The college football Week 6 slate is upon us, and the team of draft evaluators and CFB analysts at Pro Football Network are here with instant takeaways from the weekend slate. Find our immediate reactions to all the action from start to finish in college football’s Week 6 Saturday games.
Taking into account all of the weekend’s slate of action, our CFB/Draft department will all be on hand for their instant reactions as they come in.
For clarity’s sake, each takeaway, reaction, and result will be culminated by the initials of the analyst responsible: TP for Tony Pauline, CM for Cam Mellor, IC for Ian Cummings, OH for Oliver Hodgkinson, and JF for James Fragoza.
Washington State defense full of fast-flowing defenders
9:05PM- A USC offense that’s racked up points week in and week out has just 10 points with the second quarter nearing its conclusion. Washington State’s defense is a big reason why. The Cougars play fast at all three levels, and have a number of 2023 NFL Draft prospects underpinning their efforts. Daiyan Henley is a warrior in the box who can flush QBs out with his explosiveness. Travion Brown is a strong, lengthy linebacker who can make solo tackles. And Ron Stone is a consistent pressure generator.
Among all these players, the most impressive might be safety Jaden Hicks. As a redshirt freshman, he’s not draft eligible. But he’s 6’3″, 209 pounds, is explosive coming downhill, and has made plays high-pointing the ball in coverage. IC
Jaren Hall has talent, but needs to adjust versus Notre Dame
9:00PM- The talent is once again evident with Jaren Hall against Notre Dame. The Cougars quarterback has, more than once, used his athleticism to extend and create, and his arm generates velocity very easily in the short and intermediate ranges. But Hall doesn’t have the same trademark accuracy that he’s shown in other games this year. His base has been inconsistent, as has his release point, and it’s resulting in a few high misses, especially toward the boundary.
Hall will need to compose himself and stay tighter with his mechanics in the second half, if BYU is to reduce the 12-point deficit. IC
Cameron Ward helping Washington State compete against USC
8:45PM- Checking in on Cameron Ward, the Washington State passer has completed 10 of 13 passes for 114 yards and two scores, and has his Cougars up 14-10 over the USC Trojans. He’s mainly operated within the scheme, but Ward’s ability work quickly off of play fakes and misdirections has helped the offense maintain its efficiency. That’s especially easy when Ward has the arm elasticity that he does. He has a quick, flexible release, and his ball handling skills in the pocket are an underrated, but important strength of his game. IC
Zay Flowers showing off his dynamic ability once again
8:25PM- Zay Flowers has been one of the most impressive WR prospects this year, and each week, he continues to prove that his size won’t be an issue at the next level. Flowers gets open with high-end speed, burst, and sinking ability, but he can also work beyond his frame and make high-difficulty adjustments for passes. He made another highlight-worthy catch just moments ago, contorting behind his center of gravity to corral an imprecise throw from Phil Jurkovec. He then quickly recollected himself and darted upfield, dashing into open space for extra yardage.
Few players are as inherently dynamic as Flowers. His movement is so spry and electrified, and yet, he can rein himself in and play so controlled at the catch point. He’s incredibly fun to watch, and that’ll be the case when he’s in the NFL, too. IC
Michael Mayer finds the end zone in a routine exercise
8:20PM- It’s becoming an expectation each week, that Michael Mayer finds the end zone at least once for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. It doesn’t matter who the quarterback is. Mayer is going to produce. That’s a valuable brand of reliability that should serve him well at the next level. On his most recent score, Mayer scraped past a chip, then past a DB in space, and made an excellent high-pointing adjustment for a lobbed pass, reeling it in past the pylon.
