2022 NFL Draft: College Game Recaps - Week 12

This section breaks down many college football games each week and highlights how 2022 NFL Draft Prospects have performed.

By Charlie Campbell.
Send Charlie an e-mail here: draftcampbell@gmail.com
Follow Charlie on Twitter @draftcampbell for updates.

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  • Pittsburgh quarterback Kenny Pickett has dominated college football this year to make him one of the top quarterback prospects for the 2022 NFL Draft. This tape versus Virginia won't hurt or help the senior though, as he had a mixed outing.

    Midway through the first half, Pickett made some nice passes to the intermediate part of the field, including an impressive deep out from the far hash that illustrated his arm strength for the pros. Pickett closed out the drive by firing a strike into a tight lane for an 11-yard touchdown.

    On the next possession, Pickett threw a beautiful deep ball, and if it weren't for an interference call, it should have gone for a long completion. Shortly later, Pickett stayed calm in the pocket and dodged a sack from a free rusher before rolling out and then tossing an 18-yard touchdown to Jordan Addison, who broke off his route to run to an empty space in the end zone to help his quarterback.

    Just before halftime, Pickett got impatient and made a bad decision, forcing a deep ball into triple coverage for his fifth interception of the season. It was an uncharacteristic error for Pickett.

    Pickett picked up where he left off in the third quarter by tossing another interception. He stared down the outside receiver and double clutched. That led the safety to jump the route and intercept the pass.

    The Panthers showed their faith and confidence in Pickett on their next posession however, calling a bomb on fourth-and-1. Pickett laid out a deep ball to Addison for a 34-yard touchdown. In the fourth quarter, Pickett left the game with a lower leg injury, but after some treatment, he came back into the game, although he seemed to lack his typical mobility.

    Late in the fourth quarter, Pickett ran a bootleg and threw the ball a little late for Addison. The pass was a bit short, and a safety was closing on it for an interception, but Addison made a great play to come back toward the underthrown pass. Addison leapt in front of the defender for the catch before exploding down the field for a 62-yard touchdown. Pickett finished 26-of-41 passes against the Cavaliers for 340 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions.

    While Pickett is not a freak athlete with running ability, like a Lamar Jackson or Cam Newton, Pickett has some functional mobility and toughness as a runner, similar to Joe Burrow. Pickett does not have a cannon for an arm, like a Josh Allen or Matthew Stafford, but he has a capable arm that can make all the throws, similar to Derek Carr. Pickett's performance against Virginia was typical of recent games against Miami and North Carolina, in which he made a couple of throws per game that were bad decisions and risky. Those plays are not typical for Pickett, but he needs to eliminate that pattern.

    Pickett's accuracy is excellent and really stands out. He also throws a very catchable arm, processes information quickly, makes good decisions, and shows natural feel as a passer. On the deep ball, Pickett can be deadly, lofting in well-placed passes. He also is a leader, hard worker, good teammate, and a competitor. Thus, Pickett has the skill set to be a starter in the NFL. He could end up being a first-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft.

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  • There was a battle of future NFL starters in this game with Arkansas wide receiver Treylon Burks taking on Alabama cornerbacks Josh Jobe and other defensive backs who will be playing on Sundays. Burks put together a huge performance that will help make him a first-rounder next April in the 2022 NFL Draft.

    In the first quarter, Burks got open on a crossing route and powered his way through a tackler to fall for first-down yardage. In the second quarter, Burks out-played Jobe on a 50-50 pass to make a contested catch on a back-shoulder throw, gaining 32 yards. Burks showed his toughness on that play, as he was playing with a painful chest injury. To finish the drive, Burks ran an out route from the slot and caught a short pass. He stiff-armed a tackler away and coasted into the end zone with a 15-yard touchdown.

