We’ve seen these two teams before (Film Room Report), but the big stage should really help separate the wheat from the chaff.
Here are the 2012 NFL Draft prospects that we’ll be watching in the BCS Championship game between Alabama and LSU.
RB Trent Richardson (Scouting Report)
Richardson is a three-down back with the ability to take over a game. The consensus #1 RB eligible, I would be shocked if he fell out of the top half of the first round in the 2012 NFL Draft.
SS Mark Barron (Scouting Report)
A classic strong safety, Barron is quite comfortable coming up to support the run. He has really improved his consistency in the coverage game this year, although he is still not a natural man-coverage guy. Used correctly, Barron has the play-making skills to be an All-Pro.
FS Robert Lester
Excellent range and instincts have led to Lester getting more than his fair share of interceptions over the last couple of years. Teams looking for a true free safety should have Lester at or near the top of their list.
CB Dre Kirkpatrick
Close to LSU’s Morris Claiborne in terms of CB prospects, Kirkpatrick is a big (6’3″, 190lbs) corner that has a knack for reading routes. Has shown the skills to be a true shutdown corner in the NFL.
CB DeQuan Menzie
Another big (6’1″, 195lbs) Alabama corner, Menzie gets a lot of attention from opposing QB’s. He has held up under the scrutiny very well, even though his 4.6+ speed puts him in a spot where he has to have nearly perfect technique.
DE/OLB Courtney Upshaw (Scouting Report)
Upshaw makes plays all over the field for the Crimson Tide from the defensive end and linebacker positions. We see his best fit as a 3-4 ILB in the NFL, a la Lawrence Timmons.
OLB/ILB Dont’a Hightower (Scouting Report)
Hightower is a hitting machine that can play 4-3 OLB, 4-3 MLB, 3-4 OLB, and 3-4 ILB. He rushes the passer extremely well and has the strength to get off blocks and make plays in the run game.
DE Jesse Williams
Williams is a huge (6’4″, 325lbs) DL prospect that plays a style of nose tackle that NFL teams will love. Should be a Top 50 prospect in 2013 unless he comes out early.
DT Josh Champman
Chapman is adept at clogging the middle and taking up blockers. Not as athletic as Williams, but he helps guys like Hightower by keeping interior lineman out of the second level.
OG Chance Warmack
Warmack is a nasty, devastatingly strong guard prosepct. I think he comes back for one more year, but he would probably crack the Top 100 if he declared for the 2012 NFL Draft.
OC William Vlachos
Undersized center that is dependable. I wouldn’t project Vlachos as a starter in the NFL, but could be a serviceable backup.
WR Marquis Maze
Lightning quick receiver that could develop into a contributor at the slot WR position in the NFL.
TE Brad Smelley
Smelley is a solid blocker that can contribute on play-action and in the red-zone. Should be a Day Three selection in the draft.
Click on Page Two for LSU’s prospects.