2021 NFL Draft: College Football Game Recaps – Week 13

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.

Texas A&M 20, LSU 7
  • Some teams have graded Texas A&M quarterback Kellen Mond on the second day of the 2021 NFL Draft while some others have him on Day 3. This game is going to reinforce the latter view, because Mond really struggled against an LSU defense that has given up a lot of points this year. Mond completed only 8-of-25 passes for 77 yards in the first half. His receivers were gaining no separation, giving him only very tight windows to throw into. Some of Mond’s passes, howefer, were off the mark as well.

    In the second half, it started pouring rain and Mond had a good pass downfield dropped by running back Isaiah Spiller. The Aggies turned to the ground game to run out the clock, and Mond finished the night completing 11-of-34 passes for 105 yards.

    Mond looks like a backup quarterback at the next level. He has the skill set to be a starter, but he needs to continue to improve his consistency and precision. His field vision needs to improve as well, as team sources have said that the coaching staff has simplified his reads and has predetermined a lot of his throws. Mond has potential with a quality arm, athleticism, and has shown improvement. However, there seems to be something missing that makes him more of a backup for the NFL.

  • LSU wide receiver Terrace Marshall Jr. has early-round potential for the 2021 NFL Draft and has been one of the few bright spots for LSU this season. This game was a frustrating outing in that the Tigers rotated quarterbacks and never got into an offensive groove, but Marshall still produced a good game overall. He could have had a huge night, as he was getting open, but the offensive line and quarterbacks failed him.

    In the second quarter, Marshall caught a shallow cross and exploded down the field for a gain of 54 yards. He caught a few other short receptions over the course of the game, including a gain of 13 yards on an out route, but Marshall was unable to control a leaping grab. He padded his stats in garbage time, including a three-yard touchdown on which he ran a great route to get separation from the cornerback. Marshall totaled 10 receptions for 134 yards and a touchdown.

    With Ja’Marr Chase sitting out and Justin Jefferson in the NFL, Marshall is taking advantage of being the featured receiver and showing a lot of skill for the NFL. He has good size, length, quickness, and mismatch ability. If Marshall was getting more help from his quarterbacks and offensive line, Marshall could be producing a massive season. As it stands, team sources said they’ve been impressed with Marshall, and he has solidified his early-round grades.

    Clemson 52, Pittsburgh 17
  • It seems like a long time since Trevor Lawrence played for Clemson. COVID-19 forced him to miss two games plus Clemson had a bye and the Seminoles ducked their game with the Tigers, cancelling late last week so they wouldn’t get embarrassed by Clemson. Lawrence looked no worse for the time off, doing a superb job of ripping up Pittsburgh at home.

    Early in the first quarter, Lawrence threw a frozen rope to the corner of the end zone, putting the ball in excellent position for the receiver to make a leaping touchdown grab. The pass had perfect placement to let his receiver control the ball for an early lead.

    Lawrence kept throwing strikes, including an excellent read to fire a quick pass into a blitz to move the ball past midfield. Clemson then pulled out the deep shot on a flea-flicker, and Lawrence tossed an easy 43-yard touchdown pass to Cornell Powell. Midway through the second quarter, Lawrence laid out a beautiful deep ball that dropped in perfectly over the coverage for a 70-yard completion to Powell. Before the half, Lawrence threw a pretty pass, stepping into the rush and taking a hard hit. In the third quarter, Lawrence threw a beautiful 30-yard touchdown pass to the front corner of the end zone. It was fabulous accuracy with great touch, but a penalty took the highlight-reel pass away. Lawrence completed 26-of-37 passes against the Panthers for 403 yards and two touchdowns.

    This tape will serve to confirm Lawrence as the No. 1-overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. He showed off his phenomenal accuracy and an ability to hurt defenses deep downfield. Lawrence has impressive arm strength, tremendous ball placement, and touch on his passes. He took some hard hits in the pocket and was unfazed by a good Pittsburgh pass rush. Lawrence looks like a lock to be first choice of the 2021 NFL Draft.

