Article

Scouts Notebook: College Prospects Who Impressed on Saturday (Week 10)

Following the slate of games on Saturday, we will be highlighting several college football prospects and their respective performances as well as how they could be viewed going forward into the 2023 NFL Draft specifically by the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Jalen Carter, DL, Georgia

The Bulldogs knocked off the top-ranked Volunteers in Athens Saturday afternoon in what turned into an ugly slugfest resembling a backstreet ball. The Dawgs wouldn’t have it any other way and DL #88 Jalen Carter led the charge upfront. Carter finished the game with four total tackles, two TFLs, a sack, and two forced fumbles. Carter overwhelmed the offensive line of Tennessee, showcasing his impressive play strength combined with his explosiveness to defeat blocks and wreak havoc in the backfield. He forced a fumble in the end zone on QB Hendon Hooker, defeating a double team and knocked the ball out as he dropped back to pass, but the OL recovering the ball was ruled out of the end zone.

Carter is a true junior, standing 6’3, 300lb as a stout ball of muscle. He is a blue chip prospect and will have a difficult time getting out of the top five overall picks in the 2023 NFL Draft after the statement game he had on Saturday.

O’Cyrus Torrence, OG, Florida

The Gators traveled to Aggie Land and took care of business against Texas A&M, winning by a score of 41-24. Florida dominated on the ground in this one, running for 291 yards on 50 total attempts (5.8 YPC). Part of Florida’s success in the running game must be credited to OG #54 O’Cyrus Torrence. The 6’5, 347lb junior is the definition of a road grader, having the size and power to displace almost any man off his spot. Torrence also has impressive athleticism for his size, being able to mirror in pass protection and find work while on the move. Possibly the best pure guard in this draft class, Torrence continues to impress scouts with a strong 2022 season in hopes of being the first IOL drafted this spring.

Josh Downs, WR, UNC

The Tar Heels took down the Virginia Cavaliers Saturday afternoon, winning a nail biter 31-28. UNC QB Drake Maye continued to impress in his first season as the starter, but WR #11 Josh Downs was again the Tar Heels’ most effective weapon on offense. Downs caught 15 passes for 166 yards and a TD against Virginia with a long of 32 yards on the game. Downs also returned two punts for 57 yards (38 long).

After getting off to a slow start, Downs is on fire, having topped the century mark in four of his last five games. The 5’10, 175 junior may lack ideal size, but he is a reliable pass catcher that can make you pay when he is open grass. Downs projects to be a great fit in the slot where he can use his speed and quickness to stress opposing defenses at the next level.

Tuli Tuipulotu, DL, USC

The Trojans beat in-state conference rival Cal Saturday in a close one 41-35. While QB Caleb Williams and the offense again where impressive for USC, DL #49 Tuli Tuipulotu continued his stellar 2022 campaign with another strong performance. The 6’4, 290lb junior racked up four total tackles, 2.5 TFLs, and two sacks in the contest, showing versatility by lining up on the edge and beating the RT for two QB takedowns.

Tuipulotu now has nine sacks and 15 TFLs on the year, being one of the most disruptive defenders in college football. While a bit of a tweener like current Steelers DL DeMarvin Leal, Tuipulotu has the talent and skill set to play as a based 3-4 end and move up-and-down the LOS depending on how the defense wants to deploy him.

Tanner Mordecai, QB SMU

Now, I would have listed another DL or EDGE here, but the performance that SMU QB #8 Tanner Mordecai had last night deserves to be recognized. The 6’3, 214lb senior had a game for the record books (literally), putting together a stat line the closely resembled what we strived to do back on NCAA 14. Mordecai went 28/37 (75.7%) for 379 yards and a whopping nine TDs to zero INTs, posting a QB rating of 98.5 and a passer rating of 242.0. Mordecai also chipped in another eight rushes for 54 yards and a rushing TD, scoring ten total times in a shootout between Houston with a final score of 77-63.

In a game that had 140 total points scored, Mordecai put himself on the map with a historic performance. While this game may not boost his draft stock into early round consideration, Mordecai displayed good touch, poise, and leadership to keep the engine running and put it on the Cougars, scoring until the final whistle blew. Mordecai will likely be considered on Day Three of the draft or be signed as a UDFA as a potential long-term backup that could fill in as a spot starter/reliever should the starter go down for a period of time.

 

What are your thoughts on the names listed above and their potential fit in Pittsburgh? Do you think they could translate well to the league? What other names stood out Saturday that the Steelers could have interest in come the spring? Please leave your thoughts in the comments section below and thanks again for reading!

To Top
error: Alert: Content is protected !!