2018 National Championship NFL Draft Prospects Preview

Alabama Crimson Tide vs Georgia Bulldogs
7:00 CST on ESPN

 

When Alabama Has the Ball

Alabama Prospects
RB Damien Harris
RB Bo Scarbrough
WR Calvin Ridley
WR Robert Foster
C Bradley Bozeman

Georgia Prospects
NT John Atkins
DE Trenton Thompson
SLB Lorenzo Carter
OLB Davin Bellamy
WLB Roquan Smith
CB Malkom Parrish
CB Aaron Davis
FS Dominick Sanders

Alabama’s offense is built on their running game that features a thunder and lightning combination of Damien Harris and Bo Scarbrough. Harris has emerged this season as the top back as he’s thrived with speed going north and south and using quick moves to elude defenders. Complementing him is Scarbrough who is a big physical runner who is tough to bring down and will get tough yards between the tackles. And if stopping these two backs isn’t hard enough the Bulldogs will also have to deal with the legs of QB Jalen Hurts.

Looking to limit the Crimson Tide running game is a stout Georgia front seven that is loaded with talent. The key will be for the three man front of NT John Atkins and ends Trenton Thompson and Jonathan Ledbetter and outside linebackers to hold their own against the Alabama offensive line so they let their inside linebacker run free and make plays. On the edge the Bulldogs have two different types of defenders as Davin Bellamy is bigger and more stout setting the edge and providing a power pass rusher while Lorenzo Carter is more loose and can play in space. If Roquan Smith (#1 LB) can roam free the Bulldogs will be good as Smith has the speed to go sideline to sideline and throughout this year he’s shown to be one of the best defensive players in the nation.

On the outside the Crimson Tide will look to get the ball to WR Calvin Ridley (#1 WR) whose combination of explosive speed and ball tracking skills make him a dangerous deep threat, but he can also create separation underneath. Georgia will look to bracket coverage Ridley with either cornerbacks Malkom Parrish or Aaron Davis while putting rangy free safety Dominick Sanders over the top. But Georgia cannot focus too much on Ridley as his teammate Robert Foster (#10 WR) has the ability to stretch the field in his own right and has done well complimenting Ridley all year long.

 

When Georgia Has the Ball

Georgia Prospects
RB Nick Chubb
RB Sony Michel
FB Christian Payne
WR Javon Wims
TE Jeb Blazevich
LT Isaiah Wynn

Alabama Prospects
DE Da’Shawn Hand
DT Da’Ron Payne
DT Joshua Frazier
WLB Rashaan Evans
CB Levi Wallace
CB Anthony Averett
CB Tony Brown
SS Minkah Fitzpatrick
FS Ronnie Harrison

In their semifinal matchup against Oklahoma the duo of Nick Chubb (#3 RB) and Sony Michel ran for a combined 326 yards thrashing the Sooner defense. Both runners are fairly similar as they can both show patience to navigate through traffic but Michel runs with more power while Chubb has a bit more juice to reel off long runs.

Looking to stop the rushing attack is the Alabama defensive line that is headlined by NT DaRon Payne (#4 DL). Not only is Payne strong against the run taking on blockers but uses a good burst off the line and heavy hands to get into the backfield and disrupt. At linebacker the Crimson Tide have been ravaged by injuries but still have the versatile Rashaan Evans (#3 LB) whose combination of speed, explosiveness and power make him a tough defender to contain. Evans can play back in zone coverage, run to the ball to make tackles and even rush the passer. There isn’t much this linebacker can’t do.

Alabama talent in the secondary allows them to match up with the best receiving corps. Anthony Averett and Levi Wallace man the outside while elite athlete Tony Brown (#6 CB) will look to cover the slot. The difference maker tends to be SS Minkah Fitzpatrick (#1 CB) who is listed as a safety but he’s a do it all player who can cover man to man, drop back into zone and even rush the passer. Georgia doesn’t have elite receivers but Javon Wims stepped up this year providing the Bulldogs with a big (6’4 216) bodied weapon that can get tough yards and has the speed to work downfield. Alabama will want to put as many defenders in the box to defend the run, so it will be important for Wims, TE Jeb Blazevich and the rest of the young Bulldog weapons to make plays and leave the bock less congested so their running game can flourish.

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