  • Clemson running back Travis Etienne is the top tailback for the 2021 NFL Draft, and he played well against the Panthers. Etienne ran hard, scoring a few short touchdowns and showing toughness between the tackles. He totaled 58 yards on 11 carries with the two scores, plus caught three passes for 20 yards. Etienne’s game won’t hurt or help him, and he looks like a first-round pick next April in the 2021 NFL Draft.

  • Pittsburgh defensive ends Patrick Jones and Rashad Weaver have been superb in 2020, putting a lot of heat on quarterbacks. That continued against Clemson, although they were limited in opportunities. Pittsburgh had a bunch of turnovers that set up some short easy touchdowns and allowed Clemson to build a big lead. Still, each defensive end provided some impressive plays.

    Jones made his presence felt in the second quarter when he slapped away the left tackle and darted to the inside to collapse the pocket. Jones wrestled Lawrence down for the sack. Later in the third quarter, Jones drew a holding penalty when he had the left tackle beaten with a speed rush.

    Late in the first half, Weaver went around the right tackle to take down Lawrence for a sack. On the first play of the third quarter, Weaver ran the loop around the tackle to chase down Lawrence from behind as he stepped up in the pocket, creating a strip-sack that was recovered by the Panthers.

    This tape is going to help both Jones and Weaver, who consistently got the better of their blockers despite Clemson fielding one of the best offensive lines they’ve taken on this season. Jones is a quick off the edge with some athleticism. He might be a better fit as a 3-4 outside linebacker in the NFL, given his frame. It also would help him to gain strength for the NFL. Jones could be a second-day pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, but it is certainly possiblt some teams will value him higher.

    Weaver has a stronger build with more size on the edge. He looks stouter and tougher in the ground game this season, yet he also is quick off the edge with some variety in his pass-rushing moves. After losing 2018 to injury, Weaver has looked excellent this year, and this analyst sees him as a first-round talent for the 2021 NFL Draft. His medical issues, however, might cause him to slide.

    Alabama 42, Auburn 13
  • The two most deadly passing receiving duos in college football this year have been Florida quarterback Kyle Trask to tight end Kyle Pitts and the Alabama quarterback Mac Jones to wide receiver Devonta Smith. Trask and Pitts combined for three scores in the early slate on Saturday, and Jones and Smith made their own effort to keep pace during the Iron Bowl while dominating their in-state rival.

    In the first quarter, Smith ran a go route down the seam, and because Auburn did not cover him, he was wide open for an easy 66-yard touchdown. A bit later, Jones threw a strike for a short touchdown, and he followed that up by lofting in a perfectly placed over-the-shoulder pass that led his receiver into the end zone from about 20 yards out. In the third quarter, Smith got open on a quick slant for Jones, and Smith exploded down the field after the catch for a 58-yard score. Smith totaled seven receptions for 171 yards with two touchdowns while Jones completed 18-of-26 passes for 302 yards with five touchdowns and zero interceptions.

    Jones could be a second-day pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. He is something like a stronger-armed Jake Fromm or a shorter A.J. McCarron. Jones has a decent enough arm, anticipates well, distributes the ball nicely, does a good job of seeing the field, and can throw accurately. Some teams have Jones graded in the second round, and some have him in the fourth round, but the team that likes him enough to draft him could take him on Day 2.

    Smith is dynamic receiver who could be a deadly weapon at the next level. He has speed to get vertical, is tremendous after the catch with his moves in the open field, runs great routes to create separation, and has excellent hands. If Smith were not so thin, he would be a top-10 selection, but even with his lean build, he looks like a future first-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.