Mayer has a very complete skill set for a tight end. He’s not the unicorn that Kyle Pitts was, but with Mayer, you have all the requisite traits: Foot speed, lateral freedom, physicality, play strength, and high-end instincts. It’s what sets him apart at the collegiate level. IC
Tuli Tuipulotu making an impression early on against Cougars
8:00PM- He’s been one of the breakout stars of USC’s season on defense, and he already has two sacks tonight against Washington State — both of which came on the Cougars’ most recent drive. His first was a quick, violent double-swipe from a wide alignment, while his second was via a swift invasion of the A-gap. Tuipulotu’s quickness and motor at 6’4″, 290 pounds allows him to be disruptive from various spots. Fairly soon, it may be time to talk about the junior as a legitimate 2023 NFL Draft prospect. IC
Caleb Williams a special talent at QB in 2024 class
7:55PM- No doubt, there’s at least one front office executive out there who wishes Caleb Williams was in the 2023 NFL Draft class. Williams’ talent is absolutely enticing, and it’s already on display today against Washington State. Thanks to Williams, USC is on the board first. Williams was able to roll out to the right under pressure and uncork a rocket from midfield, hitting a wide open Mario Williams.
Caleb Williams’ mix of quick-twitch athleticism and high-end arm strength is rare, and his ability to so freely torque his hips off-platform only adds to his appeal. When he comes out, he’ll be very, very coveted. IC
Blake Freeland off to strong start against Notre Dame
7:50PM- One of our top prospect matchups to watch in Week 6 was BYU offensive tackle Blake Freeland versus Notre Dame edge rusher Isaiah Foskey. Early on in BYU’s latest contest, Freeland has been impressive. He hasn’t been matched up on Foskey much in high-pressure situations just yet, but Freeland is already making his impact felt as a run blocker. The 6’8″ blocker is incredibly explosive off the line, and can drive defenders into the turf with his length and burst. IC
Jonathan Mingo an underrated WR prospect in 2023 class
7:15PM- Someone was going to emerge in the wake of Dontario Drummond and Braylon Sanders leaving the Ole Miss offense. Jordan Watkins is starting to gain steam, but it’s clear that the top weapon for the Rebels at WR is Jonathan Mingo. Mingo is a 6’2″, 225-pound force, who has eight catches for 238 yards and two scores against Vanderbilt. On the year, he’s up to 21 catches for almost 500 yards and three scores.
Mingo is a big play machine, but his run-after-catch ability is what generates a lot of the extra yardage. At his size, Mingo brings great natural contact balance, and he’s explosive once he sheds tackles and gets into space. He’s a fun prospect, especially when you think about how he can be used in the modern NFL. IC
Jalen Milroe giving evaluators a glimpse of the future?
7:10PM- We already have a talent-laden 2024 NFL Draft QB class on deck with passers like Caleb Williams, Drake Maye, Quinn Ewers, and D.J. Uiagalelei if he returns. Could Jalen Milroe of Alabama join that mix? Seeing that the Crimson Tide has produced Tua Tagovailoa, Mac Jones, and now Bryce Young in recent years, it’s not brash to assume that Milroe might follow that same trajectory once Young makes the leap.
Of course, Milroe will only start in relief of Young this year. But today’s game against Texas A&M could provide onlookers with a glimpse of what Milroe could provide in 2023. Milroe clearly has high-end athleticism and a live arm. We saw that much against Arkansas. But how will he fare against a Texas A&M defense that has several quality NFL Draft prospects? It’s an intriguing storyline to follow at 8:00 PM. IC
Cameron Ward the big-ticket prospect to watch this evening
7:00PM- There are a lot of good games in the evening slate this week, but make it your mission to get eyes on Washington State QB Cameron Ward against USC if you can. USC is a top-ten team with a high-octane offense and a talented defense. It’s the most pressure Ward will have on his shoulders this season, but a good performance could truly vault him into the first-round range, and earn him a shot at becoming a top QB in the 2023 NFL Draft.
