The college football Week 11 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 11 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, IC for Ian Cummings, and CM for Cam Mellor.
Kei’Trel Clark playing above his weight class
4:45PM– Kei’Trel Clark has five interceptions and 26 pass deflections in his four-year career with the Louisville Cardinals. At 5’10”, with a weight in the 170s, you’d expect him to be more of a coverage specialist with his sticky athleticism and ball skills. It’s true — he’s dangerous with his click-and-close ability. But don’t let his frame fool you. He can play in run support, too.
One play against Clemson today was indicative of this. On a first down, Clemson dialed up a bubble screen to the right side. Clark immediately identified the play and started downhill. Rather than flushing himself out of the play, however, he paused, freezing the blockers, then pried through the double-team and exploded into the receiver for a loss.
Clark’s instincts and explosiveness serve him well in both phases, and early on today, he’s showing why. The Shrine Bowl commit is quietly a quality 2023 NFL Draft CB prospect, with the potential to rise up boards down the stretch. IC
Anthony Richardson starting strong against South Carolina
4:35PM- Anthony Richardson has been inconsistent overall in 2022, but he’s off to a strong start today against South Carolina. He got the Gators on the board first with a rushing touchdown, and he just found the end zone through the air with an impressive pass. Off a quick play-action drop in the red zone, Richardson instinctively stepped into the pocket to avoid outside pressure, then fired a dart that Ricky Pearsall was able to high-point with a defender looming.
Tony Pauline reported two weeks ago that Richardson was leaning toward entering the 2023 NFL Draft. This latest TD pass gives him 10 touchdowns to seven interceptions on the year, to go along with over 500 rushing yards and nine scores on the ground.
As a passer, there’s still room to grow for Richardson. But looking at the uncertainty after Young and C.J.Stroud in the 2023 NFL Draft QB class, it’s hard to imagine teams wouldn’t be willing to bank on Richardson’s rare traits. IC
Bryce Young’s elite creation capacity continues to shine through
4:25PM- Ole Miss is handling business against Alabama so far today, but from an evaluative standpoint, Bryce Young is still putting reasons on tape to bet on his NFL potential. In a modern NFL where you look for elite traits to build around with quarterbacks, Young’s elite creation capacity consistently generates appeal.
Between inconsistent blocking and receiver play, the Crimson Tide offense isn’t giving Young much help. But with his high-end short-area twitch and agility, he’s able to consistently evade pressure, extend plays, and send defenders lurching in open space, all while pressing upfield. His ability to create amidst adversity and keep plays alive remains an awe-inspiring trait, and it’s why many have him as QB1. IC
Blake Corum finds the end zone again with explosive ability
4:20PM- Blake Corum has been having a phenomenal season for the Michigan Wolverines, and he’s carrying the momentum forward today — both literally and figuratively. A quarter of the way through against Nebraska, Corum has eight carries for 33 yards and a score — his 30th career touchdown in the Blue and Maize.
Corum has quickly developed into one of the top running back prospects in the 2023 NFL Draft. He offers the density and natural leverage you want at 5’8″, 210 pounds. But what truly completes his game is his combination of quick vision and even quicker burst to the second level. He’s a lightning bolt in pads, who brings surprising thunder at contact. IC
Ji’Ayir Brown playing fast for Penn State
4:10PM- Penn State will look to finish the 2022 regular season on a high note over the next few weeks, and that starts with a win against Maryland. So far, the defense is playing up to par, and a lot of it has to do with the presence of safety Ji’Ayir Brown.
In what’s become an expectation for Brown, the high-level 2023 NFL Draft safety prospect is playing fast, both in coverage and in run support. On Maryland’s most recent drive, Brown closed downhill quickly on a short completion, and was quick to wrap up and nullify the play behind the sticks.
