The college football Week 9 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 9 Saturday games.
College Football Week 9 Live Blog
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.
Haladay Showing up — Again
9:15 p.m. — The Spartans are hanging tough against interstate rival Michigan and are down just 13-7 as the first half closes out. The usually potent Wolverine offense has moved the ball well on the ground, yet Michigan State’s defense has been up to the task when their backs are against the wall.
Linebacker Cal Haladay is having a terrific outing with a game-leading eight tackles as well as one QB hit. Haladay has been a consistent force during a season of disappointment for the Spartans, recording 58 tackles in seven games coming into tonight. He’s a smaller run-and-chase linebacker who plays with great intensity and instincts. Haladay is the highest-rated Spartan on my board and the only player on the team with a top-100 grade. TP
Is It finally Shough Time?
9 p.m. — Is it time for Tyler Shough to resurrect his career? Possibly. The Texas Tech offense has been anemic against Baylor, and a change at quarterback could be in the offing tonight. Shough’s career has been on a roller coaster ride over the past three years and so has his draft grade.
During the shortened COVID season of 2020, he looked like a potential first-round pick playing for Oregon. Shough then shocked people, transferring to Texas Tech, but has struggled through two injury-plagued campaigns. He played just four games last year, looking very ordinary, before a shoulder injury and broken collarbone ended his season.
He re-injured his shoulder during the opening game against Murray State this year and has been sidelined since. It was reported Shough is available tonight and has been seen warming up on the sidelines. TP
Alexandre Upping His Game
8:45 p.m. — While I mentioned Pitt defensive tackle Calijah Kancey about an hour ago, let’s not forget about his teammate, Deslin Alexandre, who’s been unstoppable tonight. Alexandre has four tackles, 1.5 TFL, and one sack as the first quarter closed out.
The sixth-year senior possesses outstanding quickness, explosion, and shows a lot of athleticism in his game. He’s been pretty quiet this season until tonight, but North Carolina has not figured out the formula to slow him down. Presently, Alexandre holds a sixth-round grade on my board. TP
Valladay — One of the Few Positives in the Desert This Season
8:10 p.m. — It’s been a dismal season for Arizona State, who fired coach Herm Edwards in the middle of September. Yet, running back Xazavian Valladay has been a surprise and is defying expectations.
Coming into the game against Colorado — another team that quickly ushered their head coach out the front door — Valladay had 642 rushing yards on 114 attempts with seven touchdowns as well as 14 receptions in seven games. He’s added another running score this evening as the Sun Devils hold a 14-3 lead. The sixth-year senior is a creative ball carrier with solid hands. I doubt Valladay is selected in the draft but absolutely feel he has enough ability to make a Sunday roster as a situational back. TP
Panthers DT Headed to the Next Level?
7:55 p.m. — Pittsburgh and North Carolina kick off in what is a must-win game for the Panthers. Earlier this week, during the mailbag, I mentioned Pitt defensive tackle Calijah Kancey as a prospect few are talking about.
As I reported, Kancey is being called a “poor man’s Aaron Donald” by scouts who cover the area. What I didn’t mention in the mailbag is I’m told Kancey is getting Day 2 grades from scouts and is leaning towards entering the draft. If Kancey does get a second-round grade from the advisory committee, I would be shocked if he returns to Pitt in 2023. TP
Chris Rodriguez Jr. — a Terrific College Back With Limited NFL Value?
7:40 p.m. — Chris Rodriguez Jr. is one of the more interesting studies at the running back position heading towards the 2023 NFL Draft. He’s a bit of a throwback, as Rodriguez is a workhorse back that grinds it out and picks up a lot of yardage off initial contact. He’s rarely brought down by a single defender and possesses outstanding vision.
Yet, in the day and age of quick, creative ball carriers who can catch the ball out of the backfield (Rodriquez has 20 career receptions at Kentucky), where does a back of his talents land in the draft? Presently, I have a fourth-round grade on the Wildcats senior. TP
Hyatt Cannot Be Caught
7:25 p.m. — Well, that didn’t take long. Five plays, less than 90 seconds, 75 yards, and BOOM! Tennessee scores. Sixty of those yards came courtesy of two receptions by receiver Jalin Hyatt, one which was a 55-yard scoring catch.
