NFL Draft Center


2012 NFL Draft Watch: BCS National Championship Part 9 (JAN.9)

Written By: Mark Scott

The BCS National Championship Game and rematch of the century is finally here as LSU and Alabama are set to duke it out for the second time this season. Both teams are stacked and possess some of the best prospects in the 2012 NFL Draft, including a potential eight first round draft picks between them. The majority of the elite prospects are on defense with the likes of Claiborne, Kirkpatrick, Upshaw, Hightower and Barron, but Heisman Finalist Trent Richardson will also showcase his talents in this matchup on offense. It should be an incredible game with a group of prospects that could shape the 2012 NFL Draft.

All rankings attained form CBSSports.com/NFLDraftScout.com, SI’s Tony Pauline and ESPN’s Todd McShay.

 

Allstate BCS National Championship Game (January 9/2012)

Alabama Crimson Tide vs. Louisiana State Tigers

ALABAMA

The Crimson Tide will showcase a buffet line of top prospects in this game, including five likely first round selections. It all starts with 2011 Heisman Finalist and Doak Walker Award winner rJr RB Trent Richardson, as complete a running back as you will find. He has the strength of a power back to pound the ball up the middle with the speed and agility to beat defenders on the outside, while also possessing excellent receiving ability out of the backfield. He is a big-time playmaker with great vision, who has been groomed for a NFL career since he arrived at Alabama and is a better prospect than former teammate and Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram (2011 New Orleans First Round Pick, 28th overall). He could be a Top Ten draft choice this year. On to defense as the rest of Alabama’s top prospects are defensive players beginning with Jr CB Dre Kirkpatrick, a tall, athletic corner that possesses great ball skills and instincts, while he continues to improve and get better in coverage. He is a confident player with a lot of upside and could end being the top corner in this draft. SR OLB Courtney Upshaw is a ferocious, versatile defender that can play multiple positions in multiple schemes. He has fantastic strength and power with a great burst and his best fit is as a pass-rusher whether standing up or with a hand on the ground. It should be interesting to see which team he goes to in the draft because he could land in any number of spots in the first round. Another stud linebacker that will be a first round selection is rJr ILB Don’ta Hightower.  He is a fantastic leader and imposing athlete that could immediately step into a NFL starting defense. He has great size, speed and strength that allows him to stuff the run and is fluid enough to drop into pass coverage. There are some questions about his effort, but battling back from serious knee injury suffered during the 2009 season should silence those questions. Sr SS Mark Barron is a complete player and easily the top safety in the draft. He is a terrific athlete that does it all on the field, whether it is in pass coverage or contributing against the run. He possesses great ball skills and is a devastating hitter with fantastic leadership ability. A very underrated player, he will be a steal for some team in the second half of the first round. After their top five prospects, Alabama has a pair of Day 2 defenders in rSr NT Josh Chapman and Jr FS Robert Lester. Chapman is a big, strong Nose Tackle that is dominant against the run and swallows up ball-carriers in the middle of the field, while taking on multiple blockers. He doesn’t get to the passer very much, but still has a good first step off the snap and possesses some explosiveness. He might not be the top rated Nose Tackle in the draft, but he is definitely the best coached under Nick Saban. He could be a great sleeper pick on Day 2. Hidden amongst all of the elite prospects on his team, Robert Lester is an excellent Free Safety with great cover skills and instincts that can also lay out offensive players with big hits. The Crimson Tide also has some possible late round draft choices in rSr WR Marquis Maze, rSr C William Vlachos, Sr CB DeQuan Menzie and Sr OLB Jerrell Harris.

 

LSU

The Tigers have their own fantastic group of prospects starting with a potential Top Five draft pick in Jr CB Morris Claiborne. An excellent athlete, Claiborne is the top cover corner in the draft and also possesses terrific ball skills and instincts. He is a complete cornerback that is well-coached and should start right away in the NFL. Some have him rated as a better prospect than former teammate and Arizona 2011 first-round pick (5th overall) CB Patrick Peterson, although he doesn’t have the returner skills that Peterson has. Possibly joining Claiborne in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft could be a pair of young defensive linemen in rSo DE Sam Montgomery and rSo DT Michael Brockers. Montgomery has started to gain some first round buzz following the end of the regular season and for obvious reasons after he recorded 9 sacks and 9 tackles for loss on the year. He is a very fast pass-rusher with an explosive burst that allows him to blow past offensive linemen en route to the Quarterback or chasing down ball-carriers on the outside. A little undersized, he currently projects as a 3-4 OLB in the NFL. Brockers is an imposing interior defensive lineman that is versatile enough to play multiple positions on the line. He is an excellent run-stopper that can also wreak havoc behind the line of scrimmage, while occasionally getting to the Quarterback. Both Montgomery and Brockers are still young, developing players that could benefit from another season at LSU and probably will return to school for the 2012 campaign. On offense, LSU rJr OT Alex Hurst is starting to gain some buzz around him. The 6’6, 340lb. Offensive Lineman is a mammoth man that uses his size and strength to dominate defenders. He has very good fundamentals and technique that allow him to use his intelligence on the football field. He has a lot of experience and can play either Right Tackle or inside at Guard. He could be an early Day 2 selection if he chooses to enter the draft this year. Also on offense for the Tigers is Jr WR Reuben Randle. A tall, reliable wide out, Randle has big play ability deep and on third downs. He has a great set of hands and good speed that allow him to make plays downfield. He has made some very good improvements this season and has terrific upside as a potential feature NFL receiver. Randle currently sits as a possible Day 2 selection and he too could return for another season at LSU. Sr SS Brandon Taylor hasn’t gotten the attention that his defensive back mates like Claiborne and Heisman Finalist Tyrann Mathieu have gotten, but he is an outstanding player in his own right. Taylor made big-time improvements in his game this season and showed that he can defend against the pass and run. He has a great work ethic along with good instincts that make up for a lack of size and speed. He currently rates as a Day 3 draft choice. LSU also has a pair of possible late round selections in Sr TE Deangelo Peterson and Sr QB Jordan Jefferson, although it would be a surprise to see Jefferson get drafted, even in the seventh round.

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  1.    Satellite A135-S4447 Battery 01.10.12 @ 2:37 am      

    LMAO \”Where is Trent Richardson\” is trending in the U.S. Around the bowl and down the hole, roll tide roll.

  2.    Acer 1415lmi Battery 01.10.12 @ 4:35 am      

    I just watched this shitty BCS game and all I got was…wait, I didn’t even get a t-shirt for this bullshit! WTF YO!!!!!

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