    Burks made a tremendous play in the third quarter. While sprinting along the sideline against Jobe, Burks put on the brakes and let Jobe's momentum keep him running and leave Burns open on the stop route. After catching the back-shoulder pass, Burks slashed across the field and took off on a run of about 50 yards. Alabama safety Jordan Battle over-ran the reception, and the Crimson Tide defense couldn't catch Burks, who scored from 67 yards out. This was a huge play for Burks' draft stock. The reason? Speed. Burks is a big, tough receiver, but the questions with his type of receiver is how fast they are, and this play illustrated that he has pro speed.

    Early in the fourth quarter, Burks used his big frame to box out a defender for a reception and held onto the ball while taking a hard hit to his injured chest from the safety. Versus Alabama, Burks totaled eight receptions for 179 yards and two touchdowns.

    Burks is more of a possessional receiver for the NFL. A good comparison for him is Titans receiver A.J. Brown. Burks has mismatch size to out-position defensive backs, is tough after the catch, runs good routes, and has strong, massive hands to help him control the ball on acrobatic catches. While Burks is not a blazer, he has the ability to get some late separation at times. Getting separation from NFL defensive backs is a concern, but this game helps Burks show he can do that, and he definitely has starter ability for the next level. He could go as high as middle of the first round in the 2022 NFL Draft, and he should not go any lower early in the second round in the 2022 NFL Draft.

  • Burks was not the only first-round receiver in this game, as Alabama's Jameson Williams has been an electric playmaker this season, and that continued against Arkansas. Williams' elite speed and explosion dominated the Razorbacks secondary. They were completely incapable of running with the ultra-fast Williams.

    In the second quarter, Williams ran a route from the slot and burned a corner and safety to get open deep down the field. Bryce Young hit Williams in stride, and he raced the remaining 30 yards for a 79-yard touchdown. Just before halftime, Williams ran a quick slant and got hit on the run. He out-raced the Arkansas defense from there for a 32-yard touchdown. In the fourth quarter with the Crimson Tide only up by six, they went to Williams for a clutch play to put the game away. Williams ran a go route down the middle of the field and made a diving catch in the back of the end zone for a 40-yard touchdown. On the day, Williams totaled eight receptions for 190 yards and three touchdowns.

    The 6-foot-2, 189-pound Williams has quality height, but his explosive speed, suddenness and vertical burst catch defensive backs by surprise and are what make him truly special. The lightning bolt-fast wideout Williams could be one of the NFL's most dangerous deep-threat receivers early in his pro career. Williams has put himself in contention to be a first-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft with his dominant 2021 season.

  • Entering this season, Williams was not expected to be the Crimson Tide's superstar receiver. That was supposed to be John Metchie. Metchie has still played well this year, but he does not have skill set of Williams or other recent Alabama receivers like Devonta Smith, Jaylen Waddle or Jerry Jeudy. Metchie played well against Arkansas to put together one of his best games of 2021.

    Metchie got open in the early going on a corner post for a 20-yard touchdown. In the second quarter, he ran a short slant with a stutter step before darting to the inside to catch a short pass and then run of over 20 yards for a 33-yard gain. Metchie finished the game with 10 receptions for 173 yards and a touchdown.

    For the NFL, Metchie looks like a No. 3 or 4 receiver, and he could develop into being a No. 2. Metchie has quality size and speed, but he lacks a dominant trait that would produce a mismatche versus NFL cornerbacks.

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  • Florida State defensive end Jermaine Johnson has been phenomenal in 2021, racking up sacks and entering this game as the nation's leader in tackles by a defensive lineman from a Power Five conference. After dominating Miami last week, Boston College mistakenly trusted its offensive linemen to be capable of single-blocking Johnson, and he made the Eagles pay with a dominant first half that helped the Seminoles build an insurmountable lead.

    Johnson showed off his motor in the first quarter, racing across the field to take down quarterback Phil Jurkovec with a blistering hit that kept Jurkovec short of first-down yardage. A few plays later, Johnson blew by the right tackle to rip down Jurkovec for a near sack, but Jurkovec just got the pass off. Not long after that, Johnson forced Jurkovec to step up in the pocket with a speed rush, which led to a sack for Florida State sophomore defensive tackle Fabien Lovett Sr.