Hyatt continues to prove he has elite speed and is a legitimate vertical receiver. As I reported a week ago, Hyatt has been having conversations with agents about representation for the 2023 NFL Draft, and it’s looking more and more likely as though this will be his final season in Knoxville. TP
Whyle Watching His Draft Stock Drop
7:15 p.m. — And just like that, the Cincinnati Bearcats’ streak of 19 consecutive wins in the AAC is over after a stunning 25-21 loss to Central Florida. One Bearcat that’s been a disappointment this season is tight end Josh Whyle. I reported multiple times throughout the 2021 season Whyle was seriously considering the 2022 NFL Draft. He finally relented and returned for another season, but it has not worked out.
MORE: 2023 NFL Draft Big Board
Whyle’s put up pedestrian stats in eight games this season: 22 receptions, 214 yards, and three touchdowns. Part of the problem is the fact Ben Bryant, UC’s new quarterback, loves to throw the ball downfield and disregards the underneath stuff. Yet, Whyle was graded by just above everyone as a potential Day 2 pick entering the season, and he’s playing more like a late-round choice. TP
Bo Nix Stacks Another Fantastic Week Against Pac-12 Competition
7:05 p.m. — In a 42-24 win over California, Bo Nix was once again phenomenal as the Ducks’ quarterback. He completed 27 of 35 passes for 412 yards, three touchdowns, and two interceptions, and also added 59 yards and three additional touchdowns on the ground. To add more context, one of his interceptions was an accurate pass dropped by his WR. The other was secured on a Hail Mary at the end of the half.
Nix has once again sustained success from week to week, and that success is translatable as a prospect. He’s working through progressions, staying poised under threat of pressure, and layering throws with velocity and accuracy. But he’s also using his athleticism to extend plays, create on the ground, and elongate throwing windows. Nix looks like a different player at Oregon, and it may be time to acknowledge how far he can ascend in the 2023 NFL Draft. IC
Brock Bowers Remains a Fascinating 2024 Prospect
6:40 p.m. — It’s going to be very fun to evaluate Brock Bowers once he’s eligible in the 2024 NFL Draft cycle. The 6’4″, 230-pound weapon is a mismatch week in and week out, and it shows with what defensive teams throw against him. Moments ago, he beat defensive back Trey Dean III into the intermediate range with his explosiveness and used his superior play strength and catching instincts to wrestle away a crucial contested throw.
Bowers might not be quite at Kyle Pitts’ level when it comes to true separation athleticism and flexibility. But with pure explosiveness, linear speed, and agility, Bowers brings an elite mix to the fold at his size, and his ability to create mismatches will undoubtedly be coveted — maybe even in the first-round range. IC
Anthony Richardson Brings Florida Within TD With NFL-Level Throw
6:15 p.m. — It’s been an ugly but respectable game for Anthony Richardson so far against Georgia. The young QB has been under frequent pressure and hasn’t found a clear rhythm as a passer. But he’s made numerous plays with his extension ability as a runner, and just moments ago, he pulled Florida within a touchdown with one of his best throws to date.
It was a one-read play to the right boundary, and in the future, Richardson should make more of an effort to keep his eyes up front before zeroing in. But Richardson used his elite arm talent to fit this pass into an incredibly tight deep window outside the numbers, hitting a receiver in stride for what would be a long touchdown. That’s the kind of generational raw talent that will make Richardson hard to pass up in the early rounds. IC
Josh Whyle Showing His Talent Versus UCF
6:10 p.m. — In a deep 2023 NFL Draft tight end group, Josh Whyle of Cincinnati is another name to know. He just found the end zone on a goal-line drive, using his smooth athleticism at 6’6″ to separate over the middle of the field and find space in scoring territory.
Whyle hasn’t always been a consistent producer in college, and his lighter frame may turn some teams away. But he’s an incredibly natural receiving threat with the explosiveness and long-strider athleticism to carry appeal as a seam and short-range threat. IC
Kei’Trel Clark Making Sure You Remember His Name in 2023 NFL Draft Discussion
5:55 p.m. — The 2023 NFL Draft cornerback class is incredibly deep. As a result, prospects like Louisville’s Kei’Trel Clark fall under the radar. At 5’10” and around 170 pounds, Clark is undersized, and there will be questions about how he translates to the NFL. But the Cardinals’ defender’s coverage ability is undeniable. Across 2020 and 2021, he had four total interceptions and 19 total pass deflections. And in Week 9, he has a pick-six to his name.