  • Najee Harris continued his excellent senior year, rolling over the Auburn defense. In the first quarter, he ran a short out route and made a nice hands catch away from his body before turning upfield to dart downfield for a gain of 25 yards. In the third quarter, Harris burst down the field untouched off a cut back for a 39-yard touchdown run. Harris ran for 96 yards on 11 carries with the score on the evening, plus caught two passes for 34 yards.

    Harris has shown the NFL this season that he has the ability to be a three-down starter at the next level. He is a physical runner who charges hard downhill and has an ability to pick up yards after contact. His pass blocking and receiving have been impressive as well this season. After some developmental time, Harris could be an asset as a pass protector in the NFL.

  • Auburn wide receiver Seth Williams has had a disappointing season that only got worse against Alabama. In the second quarter, Josh Jobe forced an incompletion while blanketing Williams down the seam and preventing separation. At the end of the first half, Williams got wide open in busted coverage down the seam. The pass was laid out perfectly for him, but he dropped what should have been a 58-yard touchdown. Williams totaled three passes for 17 yards in the Iron Bowl. This has been an ugly year for Williams, and he should return to Auburn for 2021 to get better before departing to the NFL. If he were to enter the 2021 NFL Draft, Williams would probably be a third-day pick.

    Oklahoma State 50, Texas Tech 44
  • There was a good draft matchup in this game with Oklahoma State cornerback Rodarius Williams taking on Texas Tech wide receiver T.J. Vasher. Williams is a future early-round pick, while Vasher has an early-round skill set but will slide because of make-up issues.

    Vasher managed slight separation on the first drive of the game, using his big body to push Williams away and then accelerating down the sideline. Williams was recovering and Vasher was slightly open by NFL standards, but as often is the case in Vasher’s career, the pass was way off the mark and fell incomplete. After that play, Texas Tech didn’t throw Vasher’s direction for the rest of the first half. Vasher made one reception for 14 yards in the second half, and Texas Tech seemed to have no motivation to get him the football. Part of that could be Vasher having character issues that weigh down his draft stock. This tape is definitely going to be a negative toward his draft grade.

    Williams has been phenomenal this year, showing the ability to blanket receivers. He can run the route and prevent separation with a nice combination of size and speed. Some team sources believe that Williams will go no lower than the second round of the 2021 NFL Draft, and it would not be surprising if he gets consideration late in the first round.

  • Oklahoma State senior wide receiver Tylan Wallace continued his solid 2020 with an impressive performance against Texas Tech. He found a soft spot in zone coverage on the first drive, gettinh open for a gain of 24 yards. Shortly later, Wallace forced pass interference while running a deep route down the sideline, and a few plays later, Wallace took a hard hit while securing a reception to set up a first-and-goal. Not long afterward, Wallace went down the sideline, and despite close coverage, was able to make an excellent adjustment for a leaping grab of 39 yards that set up another touchdown.

    In the third quarter, Wallace was covered closely running to the back of the end zone, but Wallace made a tremendous over-the-shoulder catch with the defense draped all over him for a 27-yard score. Wallace totaled seven receptions for 129 yards and a touchdown.

    Wallace could be a quality No. 2 or 3 receiver as a pro. He lacks a defining mismatch trait for the next level; he has neither game-breaking speed nor overwhelming size. Wallace, however, is a well-rounded wideout who has good hands, quality route-running, toughness and polish. Thus, he has the potential to become a solid No. 2 or 3 receiver in the NFL.

    Florida 34, Kentucky 10
  • Florida enjoyed the return of superstar tight end Kyle Pitts, and it didn’t take long for him to make his presence felt. On the Gators’ opening possession, Pitts ran down the seam, juked a cornerback to get open running vertically, and Kyle Trask led him downfield with the ball. Pitts did the rest, accelerating to cover the remaining 30 yards for a 56-yard touchdown reception. That ninth touchdown of the season was very impressive on Pitts’ part, as he showed the speed to run away from defensive backs in the open field and not get caught from behind.

