2013 NFL Draft: National Championship Scouting Notes

C.J. Mosley NFL Draft

C.J. Mosley might have been the best player on the field. Unfortunately, he won’t be in the 2013 NFL Draft. (USA Today Sports Images)

NEPD Editor: Mike Loyko

The college football season wraps up tonight with one of the most highly anticipated National Championship games of the last decade. Not only does the game feature two of the most historic programs in NCAA history, but two of the most talented teams in terms of future NFL talent.

From Heisman finalist Manti Te’o to top ranked cornerback Dee Milliner, seemingly anywhere you look on the field there will be a player who will be in the NFL in the near future.

How did the top prospects fare in their final college football game?

Here are some scouting notes from the National Championship Game.

* Scouting Notes are only focused on draft eligible players or underclassmen who are likely to declare for the draft

#5 Manti Te’o, ILB, Notre Dame (6’2/255)
– Quick recognition of screen pass, fights through block and gets to Lacy first, but can’t bring him down
– Can’t get off Warmack block leads to big run up the middle by Lacy
– Gets chipped by Williams on goalline, goes inside the block and is too late to make the tackle
– Gets sucked up on play action and vacates throwing lane
– Does a good job of maintain/shooting the gap to get in backfield, but misses tackle when there
– Fills his gap well, Yeldon is able to force missed tackle
– Reads swing pass and takes good angle to the sideline to make tackle, stops RB in tracks when tackling

#28 Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama (6’2/199)
– Starts the game as the kick returner
– Sound coverage on Eifert, uses the sideline well to gain position on Eifert
– Good awareness of where the ball is, gets his hands in between the receiver and his hands
– Smooth backpedal for a CB of his size, no problem getting out of peddle and running vertically

#65 Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama (6’3/320)
– Powerful/Quick first step off the line, able to drive DT back with ease opening huge lane
– Great double team block opens huge hole, which springs Lacy for a TD
– Able to pull and lead Lacy off tackle, makes good cut tackle on CB
– So good on double teams, stays hip to hip, overpowering then moves to next level
– Anchors so well in pass protection, just stops defender in tracks, lower body absorbs the momentum

#54 Jesse Williams, DT, Notre Dame (6’4/320)
– Good quickness off the snap, keeps his pads low and gets some push, can’t get off the block though
– Just eating up blockers at the line of scrimmage and getting movement vs. doubles – LB run free
– Works as FB on short yardage, perfect lead block, chips Te’o and gets onto the safety to open huge hole
– Shooting his hands to the OL chest off the snap, gets them off balance – so powerful
– Not doing much in terms of pass rush, but not giving up on play

#42 Eddie Lacy, RB, Alabama (6’0/220)
– Decisivie runner, no wasted motion in the backfield
– Takes some time to get moving, but picks his way through the garbage and runs over defender
– Quick enough to get to the edge and cut it up field, keeps legs driving constantly
– Sheds first contact nicely and picks up extra yards, always falling forward
– Sets up defender nicely, stutter step to the hole and bounce out quickly
– Dropped a wide open check down, appeared to turn up field before ball was in his hands
– Beautiful stutter-step in the open field to freeze defender and get up-field

#37 Robert Lester, SAF, Alabama (6’2/210)
– Nice read and gets to the flat quickly, able to hit Eifert and bring him down quickly – forced fumble?
– Another good angle and good reaction to get into the flat
– Has very good range and seems to be reading the play well, good angles tonight

#89 Michael Williams, TE, Alabama (6’6/269)
– Great job of sustaining his block and turning his guy inside to open up the edge for Lacy
– Has a stance like an OT in pass protection, sinks his hips, good punch with hands and slides his feet very well
– Good block on bubble screen holds block long enough to allow WR to catch ball and get by first wave
– Gets open off play action in back of the endzone for touchdown
– Gets great extension with his arms vs. pass rush, just rides defender out and can mirror pass rush moves

#75 Barrett Jones, OL, Alabama (6’5/302)
– Good lateral movement off the snap, able to wash Nix down and holds block very well
– Real patient blocker, let’s defender make first move and takes him where he’s going
– Not moving very well (foot clearly bothering him)
– Still takes good first step to cut off slanting defender
– Holding up well in pass protection, chipping and then sliding to pick up free blitzer
– Looks comfortable shot-gun snapping – no issues, still able to take quick first step

#80 Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame (6’6/251)
– High points the ball very well, on back to back plays, goes up over Milliner to catch ball on sidelines
– Catches the ball away from his body, tries to get extra yards and nearly fumbles
– Splits out wide and runs right by cornerback, good vertical speed1

#89 Kapron Lewis-Moore, DE, Notre Dame (6’4/306)
– Sheds block well and holds up at line of scrimmage to make tackle on first play
– Has lined up at 5-Tech, 3-Tech and NT about 10 plays in
– Fires off the ball, reads and then drops back about 4 yards into coverage on 3rd down play
– Sees screen develop, force a throw away by McCarron
– Keeping outside leverage on off-tackle runs, definitely like him best as 5-Tech
** Went down with knee injury and looks like a torn ACL

#76 DJ Fluker, OT, Alabama (6’6/335)
– Able to slide to pick up the outside pass rusher, but feet are a little and doesn’t look comfortable
– Gets beat inside off the ball, not quick enough to cut off the slanting End
– Poor cut block attempt on the backside, ends up on his stomach with no block
– Doesn’t get movement on his goalline block, but sustains block and turns his man to open lane
– Sets up high in his stance when pass blocking – pronounced kick-step
– Uses his hands well to stop defender and can recoil, slide and punch again

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