2021 NFL Draft: College Football Game Recaps – Week 12

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]
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Oklahoma 41, Oklahoma State 13
  • Oklahoma running back Rhamondre Stevenson started the season on suspension for a positive drug test, so he needs some big performances to help his draft grade. Stevenson jump started his season with a huge night against Oklahoma State. He dominated the Oklahoma State defense, breaking tackles and showing speed to go with his powerful size.

    On the first drive, Stevenson caught a pass in the flat and rumbled down the field for a 45-yard gain. In the third quarter, he had a chunk run that showed a nice ability to cut behind a linebacker and then accelerate down the field for 25 yards. Early in the fourth quarter Stevenson ripped off a 30-yard run, bursting through a few tackles and pushing through Cowboys to pick up yards after contact. He carried the ball 26 times for 141 yards on 26 carries and made three receptions for 54 yards.

    Stevenson said he has dropped weight and is in the 230s, but the power back has very good quickness for his size. He has the speed to hit the hole before it closes and a second gear to accelerate to the second level. At his size, Stevenson could be a power back who helps teams grind out wins and is a valuable back in short-yardage and goal-line situations. His outing against Oklahoma State will really help his draft grade.

  • Oklahoma center Creed Humphrey is smart and tough player who could end up as a mid-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. He had a very good evening against Oklahoma State, helping to open holes for Stevenson and protecting Sooners quarterback Spencer Rattler.

    Humphrey is a tough battler at the point of attack. He shows solid technique with his hand placement, knee bend, and footwork. However for the NFL, Humphrey is not especially quick, athletic, or strong. Hence, he is more of a mid-rounder who could develop into being a decent starter. In that regard, he could be similar to Tennessee Titans center Ben Jones, who was a fourth-round pick of the Texans and ended up turning into a starter.

  • Oklahoma State cornerback Rodarius Williams has really helped himself during the 2020 season, according to team sources. He entered the year as a potential late-round pick, but his superb coverage in 2020 has teams projecting him to the second day of the 2021 NFL Draft – it isn’t out of the question that he rises from there. Entering this game, Williams had only given up six receptions all year.

    Williams showed his speed early in the first quarter, running with a receiver downfield, but the receiver made a superb leaping grab. Williams had good coverage, and it was just a great play by the wideout. Early in the second quarter, Williams made an excellent play in coverage, displaying the speed to run down the sideline, fluid hips to flip into position, and skill at playing the ball, smacking away the ball near the goal line and almost intercepting it.

    Even though the Cowboys lost, Williams continued his strong season, illustrating the speed to run with fast receivers. He also has enough size to play 50-50 passes and quality technique. His peformance against the Sooners will carry on his positive momentum of his stock for the 2021 NFL Draft.

  • Thus far in 2020, Oklahoma State wide receiver Tylan Wallace has given proof that he is back to his pre-injury form. He had huge game against Texas, the Oklahoma defense kept the Cowboys from getting into any passing rhythm. Wallace was held to 68 yards on four receptions.

    For the NFL, the 6-foot, 190-pound Wallace is a tough wideout who plays bigger than his listed size. He runs quality routes and shows the ability to be dangerous after the catch. He lacks, however, a defining trait for the next level because he is neither overwhelmingly fast nor overwhelming large. He won’t present a dangerous size or speed mismatch problem against NFL cornerbacks. Thus, Wallace could be more of a second-day talent for the 2021 NFL Draft.

  • Oklahoma State running back Chuba Hubbard could be selected on the second day of the 2021 NFL Draft, but similar to Tylan Wallace, Oklahoma held Hubbard in check. Hubbard was also playing through injury, and as a result, he only received eight carries for 44 yards.

    Hubbard is a quality back who has quickness, size, vision, feet and instincts. His running style kind of reminds me of Arian Foster with the way he glides through the defense thanks to a smooth running style. Hubbard has also shown the ability to contribute as a receiver out of the backfield over the past three years with the Cowboys. His big area for improvement for the NFL is pass blocking. Hubbard needs a lot of work as a blocker. That is the case for every college back, but Hubbard has a lot of room for improvement and looks like a liability. His season opener against Tulsa was ugly for him as a blocker – he actually looked disinterested in giving a good effort. Depending on how he works out and interviews before the 2021 NFL Draft, Hubbard could go as high as Round 2 and as low as Round 4.

