2013 NFL Draft Projections for Key Players in BCS National Championship Game

Chris TrapassoAnalyst IJanuary 7, 2013

2013 NFL Draft Projections for Key Players in BCS National Championship Game

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    As you get ready to watch the BCS National Championship Game between Alabama and Notre Dame, make sure you know all the 2013 NFL Draft prospects who'll take the field in Miami. 

    As usual, Alabama is loaded with top prospects on defense and has a stellar grouping of offensive linemen. 

    But Notre Dame didn't make it to the title game with a bunch of scrubs, either. Manti Te'o leads a Fighting Irish team with its fair share of NFL prospects as well. 

    Let's check them out. 

Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama

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    Dee Milliner is the consensus top corner in the 2013 draft class. At 6'1'' and 200 pounds, he has more than ideal size to play the outside corner spot, and he has been a staple of consistency for the Crimson Tide his entire career. 

    While he isn't the flashiest play-making corner to recently come out of the SEC, his steadiness and polish will get him picked early on draft day. 

    Projection: Top 15 pick

Jesse Williams, NT, Alabama

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    Jesse Williams, much like Milliner, isn't the trendiest name heading into the National Title Game. 

    However, you'll hear a lot about him during the pre-draft process, especially for teams looking to add a run-plugging 3-4 nose tackle. 

    Check this tweet from NFL.com's Daniel Jeremiah:

    Watching Bama tape. NT Jessie Williams is excellent vs the run. Powerful at the point of attack and sneaky quickness to make plays.

    — Daniel Jeremiah (@MoveTheSticks) January 7, 2013

    Williams' game is solid all around. 

    Projection: Top 15 pick

Nico Johnson, LB, Alabama

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    Nico Johnson is Mosley's linebacker mate and may actually be better suited to play middle linebacker at the next level. 

    At 6'2'' and 245 pounds, Johnson is a bit bigger than Mosley, but he possesses a similar albeit not as eye-popping blend of speed, instinctive play and power.

    Also, he's not as impressive in coverage. 

    Still, Johnson is a safe prospect with upside. 

    Projection: Round 3 pick

Eddie Lacy, RB

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    Although he's not nearly as hyped as Trent Richardson was, Eddie Lacy is another Alabama runner that'll be taking carries from an NFL starting quarterback next season. 

    At 6'1'' and 220 pounds, he's a between-the-tackles bruiser, but he has deceptive quickness and can make defenders miss in the open field if needed. 

    Projection: Round 2 pick

Adrian Hubbard, OLB, Alabama

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    Adrian Hubbard is a redshirt sophomore, so there's a chance he returns for his junior season. 

    At 6'5'' and 250 pounds, he has prototypical size as a blitzing outside linebacker. 

    He showed he belonged in the talented SEC with six sacks and 10 tackles for loss in 2012. 

    Projection: Top 60 pick

Robert Lester, S, Alabama

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    Robert Lester has essentially become the second coming of Mark Barron, although his game isn't as well-rounded as Barron's. 

    At 6'2'' and around 210 pounds, he has good build for a strong safety at the NFL level. 

    He had four picks in 2012 and 14 in his Crimson Tide career. 

    Another sound draft prospect from the Alabama program. 

    Projection: Round 2 pick

Barrett Jones, C/G, Alabama

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    Barrett Jones is the most versatile and technically savvy interior lineman in the 2013 class. 

    He is Alabama's center—basically the offensive line's quarterback—but he could slide over to either one of the guard spots in the NFL. 

    There really isn't anything wrong with his game, but he's not a sure-fire All-Pro. 

    Projection: Top 40 pick

D.J. Fluker, G/T, Alabama

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    D.J. Fluker is a mammoth human being, standing 6'6'' and weighing nearly 340 pounds. He is a decent pass-blocker, but thrives as a road-grader for the run. 

    There's a chance his NFL team will like him better as a Carl Nicks-esque guard. 

    Projection: Early Round 2 pick

Chance Warmack, G, Alabama

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    Based on his size (6'2'', 320 pounds), inherent athletic ability and sheer power, Chance Warmack is the best NFL prospect on college football's best offensive line. 

    He's punishing at the point of attack, has solid fundamentals and moves very well. 

    Recently, we've seen interior linemen like Mike Pouncey and David DeCastro go relatively early in the draft, and Warmack is the next candidate to be taken in Round 1. 

    Projection: Top 20 pick

Manti Te'o, MLB, Notre Dame

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    Manti Te'o has been the nation's most publicized defensive player and frankly, he has deserved the notoriety. 

    After failing to intercept a pass in his first three seasons at Notre Dame, he reeled in seven picks along with 103 tackles for the Fighting Irish this year. 

    There isn't a middle linebacker who's more NFL-ready than this native of Hawai'i, and at 6'2'' and 255 pounds, he's not easily blocked or overpowered by offensive linemen. 

    Projection: Top 15 pick

Zeke Motta, S, Notre Dame

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    Zeke Motta is the second-best NFL prospect on Notre Dame's roster behind Te'o. 

    He is eerily similar to Harrison Smith, a safety who performed admirably for the Minnesota Vikings in his rookie campaign.

    Though many will say he has a "high motor", Motta boasts great athleticism, speed and range. 

    Projection: Round 2 pick

Bennett Jackson, CB, Notre Dame

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    Bennett Jackson has been Notre Dame's most reliable cornerback in 2012, and at 6'0'' and 190 pounds, he'll get looks from many NFL teams. 

    He has good catch-up speed and fine ball skills due to his switch from the wide receiver position, but Jackson still needs to learn more about his new defensive position.

    The junior had 61 tackles and four interceptions this year. 

    Projection: Round 4 pick

Braxston Cave, OL, Notre Dame

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    Braxston Cave is Notre Dame's Barrett Jones—the offensive line orchestrator. 

    At 6'3'' and a shade above 300 pounds, he isn't majorly imposing, but he has a high football IQ and excels against finesse defensive linemen while struggling against bigger nose tackles. 

    Projection: Round 5 pick

Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame

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    The 6'6'' Tyler Eifert is the best red-zone threat in the 2013 draft class. 

    His size, jumping ability, and monstrous hands make him an ideal fade target. Though his route-running could use some refinement, you can't coach many of the aspects that make this Notre Dame tight end an intriguing prospect. 

    Projection: Late Round 1 pick 

Theo Riddick, RB, Notre Dame

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    Theo Riddick isn't a first-round prospect, but with the way NFL teams are avoiding running backs until the middle to late rounds, he could make a contribution in his first year at the professional ranks in 2013. 

    At 5'11'' and 200 pounds, Riddick isn't a bruiser, but his short-yardage burst and supreme shiftiness will entice a few head coaches. 

    Projection: Round 4 pick