Ward has the requisite talent to be an NFL starter. At 6’2″, 220 pounds, he has good size and good corrective athleticism. And his arm elasticity is arguably the best in class. He can generate velocity from just about any angle. That creation capacity and freedom in off-script situations will be needed against the Trojans’ defense. IC
Quinyon Mitchell an interception magnet for Toledo
6:55PM- If you’re looking for a small-school performance to heap praise on, look no further than Toledo CB Quinyon Mitchell. The 6’0″ 197-pound redshirt sophomore has four interceptions and two pick-sixes today against Northern Illinois. He’s been a nightmare to throw against — using his quick reaction ability and closing speed to hawk in front of ill-fated passes.
Mitchell had eight deflections last year and came into this contest with four PBUs in 2022, so we know he can make plays on the ball. But this has easily been a career game, for a player who could be an NFL Draft prospect down the line. IC
Jordan Watkins’ speed becoming an asset for Ole Miss offense
6:35PM- Listed as a potential breakout candidate in the summer, Louisville transfer Jordan Watkins is starting to find his stride with the Ole Miss Rebels. Watkins has almost doubled his season receiving total today against Vanderbilt, with five catches for 114 yards and a score. That score came on a short completion in space — an unspectacular throw, which Watkins turned into a score by turning on the jets upfield. His speed is truly a high-level trait, and it should enable him to create more big plays down the road. IC
Zach Evans an enticing modern mold at running back
6:30PM- Zach Evans made the decision to transfer to Ole Miss from TCU, and it’s helped to spotlight his natural talent at the running back position. Few 6’0″, 215-pound backs can turn upfield while sustaining acceleration like he can. Evans is incredibly flexible and fluid as a mover, but he also has the play strength and contact balance to work through contact, as well as the lateral agility to displace defenders in open field. He showed all of that on a long touchdown run today against Vanderbilt.
In the mix with several other high-quality RB prospects, Evans is a dynamic and complete player, who has the tools to be a special weapon on the ground. IC
Dawand Jones also deserving of praise alongside Johnson
6:25PM- While we’re on the topic of dominant Ohio State tackles, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention Dawand Jones. He’s been similarly dominant today opposite Johnson. The 6’8″, 359-pound behemoth has effortlessly clubbed around Spartans defenders in the running game. And even when matched up against Windmon — a slippery 6’2″ rusher with burst and bend — Jones has been able to position himself effectively with shockingly light feet, and smother Windmon with his width and play strength.
Jones is an outlier with his size, but he can absolutely be a starting right tackle in the NFL. A lot of the steps he needed to take in 2022, he’s already taken. IC
Paris Johnson Jr. making short work of Michigan State defenders
6:20PM- Ohio State’s offense has been a finely-tuned machine against Michigan State. A lot of the credit goes to C.J. Stroud and the surgical passing offense, but it all starts up front, and the Buckeyes have good players to rely on there as well. In particular, left tackle Paris Johnson Jr. has been near perfect so far. He’s locked down Jacoby Windmon when matched up against him in pass protection, he’s picked up stunts, he’s sealed the backside with impressive reach blocks, and he’s easily driven linebackers downfield in space. IC
Dorian Thompson-Robinson still impressing versus Utah
6:15PM- Let’s check in on Dorian Thompson-Robinson. Yes — he’s still good. Thompson-Robinson has been electric for the better part of the past two weeks. He started off hot against Utah, and he’s stayed hot. There have been plenty of impressive moments, among them several high-velocity passes, a stiff-arm on a Utah defender in space, and most recently a crisp touchdown throw to his top receiver, Jake Bobo.
Thompson-Robinson’s lighter frame may be a sticking point for some NFL evaluators, but his strong play in 2022 can’t go unnoticed. He’s athletic, has a good arm, and is playing as confident and composed as we’ve seen him over the past half-decade. IC
Israel Abanikanda putting Pitt offense on his back
6:10PM- Named a breakout candidate at RB in the summer by PFN, Israel Abanikanda has emerged to a degree that no one quite expected. Fielding 510 yards and six touchdowns coming into today’s game, Abanikanda is having his best performance yet against Virginia Tech. The Panthers runner has 28 carries for 179 yards and four touchdowns, and he’s the sole reason Pitt is up 31-16 nearing the fourth quarter.