    Johnson would later swim over the left tackle to get a tackle for a loss before stuffing a fourth-down run for no gain inside the 15-yard line to keep points off the board. He also picked up a pressure on a screen pass, which helped disrupt the timing of the play and turned into a crucial safety.

    This was an excellent tape from Johnson that will help him to be a first-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. He was fast off the edge, showing active hands that he used at the same time as his feet to shed blockers. He also was strong and physical at the point of attack, displaying a non-stop motor to hustle after the ball. Johnson could be a quality edge defender early in his NFL career.

  • Boston College guard Zion Johnson could be a starter early in his NFL career, and he was seeing some quality young defensive line versus the Seminoles. Earlier this year, Johnson missed the test of an elite defensive tackle because Clemson's Bryan Breese went out for the year before the game versus Boston College, so Florida State's Lovett could be the best test of future NFL talent who Johnson faces in 2021.

    Early in the second quarter, Lovett beat Johnson for a sack, using his length to get off the block and then his speed to dart behind Johnson and sack Phil Jurkovec as he stepped up to avoid Jermaine Johnson. Late in the second quarter, the Eagles set up a screen from their own end zone, but Zion Johnson missed a block, which allowed a safety to Florida State.

    After a rough first half, Johnson played better over the final two quarters, contributing to opening some holes in the ground game and being steady in pass protection. He showed quality feet to mirror and held his ground well versus bull rushes.

    Overall, this tape is going to hurt Johnson's draft grade. He struggled with the speed and length of Lovett and the other Florida State defenders. Johnson is short and lacks length for the NFL, so he will need to be coached up on how to compensate for that when taking on pro defenders. While Johnson has some limitations for the next level, he is athletic and has quickness. It could be a good idea for him to move to center in the NFL. Johnson could end up a second-day pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, but this tape made him lik look a third-rounder rather than the second-rounder.

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  • Ohio State wide receiver Chris Olave already has put together a prolific career for the Buckeyes, and he made history versus Michigan State. On the initial drive, Olave got open to move the chains on a curl route, and he later finished the drive by breaking open for a 23-yard touchdown that tied him with David Boston for the most touchdown catches in Ohio State history. It was an impressive route from Olave, whoe came uncovered while running a deep slant that saw him slide past two defenders before making a leaping grab in the end zone.

    Later in the first quarter, Olave made the touchdown record all his own after streaking down the field to get open running into the end zone for a 43-yard score. Later in the second quarter, Olave made a superb adjustment on a phenomenal, highlight-reel catch, leaning out for the ball while keeping his feet in bounds. That reception went for about 30 yards and set up Ohio State at the one-yard line. Olave finished the evening with seven receptions for 140 yards and two touchdowns.

    For the NFL, Olave looks like a future starter who could be a low end No. 1 receiver, but might be a fantastic No. 2 receiver. He is held back by his lack overwhelming size and the fact that while he has good speed, he is not a pure burner. Olave is still a well-rounded wideout and looks like a safe pick to be a quality pro. He could end up going in the back half of the first round or early in the second round of the 2022 NFL Draft, depending on how his pre-draft workouts go.

  • While Olave might have the most receiving touchdowns in Ohio State history, teammate Garrett Wilson will probably be the first Buckeyes receiver taken next April in the 2022 NFL Draft. Wilson opened this game by making some impressive runs after the catch to help move the ball on some short receptions. On Ohio State's second possession, Wilson torched the Michigan State defense for a 77-yard touchdown. Wilson ran a go route along the numbers and was too fast for the cornerback, letting Wilson bolt down the field for the score. Midway through the second quarter, Wilson got open on a slant for a 12-yard touchdown. He totaled seven receptions for 126 yards and two touchdowns on the day.

