As you get ready for the BCS National Title Game Monday night, I’ve prepared a guide for you to the college football players you’ll soon see on the NFL gridiron. There are four players from Notre Dame who will go in the early rounds of this year’s draft and next year’s; 12 more from the Alabama Crimson Tide. Let’s get to know ‘em.
2013 first round Notre Dame
Manti Te’o LB
You’ve heard a lot about Te’o this year. He was one of the most publicized players in all of college football. And for good reason, he won numerous awards and only 1 player in the FBS has forced more turnovers this year than Te’o. He could be a top 5 pick, top 10 for sure.
His defensive coordinator Bob Diaco described him thusly:
“He’s definitely in the top cut of maturity. He’s just a mature person with a big heart. Always in service, in service to the student body, his teammates, his coaches, helping out his buddies. So when you factor that with his tangible skill set on the field, that’s really a special blend.”
Go here for more on Te’o
See our FULL MOCK DRAFT HERE
Tyler Eifert, TE
Coach Brian Kelly talked about Eifert’s versatility, and what he brings to the table.
“To do that, we have to be able to get him into some favorable positions. Obviously, he’s not going to lock down just at the tight end position. He’s a guy that can play at both a wide receiver. Heck, he could play running back if we need him to. He’s an incredible athlete and a versatile player, so we’ll take advantage of that skill.”
For more on Eifert go here
2014 first round
Louis Nix, NT
He flashes a rare skill-set for a player his size and strength. 330 pounds, although he was once 370. Began his career at ND as a developmental project and has now come full circle into a full blown monster. The huge, space-eating Nix led a Notre Dame defensive front that held opposing teams to 92 yards rushing per game. Nix had 45 tackles, including five and a half for a loss and two sacks. The Florida native choose South Bend over Florida, Florida State and Miami. So he has “SEC speed” despite his girth. There are concerns though that he could “Burger King himself out of the league” Likely a top 20-25 pick.
Stephon Tuitt, DE
Has a serious work ethic that helped him bulk up to 303 pounds while maintaining his speed. Came to ND about 60 pounds lighter and might have been a LB. Returned a fumble 77 yards for a touchdown against Navy. Had 12 sacks this season, ranking in the top 10 in college football and making Irish fans forget about another highly recruited but head case defensive end Aaron Lynch, who transferred last season to South Florida. Lynch will join Tuitt in the top 10-15 range in this draft. Imagine if he had stayed, what kind of DL they would have had?
Every year there’s a march of Alabama Crimson Tide players to the NFL. 2013 will be no different as four Bama players could go in the first round come late April. Three more could go in rounds 2-3. And (yes this is way too early to talk about it) Three more members of the Tide could be in the first round of the 2014 draft. With two more likely to go on the second day of the draft. Let’s talk about them all.
2013 first round
Dee Milliner CB- Possibly a top ten pick, and could be a much better pro than Dre Kirkpatrick, who he’ll often be compared to because of the same school and position. The NFL is more a passing league than ever, and teams need additional help in stopping the pass. Especially the Tennessee Titans and Detroit Lions who could end up as potential landing spots for Milliner.
Jesse Williams NT- This is a strong class for pass rushers so Williams might be a mid first round projection. He’s a great run stuffer too.
Chance Warmack OL- Could be one of the first linemen taken, depending on how he performs at the combine. And I’ll think he’ll grade out well.
Barrett Jones OL/C- Winner of the 2012 Rimington Award as the nation’s top center. Jones was a unanimous first-team All-America performer as a junior en route to winning the Outland Trophy and the recipient of the Jacobs Blocking Trophy as the SEC’s Lineman of the Year. He is a first-team All-American again in 2012 and has started 49 games at Alabama at three different positions along the offensive line, including right guard, left tackle and center. He is a two-time first-team All-SEC honoree, who earned third-team All-America honors as a sophomore and Freshman All-America accolades in 2009.
2013 rounds 2-3
D.J. Fluker OT, Eddie Lacy RB, Robert Lester S
2014 1st round
Jeoffrey Pagan, DE/DT, Adrian Hubbard, DE/OLB, Cyrus Kouandjio, OT
2014 later rounds
Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net, a Google News site generating millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Chicago Tribune.com, Walter Football.com, Yardbarker, and Fox Sports
A Fulbright scholar, published author and MBA, Banks has appeared on live radio all over the world; he’s also a member of the Football Writers Association of America, U.S. Basketball Writers Association, and Society of Professional Journalists. The President of the United States follows him on Twitter (@Paul_M_BanksTSB) You should too.