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
By Charlie Campbell.
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Florida 63, Arkansas 35
Florida quarterback Kyle Trask was playing without tight end Kyle Pitts, a potential top-16 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, but Florida has a deep group of receiving weapons and Trask had no issues dominating Arkansas.
Trask tossed some well-located passes on the opening drive of the game, including a short touchdown pass to Trevon Grimes. On the next drive, Trask lofted in a beautiful touch pass with the timing to fit the ball between three defenders. His next pass, however, was an overthrow of an open receiver along the sideline for what should have been a 25-yard touchdown. That was Trask's only mistake of the night, and after that, he was lights out. Trask came back to make a few accurate passes, including a 23-yard score to Grimes after he got wide open in busted coverage.
Trask got into a groove on that drive and didn't look back. Among his great plays was a flea-flicker on which the pitch back to him fell short. Trask didn't panic, simply scooping up the ball before throwing - flat-footed - deep down field for a 43-yard gain to Xzavier Henderson. It was an excellent pass that displayed Trask's arm strength. On his next play, he lofted in a beauty over defenders to Justin Shorter for a touchdown from 21 yards. Shorter was covered along the sideline, but the perfectly placed ball was able to drop in over the head of the cornerback and allow Shorter to make his fantastic catch while falling out of bounds.
Shortly later, Trask ad libbed on a route, gesturing to wideout Jacob Copeland to break off his route and go deep. That let Copeland get wide open for the Trask's frozen-rope pass and score a 33-yard touchdown. Just before the half, Trask tossed his fifth touchdown pass of the day, throwing open his receiver in the back corner of the end zone with a well-placed ball. Florida then took a 35-14 lead into the lockerroom.
Trask tossed his sixth touchdown in the fourth quarter. He used a nice pump fake to divert the eyes of a linebacker, and that helped his receiver slip open down the seam for an 11-yard score. Trask completed 23-of-29 passes against Arkansas for 356 yards with six touchdowns and zero interceptions.
Overall, Trask showed dangerous pocket-passing ability for the next level. He was impressively accurate in terms of his ball placement and made good decisions. Trask has a powerful arm and can make touch passes, which gives natural ability to distribute the ball. The big knock on Trask is a lack of mobility, which hurts his chances of being a first-round pick next April in the 2021 NFL Draft. If Trask ends up a good offensive line in the NFL, however, he could be a dynamic pocket-passing quarterback who leads his team to wins.
Because Kyle Pitts has been so impressive and Kadarius Toney has provided a lot of big plays, Trevon Grimes has gone under the radar this fall, but he is also having a really good season for the Gators. The 6-foot-4, 218-pound Grimes has been a clutch receiver and red-zone weapon for Trask. Against Arkansas, Grimes showed good route-running to find soft spots in zone and also used his big size to win contested catches, just like he did against Georgia. Versus Arkansas, Grimes caught six passes for 109 yards and two touchdowns.
Grimes has good size for the next level plus enough quickness to get downfield and an ability to make catches over defenders. If Grimes runs a fast 40 before the 2021 NFL Draftraft, that would be huge boost to his draft stock. If he simply doesn't run slow times, he could end up as a mid-round pick who develops into a contributor and has the potential to be a solid rotational receiver for the next level.
Arkansas quarterback Feleipe Franks was taking on his former team, and the Gators have a vulnerable defense that has given up a lot of points this season. Between their leaky stop unit and a high-powered offense, Franks needed to produce a big game to help his team and draft stock.
On the opening drive, Franks lofted in a perfect deep ball for a 47-yard touchdown pass. After that, Franks made a few completions that helped produce some points on a few drives, but he also took some bad sacks due to holding the ball too long and being a statue in the pocket. Franks was forced into the locker room during the third quarter due to suffering a wrist injury, but he showed his toughness by returning to the field and playing through the pain. In the fourth quarter, Franks lofted in a well-placed deep ball along the sideline and thanks to the cornerback falling down, the play turned into an 82-yard touchdown for Arkansas. Franks completed 15-of-19 passes for 250 yards with two touchdowns in his return to the Swamp.
Franks has a big arm and good size, he and will occasionally make a beautiful pass. Franks can be slow in his reading of the field however, is inconsistent with his mechanics and accuracy, and does not offer running ability for the next level. He looks like a late-round pick or undrafted free agent who could compete to be a third quarterback on a pro roster.
Notre Dame 45, Boston College 31
Notre Dame linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah continued his strong senior with a solid performance against Boston College. In the first quarter, Owusu-Koramoah made a bad read that kept his eyes on a running back during play-action. That mistake left Owusu-Koramoah out of position, as he flowed to the inside, which opened up the perimeter for the quarterback to take off on a 17-yard run. Owusu-Koramoah bounced back to make an excellent play, chasing an open receiver and slapping away a pass. Aside from those plays, Owusu-Koramoah was around the ball, making stops in the ground game and covering a lot of space in coverage.