    Northwestern 17, Wisconsin 7
  • Northwestern linebacker Paddy In the early going has been a tackling machine throughout his college career. Taking on a team that runs the ball was a game made for Fisher to impress, and he came through with a solid performance. Fisher was in on a lot of tackles in the tackle box and was a huge contributor to holding the Badgers to less than 3.5 yards per carry.

    Fisher set the tone for his defense to have a phenomenal day early on. Midway through the first quarter, he punched the ball out of the hands of a Wisconsin running back and Northwestern recovered the loose ball. While making a lot of tackles in the ground game, Fisher contributed in keeping the Badgers’ offense from getting into any rhythm moving the ball. Late in the fourth quarter, Fisher read a play well to fire through a gap and pick up a tackle for a loss.

    Fisher looks like a potential mid-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. He could be a rotational linebacker who emerges as a quality run defender and becomes a starter after some developmental time. Fisher is not especially fast or athletic to cover as a pro, but he is smart, tough, and a good tackler. He could end up being a valuable rotational player and special teams contributor.

  • Tight end Jake Ferguson was the only one the Badgers who the NFL advance scouts placed on their preseason watch list. Ferguson had a strong start to the season and entered this contest having caught four touchdowns over the first two games of the season. Taking on Northwestern, Ferguson had a solid game, making some catches to move the chains on a few plays. Wisconsin’s quarterback, however, really struggled against the Wildcats, which held Ferguson back. He caught seven passes for 58 yards.

    Ferguson (6-5, 246) has quality size and is a willing contributor as a blocker. He isn’t a force in the ground game, but he’s solid. Ferguson could be a solid No. 2 tight end who contributes somewhat as a receiver and a blocker. He could be a mid-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, but he might be better off returning for his senior year.

    Oregon State 31, California 27
  • Oregon State edge rusher Hamilcar Reshad Jr. was dangerous pass rusher for the Beavers in 2019. In this strange 2020 season that has only seen two games played thus far by Oregon State, Reshad has been very quiet. His underwhelming play continued against the Golden Bears, who held him in check.

    Reshad showed some speed in the first half, managing to get upfield, but he had issues getting off blocks. In the third quarter, Reshad was unblocked and flew around the back side of the line to take down a back for a loss, and that tackle for a loss was the highlight of his afternoon.

    Reshad clearly needs to get stronger for the next level. He is listed at 6-foot-4, 235 pounds and needs to add more functional strength to get off blocks. When offensive tackles get their hands on Reshad, he’s in trouble, so adding some power and hand usage to break free is a necessity. Reshad might be a mid-rounder who starts out as a rotational pass rusher with the potential to grow into a bigger role, provided he can up his strength.

  • California outside linebacker Kuony Deng made it on to NFL teams’ preseason watch list, but his game against the Beavers won’t help his draft grade. In first quarter, Oregon State tight end Teagan Quitoriano got a step on Deng while running down the sideline and hauled in a 35-yard touchdown. Deng seemed a step slow to react to the route, and that let Quitoriano get open running into the end zone.

    Shortly later, Deng made a poor read on a boot leg play-action, ending up bouncing off a tight end and taking some false steps toward the middle of the field that let the tight end get open on the backside for the reception. Deng came back to make some tackles in the ground game, including on a third-and-1 for no gain.

    Deng has some speed and athleticism for the next level, but he could stand to get stronger to take on and shed blocks. He also has vision issues, can react late, will over-pursue, and needs to play with more discipline. Deng looked like a mid-round or third-day pick who could be a backup linebacker and special teams contributor.

