All-Star College Football Roster That Could Contend vs. NFL's Worst Teams
A few weeks ago, South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier mentioned that he thought Alabama could contend with the worst teams in the NFL.
While that is a little far-fetched, there is no question that there are some talented players at the collegiate level who are NFL-ready.
We all know a college team could not contend with even the worst NFL roster. But what about a group of collegiate all-stars? Vegas had Alabama as a 24-point underdog against the worst teams in the NFL. What would Vegas say about a team of collegiate all-stars?
Here is a full roster of the best the college football world has to offer. Now, would this roster be able to contend with the Kansas City Chiefs or the Jacksonville Jaguars?
Let the debate begin.
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Starter: Matt Barkley
Backups: Collin Klein, Geno Smith, Johnny Manziel
This position was one of the toughest to decide, as some talented players had to be left off.
We went with four quarterbacks on the 53-man roster, because if this group went up against an NFL team, it might need all four.
Barkley gets the slight edge as the starter because of his experience. Geno Smith is also an excellent passer.
Manziel and Klein bring an added running dimension and could be used in the Wildcat offense.
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Starter: Kenjon Barner
Backups: Giovani Bernard, Montee Ball, D'Anthony Thomas, Le'Veon Bell
The college level has plenty of talented running backs, and any of these could get the start.
Once again, this group would be rotated through on a relatively consistent basis for freshness and durability. There is everything here from the breakaway speed of Thomas to the pounding rushing attacks of Bell and Ball.
Bernard, on the other hand, may be the most talented of the bunch alongside Barner.
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Starters: Marqise Lee, Terrance Williams, Cobi Hamilton
Backups: Robert Woods, Keenan Allen, Tavon Austin, Justin Hunter
There is no question that perhaps the most NFL-ready player at the college level is Marqise Lee. He is a dynamic receiver and could likely start in the NFL right now.
A number of players could fall into the other two starting slots, as the depth is there, but nobody really stands out.
Williams and Hamilton might be the two most explosive, and Austin will bring an added dimension to the special teams with his return ability.
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Starter: Tyler Eifert
Backups: Zach Ertz, Jake Stoneburner
Without question, Eifert is the best tight end in the country, but there there is a definite drop-off after that.
Ertz and Stoneburner are adequate, but do not at the moment have the ability to compete against any type of NFL talent.
Still, they are the best of the bunch. Even though this is one of the weakest groups on the roster, Eifert certainly brings it up a notch.
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Starters: Tackles—Luke Joeckel and Taylor Lewan; Guards—Chance Warmack and Johnathan Cooper; Center—Barrett Jones
Backups: Tackles—Eric Fisher and D.J. Fluker; Guard—Dallas Thomas; Center—Khaled Holmes
This group is large and very talented. They could be the best unit on the roster and have plenty of NFL-ready players right now.
Joeckel and Lewan are large human beings and might be able to start in the pros today. Jones is the most versatile lineman in the country and can play all five positions.
The guards are physical, and the depth is as good as any position on the field.
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Starters: Ends—Bjoern Werner and Sam Montgomery; Tackles—Johnathan Hankins and Star Lotulelei
Backups: Ends—Dion Jordan and Damontre Moore; Tackles—Shariff Floyd, John Jenkins and Kawann Short
This is another strength of the team, as the best position just might be defensive tackle. Hankins is a consensus top-five pick in the 2013 NFL draft, and he is only a junior. Lotulelei is also a stud in the middle.
Montgomery and Werner can get to the passer like few others, and the depth here is excellent, particularly at DT.
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Starters: Manti Te'o, Barkevious Mingo and Jarvis Jones
Backups: Arthur Brown, Chase Thomas and C.J. Mosley
This group is extremely talented when it comes to the starters. After that, things get a little dicey, as the depth is, without question, the worst of any position on the roster.
Te'o is a monster, and Mingo will likely slide to outside linebacker in the NFL. Jones is also a handful. All three of these players could be starting in the NFL today.
After that, the backups leave a little bit to be desired. It would be better to keep the three starters in at all times.
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Starters: Cornerback—David Amerson, Dee Milliner; Free Safety—Eric Reid; Strong Safety—Shawn Williams
Backups: Cornerback—Johnathan Banks, Bradley Roby; Free Safety—Kenny Vaccaro; Strong Safety—Matt Elam
There is first-round talent throughout the secondary. Reid is as gifted a safety as there is in the entire country, and both cornerbacks are first-round talents.
With the exception of Reid, the safety position might be a problem when it comes to depth.
We all know how hard it is to transition from college to the NFL, particularly at the cornerback position, so this could be a major weakness on the all-star roster.
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Kicker: Cairo Santos
Punter: Ryan Allen
Specialists: Tavon Austin, De'Athony Thomas
While Austin and Thomas are on the roster because they are very talented offensively, the main reason both of these players were selected is for special teams.
Who would be able to stop this duo returning both kicks and punts?
Santos is a little-known kicker from Tulane who has not missed a field goal all year and is 11-for-11 from 40 yards and beyond.
Allen is also from a small school in Louisiana Tech. Even though he does not get to punt often because of the high-flying Bulldogs offense, he is averaging more than 48 yards on 32 punts this season.
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While the 53-man roster has been detailed in the preceding slides, like any other NFL roster, the college all-stars will also get an eight-man practice squad. You know, just in case somebody goes down. Here is that eight-man roster:
Quarterback: Braxton Miller
Running Back: Andre Ellington
Offensive Tackle: Jake Matthews
Offensive Guard: Larry Warford
Defensive End: Sheldon Richardson
Defensive Tackle: Sylvester Williams
Cornerback: Leon McFadden
Free Safety: T.J. McDonald