    In the third quarter, Pitts moved the chains with a reception, drew a pass interference in the end zone, and then ran a slant for a short touchdown catch. He also caught another short touchdown pass that quarter, running a great route – faking an inside route before putting his foot in the ground and reversing to the sideline to get open for Trask. Against Kentucky, Pitts totaled five receptions for 99 yards and three touchdowns.

    Pitts’ performance will serve to confirm him as a top-16 pick next April. He has dynamic mismatch receiving potential for the NFL. With his speed, route-running, size and athleticism, Pitts is nearly impossible to run with and prevent separation against. It is a rare sight to see a tight end who has the speed and agility to generate separation from defensive backs, but that is what makes Pitts such a rare and impressive prospect. Pitts is a better prospect than other recent first-rounders at his position, including T.J. Hockenson and O.J. Howard. Teams are going to have a hard time passing on such a dynamic receiving weapon like Pitts in the 2021 NFL Draft.

  • Gators quarterback Kyle Trask is enjoying an excellent senior year, and that continued against Kentucky. Trask threw the ball accurately, made good decisions, and distributed the ball well. On his touchdown passes to Pitts, Trask showed superb ball placement and let his playmaker finish off the scores. Trask completed 21-of-27 passes for 256 yards with three touchdowns.

    For the next level, Trask is a pocket passer who can be deadly with a accuracy, ball placement, and a quality arm. He has good pocket awareness and ball security to manage the game. A lack of mobility and being a statue in the pocket are the big knocks on Trask that could lead to him going on Day 2 rather than being a first-round pick.

  • Gators senior wide receiver Kadarius Toney made a great decision to come back for his final year, as he has been an excellent playmaker for Florida in 2020. Toney is finally staying healthy, and on a weekly basis, he’s showing his diverse skill set and explosive play-making ability. He has produced a lot of big plays as a receiver and runner, but added to that versatility against Kentucky. At the end of the first half, Toney caught a punt at the 50-yard line and exploded untouched down the field for a 50-yard touchdown. The former high school quarterback also made a good decision on trick plays that saw him take a short completion to Pitts rather than force the ball downfield. That completion helped set up a touchdown for the Gators.

    Toney could be a similar NFL receiver to Deebo Samuel with the 49ers. Toney has a strong build to go along with a burst to get upfield and explosive playmaking ability when the ball is in his hands. Toney looks like a solid second-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft if stays healthy and could get late first-round consideration.

  • Tedarrell Slaton has impressed some scouts who have gone through Florida. The heavy nose tackle was a force against the Wildcats and their tough offensive line. In the early going, he made a few impressive plays in the ground game to negate runs at the line of scrimmage and get a push in the middle of the line. Late in the third quarter on a third-and-2, Slaton held his ground against a double team and pushed the pile to stuff the hole for the Gators.

    Slaton could be an excellent NFL nose tackle in a 3-4 defense and could also be a one-gap or two-gap nose tackle in a 4-3. As a pro, Slaton will be an excellent run defender and will probably rotate out of the game a fair amount in the sub package. In passing downs, Slaton can get some push to help collapse the pocket, and he line up over the guard and center to eat them up making it harder to double team the three-technique. Slaton could be a second-day pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, and as a pro, I think he could be comparable to former Texans and Bengals stand out nose tackle D.J. Reader.

    Notre Dame 31, North Carolina 17
  • Notre Dame linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah could be a first-round pick next April, and this game gave evidence as to why he is a fit for the passing-driven NFL. Owusu-Koramoah was flying around the field, making tackles downfield. In the early going, he got to the sideline to tackle receivers downfield on multiple plays, and those tackles helped negate potential big plays for the North Carolina offense. He tipped a pass and covered a lot of ground in the middle of the field.

    While Owusu-Koramoah showed well playing in space and covering downfield, he did have a lot of drag-down tackles, and at one point, a Tar Heels back carried him on his back for extra yardage. As an undersized linebacker, tackling NFL power running backs is going to be an issue for Owusu-Koramoah. Thus, Owusu-Koramoah is better suited to the back half of the first round or early in the second round. Weighing in the 210-220-pound range is going to lead to some limitations in the NFL.

