How canceled College Football games will affect the 2021 NFL Draft

Ja'Marr Chase, 2021 NFL Draft prospect (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Ja'Marr Chase, 2021 NFL Draft prospect (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) /
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2021 NFL Draft, Dylan Moses
2021 NFL Draft prospect, Dylan Moses (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

Alabama Crimson Tide versus USC Trojans

Where to even start with this game? While not a traditional rivalry like some inter-conference duos, this game already had a ton of hype heading into the 2020 season and was expected to be one of the most-watched games all season. The fact this matchup was originally scheduled to be played in “JerryWorld” (AT&T Stadium Arlington, Texas) shows that both teams expected this to be one of the premier games of the 2020 regular season.

Both the Crimson Tide and USC have a national profile and are two of the most popular teams in all of college football. As such, both teams losing a nationally-televised game like this will affect both the team’s bottom line and its player’s chances of being noticed early in the 2021 NFL Draft cycle.

On the Alabama side, this lost game will affect, well….a lot of players. Six of their players are on the latest PFF mock draft for next year and the team is looking to remind the College Football world why they are considered the greatest program in the country.

This game would have had a particular impact on Alabama freshman quarterback Bryce Young. The five-star quarterback recruit is considered the front-runner to be the starter on opening day. He threw 58 touchdowns last season in high school and is considered one of the best quarterbacks to have entered the FBS this offseason.

Where Young is originally from is of particular interest to many in the college football world. Originally from Santa Ana, California, Young grew up less than an hour away from where the USC Trojans play. Young choosing to play in Tuscaloosa, Alabama instead of at home has been a topic of conversation over the summer, as it is part of a wider trend of Pac-12 teams failing to successfully recruit in-state players to their programs.

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The allure of national recognition, which in turn brings more exposure to NFL scouts, is strong in the SEC, especially with the Alabama Crimson Tide. Losing this nationally-broadcasted game will affect many of the athletes on both teams who are gunning to be signed in the early rounds of the 2021 NFL Draft.