Clark has great transition speed at his size, and it helps him always stay in the range of a play. He can flip his hips quickly and accelerate out of breaks with ease, and his quick reaction speed helps him break early on ill-fated boundary passes. IC
Mohamed Ibrahim Outpacing Entire Rutgers Offense
5:45 p.m. — In what’s becoming a routine exercise each week, Mohamed Ibrahim is putting up major production against another hapless Big Ten opponent. This week, as of five minutes ago, Ibrahim has 159 rushing yards and three touchdowns, while his opponent’s entire offense has just 136 total yards.
A lot of the credit goes to a stellar Golden Gophers offensive line led by stalwart center prospect John Michael Schmitz, but it can’t be understated how valuable Ibrahim’s complete pallet of traits is. Ibrahim hasn’t lost much of his burst after hurting his Achilles a year ago, and he has the combination of vision and density to consistently carve out yards at the second level. IC
Oregon Defensive Prospects Standing Out
5:05 p.m. — There’s talent on both sides of the ball to be aware of with the Oregon Ducks. But the defense has been especially smothering against a California unit that’s struggling to keep up. The Ducks have potential early-round prospects at every level, and they’re all contributing in what’s slowly becoming a more lopsided affair.
DJ Johnson has multiple sacks in the first half, disrupting both as a stunting lineman with his athleticism and as a devastating power rusher. Brandon Dorlus has been a menace against the run with his lateral agility and strength. Noah Sewell has been a wall working against lateral plays in the box. And Christian Gonzalez is playing faster and with far more confidence than we saw from him earlier in the year. He’s been terrific in run support and is using his length and explosiveness to erase receivers in coverage. IC
Oregon Transfer Addition Noah Whittington Boosting His Stock Today
4:50 p.m. — Oregon acquired Noah Whittington from the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers this offseason, and he quickly established a role for himself in the Ducks’ RB rotation. Today, against California especially, he’s standing out as a key playmaker for Oregon. He’s an explosive, shifty runner who decisively chooses lanes, but also has the short-area agility to correct his path without much notice.
Even beyond Whittington’s efficient, energetic style, however, the Ducks RB has impressed with his willingness as a blocker. On a play-action look from Oregon, Whittington veered upfield after the faked exchange and quickly became a lead blocker for a receiver who corralled a quick pass behind him. His block helped the Ducks gain an extra 10+ yards on the rep. He’s a spark plug as a runner, with utility in other phases as well. IC
Rashee Rice Continuing To Produce at an Elite Clip
4:40 p.m. — Stop me if you’ve heard this before: Rashee Rice is putting up numbers. The SMU wide receiver has seven catches for 174 yards and a touchdown — and the Mustangs are only halfway through the second quarter against Tulsa. The 6’2″, 203-pound receiver has been one of the league’s most prolific producers all year, and he’s continuing with that trend in Week 9.
Some of Rice’s catches have been assisted by alignment, but he still has the awareness to find open seams in zone coverages and convert when passes come his way. When he is challenged at the catch point, Rice’s elite instincts and alpha mentality always grant him a fighting chance. IC
Bo Nix Attempting To Carry Over Momentum From Week 8
4:35 p.m. — After his stellar Week 8 showing against UCLA, there’s newfound momentum for Bo Nix as a 2023 NFL Draft prospect. He has the talent to be drafted earlier than expected, with his spry athleticism, smooth off-platform ability, and visible arm talent. But he does need to stack good games back-to-back to keep the momentum going. So far against California, the results haven’t come quite yet, but Nix is showing more progress.
There are still times where Nix loses a bit of composure in the pocket, but in large part, he’s been good against the Golden Bears. He’s going through his reads and progressing to his checkdown. He’s doing some pre-snap work and getting players into position. Nix had a superb deep touch throw that was dropped in the first quarter, and he was able to use his legs and a savvy pump fake to score his team’s first touchdown.
California is up 10-7, and proving they might not be an easy out for Oregon’s defense, so the pressure will be on Nix to keep adding to the scoreboard. So far, he looks up to the task. IC
Felix Anudike-Uzomah a Fearsome Two-Phase Defender
4:25 p.m. — By now, we know Felix Anudike-Uzomah is a near-elite pass-rushing threat. He’s explosive, twitchy, aggressive, and also incredibly proficient at stacking hand moves and combating extensions from tackles. He has the tools to be a menace on passing downs at the next level, but his most impactful play thus far against Oklahoma State came against the run.
