One more weekend of an abbreviated college football schedule before the SEC kicks off next Saturday and the number of games played expands. There are a couple of college football games today in Week 3 which offer noteworthy matchups between NFL prospects scouts will be keying on. Information on how and where to watch, which includes kickoff times and the TV schedule, can be found below.
We’ll also have updates on the Week 3 college football games today, with analysis, opinion, and breaking news from 11:30 AM to Midnight ET in our College Football Live Game Day Blog, which is below the TV schedule.
Be sure to keep up with NFL Draft stories and analysis from the PFN NFL Draft Crew daily here at PFN, and check out the latest edition of the PFN Draft Insiders Podcast with Andy Herman and me, where we provide the latest inside information from around the NFL and preview today’s action.
Click the dropdown tab above to view the schedule for all of the college football games today in Week 3. Find out what time each game kicks off along with the channel they will be broadcast on.
Week 3 Live Blog with Tony Pauline, AJ Schulte, and Matt Valdovinos
Standout prospects on the day (11 PM ET)
I was impressed with the speed of the SMU WR duo of Reggie Roberson and Danny Gray tonight against North Texas. Their ability downfield, combined with Buechele’s ability as a passer, has given that SMU offense an exciting passing game that should be the basis of their offense.
The Louisville tackle Adonis Boone has had flashes of good play against the talented duo of Miami’s Quincy Roche and Jaelan Phillips. Athletic ability and power in run blocking have shown up in spades tonight with Louisville’s outside zone scheme.
Tulsa CB Allie Green IV, a corner I have graded with a Day 3 mark, had a standout game against Oklahoma State WR Tylan Wallace. His physicality in press coverage and instincts were on full display today, highlighted by an interception he got while smothering Wallace. -AS
ACC Quarterbacks have shined in conference play (10:55 PM ET)
I’ve been impressed with the slate of quarterbacks the ACC has put out on the field this season. It’s obviously headlined by Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence, but an improved Kenny Pickett (Pitt), D’Eriq King (Miami), and Micale Cunningham (Louisville), as well as newcomers Ian Book (Notre Dame) and Phil Jurkovec (Boston College) have given the conference exciting depth and competition at the position when combined with North Carolina’s Sam Howell and Virginia Tech’s Hendon Hooker. Book, Pickett, and King could all be playing at the Senior Bowl in 2021. -AS
Alim McNeill has shined against Wake Forest (10:50 PM ET)
The defensive tackle for NC State has been disruptive all night for the Wolfpack, wreaking havoc on the Wake Forest offensive line. He just forced a fumble that gives the ball back to the Wolfpack with a chance to take the lead in the fourth quarter. With Florida State’s Marvin Wilson, Pitt’s group of Jaylen Twyman and Keyshon Camp, and Clemson’s dominant defensive line, the NC State product has flown under-the-radar in his conference. He isn’t a dominant pass-rusher or athlete, but his ability to hold at the point-of-attack and disrupt the run game makes him an ideal nose at the next level. I’d expect a draft stock of day three with a chance to improve that with a good Combine showing. -AS
Speaking of speed, Jalen Virgil makes his mark (10:40 ET)
Tony mentioned Jalen Virgil earlier being graded as a PFA by scouts, and his biggest asset is his explosiveness. His testing numbers are off the charts. Standing at 6-1, 210 pounds, Virgil is a track and field athlete who has a documented 40.5 inch vertical, a 10-11 broad jump, and bench presses 405 pounds. He also box squats 600 pounds. Virgil had been under-utilized in his first three years, but he caught the lone touchdown for App State tonight and should be featured more this year. With a big year and a Combine showing that matches up with those numbers, I’d expect Virgil to push to be drafted in 2021. -AS
Tutu Atwell has a role in the NFL (10:35 ET)
Despite being a modest 5’9 165 pounds, Atwell has a place in the NFL as a deep-threat wide receiver. His presence on the field has shifted the Miami defensive coverage and opened up plays for other receivers such as the aforementioned Dez Fitzpatrick and Justin Marshall.
Tony mentioned Atwell as a second-round pick but with the way the league is transitioning to speed taking priority, Atwell might make a push for the first round. Every year since 2013, a receiver under 190 pounds has been selected in the first round, including Marquise Brown at 166 in 2019. Teams are looking for that next Tyreek Hill weapon who completely shifts defenses with their speed, and Atwell fits the bill. – AS
Another underrated TE from the ACC on display (10:15 ET)
NCSU tight end Cary Angeline, who just caught a touchdown pass to put the Wolfpack ahead of Wake Forest, is another underrated prospect at the position. Angeline is not a tight end who’ll wow anyone, but he’s steady in all areas of the game. He has an NFL build at 6-feet-6.5-inches and 255 pounds, he’s steady as a blocker and possesses reliable hands.