  • North Carolina has a linebacker prospect for the NFL in former quarterback Chazz Surratt. Surratt has shown progress in 2020, his second season as a linebacker, and he has a good skill set for the next level. Surratt shows good size, speed and strength.

    On the first drive of the game, Surratt rushed off the right side and was blocked well by the right tackle and running back. But Ian Book held the ball for an eternity before eventually scrambling toward Surratt, and the Tar Heel linebacker took him down for a coverage sack. While Surratt couldn’t beat the blocks for immediately, he was rewarded for not quitting on the play – to his credit. After that, Surratt had a few pressures blitzing off the edge and got in on some tackles in the ground game.

    On the negative side, Surratt misses some tackles, and he needs to really improve his tackling fundamentals. He also will take some bad angles and overpursue on plays. Right now, his instincts are not impressive, and his ability to read his keys will need more work for the NFL. At this point, Surratt is a better athlete than football player, and as a result, he is more of a second-day pick for the 2021 NFL Draft.

    Iowa 26, Nebraska 20
  • The 2021 NFL Draft does not look like a strong year for defensive line or defensive tackle talent, but one sleeper prospect to keep an eye on is Iowa junior defensive tackle Daviyon Nixon. As a sophomore, he had three sacks and 29 tackles playing next to A.J. Epenesa, and as a junior, Nixon has already surpassed his 2019 production. Entering the game against Nebraska, Nixon had 28 tackles, four sacks and an interception returned 71 yards for an interception.

    Nixon chipped in on a sack on Nebraska’s first possession. Nixon looped around the right tackle and was playing contain, but when the ball was loose on the ground, he took off upfield to help take down the quarterback after he controlled the ball. In the third quarter, Nixon made his presence felt, taking down Nebraska quarterback Adrian Martinez for a sack. Nixon used a swim move to get free and dart past the right guard. As Martinez tried to scramble, Nixon chased him down for his fifth sack of the season.

    Shortly later, Nixon was working free of his blocker to chase down Martinez, but he was held from behind and the officials correctly called a hold to negate a 30-yard run. For a lot of the game, Iowa had Nixon playing containment and spying the running quarterback in the middle of the line. It would have been nice to see Nixon get more green lights to go after the quarterback.

    For the NFL, Nixon has a good build with quickness at the point of attack. He is able to dart past guards and get into the backfield while also having a burst to close. Nixon has functional strength and a solid base that makes him reasonably stout as a run defender. Along with being well-rounded, Nixon plays with a good motor, running to the ball downfield and giving a good effort. For the NFL, Nixon needs to work on reacting faster to the snap. He really needs to get quicker at firing out of his stance. He seems to have a slight hesitation or slow reaction, but if he gets faster off the ball, he will be an even more dangerous interior pass rusher. If Nixon skips his senior year, I think he might end up being a second-day pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.

    Iowa State 23, Texas 20
  • Texas linebacker Joseph Ossai has played really well for the Longhorns over their last month of games. Ossai came up with a huge performance against Oklahoma State to lead them to an overtime win, and he continued his strong play against Iowa State.

    Ossai forced a third-down pressure early the first quarter that got his defense off the field. He did jump offsides to give Iowa State a first down at one point, but he came back to use speed to cut to the inside of the left tackle to start a sack of Brock Purdy. In the third quarter, Ossai made a huge play on a third-and-1, firing into the inside of the right tackle to start a tackle for a loss to get his defense off the field. Shortly later, Ossai used his speed to get upfield and then used strength to shed the block to hit Purdy as he threw for an incompletion.