The media hype train has ramped up about Owusu-Koramoah, but that happens with a lot of Notre Dame players, with Manti Te'o as the 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 for the next level. 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 as a pro. ESPN's Todd McShay has been hyping Owusu-Koramoah for the top 20 of the 2021 NFL Draft, but I know some teams are grading Owusu-Koramoah in the second round. Either way, his senior year play has him trending to the early rounds of the 2021 NFL Draft.
Notre Dame left tackle Liam Eichenberg entered this game with a streak of having not allowed a sack for over a year, and he kept it going against Boston College. Eichenberg was rock solid in pass protection, keeping Ian Book clean without incident. In the ground game, Eichenberg was solid and helped produce points.
Eichenberg as the ability to be an edge protector in the NFL. He has enough quickness to glide with speed rushers yet retains the size and strength to anchor. In the ground game, Eichenberg is scraper that 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 does have strong hands to sustain his blocks well and fights through the whistle. Overall, Eichenberg looks good but his skill set puts him more on the second day of the 2021 NFL Draft.
North Carolina 59, Wake Forest 53
Wake Forest defensive end Carlos Basham is one of the top defensive line prospects for the 2021 NFL Draft, and he has been playing really well this season. Basham turned in a solid performance against North Carolina, but he also did not produce a prolific stat line.
On the opening drive of the game, Basham cut to the inside of the left tackle and collapsed the pocket to bury quarterback Sam Howell just after the ball was released. Basham had a few other nice rushes, and in the second quarter, Basham showed an excellent motor, running across the field from the far hash and pushing a running back out of bounds about 15 yards downfield. Basham didn't quit on the play and gave a great effort for his team. Basham later buried the quarterback on a quick rush, dipping under the tight end to get free, but Howell got the ball out quickly to prevent the sack.
Midway through the fourth quarter, Basham used his lightning-fast hands to smack down the hands of the right guard and dart into the pocket. Somehow Sam Howell ducked under Basham to avoid the sack, but it was an excellent pass rush by Basham that displayed his versatility to win on the inside.
Basham has the potential to be a good pass-rushing contributor. While Basham has a big and strong frame, he is faster than one would think from the eyeball test. He fires off the ball, showing a good get-off and the first-step quickness to get upfield. He uses his active hands to fight off blockers, assisted by his repertoire of moves that includes a rip and spin to go along with bull rushes and cuts to the inside. Basham possesses nice vision to keep his eyes on the quarterback while using his hands and feet at the same time to work off blocks. When Basham gets free, he shows a burst to close with impressive pursuit skills for a big defensive end. Basham showed improvement as a junior, and he has built on that as a senior.
In the ground game, Basham is gap sound and strong at the point of attack. He can stand up offensive linemen and hold his ground when runs come downhill at him. With his surprising burst to close, Basham does a nice job of flowing down the line to make tackles after shedding blocks. He is a well-balanced defender who should be an asset in the ground game as a pro.
Basham is worthy of being a first-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, and he could be one of the top edge rushers in the class. That would probably make him a top-20 pick given the need for pass rushers round the NFL.
North Carolina wide receiver Dazz Newsome played a huge role in leading his team to this shootout victory. In the first quarter, Newsome ripped off a 75-yard touchdown after running a slant to get open in zone coverage in the middle of the field. Wake Forest's safety was too slow, with Newsome racing away from the defenders for the score. In the second quarter, Newsome hauled in an easy 44-yard touchdown. Newsome lined up in the slot and went vertically with a fade to the front corner of the end zone. He slide past a freshman safety to get wide open for the score.
Newsome totaled 189 yards on 10 catches with two scores against the Demon Deacons. He showed solid route-running and a second gear to run away from defenses. In the NFL, Newsome (5-11, 190) would fit best as a slot receiver. His peformance against Wake Forest is going to help his draft grade, and he could have mid-round or third-day potential for the 2021 NFL Draft.
North Carolina linebacker Chazz Surratt had a rough game against Wake Forest last year, struggling with quarterback Jamie Newman. This was a revenge game for Surratt, who came away with some big plays to help the Tar Heels.
In the first quarter, Surratt had a tackle for a loss on a wide receiver screen. A teammate did a nice job of blowing the play up and causing the wideout to redirect, which gave Surratt time to chase him down for the stop. In the third quarter, Surratt had a nice play on which he pushed through a block to chase down the ball-carrier, but he missed the tackle. Still, his disruption led to a much-needed third-down stop for his defense. Late in the fourth quarter on a fourth-and-9, Surratt came on a blitz up the middle to take down the Wake Forest quarterback for a game-clinching sack.
Surratt is tough defender who has some speed and athleticism. For the NFL, he needs to improve taking on and shedding blocks. His pass coverage also needs work. Surratt is improving and has upside, but going back to North Carolina for 2021 to further his development could be his best option.
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