I doubt Angeline is selected in the draft but he has the ability to be a third tight end in the NFL.
Fitzpatrick’s effect not on the stats sheet (10:10 ET)
Week 2 riser Dez Fitzpatrick only has three receptions this evening yet his play in the second half has helped Louisville come back to make a game of it against Miami. Fitzpatrick has thrown some terrific blocks to help spring running back Javian Hawkins free and also shows great route discipline, which has opened things up for Tutu Atwell.
It’s that attention to detail that could help secure Fitzpatrick a place on Day 3 of next April’s draft.
UL Monroe needs Josh Johnson (9:50 ET)
It’s been a very disappointing start of the season for UL-Monroe running back Josh Johnson. Handed grades as early as the fifth round by scouts, Johnson totaled just 38 yards in the Warhawks first game against Army and has only 44 yards on 14 carries midway through the third quarter this evening against Texas State.
While Johnson cannot do it all by himself, he’s known as a downhill grinder who picks up a lot of yardage off contact. With his style and size (5-feet-9-inches, 220 pounds), Johnson has to average more than four yards per carry against defenses that would be categorized as average.
Who needs Gregory Rousseau? (9:15 ET)
When Gregory Rousseau opted out of the season in favor of preparing for the draft many thought the Miami defense was done. But the Hurricanes have done a great job shutting down the explosive Louisville offense this evening.
Cornerback D.J Ivey, safety Bubba Bolden, pass rusher Jaelen Phillips and linebacker Zach McCloud, all NFL prospects, have had solid performances this evening.
McCloud, who took a redshirt year in 2019 after getting hurt early in the campaign, has really looked good.
Tim Jones looking impressive in C-USA match-up (8:45 ET)
Southern Miss receiver Tim Jones was graded as a potential late round pick by scouts entering the season and he’s looked every bit that tonight against Louisiana Tech. Besides his four receptions, 103 receiving yards, and one pass catching touchdown, Jones just brought back a kick 74 yards for another score to put Southern Miss up 13-10.
Jones possesses solid size as well as pass catching hands. My concern has always been his speed, but he’s proving that part of his game this evening.
Keep an eye on NCSU left tackle Tyrone Riley (8:25 ET)
The former defensive lineman showed flashes of ability in 2018 before being sidelined with an injury last year. He’s big, strong, and stout at the point. He’s also too stiff to play left tackle in the NFL, but Riley will get looks as a strong side blocker.
Don’t sleep on Will Mallory (8:10 ET)
When the conversation of tight end prospects from Miami is spoken, the name of Brevin Jordan is the first and usually only one mentioned. And that’s too bad.
Will Mallory will always play back-up to Jordan, on the UM depth chart, as well as in conversations about the NFL Draft. But Mallory, whom I graded over the summer, is a legitimate next-level prospect himself. He’s a solid pass catcher, as we just saw on his touchdown grab, with potential as a number three tight end, if not better, on Sunday.
Mallory doesn’t have the speed or athleticism of Jordan, but he’s a better blocker with reliable hands.
SMU offensive lineman off to an impressive start (8 PM ET)
SMU is annihilating North Texas in yet another interstate rivalry from Texas.
With the score 34-7 at halftime, these games are usually tough to scout and often have to be taken with a grain of salt. That being the case, I have been impressed with SMU left tackle Jaylon Thomas whom I mentioned over the summer after stamping as a 5th round prospect.
He’s a terrific pass protector who blocks with solid fundamentals. Whether Thomas stays at tackle or is pushed into guard is another conversation altogether, but I feel confident about his next-level future.
The ACC offers scouts a pair of games tonight (7:30 ET)
The ACC has a pair of headliner games this evening, Miami at Louisville and Wake Forest at North Carolina State.
Miami broke a two-game losing streak to Conference USA teams, beating UAB to start the season. Louisville annihilated Western Kentucky last weekend.
Louisville has a one-two punch at receiver with Tutu Atwell and week two riser Dez Fitzpatrick. Atwell is small but a game-breaker who can score from any point on the field. Just a junior, I’ve already graded him as a potential second-round prospect. Fitzpatrick is a bigger, sturdier receiver who turned in a terrific performance last Saturday after a pair of uninspired seasons.
They battle a pair of really good defensive backs in the Hurricane secondary.
Gurvan Hall Jr. is a hard-hitting safety with a solid game. He’s tough against the run but also shows solid ball skills. Cornerback Al Blades Jr. is someone I like more than most. He has nice size, good bloodlines, and terrific ball skills. Some question Blades speed, but I disagree. Tonight will be telling.
In the other contest, look for Carlos Basham Jr. to have a big game. The Wolfpack have a pair of solid senior offensive tackles who grade as UDFA’s, but both are the type of blockers Basham can exploit.