    Ohio State 42, Indiana 35
  • Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields is a future top-10 pick and franchise quarterback in the NFL, but this game will really hurt any hopes of Fields jumping Trevor Lawrence as the top quarterback prospect. Fields threw three interceptions in all of 2019, and he matched that total in an ugly win over Indiana.

    On the first play of the game, Fields lofted in a well-placed pass right over the head and shoulder over a defender to lead receiver Garrett Wilson down the field. Wilson ran for another 30 yards or so for a gain of 65 yards, and on the next play, the duo connected on a quick slant for a touchdown from about 10 yards out.

    On the next possession, Fields started his rough game of turnovers. He tossed a poorly thrown ball in the middle of the field while his receiver was bracketed by two Indiana defenders, and the pass floated into the breadbasket of the Indiana safety.

    Shockingly, another interception happened shortly later. Fields made an ill-advised throw to Chris Olave, who was not open and in a crowd of defenders. The pass was high too, and Olave batted the ball around trying to make the catch. The deflection floated to Indiana defensive tackle Jerome Johnson for another interception.

    Fields made a few good passes on drives that produced some rushing touchdowns to put Ohio State 21-7. Just before halftime, Fields fired some strikes to Olave to move the ball down the field, and then Fields took off on a nine-yard touchdown run with just a few seconds remaining. Fields showed excellent escapability to dodge a free rusher and then run to open space before diving over a defender for the score.

    Fields opened the third quarter with a drive that included a well-placed pass to Wilson in the back of the end zone for a short scoring strike. Shortly later, however, Fields made probably the worst throw this analyst has ever seen from him. Fields scrambled forward, and while being tackled, he tossed a ball into the middle of the field. The pass floated like a wounded duck, and an Indiana safety ran under its for the third interception of the game. Fields got lucky that the defender fumbled the ball back to Ohio State on the return, as that turnover could have gotten Indiana inside the 20 if the defender had fallen down rather than fight for extra yards. Fields completed 18-of-30 passes for 300 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions. He also turned 15 carries into 78 yards and a score.

    Fields also took some sacks against Indiana when he had time to get rid of the ball, plus reacted slowly to some blitzes. There is no doubt that Fields needs to improve his awarenesses as a pocket passer for the next level. When Indiana was sending extra pressure, Fields ought to have fired the ball out and taken some short completions rather than hold onto the ball hoping to make a big play downfield. There were a few times when he had Olave open for short completions but was going for the home run instead of taking what the defense was giving. This tape revealed that Fields still has some raw elements to his game and needs to improve his pocket-passing ability for the NFL. He has to take shorter and easier completions, get the ball out faster, and show more awareness against the pass rush. Fields’ performance against the Hoosiers will hurt any hopes he had of taking over Trevor Lawrence as the top quarterback prospect for the 2021 NFL Draft.

  • Indiana defensive tackle Jerome Johnson is big nose tackle prospect for the NFL who helped himself against Ohio State. In the early going, the Hoosiers put together some strange sets on the defensive line, including having Johnson rushing against the right tackle. Johnson struggled to get around the more athletic tackle, and the Hoosiers should have had Johnson trying to use his mass to collapse the pocket against the guards or center. Eventually, they did, which gave them some good results.

    At the end of the first quarter, Johnson showed some outstanding hustle, running to the sideline on a short pass. The ball was being batted around, and Johnson was able to control it for an interception. Shortly later, Johnson came unblocked on a blown assignment and was able to sack Fields. It was the third sack of the year for Johnson. On the very next play, Johnson got upfield and drew a holding penalty.

    While Johnson did not make other splash plays, he put together a good game against Ohio State that illustrated his size, power and athleticism for a big body at the point of attack. Johnson could end up being a mid-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft as a nose tackle for either a 4-3 or a 3-4 defense.

  • Ohio State cornerback Shaun Wade had a rough game against Penn State a few weeks ago, and he had an eventful game on the upstart Hoosiers. Late in the third quarter with the Hoosiers trying to get back in the game down 35-21, Wade jumped a route and sprinted down the sideline from about 35 yards out for a pick-six. It was the first interception returned for a touchdown of Wade’s career, and Wade made an excellent read and break to snag that ball.

