiver T.J. Vasher has a great skill set, but his terrible football character is really hurting his draft grade with NFL teams. This contest featured an excellent safety tandem in TCU’s Trevon Moerig and Ar’Darius Washington that combined with the Horned Frog cornerbacks to shut down Vasher.

    In the first quarter, Vasher had a smaller defensive back get the better of him on a contested catch. Vasher did not get good position, and the ball was slapped away for a third-down incompletion. Vasher had another pass slapped away later on after he did not seal off or box out the defensive back on a crossing route. At halftime, Vasher had only one catch for 13 yards. He only added one 11-yard reception in the second half.

    Overall, this game was an embarrassing performance from Vasher. He did not generate consistent separation and showed poor technique on the passes that were thrown his direction. As a big receiver, he has to win contested catches in order to play in the NFL. Not being able to do that really hurts his grade, which is already suffering from significant character concerns. It would not be a shocker if Vasher ended up in a draft-day free-fall despite his excellent skill set.

  • Both Moerig and Washington demonstrated overall sound coverage against Texas Tech. They did not get the opportunity for many big plays, but one came for Moerig late in the contest and helped clinch the win for TCU. Late in the fourth quarter, Moerig made a nice read, seeing a deep ball downfield and flowing over from the hash mark to make a leaping interception near the sideline. Overall, this tape should not hurt or help either safety significantly.

    USC 28, Arizona State 27
  • USC wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown has NFL talent and entered this season as a potential early-round prospect. He got his year off to a solid start against Arizona State. In the first half, St. Brown made a few short receptions and helped move the ball with a 27-yard catch. St. Brown had quiet stretch before running an excellent route down the seam in the fourth quarter and getting open for a gain of 35 yards. That was a huge catch that led to USC making its comeback to take the lead late in the game. St. Brown hauled in seven passes for 100 yards versus Arizona State.

    St. Brown looks like a potential contributor for the next level, but he may not be a feature No. 1 receiver, as he does not look like he has dynamic mismatch ability with overwhelming size or speed. St. Brown could produce a big mini-season with Kedon Slovis at quarterback.

  • St. Brown isn’t the only USC receiver on NFL teams’ radars. Trojans wide receiver Tyler Vaughns made it onto NFL teams’ watch list, but he did not have a strong start to the year. In the third quarter, Vaughns made a reception downfield and while weaving his way for more yards, he held the ball low and loose. That sloppiness allowed Arizona State cornerback Chase Lucas to come up from behind and slap the ball out for a fubmle. The Sun Devils recovered that loose ball.

    Vaughns came back to make a nice hands catch on a high fast ball and then turned upfield for a gain of about 20. He ended up totaling 53 yards on seven receptions, but his fumble was an ugly blemish on his first tape of the 2020 season.

  • Arizona State wide receiver Frank Darby is a prospect for the NFL, but he was injured against USC, making an early exit. He had one catch for two yards. The 2021 NFL Draft is very deep at wide receiver, so Darby needs to get healthy and productive to help himself.

    BYU 51, Boise State 17
  • BYU quarterback Zach Wilson has dominated in 2020, putting himself in the discussion to be an early-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. Because of the fluid, changing schedules in COVID-19 college football, the Cougars lost some of their games against top competition, leaving the 21st-ranked Boise State Broncos as one of the better teams remaining on their regular-season slate.

    Just before halftime, Wilson put together a nice drive, using his arm to make some accurate passes and then using his feet to finish the drive with a touchdown run from about 10 yards out. In the third quarter, Wilson fired a fastball into a tight window for a short touchdown pass. Shortly later, Wilson threw a strike down the seam for another short touchdown. Wilson distributed the ball well throughout the game, moving up and down the field on the Broncos. Against Boise State, Wilson completed 21-of-27 passes for 359 yards with two touchdowns and zero interceptions. He also picked up a rushing touchdown.

    There is a lot to like about Wilson for the NFL. He has a quality arm capable of making all the throws and an ability to push the ball downfield. In the short to intermediate part of the field, Wilson can spin the ball and fire some fastballs into tight windows. He also is capable of putting air under the ball to loft in touch passes. Wilson is an accurate passer who displays quality footwork that leads to him tossing precision passes. He is not an elite runner for the next level in the mold of a Lamar Jackson, but he has mobility with some quickness and athleticism to buy time in the pocket and pick up some first downs on the ground.

    Wilson has some things to work on still, like any collegiate player. Speeding up his process and working through his progressions faster would help him to succeed at the pro level. There are plays on which he holds the ball too long, so he needs to get passes out more quickly. Wilson has the luxury of a good offensive line at BYU, with multiple players who will compete to make NFL rosters, but at the pro level, he should avoid putting as much pressure on his blockers against NFL pass rushers.

    The 6-foot-3, 210-pound Wilson has enough size to be a starting quarterback, and it would be a good idea for him to add some weight to his frame to help him avoid injury at the pro level. He is worthy of being at least a second-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, and he could end up being a mid -to late first-rounder.


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