Corey Sutton being, well Corey Sutton (4:35 ET)
App State receiver Corey Sutton just made a spectacular one-handed reception down the field as App State is on the move again. Sutton is the highest graded of the four Mountaineer receivers I mentioned earlier. He possesses the pass-catching skills and moxie to be a fifth receiver on Sunday.
Sit tight. We’ll be back at 7:00 PM EST with more updates and analysis!
Can Tre Nixon be stopped? (4:25 ET)
Tre Nixon has been dominant in the early going of the UCF – Georgia Tech contest, and this reminds me of the performance of Gabe Davis against Stanford and Adebo Paulson almost a year ago.
One quarter into the game, Nixon has caught two passes for 55 yards and 1 TD. He almost had a third long reception as Nixon was wide open, but the UCF quarterback missed him badly. Despite being listed as a 4.50 second forty guy by scouts, Nixon plays a lot faster and looks as though he has number three receiver potential for the next level.
And that was excellent route discipline by Nixon on the UCF touchdown, confusing the secondary and allowing teammate Marlon Williams to come into the clearing for the scoring grab.
App State fields four next level receivers (4:10 ET)
I previewed a battle on the line of scrimmage but let’s not dismiss the App State receivers, who go four deep.
Jalen Virgil, graded as a PFA prospect by scouts, just made a terrific reception for a score and expect Corey Sutton, Thomas Hennigan, and Malik Williams to make their presence felt before the end of the day.
It’s unlikely any of the four are selected in the draft, but they will all battle for roster spots in the NFL next summer as fifth receivers/return specialists.
Round One goes to Josh Ball (3:55 ET)
Ball’s match-up against Demetrius Taylor was the one I highlighted at noon, and the first round goes to Marshall’s left tackle. He physically manhandled the App State defensive end, who is at a decided physical disadvantage, during that first drive.
It’s understandable why scouts believe Ball could end up as a day two pick next April.
Georgia Tech on the march- again! (3:45 ET)
Last week I highlighted Georgia Tech several times during the game day blog, specifically week two riser Myles Sims, the Jackets corner who helped shut down Florida State.
In the early going Tech’s offense has taken the ball and run with it, literally, marching down the field against Central Florida with little resistance. Keep an eye on GT’s left tackle, junior Zach Quinney, a mobile and fluid blocker who I’ve stamped as a late-round prospect.
Quinney will be a terrific fit for a zone-blocking system at the next level.
Malik Willis jumps on the scouting radar (2:50 ET)
Entering the season, Maine transfer Chris Ferguson was the Liberty quarterback on the scouting radar as the big-armed passer was graded as a PFA. That changed today as Auburn transfer Malik Willis will be the guy everyone watches at Liberty.
Liberty is in the midst of pulling off a big upset against Western Kentucky during their season opener, and Willis has been a one-man wrecking crew. He’s completed 13 of 19 passes for 133 yards with 10 minutes left in the game while rushing for 143 yards and 3 TDs on 17 carries- WOW!
Granted, much more film is needed in Willis, but what a first impression!
Welcome back Rashad Weaver (2:40 ET)
Despite missing last season with a knee injury, expectations from NFL scouts were high for Pitt’s Rashad Weaver coming into the season. Scouts graded Weaver as a potential day two prospect off his earlier film, and they have to be encouraged from what they’ve witnessed in the early going.
Weaver’s totals three quarters into the Syracuse game include six tackles, one TFL, and two sacks. Granted, the SU offensive line has been porous, but Weaver looks like he’s not lost anything off his game since returning from the knee issue.
It’s Safety Heaven in the Syracuse-Pitt contest (2:20 ET)
If your favorite NFL team needs a safety of any kind- free, strong, zone- make sure you’re tuning into the Syracuse-Pitt game.
During last week’s game day blog, I spoke glowingly of SU safety Andre Cisco, whom I expect to be a second-day selection in next April’s draft. Earlier I wrote about late-round pick Damar Hamlin from Pittsburgh. Now it’s the turn of Hamlin’s teammate, Paris Ford.
Ford is a hard-hitting and explosive safety who plays a physical style of football and possesses tremendous ball skills. His interception from just a few moments ago is indicative of Ford’s style; burst to the pass out of his break, fight off receivers and come away with the ball. I expect Ford to enter the draft and as mentioned earlier, he should move into the draft’s second day.
Shaka Heyward turning in another terrific performance (2 PM ET)
While Duke pass rusher Victor Dimukeje has looked good against Boston College, linebacker Shaka Heyward has been the best defensive player on the field today. And for the second week in a row, he’s been the best Blue Devils performer.
Heyward led all Duke players with eight tackles a week ago during the loss to Notre Dame. Minutes into the third quarter, he’s already recorded 10 tackles and one tackle for loss against Boston College.
