Alabama, Ohio State title game with multiple NFL prospects

Former LSU linebacker Patrick Queen is a prime example of how a formidable performance in a National Championship game can help a player increase their NFL draft.

Queen was a rising prospect throughout last season and thanked her for being the defensive MVP for winning the college football playoff championship against Clemson. About three and a half months later, the Queen was selected in the first round by the Baltimore Ravens in 28th place overall.

Nr. 1 Alabama and No.3 Ohio State enter the national title game on Monday night with a number of future NFL players. Matches will not only determine who wins a championship, but can also affect where some of their stars are drawn.

“You want to look at a player’s ability to play in the clutch and in the big moments, because obviously when you’re a football team, an NFL team, your goal is to play in the playoffs,” said Jim Nagy, Director Bowl CEO and former NFL scout. “So you want to watch the following games. The games that really matter.”

Alabama Center Knee-injured Landon Dickerson and guard Deonte Brown have already accepted invitations to the Senior Bowl on Jan. 30, Nagy said. Heisman Trophy winner DeVonta Smith, star driver Najee Harris and tackle Alex Leatherwood are also invited.

For the state of Ohio, center Josh Myers plans to return to Trey Sermon, linebackers Tuf Borland and Barron Browning and defensive end Jonathon Cooper to participate in the Senior Bowl, Nagy said. Invitations were also sent to defensive tackle Haskell Garrett and linebacker Pete Werner.

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There may be 20 players who could potentially be drafted in April after playing for the Crimson Tide and Buckeyes.


Justin Fields of Ohio was fantastic against Clemson, throwing six touchdown passes and showing precision and arm strength all over the court. He also showed durability and tenacity, and played most of the game after taking a nasty blow from his side.

It came after an inconsistent and shortened season that called into question Fields’ status as the best QB available behind Trevor Lawrence.

“There is a lot of buzz around the league that (BYUs) Zach Wilson is No. 2 in the draft behind Lawrence,” said Dane Brugler, a draft analyst for The Athletic. “Fields, with what he did, it changed a bit. It forces teams to go back and reconsider.

The Alabama defense has had a tough time, but it’s still Ohio State’s most talented group, starting with this year’s SEC defenseman Patrick Surtain III. Junior will likely be the first cornerback to be drafted if he declares.

In addition, the fields will be tested schematically by Alabama.

“Give (tides coach) Nick Saban 10 days to figure out and find your weaknesses, it’s scary,” said Matt Miller of the NFL Draft.

Alabama quarterback Mac Jones is among the second tier quarterbacks in the upcoming draft which features Kyle Trask of Florida and possibly Shane Buechele of SMU.

Jones has been superb, but he does not have the athleticism comparable to Fields and Lawrence. Jones is surrounded by the best talent and offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian has done a great job of planning open recipients and creating disagreements.

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“This is a very, very difficult assessment, because how to separate him from an elite situation,” Brugler said of Jones.

Especially in the wake of former Alabama star Tua Tagovailoa’s rookie season in the NFL, which was solid but far from spectacular.


Ohio state cornerback Shaun Wade made the All-America squad, but that was a generous assessment based on last year’s reputation and play when he was a nickelback and corner kick. .

His move away this season has been poignant at best and an indication of Ohio State’s corner play overall. Now he’s up against Smith, a safe first round and the jewel of Alabama’s lush passing game.

“If I’m Alabama and Steve Sarkisian, I get DeVonta Smith on the (Wades) side of the field as much as humanly possible because no one has been able to stop him,” Miller said.

Brugler said Wade’s future may still lie in security.

“At the same time, if he goes out there and acts at a high level against Smith, then suddenly there is another conversation,” Brugler said. “But from what we’ve seen from Shaun Wade this year, that doesn’t seem like a realistic possibility.”


Alabama defensive tackle Christian Barmore is a third-team All-American and a third-year student, so he’s not sure he’ll be in the draft.

The 310-pounder didn’t perform at a consistently high level that would make him a first lockdown. Still, Brugler said the defensive class was thin at the top of this draft and Barmore had a chance to be the best of the group.

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Barmore will face a good test in the Ohio State inside line. All-American goaltenders Wyatt Davis and Meyers are likely to draft Day 2 with low potential in the first round.


Running back Trey Sermon, Ohio, has had a remarkably late tear drop with 636 yards in his last three fights. He should expect to see plenty of linebackers Dylan Moses and Christian Harris, Crimson Tide’s top two tackles.

Nagy said Sermon looked like a potentially rookie return to the NFL before injuring his knee last season while in Oklahoma.

“He had the opportunity the last few weeks there for Ohio State, and he took full advantage of it, but doing it against a Nick Saban defense in a National Championship game would just be the next level for him, ”Nagy said. . Catalog

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