Wow. What a game! Who saw a blowout coming. Clemson beat up Alabama 44-16 in the National title game. Clemson covering the spread? Yes, I could see that. Clemson winning outright? Yes, I could see that. But winning by 28? No way, but it happened. Anytime you get a blowout, it’s going to be difficult scout. Who would have thought Nick Saban would have been thoroughly out coached. Brent Venables schemed up pressures that fooled Alabama and Clemson converted every third down known to man kind.
A ton of the talent isn’t even draft eligible. Trevor Lawrence put up a show and won MVP of the game and is a true Freshman. Every NFL team will be foaming at the mouth to pick him number one overall in 2021. Most of this column will focus on Clemson because all of those guys should be rising on boards. I like to remain positive sometimes! Okay, here we go. Who’s 2019 NFL Draft stock climbed because of the National Championship game?
I have no idea where to even begin with Alabama. They were so bad that my brain hurts trying to navigate a pathway to grading their individual performance. In reality, it’s trying to project where members of the Clemson defense will fair in the NFL.
Without Dexter Lawrence in the middle, Alabama was able to run the ball with great success. It’s the only thing they did well. Bama ran for 137 yards. That part was not encouraging. I wish Lawrence would have played. I bet the Alabama run game wouldn’t have had nearly the same level of success.
I thought Christian Wilkins was by far the most productive along the offensive line. Wilkins’ passion is noticeable. Wiklins notched 4 pressures in the game despite being doubled on virtually every snap. I think Wilkins is truly worth a first round pick. He’s just an impact defensive lineman that commands attention. Wilkins affects that pass game and that’s valuable.
I’m not sure where Clelin Ferrell falls. He’s talented. No doubt. But, I’m not sure how great of a pure pass rusher he is. 0 sacks against Bama but 1.5 tackles for loss. I think this one is more difficult to evaluate. Is Ferrell another Kevin Dodd? Is Ferrell another Shaq Lawson? I’m not sure Ferrell is nearly as quick off the edge as a guy like Vic Beasley. This one is tough.
I’ll tell you who I really came away impressed with, Trayvon Mullen. 6-foot-2, long, and athletic. Mullen returned a pick 6 to the house. He plays great man coverage. Mullen recorded a sack and really just did everything. You could also add in A.J. Terrell who also had a great game in the secondary. Sure, they gave up some yards. Tua wasn’t going to be totally shut down but this group did a really nice job.
Maybe the best player on the defense was Isaiah Simmons. He’s a really interesting player who is a linebacker/safety hybrid. Coverage skills are off the charts and Simmons has great range leading the team in tackles. This guy is just a chess piece. Blitz, cover, drop in zone, whatever. It’s tough to gameplan against a guy like this because you have no idea what he is going to do on any play. I have no idea if he will declare or not but he’s an interesting prospect.