Abanikanda’s blend of lateral athleticism and burst at 5’11”, 215 pounds is almost unfair. He can stretch seams instantly with his explosiveness, and his frame density makes him tough to bring down. With 10 touchdowns already on the year, he’s firmly in the mix as one of the biggest 2023 NFL Draft risers. IC
Nolan Smith shows his NFL appeal as Georgia dominates
6:00PM- Georgia is predictably handling Auburn, up 21-3 as the third quarter slowly winds to a close. And one standout among many has been Bulldogs outside linebacker Nolan Smith. There’s been a lot of discussion regarding Smith’s NFL projection. He’s a former five-star recruit with elite athleticism. But he’s also in the 6’3″, 230-pound range — a bit too small and lean to hold up in a full-time EDGE role.
Nevertheless, in a 3-4 OLB alignment, Smith brings a lot to offer. On a recent third-down stop, Smith flowed through blocks on the outside of the line, perfectly read an option play in the backfield, and matched the ball carrier with swift short-area twitch, wrapping him up for a crucial loss. Smith’s instincts and gravity to plays in pursuit, combined with his surprising play strength, makes him a dangerous overhang defender on the line. IC
DeWayne McBride with another dominant outing
6:00PM- UAB running back DeWayne McBride has been producing at an insane clip this season. Heading into this week’s matchup against Middle Tennessee State, McBride had 75 carries for 521 yards and six touchdowns in three games. And in three quarters against the Blue Raiders, McBride has tacked on an additional 120 yards and three touchdowns to his season total.
The root of McBride’s success? He’s big, and he runs hard. McBride’s 5’11”, 215-pound frame is incredibly dense, and he rarely goes down on first contact in the hole. He’ll churn through solo tackles, and runs with a full head of steam in open space. He may not be an early-round prospect, but McBride has the look and feel of an RB who deserves a spot in an NFL rotation. IC
A different Tyler Van Dyke on the field for Miami today
5:50PM- Tyler Van Dyke’s 2023 NFL Draft stock was at its lowest point when the Hurricanes’ signal caller was benched against Middle Tennessee State a few weeks ago. But Van Dyke looks like a different player today against North Carolina. He’s right there with Maye in what’s shaping up to be a shootout. Miami is down 21-17 at the half, and Van Dyke has completed 20 of 25 passes for 289 yards and two scores.
Even more impressive than Van Dyke’s production is the nature of his production. His first touchdown was a crisp, high-velocity anticipatory throw over the middle of the field. His second touchdown was a sidearm laser in the red zone, while being tugged down to the left by a pass rusher. Van Dyke is shining under pressure today, and could be taking the step he needs to take. IC
Colby Wooden helps keep Georgia game within reach
5:40PM- Georgia has had control for most of the game against Auburn, but the Tigers’ defense is doing well to keep things from getting out of hand. Defensive lineman Colby Wooden, in particular, has been instrumental. On Georgia’s last drive, Wooden helped contribute pressure which led to a strip-sack, then recovered the fumble and gave his team possession in Bulldogs’ territory. Already, we’ve seen Wooden’s ability to line up inside and outside. His ability to generate turnovers on top of that is just another bonus. IC
Drake Maye and Josh Downs putting on a show for UNC
5:30PM- There’s a chance this could be a first-round QB-WR combination for North Carolina. Drake Maye has been absolutely electric against Miami, completing 13 of 19 passes for 252 yards and two touchdowns across only the first two quarters. His second touchdown — an off-platform dish-off to Josh Downs — was an impressive heads-up play on Maye’s part. But it was also a terrific display by Downs to adjust for a low pass, shed a tackle, and then explode upfield for a score.