On a recent third down, the Cowboys sent a runner in motion from right to left. The play was quickly revealed to be a sweep to the weak side. Anudike-Uzomah was the edge setter on that side, and he set a strong edge right away. But Anudike-Uzomah quickly processed the motion. As soon as he set the edge, he exploded to the hash, sealing off the outside runner and stopping the play for a loss.
Anudike-Uzomah’s hot motor, explosive athleticism, and quick processing all make him just as dangerous in pursuit as he is in the pass-rushing phase. He’s an early-round prospect — no doubt about it. IC
Cooper Beebe Still an Underrated Interior Blocker in 2023 NFL Draft
4:20 p.m. — Cooper Beebe garnered All-Big 12 accolades for his performance at offensive tackle in 2021. This year, however, he’s moved inside to left guard, where his skill set is arguably more translatable. He’s played at a very high level and might deserve more recognition as one of the better offensive guard prospects in the 2023 NFL Draft.
At 6’4″, 322 pounds, Beebe has excellent size and length. Heavy and heavy-handed, with a wide frame and intimidating power, Beebe can knock linemen off-balance with little exertion, and he’s a sound blocker who can maximize his traits with proper execution. He might not be an elite athlete, but Beebe has the skill set to start on Sundays. IC
Georgia Offensive Prospects All Showing Promise Against Florida
4:15 p.m. — With the first quarter closing out, Georgia is already up two scores on Florida, in large part due to the offensive cast. Nearly every 2023 NFL Draft prospect has made a play that’s helped the Bulldogs rack up points.
Broderick Jones was a bulldozer early, notching a pancake in space with his explosive athleticism, power, and physicality. But when he came off the field for a few snaps, Warren McClendon seamlessly took his place on the left side, showing coveted versatility.
On the interior of the line, Sedrick Van Pran-Granger has been good as well. On the team’s second touchdown, he used his explosiveness, easy leverage acquisition, and functional strength to forklift up Florida’s interior and open a passage for his runner to sneak through. On the play before, Darnell Washington got Georgia to the goal line with an incredibly smooth reception in space and a forward finish.
Georgia’s offense is fueled by draftable talent at multiple levels, and today, they’re dominating the Gators’ defense. IC
Jalen Carter’s Presence Makes a Noticeable Difference
4:05 p.m. — Georgia defensive tackle Jalen Carter is back from injury for the first time in a while today. His presence has made a noticeable positive difference on the line for the Bulldogs. It doesn’t always show up on the stat sheet with Carter, but his explosive disruptive capabilities routinely cause discord on the interior for blockers.
On Florida’s most recent drive, Carter rocketed up the middle and blasted his man back on an inside run, stuffing that carry. A couple snaps later, Carter used a brutal swim move to sear through the B-gap and used his ankle flexion and explosiveness to force Richardson out of the pocket to the left side, nearly causing a sack. Carter is a force of chaos. Now healthy, he’s reminding the nation why he’s a blue-chip prospect in the 2023 NFL Draft. IC
Deuce Vaughn a Playmaker in Spite of His Size
3:55 p.m. — At 5’6″, 176 pounds, Deuce Vaughn’s size is going to be a heavily scrutinized aspect of his 2023 NFL Draft scouting report. But today, against Oklahoma State, Vaughn has been a vital playmaker in spite of that size. Midway through the first quarter, he already has four carries and a long touchdown, to go along with two catches for 16 yards.
Vaughn’s size will naturally limit his ceiling at the NFL level. But in a modern NFL, where explosive space weapons are coveted, he should have a role. His touchdown was a great example of what he can provide. With a swift cutback and his searing explosiveness, Vaughn was able to pierce through the second level and into the open field, where his top-end speed helped him seal the deal. IC
Anthony Richardson’s Talent Gives His Stock Security
3:50 p.m. — It’s a generally accepted opinion that Anthony Richardson hasn’t quite shown enough growth to lock in a decision on the 2023 NFL Draft. As a passer, you’d like him to be more consistent at this point, after accruing more experience in 2022. But Richardson’s raw talent will serve as a security blanket for his stock if he does declare — because the tools are just too rich to pass up.
