Film Room: Alabama vs LSU (BCS Championship)

Dont'a Hightower NFL Draft

Dont'a Hightower may have solidified a 1st-round draft grade on a lot of draft boards with an impressive showing in the BCS Championship. (Photo: Icon SMI)

In an exception defensive display, the Alabama Crimson Tide demolished the LSU Tigers in the BCS Championship game – shutting out their opponents 21-0 in dominating fashion.

Here are how the 2012 NFL Draft prospects performed during the game.

Dont’a Hightower, LB, Alabama (Scouting Report)
-Lined up as 3-4 ILB, 3-4 OLB, and 4-3 DE – making the defensive adjustments.
-Pushed back by OG, got a bit upright.
-Plays on punt coverage.
-Fights through cut block and keeps balance, turns QB back inside on option.
-Reading the QB in coverage, makes quick breaks towards the receiver.
-Gets a finger on pass, just missed the deflection. Read the QB perfectly.
-Walks out on WR lined up in stack.
-Flows well to the ball, hasn’t overran a play.
-Recognizes play-action, gets to his coverage responsibility quickly.
-Rushes from 4-3 DE on a twist, bull-rushes RG back into pocket.
-Fights through traffic, assists on tackle.
-Bull rush again gets some push on RT.
-Zone coverage, tackles WR right as he catches out of curl.
-Fills the hole, but RB escapes tackle for an extra yard to make 1st down.
-Good timing on delayed blitz, RB just gets a piece of him.
-Rip move inside on RT, strips the ball from QB.
-Sudden athleticism on display as he fakes outside and powers through the inside shoulder.
-RT falls down in anticipation of blocking Hightower.
-Recognizes play early, comes off block and makes TFL.
-Another sack on QB, tried to step up through pocket but Dont’a stayed in his lane.
-Wonderful play by Hightower – showed incredible football smarts and made the calls for one of the best defensive performances that I’ve seen in college. Played a lot of ILB, but was at his best rushing from the edge. Put him in as a 3-4 OLB and 4-3 DE during sub-packages and he will be an impact player.

Courtney Upshaw, DE/LB, Alabama (Scouting Report)
-Lined up as 3-4 OLB, 3-4 DE (sub package) and 4-3 DE.
-Fights off cut block, assists on tackle.
-Pursues well to the sideline, assists again on tackle.
-Plays on punt coverage.
-Plays option perfectly from 4-3 DE, forces pitch, chases RB down at LOS.
-Showing great speed in pursuit of QB Jefferson.
-Broken play, rushes inside and smacks QB.
-Unblocked, chases QB down for the sack.
-Runs right through 1st cut block, then taken out by RB cut.
-Pursues down the line, assists on tackle.
-Doesn’t look as explosive coming out of the 3-point stance.
-Crashes down the line, pulls RB down from behind.
-Can’t make tackle in open field on QB.
-Upshaw had a great game and wonderful season for Alabama – I don’t like him playing 4-3 DE, but I think he could excel as a 3-4 ILB or 3-4 OLB. His short stature (6’1″) might limit his possibilities outside.

Robert Lester, FS, Alabama
-Playing a deep FS.
-Closing quickly to the ball.
-Playing in the box with three safety look.
-Just gets there in time to disrupt catch, if WR catches, no chance for a tackle.
-Provides big window to throw into in Cover-2 look.
-Shows blitz, but reads play and closes fast on WR screen outside – solid tackle.
-Locates ball quickly on run, wraps up for tackle.
-Not showcased today with poor LSU passing game, but was very active in run support and used all over the field. Certainly will be selected by the end of day two.

Click on Page 2 for more Alabama NFL Draft prospects.

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5 Responses to “Film Room: Alabama vs LSU (BCS Championship)”

  1. john says:

    nick gentry looked in rotation

  2. TD says:

    All of Bama’s LB’s played big games, Hightower, Upshaw and one other that got injured late. Also, Barron was quite active, reminded me of Chung. The other DB’s did not get much action due to Les leaving that disaster of a QB in the whole game.

    I wouldn’t mind seeing Maize here, quick, good hands and can return kicks.

    LSU had at least one good player, Minter, the LB made a lot of plays. Their CB destined for top 5 did not see a single pass, but his counterpart, Mathieu got burned a lot.

  3. Ryan says:

    I think the real question is how many players Bill will draft from Alabama. I’m guessing at least 2. Maybe more.

    • MP says:

      Probably zero. Never underestimate BB’s ability to the opposite of what everyone is expecting.

      • Ryan says:

        Probably not the players we want. But I’m guessing there are at least 2 players from Bama in this draft. Saban and Bill are too close for there not to be a player or two coming from one of the best defensive teams in college football this season.

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