    Fortune giveth and taketh away, however, as while Wade was running with a receiver along the sideline in the fourth quarter, he fell down as the two were fighting with each other for position. The wideout made a leaping grab and raced down the field for a 63-yard touchdown after Wade fell on his back. Wade was flagged for a pass interference that should have been a no-call because they were scrapping and pushing at each other, but still Wade failed in coverage on that play to allow a huge score to Indiana.

    Wade’s performance against Indiana kind of epitomized his game. He has good size and speed, and can make some excellent plays, but he also has some lapses in coverage and gives up big plays downfield. His performance this season suggests he deserves more of a second-round grade than one for the opening night of the 2021 NFL Draft. If he improves down the stretch though, he still has a shot at being a first-rounder given his skill set.

    Florida 38, Vanderbilt 17
  • Florida quarterback Kyle Trask has been on a tear this season. Entering this game against Vanderbilt, Trask had thrown for more touchdown passes and yards than the last three Heisman Trophy-winning quarterbacks, Joe Burrow, Kyler Murray and Baker Mayfield. To make Trasks’s 2020 season even more impressive, he is doing this against an all-SEC schedule without the typical non-conference cupcake games to open the season. Trask continued his prolific year by cruising over Vanderbilt.

    Trask made some nice reads on the opening drive, showing field vision to move coverage and work off his first read. He lofted in what should have been a 29-yard touchdown, but the pass bounced off the hands of Trevon Grimes. A few plays later though, a cornerback stumbled, leaving Kadarius Toney wide open for an easy 27-yard touchdown.

    Just before halftime, Trask had a pass with beautiful accuracy. Grimes was covered by two defenders, but Trask lofted in the ball to a perfect spot for Grimes to make a leaping grab over the two defenders and a 34-yard touchdown.

    Midway through the third quarter, Trask made a phenomenal play while backed up close to his own end zone. He slid to his left to avoid the pass rush and then scrambled back to roll out to the right sideline. Trask pointed for his receiver to go deep and then lofted in a perfectly placed pass to Justin Shorter for a gain of 46 yards. Trask is dinged by scouts for a lack of mobility and being a statue in the pocket, but this play showed Trask has some ability to create pocket manipulation. Trask To finished that drive by throwing a two-yard touchdown pass to his backup tight end.

    In the fourth quarter, Trask made a fabulous read passing from his own end zone. He looked down the middle of the field, but went to the sideline to an open tight end for a gain of 34. That set up a 99-yard touchdown drive that put the game away for Florida. Trask completed 26-of-35 passes against the Commodores for 383 yards with three touchdowns and zero interceptions.

    Trask is showing this season that he has the pocket-passing ability to be a starter at the next level. He is an accurate passer wo makes good decisions and regularly shows off phenomenal ball placement. Thanks to his precision and efficiency, Trask can be deadly passing from the pocket. Trask demonstrated very good pocket awareness, and some of that is developed by default because he does not the option to be a running quarterback. Three directors of college scouting and a national scout texted me that Trask is a better pocket passer than Justin Fields and there is no doubt about it. The lack of mobility hurts Trask for today’s NFL, but he could still end up being a second-day pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.

  • Vanderbilt defensive end Dayo Odeyingbo had an impressive performance against the Gators and was taking on a future NFL offensive lineman in left tackle Stone Forsythe. In the second quarter, Odeyingbo had a good rush, pushing through Forsythe with power and speed to hit Trask as he threw and force a third-down incompletion. In the third quarter, Odeyingbo came close to a sack by using speed to get past the right tackle and flush Trask out of the pocket. Throughout the game Odeyingbo was getting upfield with pressure on the quarterback.

    Odeyingbo is having a very good 2020 season even though Vanderbilt has struggled. He is strong at the point of attack and has power to bull his way into the pocket. With his solid first-step and a second gear to get upfield, Odeyingbo has the quickness to get after the quarterback as a speed rusher. Odeyingbo looks like a second-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.


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