Brown is a playmaker through and through, with range, ball skills, and ability in run support. He should be one of the top players at his position come next April. IC
Bryan Bresee’s presence felt early against Louisville
4:00PM- It hasn’t taken long for Clemson’s talent across the board to overwhelm Louisville in Week 11. Particularly on defense, first-round defensive line prospect Bryan Bresee has already been a nightmare to deal with. On early downs, he’s using his explosiveness and length to slab run blockers and hold his place. And on Louisville’s last third down, he notched a sack on a twist, using a quick double swipe to get free while off-setting his blocker and exploding into the pocket.
With his combination of explosiveness, lateral agility, and length, Bresee can be a blue-chip addition to an NFL defensive line. He still struggles with leverage at times, but the physical combination of tools is elite. IC
Haladay dominating the opposition
3:20PM- Michigan State has finally kicked it into gear after a slow start to the season. And linebacker Cal Haladay has been a catalyst during the Spartans late season push. Handed a 3rd round grade on my board over the summer, Haladay was inconsistent at the start of the season but has really been on a tear recently. He had 13 tackles during the victory over Wisconsin, 9 tackles a week ago when the Spartans upset Illinois, and presently has 14 tackles against Rutgers with five minutes left in the game. Haladay is a safety sized linebacker with great speed and instincts. He’s outstanding in pursuit and plays with reckless abandon. TP
Once again Martin standing out for Illinois
3PM- Purdue and Illinois are locked in a terrific battle which will help determine the West division of the Big Ten. The Fighting Illini have one of the best defenses in the conference and while I mentioned defensive backs Devon Witherspoon as well as Sydney Brown during the preview, once again it’s unheralded Jartavius Martin that’s the star of the show. Martin has broken up two passes today, having an interception bounce off his hands, while totaling four tackles. He entered the game with 3 INT’s and 9 PBU’s as well as 44 tackles. A fifth year senior, Martin was ignored by scouts entering the season yet has done enough to get late round consideration. TP
Baskerville doing the little things well
2:35PM- With all the star power on the LSU defense, I remain impressed with linebacker Micah Baskerville. The senior is a tough, disciplined defender who does a great job quarterbacking the unit and positioning himself to make plays on the ball. Baskerville doesn’t make the “wow” plays many of his teammates do nor does he have huge stats yet he’s consistent and dependable. Scouts I’ve spoken with tell me he’s a UDFA but I have a 6th round grade on Baskerville. TP
I have my concerns about Will Levis
2:25PM- For all the love thrown at Will Levis, I have my concerns. While many see a potential top 15 pick I see a big, athletic quarterback with a major league arm but an inconsistent signal caller with a big bust factor. As they say in the scouting world- he’ll look like a world beater on one play then looks like an egg beater the next snap. The Cats are presently struggling against a terrible Vanderbilt squad, albeit in awful conditions, and Levis has looked rather pedestrian. Levis was terrible against Tennessee a few weeks ago and looked ordinary against Florida earlier in the season. Levis presently ranks behind Hendon Hooker of Tennessee on my big board, which should be released here at PFN in a few weeks. TP
Don’t sleep on Eric Gray
2:15PM- While the Oklahoma offense has been up and down this season, Sooner running back Eric Gray has been a consistent force for the team and is getting a lot of chatter in scouting circles. At the start of the third quarter against West Virginia the senior ball carrier has 126 yards on 14 carries with 1 TD. That puts Gray over the century mark for rushing yards this season. Gray is a bigger back with a terrific burst of speed yet not a ball carrier that can run to daylight. Like many running backs to come out of Oklahoma recently, I expect Gray to end up as a day three pick then go on to have a very productive NFL career. TP
Ojulari looking like the complete package
1:30PM- The LSU-Arkansas affair has been an uninspired contest with a lot of bad offense and a score of 6-3 in favor of the Tigers at halftime. LSU pass rusher BJ Ojulari has looked impressive and it’s not just his ability to rush the edge but also his athleticism as well as agility defending the run.
Ojulari plays with great leverage as well as balance and his ability to adjust off blocks then redirect and bring down running backs is impressive. TP
Armstrong’s struggles going from bad to worse
1:10PM- Brennan Armstrong’s poor campaign is going from bad to worse.