Richardson showed off those tools early in his game against Georgia. On one first down, Richardson encountered pressure quickly in the rep. He was forced backward a bit, but used his elite escapability and short-area twitch at 6’4″, 231 pounds, to evade multiple rushers, redirect left, and turn a near-sack into a solid gain. That elite creation capacity, combined with his rocket arm, almost ensures Round 1 capital whenever he moves on. IC
Ohio State Win Headlined by Dominant 2024 NFL Draft Prospects
3:45 p.m. — The Buckeyes were able to comfortably outlast the Penn State Nittany Lions in Week 9, with plenty of help from 2023 NFL Draft prospects like C.J. Stroud, Paris Johnson Jr., Luke Wypler, Cade Stover, Tommy Eichenberg, and Ronnie Hickman.
But the two defining performances of the day belonged to two 2024 prospects — Wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. on offense, and edge rusher J.T. Tuimoloau on defense.
Harrison is just a cheat code at 6’4″, 205 pounds. It’s as simple as that. He has the burst, agility, and hip sink to separate effortlessly, and he easily wins at the catch point with a combination of size and elite instincts.
Tuimoloau, meanwhile, showed off an elite combination of burst, leverage acquisition, and power at 6’4″, 270 pounds, terrorizing Sean Clifford all day in the backfield. It’s early, but it’s not brash to say both players can be first-round picks in 2024 — and early ones at that. IC
OSU Linebacker Chambers Looking Like a Man of Steele!!
3:20 p.m. — Week 8 riser Tommy Eichenberg is having another strong day for Ohio State, as he’s racked up 11 tackles against Penn State. His battery-mate Steele Chambers also looks very good.
Chambers has eight tackles and one PBU in what’s turning out to be a terrific game. A converted running back, Chambers was graded as a second-round prospect on my board this summer and continues to show a lot of progress in his game. TP
Wypler Looking Good Again
3:10 p.m.- Once again, I find it necessary to drop a line about the impressive play of Ohio State center Luke Wypler. He’s been dominant on the inside of the Buckeyes’ offensive line, and just helped open up the middle of the field, which allowed TreVeyon Henderson to gallop 41 yards for the game-leading score over Penn State.
As stated previously, people close to the situation tell me Wypler is leaning towards entering the draft, where he will be a top-45 pick. TP
Make Sure Jose Ramirez Is on Your Radar
2:55 p.m. — There’s a terrific game going on in the MAC as Toledo just kicked a field goal to move closer to Eastern Michigan, 24-20. The winner of this game takes command of the Western Division in the conference.
Earlier I mentioned EMU pass rusher Jose Ramirez, who’s having a terrific season and game. With the fourth quarter underway, Ramirez has seven tackles, two tackles for loss, and just produced his first sack of the game, which forced Toledo to kick a long field goal. Over the summer, I graded Ramirez as a fringe late-rounder, yet there’s no denying his play this season has pushed him into the late rounds. TP
Jurkovec Ineffective Again
2:45 p.m. — Two weeks ago, eyebrows were raised when I mentioned word in the scouting community that quarterback Phil Jurkovec was graded as undraftable by a number of scouts who cover the northeast. Today, against an improving UConn squad, a team Boston College should outclass, Jurkovec was pulled after poor play. The senior was 12 of 19 for 155 yards with 2 INTs when he was pulled. UConn still leads BC by a score of 10-3. TP
Mayer Looking Every Bit TE1
2:25 p.m. — Notre Dame tight end Michael Mayer has been a beast today, as the Irish are putting a beating on Syracuse 24-7 with the third quarter moving under five minutes remaining. Mayer has three receptions for 54 yards (18-yard average) and has made several big catches during important moments. He’s also done a real good job blocking, the area of his game which usually disappoints me. TP
OU’s Washington Continues To Flash
2:20 p.m. — I graded Oklahoma cornerback Woodi Washington as a Day 2 prospect going back to his 2020 film, but he’s a player that teases scouts. Washington did not show much progress in his game last season (2021), and he runs hot and cold on the field. Yet, his performance today against Iowa State gives me hope about my initial projection on the fourth-year junior.
Midway through the third quarter, Washington has posted six tackles, one PBU, and an interception, as the Sooners lead Iowa State 13-6. Washington has helped prevent Xavier Hutchinson, the Cyclones’ dynamic receiver, from cashing in on the big play. Washington’s play this season has been uninspired, but he could turn things around if he builds on today’s game. TP
UH’s Tune Not Getting the Credit He Deserves
2 p.m. — It continues to amaze and surprise me that Clayton Tune does not get more love in the scouting community. It’s true the Houston signal-caller has a bit of a funky delivery, but all he’s done is produce on the field the past three seasons.