Maye is an early front runner to be one of the QB’s in the Round 1 discussion in the 2024 NFL Draft cycle. Downs, meanwhile, has rightfully earned early-round hype in 2023 with his mix of explosiveness, speed, and natural playmaking instincts. IC
Jayden Reed bounces back with impressive TD reception
5:20PM- He’ll need to keep showing up for the remaining two and a half quarters, but Jayden Reed took a step in the right direction with an impressive touchdown catch against Ohio State. Working against second-year cornerback JK Johnson, Reed ran an end zone fade from the left boundary, and made an immaculate adjustment to a noticeably under-thrown pass, guiding the throw in even as he worked backward with a hand in his chest.
Reed was visibly relieved after completing this play — a play that brought the Spartans back within a touchdown. With any luck, it’ll help build his confidence for the long haul. IC
UCLA defensive backs making life difficult for Cameron Rising
5:15PM- Cameron Rising has done an admirable job helping to keep Utah in their game against UCLA, but the Bruins’ defensive backs are making him work for every yard. 6’3″ coverage defender Devin Kirkwood has been incredibly physical and authoritative coming downhill against short passes, and 6’2″ junior defender John Humphrey had a clutch pass deflection at the end of the half, holding the Utes to a missed field goal attempt. There’s a lot of unheralded talent in UCLA’s DB room, especially if you throw in Stephan Blaylock as well. IC
True sophomore WR Bryson Green breaking out for Oklahoma State
5:05PM- He’s not draft eligible as a true sophomore, but keep an eye on Oklahoma State wide receiver Bryson Green. In a passing attack engineered by veteran QB Spencer Sanders, Green is quickly becoming a top target. In today’s game against Texas Tech, Green has four catches for 98 yards and a touchdown, including a beautiful diving fingertip grab in the red zone. Green isn’t an overwhelming size threat, but his natural receiving ability is very visible. He’ll likely be relied upon several more times this afternoon. IC
Zach Charbonnet still a big play factory
5:05PM- The UCLA offense has a lot of dynamic ability in its backfield with Thompson-Robinson and running back Zach Charbonnet. Thompson-Robinson has done a lot of the work himself in recent weeks. But Charbonnet is still a big play machine, and he proved it on UCLA’s most recent drive, rumbling for 40-plus yards after a quick cut, breaking tackles along the way. At 6’1″, 220 pounds, Charbonnet is essentially a snowplow in open space. He constantly keeps his legs churning, and it’s very hard to halt his momentum. IC
Tavion Thomas trucking forward against UCLA
5:00PM- Hyper-productive Utah running back Tavion Thomas is continuing on his prolific path today against UCLA. He has 14 carries for 79 yards and a score before the half, and is now tied for third all-time in career rushing touchdowns at Utah. His touchdown run was like so many before it: Thomas found a hole quick, and surged through it with long, powerful strides.
Thomas is more of a north-south back, but at 6’2″, 238 pounds, he’s a handful to take down. And he has enough looseness in his hips to adjust attack angles downfield mid-stride, making him a tricky match inside second-level seams. IC
Tommy Eichenberg making an impact for Ohio State
4:50PM- Linebacker Tommy Eichenberg is embarking on a career season under new defensive coordinator Jim Knowles. His high-level play is continuing today against Michigan State, as the 6’2″, 239-pound Buckeyes standout already has several tackles, and contributed on a sack. On one play during MSU’s most recent drive, Eichenberg peeled off from coverage to square up and stop a scrambling Payton Thorne in space. The next play, he used his explosiveness to scream through the A-gap on a delayed blitz, and wrapped up Thorne for a third-down sack.
