This edition of our College Football Scouting Guides take a look at the NFL Draft Prospects playing in one of the best games of the 2019 College Football season. Both LSU and Alabama are two potential National Championship contenders, but also two teams that not only have elite NFL Draft prospects but have double digit prospects every season too. Here we’ll take a look at the prospects playing in this game along with the top match ups.
LSU vs Alabama Scouting Guide
2:30 CST on CBS
Best Prospect: Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa
Tagovailoa is our top 2020 draft eligible quarterback in this class and has the talent to warrant the number one overall pick. At 6’1 218lbs and without a cannon for an arm, Tua isn’t your traditional prototypical quarterback. But in today’s NFL we’re seeing players with his size and ability to thrive in the league. Instead of muscling balls into tight areas Tua has shown the ability to throw with precise ball placement and does so with good touch and anticipation. Tua is able to quickly diagnose defenses and then make throws before the receivers make their cuts making it difficult for the defender to make a play on the ball. It’s not like Tua doesn’t have a strong arm but he’s able to make up for it by getting the ball where it needs to be with good timing.
Best Prospect Battle: Alabama receivers vs LSU Defensive Backs
It’s not unrealistic that the Crimson Tide could have three receivers go in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft and that doesn’t even include Jaylen Waddle who is a true sophomore. Jerry Jeudy is the best of the group showing explosive movement traits along with the ability to run good routes and body control to adjust and go get the ball. While Jeudy is elite, teammate Henry Ruggs isn’t far behind him showing elite speed to separate down the field or even taking a short throw and bursting through for a long run. In addition to Jeudy and Ruggs its DeVonta Smith who doesn’t share the elite traits that his teammates have, but he is a very skilled route runner that has allowed him to have some huge games this season. LSU is known as DB U and they have two potential first rounders to add to this battle. Kristian Fulton is the Tigers top cover man having success using his fluid movement skills along with good instincts to always put himself in the right spot to cover up defenders. At strong safety Grant Delpit will need to showcase his coverage skills. Delpit will likely be used in zone coverage both deep and underneath. Delpit has the speed to cover a lot of ground in a hurry while also showing the ability to track the ball in the hair. For NFL teams questioning Delpit’s coverage skills, this game will be important for him.
Additional LSU Prospects
The story of the Tigers this year has been their improved offense and the play of quarterback Joe Burrow. Since Joe Barry came in and modernized their passing attack Burrow has been on a record setting pace. The change in offense has allowed Burrow to be more aggressive and take shots down the field showing high end ball placement. At this rate Burrow has not only worked his way into the first round discussion but now we are wondering if he can be a top 10 pick. After missing all of 2018 with an injury K’Lavon Chaisson has come back this year but missed time and been limited with a “lower body” injury. When healthy Chaisson is a big fast athlete who can beat tackles with speed and then have the ability to bend the edge. Chaisson has shown glimpses of being a dominant pass rusher at times, but so far it’s just been flashes.
Additional Alabama Prospects
While Tua and the receivers get most if not all the attention, the Crimson Tide have two offensive tackles that could also be first round picks. Left tackle Alex Leatherwood shows good lateral quickness and athletic ability but tends to lung at defenders which affects his balance and power. At right tackle Jedrick Willis has the potential to be the best tackle in the league showing the elite athletic ability while also playing with good knee bend and power that allows him to lock down defenders. Defensively the Tide are a bit young in the front four but that doesn’t mean they don’t have talent. Defensive tackle Raekwon Davis is a three year start who has the versatility to play all over the defensive line while edge rushers Anfernee Jennings and Terrell Lewis give the Crimson Tide two talented pass rushers who are also good at setting the edge in the run game. Alabama secondary that is always loaded with talented. The Crimson Tide’s best corner is Trevon Diggs who has all the tools to be a shutdown corner. Using his size and speed out of press he’s able to reroute defenders and then have the speed to run with them deep. Because of his size and ball skills we could see Diggs and Rogers matched up throughout the game. Along with Diggs the Tide also have Shyheim Carter who allowed the fewest yards per coverage snap of any SEC cornerback and free safety Xavier McKinney who play both over the top in zone coverage but has also been used to play man coverage in the slot.