    This tape will help Wilson to be a first-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, and he is in the running to be the first receiver selected. Against the Spartans, Wilson displayed his game-breaking speed and electrifying playmaking ability. He also ran superb routes, showing suddenness in-and-out of his breaks to create separation. Along with being a fast playmaker, Wilson had good body control to adjust to the ball and was excellent after the catch. Wilson looks like a future first-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft

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  • Oregon edge rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux is the consensus top prospect for the 2022 NFL Draft, and Utah paid him the respect and blocking attention that comes with such a high projection. Throughout the first half, the Utessdid a nice job of neutralizing Thibodeaux. They rolled plays away from him, ran to the other side of the line, and sent a variety of blocking packages his direction. It was effective, as he contributed to a handful of stops in the ground game and notched one quarterback pressure in the first half.

    Utah stayed with its plan in the second half, which continued to work in the pass rush. There were plays that he literally saw three blockers, with a tight end chipping him before the left tackle and left guard went to block him. Even though he was limited in the pass rush, Thibodeaux did play the run well, getting off blocks and making tackles. He fought hard and didn't take plays off.

    For the NFL, Thibodeaux is a Khalil Mack-style edge defender. He is explosive, twitchy and physical. He shocks opponents with his heavy hands and natural strength. He also has a real burst to close and a relentless motor. This season, Thibodeaux has validated that he is worthy of being a high first-round pick in any draft class.

  • Utah linebacker Devin Lloyd has been one of the most productive linebackers in the country this year, making a lot of splash plays. He continued his strong play against Oregon, helping to lead a suffocating defense and showing his versatility for the NFL.

    In the opening half, Lloyd made a number of stops in the ground game, flying around the field and unloading some violent hits. In the second half, Lloyd came through with some clutch plays to kill any of the Ducks' comeback hopes. In the third quarter, Lloyd made an excellent read to fire through the line and lay a bone-rattling hit on the back and knock him down for no gain on a third-and-2. At the start of the fourth quarter, Lloyd rushed as a defensive end and used a spin move to cut to the inside of the left tackle to force a fourth-down pass early that led to Utah getting the ball back. Later in the fourth quarter, Lloyd had excellent man coverage on a tight end to force an incompletion.

    Team sources like Lloyd, saying he is big, long and athletic. They feel he has good instincts, but is not overly twitchy. He is also is physical and has good length to play off blocks. This season, Lloyd had made some impressive plays in coverage and as a rusher. Given his quality skill set and how productive he has been this year, he could be a high second-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. He might get late first-round consideration.

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    Iowa State 7 0 0 14 21
    Oklahoma 7 7 7 7 28

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    Louisville  at  Duke 11/18/2021 7:30:00 PM ESPN
    Memphis  at  Houston 11/19/2021 9:00:00 PM ESPN2
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    Other Weeks:

    2022 NFL Draft: College Football Game Recaps - Week 0
    2022 NFL Draft: College Football Game Recaps - Week 1
    2022 NFL Draft: College Football Game Recaps - Week 2
    2022 NFL Draft: College Football Game Recaps - Week 3
    2022 NFL Draft: College Football Game Recaps - Week 4
    2022 NFL Draft: College Football Game Recaps - Week 5
    2022 NFL Draft: College Football Game Recaps - Week 6
    2022 NFL Draft: College Football Game Recaps - Week 7
    2022 NFL Draft: College Football Game Recaps - Week 8
    2022 NFL Draft: College Football Game Recaps - Week 9
    2022 NFL Draft: College Football Game Recaps - Week 10
    2022 NFL Draft: College Football Game Recaps - Week 11
    2022 NFL Draft: College Football Game Recaps - Week 12
    2022 NFL Draft: College Football Game Recaps - Week 13
    2022 NFL Draft: College Football Game Recaps - Week 14


    NFL Picks - Dec. 1

    2022 NFL Mock Draft - Dec. 1

    NFL Power Rankings - Nov. 30

    Fantasy Football Rankings - Sept. 8


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