National Championship Game Primer: Alabama O vs LSU Defense

This one is for all the marbles..unless Alabama wins then who knows?

Tomorrow the “National Championship Game” will occur between the Alabama Crimson Tide and LSU Tigers. I don’t have a big of an issue with the game as many people do, but clearly if Alabama wins there will be a lot of dissension among college football voters, some even acknowledging that they won’t vote for Alabama to be National Champions even if they win the game. As a side note: if people hated the idea of having these two be in the title game they could have done something about it in the polls, I  may be wrong but I thought Oklahoma State might have been number  two in the computers it was the human polls that put Alabama back in the game.

Anyway, with all that being written, it’s clear that there are bevy of draft prospects that will be drafted from both teams. Between the two starting defenses (22 players) there may be as many as 20 draft-able prospects over the next two or three drafts, which is borderline insane.

The best linemen prospects in this game, however, are all redshirt sophomores so it will be interesting to see how many, if any, declare for the 2012 nfl draft.

To start things off we’ll talk about the LSU defensive line vs the Alabama offensive line and we’ll have many more of these types of previews over today and tomorrow.

NFL mocks is all about draftable prospects so let’s start there.

The Alabama Crimson Tide have two linemen who will receive grades between the first and second round in this draft if they decide to come out though there are whispers/reports that neither one will.

The first is versatile offensive linemen Barrett Jones (scouting report). The last time Alabama and LSU played Jones got injured early (but still played) before that though Jones shows better than anticipated athleticism against arguably the best defensive line in the country. Jones is a player who has been asked to play all along the line and has done well wherever he’s played (except he hasn’t played center). Jones is quicker than he often gets credit for, who really does a good job of getting to the second level to make blocks in space. At 6’5 311 pounds he doesn’t have ideal size and his arm length could be criticized a bit, but a really solid player.

On the other side is the talented redshirt sophomore D.J. Fluker. Fluker has great size at 6’6 335 pounds and really plus athletic ability, he’ll be in the conversation as a first round pick if he decides to wait until next year.

In the middle of the Crimson Tide line is one of the best centers in the class in Will Vlachos (scouting report). Vlacho is smart and will do a great job on Sundays making all of the calls along the offensive line. He’s really short for an OL at 6’1, which is less of a problem for centers and isn’t a great athlete. He is however, gritty and strong. He’s hard to move off his space, but he can be taken advantage of by longer defensive linemen.

On LSU there are a tremendous trio of redshirt sophomores who could all be first round picks next year (they are that good). The first is DT Michael Brockers. Brockers is the redshirt sophomore I think is most NFL ready, even though he has things to improve on too. He’s really long and lean and could even add more weight to is 6’6 306 pound frame. Brockers can play in the N.F.L. right now as a run stopper, though he has a ways to go as a pass rusher. Plays with great functional strength.

Barkevious Mingo (video  of him)

Mingo has a name that sounds like it came straight from J. K. Rowlin’s Harry Potter, and you could say you can see his magic on the field. Mingo is a terrific athlete who is long, lean and fluid. At 6’5 240 pounds, he doesn’t yet have the size to play defensive end at the N.F.L. level, but if he decides to declare for the 2012 N.F.L. draft could easily work himself into the first round discussion with his physical abilities and a down pass rusher class. But he has the speed and natural pass rush abilities to likely be one of our top 15 prospects heading into the 2013 N.F.l. draft.He will often be up against D.J. Fluker

Sam Montgomery (draft breakdown video of him)

If you manage to stop Brocker and Mingo then you still have to contend with LSU most statistically productive pass rusher Sam Montgomery. This year Montgomery has 9 sacks. Listed at 6’4 245 pounds, he’s another guy who doesn’t yet have the bulk to play down every play as a 43 defensive end. But is another guy who has tremendous speed and hustle. He’s also done a good job of playing with leverage.He will draw Barret Jones tomorrow.

Bennie Logan DT

Just when you thought LSU had enough talented sophomores who could end up being first round picks they throw another one at you. You begin to see why they are the #1 team in the Nation. Logan is 6’3 287 pounds. He’s also a redshirt sophomore and draft eligible this year.


There you have it folks if you’re looking for linemen in 2012 (or sounds like maybe 2013) this is the game for you. Alabama’s offensive linemen are talented and among the best in the country while on the other side of the ball LSU’s defensive linemen (projected 34 OLB) are extremely talented. I don’t see any scenario in which Vlachos ends up in the first round, but the other six linemen could all eventually be drafted in the first round of the 2012 or 2013 N.F.l. draft.


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Tags: Alabama Crimson Tide Barrett Jones BCS LSU Tigers National Championship Game Sam Montgomery

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