FSU vs. Auburn: NFL Draft Prospects That Helped Their Stock in BCS Title Game

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FSU vs. Auburn: NFL Draft Prospects That Helped Their Stock in BCS Title Game
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Spor

The Florida State Seminoles won the BCS National Championship, but there were players on both teams who helped boost their NFL draft stock heading into May.

Despite a 21-3 lead in the second quarter, the Auburn Tigers were unable to pull out the win, losing 34-31 to the Seminoles.  Jameis Winston led Florida State down the field for a game-winning touchdown with just 13 seconds remaining, helping him earn MVP honors for the game.

But Winston won't be able to declare for the NFL draft this year, so let's take a look at a few players who can and who had great games that helped move them up draft boards across the country.

 

Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

One of the fastest-rising prospects in the country, Auburn's Greg Robinson helped himself even more in this game, making solid plays in both the running and passing game. 

Robinson was solid throughout and was rarely beat.  But his best play of the game came on a screen pass from Nick Marshall to Tre Mason.  If you watch the play below, you see Robinson (No. 73) make a critical block in the second level to help Mason get into the end zone.

At 6'5'' and 320 pounds, Robinson is a big boy on the offensive line.  While that size helps him in the trenches, it's his footwork that makes him a top-tier prospect, as he's capable of sticking to his man regardless of the play called.

With another big game, Robinson is quickly looking like an early first-round pick.

 

Timmy Jernigan, DT, Florida State

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

He may have been worn down by the end of the night, but Timmy Jernigan showed just how disruptive he can be against elite competition, and that will go a long way in the eyes of NFL scouts.

Bleacher Report's own Matt Miller gave his thoughts on Jernigan during the game, and he had a lot of positive things to say about the junior defensive tackle.

For as big as he is, Jernigan is a surprisingly quick player on the line.  He does a good job using his hands and feet to create separation and clog up rushing lanes while also using his size and strength to push offensive linemen back on their heels.  He's not the most explosive player off the snap, but his range makes up for it, at least at the college level.

A big game like this bodes well for Jernigan, as now teams will likely be looking at him early in the second round.

 

Tre Mason, RB, Auburn

After scoring the go-ahead 37-yard touchdown with just 1:19 remaining in the game, it looked like Mason had given the Tigers the national title.  But it wasn't to be after the Seminoles were able to drive down the field and grab the game-winning score.

That shouldn't take away from an incredible game form Mason.  He finished with 195 rushing yards on 34 carries along with two total touchdowns.  He was able to finish the season with 1,816 rushing yards and 24 total touchdowns while averaging an impressive 5.7 yards per carry.

He's only 5'10'', but Mason is arguably one of the best running back prospects available.  Mason makes up for his lack of size with some very impressive lower-body strength, which he uses to keep his legs turning and keep going for extra yards.  

Mason's vision and explosiveness at the line of scrimmage reminds me a lot of how Eddie Lacy runs for the Green Bay Packers, although he's clearly not as big.  Still, that's a big compliment for the young running back.  He's not the fastest guy on the field, but he can find a hole and use his legs to pick up yards in bunches.

This game only proved to me further that Mason is the real deal, and he should be one of the first running backs taken, going somewhere in the third round.

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