    Ossai has good speed off the edge for the next level along with the athleticism to dip under blockers and enough functional strength to help get off blocks. Ossai is dangerous in pursuit and shows a burst to close on the quarterback. On top of his good skill set, Ossai has an excellent motor and plays through the whistle. Team sources have told me that Ossai looks like a good fit as a 3-4 outside linebacker in the NFL. Ossai looks like he could be a good second-day pick if he enters the 2021 NFL Draft.

  • Texas left tackle Sam Cosmi has first-round potential for the 2021 NFL Draft, but he will need some patience and development as a pro. That could be seen in his performance against Iowa State.

    Cosmi showed both his up and down sides for the NFL early on. On a first down, his defensive end pushed him back somewhat, but he tied him up and sustained his block to let his running back get to the hole on the back side. But at the end of the play, Cosmi was pancaked into the turf by the defender. On the next play, Cosmi had no problem negating a speed rush, relying his quick feet and hand placement to keep a clean pocket for his quarterback. To end the drive, Cosmi fired downfield and hit a block on a defensive back about 12 yards downfield to give Sam Ehlinger space to dart into the end zone for a touchdown.

    Cosmi played well over the rest of the game. He contributed some in the ground game, tying up defenders, and was rock solid in pass protection. For the NFL, Cosmi has to get stronger, as he will have problems when the time comes to get physical. He is not an overpowering tackle who will knock defenders off the ball. He is athletic and quick to the second level with the ability to hit blocks in space. What makes Cosmi a potential early-rounder is his ability to pass protect on the edge. His quick feet, agility, length and technique are very good for left tackle. He bends at the knee and can play the typewriter with his feet. Cosmi would fit best in a zone-blocking scheme in the NFL. Considering his strengths and weaknesses, Cosmi might be more of a mid- to late first-round pick or potential second-round pick.

  • This contest featured two potential mid-round or third-day quarterback prospects in Iowa State’s Brock Purdy and Texas’s Sam Ehlinger. Purdy showed more passing potential. In the first quarter, he threw an easy 35-yard touchdown when he had a receiver wide open in busted coverage, which let the wideout make a quick jaunt into the end zone for the score. In the second half, Purdy made some good decisions to distribute the ball and produced some drives that kept Iowa State in the game. Purdy completed 25-of-36 passes for 312 yards with a touchdown.

    For the NFL, Purdy is a good decision maker with accuracy in the short to intermediate part of the field. He is more of a dink-and-dunk quarterback rather than a big-time playmaker who has the arm talent to make game-changing plays. Purdy does not have elite arm strength or devastating running ability. He is short and does not make many plays when the play breaks down and he has to ad lib. He also is stiff in the pocket and struggles to escape pressure. In the 2021 NFL Draft, he could go as high as the fourth round and probably no lower than the sixth round. It’s possible he develops into being a solid backup quarterback as a pro.

  • Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger is a tough running quarterback, but he faces some passing limitations for the NFL. Ehlinger’s field vision and pocket passing need work, and he really looks more like a backup quarterback because his pocket passing has not made significant strides over his time in college. Those problems could be seen against Iowa State, as Ehlinger struggled to lead game-tying or game-winning drives in the fourth quarter.

  • Iowa State tight end Charlie Kolar produced a day that help his draft grade. He had a bit of a slow start before really heating up in the second half. In the early going on a third down, Kolar tried to get away with a push off on a defender to create separation while running an out route, but the defender quickly closed a slight gap to slap away the pass. In the third quarter, Kolar got open along the sideline for a gain of 31. A few plays later, he made a leaping grab down the seam finding a soft spot in coverage for a gain of about 20. Purdy and Kolar continued to connect, with Kolar getting open on a crossing route before turning upfield to run vertically for a gain of 44 yards. Against Texas, Kolar totaled six receptions for 131 yards.

    Kolar runs quality routes and has solid hands and an NFL build. He has some yards-after-the-catch ability and he could be a quality backup, rotational tight end at the pro level. Kolar could be a solid mid-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.


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