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.
Tyler Davis, DL, Clemson
The Clemson Tigers game back from behind to avoid the upset at home, beating the #14 Syracuse Orange 27-21. The Tigers made a change at QB, putting in Cade Klubnik to help spark the offense. Still, the defense came up big in the win with DL #13 Tyler Davis standing out amongst a deep defensive front. Davis posted four tackles, 2.5 TFLs, and led the team with two sacks in the contest.
The 6’2, 300lb senior may not have the measurables or freaky athleticism that teammate Bryan Bresee or Myles Murphy have, but Davis is a strong, stout defender in the middle that plays with great effort against the run and can generate a pass rush thanks to his leverage and motor. Built in a similar mold to former Clemson DL Grady Jarrett, Davis should be a name to watch throughout the pre-draft process as a potential mid-round value selection.
Ivan Pace Jr., LB, Cincinnati
The Bearcats won a close one in Dallas Saturday against SMU 29-27. Stud LB #0 Ivan Pace Jr. once again stole the show for the Cincinnati defense, padding the stat sheet whilst being a constant force that SMU had to account for on every play. Pace racked up nine total stops, two TFLs, two sacks, and a PBU.
Pace now has seven sacks on the season, showing off his innate ability to come on the blitz and use his shorter frame and low center of gravity to get around blocks in pursuit of the QB. His height will be a big talking point come draft season, but Pace has been the most disruptive defender in all of college football thus far and made yet another case for himself this Saturday.
Jalin Hyatt, WR, Tennessee
The Tennessee Volunteers took care of business Saturday against UT Martin, blowing out the interior competition 65-24 at home. The Volunteers appear to be on their way to the SEC Championship game and make the CFP with how hot this team has been this season, and WR #11 Jalin Hyatt is a big reason for this team’s success in recent weeks. The 6’0, 180lb junior posted just a casual seven receptions for 174 yards and two TDs with a long of 66 yards on the day.
Hyatt is on fire after a stellar performance against Alabama, getting loose in the secondary and running past DBs with his impressive speed and burst. Once a backup, Hyatt has the attention of the entire nation and scouts alike after a hot start to 2022 (40 catches for 769 yards and 12 TDs) and will look to be a key piece in Tennessee’s playoff hopes this season.
Jason Taylor II, S, Oklahoma State
The Pokes defeated the longhorns in Stillwater in a Big XII shootout 41-34 on Saturday afternoon. While both offenses were scoring points, S #25 Jason Taylor II played a big role in the team’s win. The 6’0, 215lb senior led the team in tackles with nine and picked off two passes on Texas QB Quinn Ewers.
Taylor has three INTs, six PBUs, and 52 total stops on the season, having the size to be a capable downhill run defender as well as the range to cover ground in the secondary to defend passes and make plays on the ball in the air. Taylor sustained what appeared to a hyperextended knee on the game-winning INT but shouldn’t expect to miss much time in what has been a strong senior campaign.
Isaiah Foskey, EDGE, Notre Dame
The Fighting Irish of Notre Dame cruised to a 44-21 win over UNLV this weekend and EDGE #7 Isaiah Foskey had himself a day against their mid major foe, recording five tackles, three TFLs, and three sacks along with a blocked punt. Foskey was touted as one of the best EDGE prospects in the upcoming draft class prior to the 2022 season, having the measurables (6’5, 265lb) along with the athleticism and pass rush prowess to become an effective pass rusher at the next level.
Foskey managed to ramp up his play in this one after failing to record a sack against Stanford and BYU. Having been shut out against NFL-caliber tackles so far this season, a three-sack performance is good to see in Foskey who has the potential to be a quality edge rusher, but he needs to build off this performance when he plays better competition in the coming weeks.
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!