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Alabama vs. LSU: Power Ranking Top NFL Talent in SEC Showdown

Randy ChambersAnalyst IOctober 8, 2016

Alabama vs. LSU: Power Ranking Top NFL Talent in SEC Showdown

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    Whenever teams like Alabama and LSU square off, NFL draft scouts think Christmas has arrived a couple of months early. 

    Sure, the matchup between the Tigers and Crimson Tide means a lot as far as the BCS rankings are concerned. It will also play a huge factor in who comes out of the SEC West this season and who earns a trip to the SEC Championship Game. But this game features a ton of players that will be playing football at the next level for a few lucky NFL teams.

    A total of eight players were drafted in the first two rounds between these two teams in last year’s NFL draft, and it won't be surprising if that number is topped next year.

    Let's take a look at all of the players that are eligible for next season's draft and pick out some of the best players that will likely be taken in the first round.

Other Players Who Will Play on Sundays

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    Michael Williams, TE, Alabama

    Eric Reid, S, LSU

    Barrett Jones, OL, Alabama

    Kevin Minter, LB, LSU

    D.J. Fluker, OL, Alabama

    Alex Hurst, OL, LSU

    Jesse Williams, DT, Alabama

    Russell Shepard, WR, LSU

    Eddie Lacy, RB, Alabama

    Lavar Edwards, DE, LSU

    Nico Johnson, LB, Alabama

5. C.J. Mosley, LB, Alabama

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    2012 Stats: 65 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks and two interceptions

    Mosely is only 6'2", 232 pounds, so he certainly doesn't stack up in size as many of the Alabama linebackers before him. He also isn't a pure pass-rusher the way Courtney Upshaw was a season ago. However, he is ridiculous in pass-coverage and can pretty much stick with any tight end or inside receiver you want to put him on.

    Due to his versatility, Bleacher Report's Matt Miller absolutely loves the junior out of Theodore, AL.

    He won't be a Top 10 pick, but Alabama LB C.J. Mosley is the best pure LBer in this class. Love this kid.

    — Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) October 23, 2012

    Looks like Alabama has another solid linebacker that will make the NFL proud.

    Projection: First round

4. Chance Warmack, OL, Alabama

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    2012 Stats: Named SEC lineman of the week twice this year and part of a line that has allowed 17 sacks in eight games.

    Chance Warmack is a tough-nosed football player that moves his feet well. He is terrific in opening up running lanes, but also has the size to withstand bigger and more powerful defensive linemen. Would like to see him improve his pass protection a bit more, as he is coming from a team that heavily runs the football, but he is easily one of the better guards this draft has to offer.

    However, due to his height at 6'2", Warmack may be limited to the interior side of the offensive line at the next level. 

    You can jump on the Heisman train for Warmack here.

    Projection: First round

3. Sam Montgomery, DE, LSU

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    2012 Stats: 23 tackles, nine tackles for loss and four sacks

    Montgomery isn't the quickest pass-rusher this draft has to offer, but he can certainly hold his own when the ball is snapped, as he uses his hands well and has great power to bully the offensive lineman. He is very athletic, has a motor that never stops running and he has shown he can be a force in the running game—he has no problem disrupting plays in the backfield. 

    However, unless he bulks up his 6'5", 260-pound frame, he will likely be drafted to play the linebacker position at the next level.

    Projection: First round

2. Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama

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    2012 Stats: 26 tackles, two interceptions and 13 passes broken up

    Milliner has drawn some comparisons to former Alabama cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick due to his physical style of play. He is a bigger corner at 6'1", 200 pounds, who uses his size and long arms to help control the receiver. He's very physical at the line of scrimmage and isn’t somebody who takes many chances in coverage. Milliner isn't really an athletic player, but he is a tough corner, who has great cover awareness.

    He should be considered the top cornerback in this year’s draft class.

    Projection: First round

1. Barkevious Mingo, DE, LSU

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    2012 Stats: 23 tackles, four tackles for loss and three sacks

    True pass rushers simply don't grow on trees and the few NFL teams that were fortunate enough to get one, usually do whatever it takes to hold onto them. Mingo is the next top defensive end that will soon be harassing opposing quarterbacks at the next level. His combination of speed and athleticism is scary, as he simply blows by the poor offensive lineman trying to block him.

    Much like Montgomery, Mingo should continue to bulk up, but that is really one of the few complaints you can have with this guy heading into the draft. 

    Projection: First round

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