Knowles has been a godsend for an Ohio State defense that struggled last year, and Eichenberg has been one of the primary beneficiaries. As of now, he looks like a draftable prospect. IC
Michigan State getting sleeper Tre Mosley involved
4:45PM- Jayden Reed was mentioned earlier as a prospect who needed to show more consistency. In his stead, however, Tre Mosley is stepping up. The 6’2″, 195-pound redshirt junior has rarely been more than an ancillary threat in the Spartans’ receiving core. But he already has a couple of nice RAC catches as the Spartans look to keep pace with the Buckeyes. He almost hauled in a high-difficulty boundary throw as well. He made an impressive adjustment in tight coverage, but was unable to secure it against the ground, and it wound up incomplete.
Mosley is a player who’s flashed in spurts for Michigan State, but he’s never been able to draw a premier target share. Today could be a chance for Mosley to change that. IC
Kenny McIntosh has Georgia up early against Auburn
4:30PM- The Georgia Bulldogs are up on the Auburn Tigers in the first quarter, and it’s running back Kenny McIntosh who gave them the points. A tough goal line stretch was finally converted on when McIntosh was able to use his speed to get around the edge and surge into scoring territory. McIntosh is an excellent receiving threat who’ll draw fans in the NFL with his versatility. But with his burst and smooth feel through running lanes, he can deliver in condensed areas as well. IC
Dorian Thompson-Robinson picking up where he left off in Week 5
4:25PM- Dorian Thompson-Robinson led the UCLA Bruins to a win over Washington in Week 5. Now, the Pac-12 veteran is headlining his team’s efforts early on against Utah. Thompson-Robinson is 6 of 7 for 96 yards passing, and just ran in a touchdown a few moments ago. It’s hard to gauge Thompson-Robinson’s 2023 NFL Draft stock right now, but one thing is certain: It’s climbing after the way he’s played the past two weeks.
Thompson-Robinson passes the traits test. He’s a smooth and quick athlete, who also has enough arm strength to zip throws over the middle and hit tight windows in the intermediate range. He’s playing with a high level of confidence against a talented Utah defense. This could be a statement game for him. IC
Marvin Harrison Jr. a cheat code in the red zone
4:20PM- As expected, the Buckeyes are wasting no time putting points on the board against a hapless Michigan State secondary. Ohio State is already up a touchdown, courtesy of a terrific end zone catch by sophomore receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. Harrison tracked to the end zone on a fade. The pass was underthrown and guided the defender to his torso, but it didn’t matter — Harrison mossed his defender with smooth body control and strong hands.
This is Harrison’s seventh touchdown of the year on just 25 catches. The 6’4″, 205-pound pass catcher is an unfair physical specimen, but he’s especially potent in the red zone, where his size, athleticism, and ball tracking ability makes him incredibly tough to match up against. He’s not draft eligible yet, but he’s already a WR1 candidate for the 2024 cycle. IC
Jayden Reed still seeking consistency in 2022
4:10PM- Michigan State WR Jayden Reed had a very strong 2021 campaign, but elected to return for another year. He hasn’t been as consistent in 2022, and those issues with consistency are already plaguing him against Ohio State. He kicked off the game with a very impressive catch on an intermediate out, corralling a tight back-shoulder throw against the sideline. Then, however, he dropped a short completion after stepping out of bounds, and was overthrown on an interception a play later.