Entering the season, the UVA passer was graded as a middle round pick yet many, including present company, believed he had the goods to make a move up draft boards and possibly peak into the late part of day two. It’s not going to happen.
Entering today’s contest against Pittsburgh, Armstrong was completing a little more than 50% of his throws (54.9%) and tossed 10 INT’s. Presently, UVA is getting hammered by the Panthers 28-0 midway through the second quarter and Armstrong is 3 of 7 passing with two interceptions.
A fourth year senior, Armstrong would be best off returning for a second senior season to UVA or another school with the intention of getting his game back on track. TP
DaShaun White- small but mighty
12:55PM – The Oklahoma Sooner defense has had their share of issues this season- no doubt. Yet every once in a while a Sooner defender flashes ability which turns heads.
Such is the case for linebacker DaShaun White, who plays with great speed and shows a lot of ability in pursuit. The quickness and speed he plays with laterally and the way he’s able to catch ballhandlers in backside pursuit reminds me of former Sooner Brian Asamoah, a third round pick of the Minnesota Vikings last April. TP
Witherspoon vs Jones turning into a terrific battle
12:40PM- Illinois cornerback Devon Witherspoon, whom I mentioned in the open, is having a great battle against Purdue receiver Charlie Jones, a Week 7 riser.
Witherspoon has made a few nice plays but was called for a very questionable PI penalty- against Jones. For his part, Jones has been Mister Reliable and shows great hands as well as a great head for the position and game. TP
Don’t be surprised if Slovis ends up in day two
12:20PM- I have Pittsburgh quarterback Kedon Slovis stamped as a 5th round pick but it will not surprise me if he ends up being selected earlier in the draft.
Watching the film, Slovis is always in control of the offense and makes some incredible next level throws, as he’s presently doing against Virginia.
Injuries and inconsistency have been his downfall, yet I could envision an offensive coordinator or quarterback coach watching the film in the off season and lobbying for his team to select Slovis in the fourth round, if not earlier. TP
Chase Brown = Late Round Steal
12:15PM- Illinois’ Chase Brown continues to show why he’s going to be a late round steal. The nation’s leading rusher who was a Week 6 Riser just threw a great block to pick up the blitz which allowed quarterback Tommy DeVito to connect on a 32-yard pass.
Brown then picked up 24 yards on the next three carries, culminating in a 2-yard touchdown run. Brown comes with average size/speed numbers yet is a terrific all around back that would be a great fit on a Sunday depth chart. TP
Zach Evans heading to the NFL?
Teams at the top of the national rankings have it relatively easy on the college schedule today. Georgia, Ohio State, and Michigan all have competitive opponents, yet they all should easily come out on top. TCU outclasses Texas on paper, but the Longhorns would like nothing more than knock the Horned Frogs from the ranks of the unbeaten.
Alabama travels to Oxford this afternoon for a meeting with the Ole Miss Rebels. This should be one of the better battles of the day, and there will be a lot of NFL talent on the field.
One of the top next-level prospects in this contest is the Rebels’ highly-rated ball carrier Zach Evans, presently graded as a third-round prospect on my board. The junior is a nice-sized ball carrier with terrific short-area quickness and decent speed.
People from Mississippi told me this week the feeling is Evans will enter the 2023 NFL Draft. He will be another name for what is developing into a solid group of ball carriers in next year’s class.
The fast-rising LSU Tigers take on Arkansas in what’s been a bitter rivalry from the past. There’s a terrific battle in the trenches as Razorback center Ricky Stromberg will try and slow down Jaquelin Roy, the big explosive LSU defensive tackle. Stromberg is graded as a fifth-round pick, while Roy has been getting day two love in the scouting community.
Purdue quarterback Aidan O’Connell once again has a tough challenge, this time against Illinois. The Fighting Illini have a pair of draftable defensive backs, safety Sydney Brown and corner Devon Witherspoon, who is graded as a middle-round choice in some areas of the scouting community. TP