Just a red-shirt sophomore, I’ve already stamped Heyward as a potential fourth-round prospect. He’s a terrific run and chase linebacker.
Victor Dimukeje looking good against Boston College (1:25 ET)
Duke senior pass rusher Victor Dimukeje has looked really good during the first half. With time running down before halftime, he’s already accounted for five tackles and two tackles for loss.
Dimukeje is a small but hard-charging defender who gets the most from his ability. He’s a solid pass rusher and shows ability pursuing the action in space. It’s unlikely Dimukeje is drafted, but he’s a potential eighth defensive lineman in a four-man front or outside linebacker in a three-man front who can also play special teams.
We can confirm: Zion Johnson is not a tackle (1:10 ET)
Earlier I was singing the praises of BC’s offensive line, but they’ve hit a bit of a wall since then. One of the players I mentioned was Zion Johnson, who was graded as a fourth-round pick by some scouts. Yet Johnson is universally considered a guard prospect and not a left tackle, the position he’s playing today.
Johnson has struggled, as while he’s very good at the point of attack or moving straight ahead, his lateral blocking range leaves a lot to be desired.
Is Zach Smith draftable? (12:50 ET)
Several scouts stamped Tulsa quarterback Zach Smith as a late-round pick over the summer, but I don’t see it. Smith is a competitive passer, but scatters his throws, makes receivers work too hard, and too often doesn’t seem to be on the same page as targets. I also don’t see a lot of upside in his game.
Sleeper cornerback in the Duke secondary (12:35 ET)
Duke cornerback Mark Gilbert just made a terrific play for an interception and the Blue Devils responded by turning the turnover into a score. Gilbert is an interesting story.
As a sophomore in 2017, he showed enough skill to warrant a PFA grade and I immediately put him on my watch list. Unfortunately, a serious hip injury has sidelined Gilbert for all but two games since then. He’s a long, fluid defensive back with solid ball skills, but he has medical red flags.
The scouting community pretty much dismissed Gilbert coming into the season, but he’ll get a lot of looks if he gets back to prior playing form.
The BC offensive line is the stuff of next-level (12:20 ET)
Boston College pushed the Duke defense down the field on their first possession, easily converting a 4th-and-1 on their way into the end zone. The program has a history of placing quality offensive linemen into the NFL, and against the Blue Devils, the Eagles are lining up three blockers I handed draftable grades over the summer.
Center Alec Lindstrom and guard Zion Johnson are both mobile, zone blocking prospects, while redshirt sophomore Tyler Vrabel is a big, strong tackle with growth potential.
Keep an eye on both safeties from Pitt (12:10 ET)
Everyone is familiar with Panther safety Paris Ford, a dynamic defensive back whom I expect will enter the 2021 draft and eventually be selected on Day 2.
Don’t sleep on the Panthers other safety, Damar Hamlin, a legitimate late-round pick who lacks the size, speed, and athleticism of his teammate, but is yet a terrific defensive back with outstanding instincts and discipline.
Demetrius Taylor vs. Josh Ball headlines a key afternoon next-level matchup (11:45 ET)
One of the best and most underrated head-to-head contests between NFL prospects this weekend takes place in today’s college football game between Appalachian State and Marshall. The Mountaineers’ defense possesses one of the most intense defenders in all of college football, Demetrius Taylor.
The lineman is a play-making machine and a disruptive force that finds ways to get the job done. If Taylor were three inches taller and 20 pounds heavier, he would be a top-90 pick in the draft. But, measuring under 6-feet-1-inch and barely 275 pounds, Taylor is not a plug-and-play prospect. Defensive coordinators at the next level will have to devise a scheme and position for him.
Taylor goes up against Josh Ball, the 6-foot-7-inch athletic tackle who tips the scales around 305 pounds. Transferring to Marshall from Florida State, Ball showed flashes of brilliance last season when he was rotated into the lineup.
Ball was given a Day 3 grade by scouts entering the season, though many next-level decision-makers believe Ball could move into the top-90 picks if he elevates his game in 2020.
Opportunities continue to be presented for Tre Nixon in UCF’s Offense (11:30 ET)
Central Florida had almost 12 players announce they were opting out of the 2020 season due to concerns over COVID-19. Receiver Tre Nixon chose to stick around and he’s now the main cog in UCF’s passing game with Gabe Davis moving onto the NFL. Nixon is universally graded as a Day 3 pick and his two receiver teammates, Marlon Williams and Jacob Harris, have been stamped as priority free agents.
It will be tough for Georgia Tech to stop the lethal aerial attack Central Florida always brings, but it will be a great opportunity for Myles Sims, a Week 2 Riser. Sims looked terrific last week against another Florida team, the Seminoles, but the passing game he and his Yellow Jacket teammates face this week is much more explosive.