Reed has the talent to be a coveted prospect in the 2023 NFL Draft, and he’s shown the requisite ability in all phases. But there’s still a sense that he doesn’t have the same comfort or chemistry he and Payton Thorne showed in 2021. The Spartans will need him to get back on track if they want to compete against Ohio State. IC
Another talented junior CB headed to the ’23 NFL Draft
4PM- Kentucky and South Carolina kick off at 7:30PM EST on the SEC network. Wildcat quarterback Will Levis will be a game time decision due to a foot injury. If Levis plays, the Gamecocks will be relying on their top corner, Cam Smith, to help keep the UK air attack in check. I graded Smith as a wait and see prospect before the season began and teams are liking what they are see from the junior. Several teams presently have a day two grade on Smith based off his play in 2022. I’m also told if Smith continues to play at this pace he will enter the 2023 NFL Draft, adding another talented junior cornerback to the mix. TP
Marcel Brooks returns from obscurity
3:40PM- Interesting to see Marcel Brooks step to the forefront and make some big plays today for TCU after being MIA the past few seasons. As a freshman safety for LSU in 2019, Brooks showed big time potential and graded as a possible day two pick on my board. He transferred to TCU then fell into obscurity the next two years, even playing some receiver in 2021. Brooks is back on defense at linebacker and looked good in spots today against Kansas. He’s a sensational athlete who must elevate his game and be consistently productive. While Brooks probably won’t get drafted next year, he’s a practice squad prospect with great upside. TP
Just when KU looked impressive, in steps Quentin Johnston
3:20PM- Holy moly!! Just as I was complimenting Kansas, the Horned Frogs march down the field and Quentin Johnston, who has dominated this game, made a magnificent catch to put TCU ahead with a minute and a half left in the game. Johnston’s numbers today- 14 receptions, 206 receiving yards and one magnificent touchdown grab of 24 yards. Johnston has shown it all today- size, speed and terrific hands. It’s understandable why many have him graded as a day two prospect. TP
Keep an eye on KU’s left tackle
3:10PM- Kansas is not only one of the better stories of the 2023 college football season but they are also a fun team to watch. They are incredibly well coached, the team executes the game plan incredibly well and the KU staff gets as much as they can from average talent. One next level prospect to keep an eye on is left tackle Earl Bostick Jr. The senior is a long, athletic blocker that’s every smart. He’s more efficient on the blind side rather than dominant. Bostick is one of those players who go undrafted yet make an NFL roster as a utility back-up who can play multiple positions on the offensive line. TP
Friday’s small school prospect answers the call
2:55PM- Princeton receiver Andrei Iosivas was highlighted as my small school player of the week on Friday and he’s not disappointed today. As the final period starts between Princeton and Lafayette with the Tigers up 23-2, Iosivas has 7 receptions for 108 yards during the initial three quarters. As mentioned on Friday, Iosivas is a tremendous athlete transferring those skills on to the football field. TP
Impressive next level match ups in Purdue-Maryland
2:35PM- Today’s preview mentioned the match-up between Purdue signal caller Aidan O’Connell and the Maryland cornerback duo of Jakorian Bennett and Deonte Banks. Thus far all three have played well in a game knotted up at 17-17 at the start of the final quarter. O’Connell has completed 23 of 31 passes for 237 yards with 1 TD and 1 INT. The interception came courtesy of Jakorian Bennett who also has 2 PBU’s to his credit. For his part Banks has 1 PBU and was credited with half a sack and tackle for loss. TP
2:20PM- Gators linebacker Ventrell Miller shows flashes of dominance which gets you excited about his next level potential. He’s instinctive, tough and makes a lot of plays on the football- especially against the run. The difference between Miller being a UDFA and late round choice in the 2023 NFL Draft are the computer numbers. Miller won’t measure more than 6-feet tall, weighs under 230-pounds and is estimated to be a 4.82s forty athlete. TP
Another sleeper LT looking next level
2PM- I’ve been relatively impressed with Mizzou left tackle Javon Foster. He’s looking good against Florida and has done a solid job protecting the quarterback’s blind side. Foster is a tad under 6-feet-6-inches and tips the scales around 310 pounds. He moves well and has shown solid footwork and lateral range off the edge. I gave Foster a 7th round grade entering the season and he’s presently playing at a higher level. TP
Quinn Ewers- Wow! WOW! WOW!
