It’s not just about lifting the Coaches Trophy, many Alabama and Notre Dame players will make or break their draft chances at the BCS National Championship Game in Miami. Al Dannity tells us who to watch out for.
The top tier For the Fighting Irish, there’s one unquestioned blue chip prospect for the NFL Draft. Manti Te’o has been a star this year. Right now his draft stock is immense but a bad night in Miami could hurt him badly. While his ceiling is unclear, entirely due to his position (ILB), Te’o’s floor could be lower than observers think if he falls on the big stage. Tyler Eifert (TE) is the other big Notre Dame prospect to watch here. As the clear top tight end in the draft, his stock is unlikely to move much no matter what happens in Miami.
For Bama it’s all about the beef. Chance Warmack (G), Jesse Williams (DT), and Barrett Jones (C) all stand to gain from tonight’s game. Jones in particular, who enters this game carrying an injury, could do wonders for his stock. Dee Milliner (CB), the highest rated of the Crimson Tide’s draft prospects would need an other-worldly game, good or bad, for his immense draft stock to move significantly.
The dark horses Once you get past the clear first-round prospects, the first name that jumps out is yet another Alabama lineman. D.J. Fluker has the potential to move into the first round on most draft boards, arguably into the top half of the round, with a big night against the Irish front seven. Bama’s Robert Lester (SS), one of the higher rated safeties in the draft, could also pad his stock with a big night. Nico Johnson (ILB) could prove the story of the night, especially if he outshines Te’o.
Braxton Cave (C) has the most upside of any player in tonight’s game. Currently projected towards the back end of the fourth round, the Fighting Irish centre could shoot up most draft boards with a big game. The Notre Dame secondary isn’t particular respected by Zeke Motta (FS) is another player with a chance to seriously upgrade his rating tonight. Theo Riddick (RB/WR) would need an exceptional game to move out of the fifth round by Kapron Lewis-Moore (DT) is well-positioned for a big move with a big game tonight. Remember, the Fighting Irish allowed just two rushing touchdowns all year. Lewis-Moore was a big part of that success. If they keep Eddie Lacy out of the end-zone, it will look good for Lewis-Moore come April.