Alabama vs. Ohio State: Top 2021 NFL Draft prospects to watch

2021 NFL Draft prospect Justin Fields #1 of the Ohio State Buckeyes (Photo by Ken Ruinard-USA TODAY Sports)
2021 NFL Draft prospect Justin Fields #1 of the Ohio State Buckeyes (Photo by Ken Ruinard-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Patrick Surtain II, 2021 NFL Draft, Alabama
2021 NFL Draft prospect Patrick Surtain II #2 of the Alabama Crimson Tide (Photo by Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports) /

Dylan Moses, LB, Alabama

Entering the 2019 season, Alabama linebacker Dylan Moses had it all. He was returning to the Crimson Tide as one of the premier defensive players in the nation and seemed to have future first-round pick written all over him. However, a torn ACL suffered in the pre-season set Moses back as he missed the entire 2019 season and he returned to college for another year.

Moses has been solid for Alabama this season, earning third-team All-American and first-team All-SEC honors. However, if we are being honest, those honors appear to be primarily based on name recognition. Moses is still a good football player but he does not look like the player that he once was.

Moses still seems unsure of his knee, seeming hesitant to really explode into the box and attack the ball carrier. While he is still a tough and dependable linebacker, Moses has certainly lost some of the speed and athleticism that made him such a weapon in the middle of the field. He is now extremely unlikely to be a first-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft but Moses undoubtedly has a chance to boost his stock in this game.

This Ohio State offense is fast and explosive, and also tough and physical in the middle of the field. Many of these players will present tough matchups for Moses on Monday night and I am extremely interested to see how he holds up against the Buckeyes against the run and the pass.

Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama

Alabama’s Patrick Surtain II is undoubtedly one of the best cornerbacks in the 2021 NFL Draft class. Surtain is an extremely smart and dependable player on the outside who shines in both man and zone coverage. He always seems to be in great position and displays fantastic natural ball skills at the cornerback position.

While Surtain does a great job of making the most out of his abilities, he is not the most exciting athlete at the cornerback position. Surtain is commonly considered one of the two best cornerbacks in the 2021 NFL Draft, fighting with Virginia Tech’s Caleb Farley for the top spot. Farley is the prospect who shows an impressive combination of size and athleticism, while Surtain wins with great technique and incredible on-field awareness.

In this game, Surtain will likely see many snaps against Ohio State wide receiver Chris Olave. Olave was fantastic on the outside against Clemson and was a major reason why the Buckeyes were able to come away with a win. Surtain will primarily be responsible for shutting down Olave. If he is successful, it will go a long way towards boosting his 2021 NFL draft stock.