1:30PM- I try to be conservative when assessing young quarterbacks, especially before they are draft eligible, but the only thing I can say about Quinn Ewers is wow!! The redshirt freshman combines the physical skills and arm strength of CJ Stroud with the poise and wherewithal of Bryce Young. Yes- there’s plenty of football to be played before coming up with a final assessment on Ewers, but I’ve not been this excited about a young quarterback prospect since watching Peyton Manning as a freshman at Tennessee. TP
Yet another SEC signal caller moving up draft boards
1:20PM- Last week I spoke at length about the love in the scouting community for Kentucky quarterback Will Levis. The other quarterback from the SEC building a lot of chatter around himself is Hendon Hooker of Tennessee, by way of Virginia Tech. Hooker had 8 passing TD’s coming into the contest today and added another scoring throw against LSU. Hooker has completed just under 72% of his throws this season, including 78.6% two weeks ago against Florida. Expect to see a lot of Hooker in the off-season at All Star games and the Combine, as he’s making a rise up draft boards. TP
EMU next level O-line prospects looking good
12:50PM- A pair of Eastern Michigan offensive linemen I wrote about over the summer have looked really good this season and are taking it to Western Michigan today. Left tackle Marcellus Johnson and left guard Sidy Sow are pushing their opponents all over the field as EMU has taken a 21-0 lead as the second quarter begins. Johnson is an extremely athletic fifth year senior who I gave a 7th round grade yet was not mentioned by scouts before the season. Sow, whom I’ve had graded the past three years, looks as though he’s lost a bit of weight and is much more agile and easily moves around the field. TP
Armstrong turning it around?
12:30PM- After a horrible start to the season, Virginia quarterback Brennan Armstrong seems to back in the groove today against a solid Louisville secondary. Armstrong entered the season with middle round grades but was a signal caller many thought would make a big move up boards with a big season. During the initial five games this year Armstrong completed just 52% of his throws and tossed 5 INT’s to just 4 TD’s. So far today he’s 5 of 7 passing for 97 yards with 1 TD. TP
Once again Morris is terrorizing opponents
12:20PM- Week five riser Mike Morris of Michigan continues to wreak havoc, this Saturday against Indiana. Most exciting about Morris and his pass rush ability is the versatility he displays. Last week Morris was consistently blowing up Iowa’s game plans out of a three point stance. Just now he stopped Indiana in their tracks, rushing the passer out of a three point stance. TP
The struggles continue for Boutte
12:20PM- While many of the offensive struggles for Kayshon Boutte are coming off the arm of his quarterback Jayden Daniels, the receiver has not played well this season. Boutte is not making plays people expected and he’s dropping a lot of catchable throws- as we just saw. Too many passes are slipping through his hands and while they may not be pinpoint accurate passes, they are catchable balls. TP
Another Challenge for Aidan O’Connell
The Purdue Boilermakers travel to College Park, Maryland for a meeting with the Terrapins in an all important Big 10 match-up. Multiple times tis season I’ve written about Purdue quarterback Aidan O’Connell, who’s played reasonably well after being graded by some scouts as a day two prospect. After facing the tough secondaries of Syracuse and Minnesota the past two weeks, O’Connell has another difficult challenge against Maryland.
The Terps presently have a pair of next level corners who are both playing well. Jakorian Bennett entered the season with late round grades on my board but is having a terrific campaign with 6 PBU’s. The team’s other corner, Banks Deonte, is having a Nick Cross type of season, i.e., he’s a day two prospect few are paying attention too. Banks has no INT’s and a pair of PBU’s this season but that’s primarily because opponents have not thrown in his direction.
Michigan takes on Indiana in Bloomington for what’s likely to be a tough day for the Hoosiers. IU has four defenders to keep an eye on, senior prospects having good seasons that will be challenged by the Wolverines.
Linebacker Cam Jones leads the team with 54 tackles in five games. Jones is a small but explosive run and chase linebacker with a 7th round grade on my board.
Corners Tiawan Mullen and Jaylin Williams as well as safety Devon Matthews all grade slightly higher as they are 6th round prospects. The ball production has been a bit disappointing this season, though Williams leads the team with 4 PBU’s, but the trio have been a big part of holding opponents to just over 275 yards passing per game. TP