Tune possesses a next-level arm, delivers an accurate pass, and has really improved his ball security this season. In seven games, he’s tossed 17 TDs to 4 INTs. Tune is beating up South Florida today and has added three more touchdowns to his tally on 21 of 25 passing for 264 yards — in the first half!!
He’s a fourth-year senior but was ignored by scouts entering the season, despite the fact he’s seen significant game time since his freshman season. It will be interesting to see if Tune enters the draft or returns to UH for a second senior season. If he chooses the former, Tune deserves Day 3 consideration. TP
Stroud Struggling To Get OSU Into the End Zone
1:30 p.m. — It has to be disturbing to NFL evaluators that C.J. Stroud struggles to get his offense into the end zone early in games or during critical moments. Despite pummeling Iowa a week ago, the Buckeyes had opportunity after opportunity to put the game away early, yet time after time, settled for field goals rather than touchdowns.
It’s much the same today against Penn State. The first two scoring opportunities came as the result of turnovers, yet Ohio State came away with just 10 points. Stroud was unable to get OSU into the end zone on their last drive after getting inside the red zone, and as a result, settled for a field goal and a 14-13 score. TP
PSU’s Fashanu Looks Like the Real Deal
1:15 p.m. — Much has been written and said about Penn State left tackle Olumuyiwa Fashanu — count me in as yet another that’s impressed. The redshirt sophomore looks like a natural as he blocks with terrific fundamentals and shows a lot of agility.
His ability to adjust to defenders and keep edge rushers in front of him while he protects his signal-caller is very impressive. There’s a lot more football to be played, but the hype seems to match the play with Fashanu. TP
UConn Return Led by Team’s Top Next-Level Prospect
12:55 PM – After years of being one of the worst FBS programs in the nation, UConn has been playing competitive football this season and seem to get better each week.
The Huskies are presently up on Boston College 10-3 at the start of the second quarter. UConn’s top next-level prospect, linebacker Jackson Mitchell, is having a terrific season. In eight games this season, he’s totaled 88 tackles and has added three during the first quarter of today’s game.
Mitchell lacks great computer numbers coming in under 6-foot-2, weighing barely 225 pounds, and timing the 40 in 4.78 seconds, but he’s incredibly instinctive and almost puts himself in a position to make plays. TP
Daniels Starting To Realize His Potential
12:40 p.m. — Scouts have been pleasantly surprised by the play of quarterback JT Daniels. The well-traveled signal-caller, who has a long injury history that sent him to the sidelines at Georgia, has been able to stay on the field this season and is playing reasonably well for the Mountaineers.
He has the physical skills to play on Sunday and shows the ability to make difficult, next-level throws. Daniels must do a better job protecting the football — he’s thrown six interceptions to 10 TDs this season — but has done enough to get late-round consideration. TP
EMU’s Ramirez Turning Heads
12:50 p.m. — Toledo takes on Eastern Michigan today in an important battle for supremacy in the Western Division of the MAC. Keep an eye on EMU edge rusher Jose Ramirez, an underrated prospect with seven sacks and 10.5 TFLs in eight games this season.
Ramirez produces out of a three-point stance as well as standing over tackle. Many were surprised Ramirez returned to EMU for a second senior season, but it’s worked out for him in 2022. TP
Richardson Headed to the Next Level?
11:50 a.m. — There are a lot of intriguing games on today’s college schedule, especially in the SEC. The outcome of these contests could affect the national rankings, but before we preview any games, let’s start with some news.
The game formerly known as “The World’s Largest Cocktail Party,” takes place in Jacksonville today as No. 1 Georgia and Florida face off. On paper, this game looks like a Georgia romp, but today’s news surrounds Gators quarterback Anthony Richardson.
Though I’ve not spoken to anyone in Richardson’s camp, those affiliated with the Florida Gator program tell me they believe the quarterback will enter the 2023 NFL Draft. And they also tell me it would be a mistake as Richardson is not NFL-ready — an opinion I share.
Richardson has been the darling of the internet-draft world before the season even began, with some projecting him as a top-10 selection. This is despite the fact he played in just eight games as a redshirt freshman in 2021 and attempted just 64 passes.
The physical talent and upside are enormous for Richardson, but he needs a ton of work on his game. While I presently have a third-round grade on him, there’s no denying a team could reach for him during the first frame with the hopes of developing Richardson’s game and harvesting his talent. TP
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