Alabama vs. Georgia: Underrated Prospects in CFP Championship 2018

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistJanuary 3, 2018

PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 01:  Lorenzo Carter #7 of the Georgia Bulldogs celebrates after blocking the field goal attempt from Austin Seibert #43 of the Oklahoma Sooners in the 2018 College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Rose Bowl Game presented by Northwestern Mutual at the Rose Bowl on January 1, 2018 in Pasadena, California.  (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

The term "underrated" is rarely associated with anyone on the Alabama and Georgia football rosters. 

When the Crimson Tide and Bulldogs square off in the College Football Playoff National Championship Game on Monday, Mercedes-Benz Stadium will be filled with NFL prospects. 

Georgia running backs Nick Chubb and Sony Michel and Alabama safety Minkah Fitzpatrick are among the top prospects participating, but they are far from the only ones about to receive a nice payday at the next level. 

Below is a look at a few players that have the opportunity to make as big an impact in the NFL as those three but may not be on everyone's radar yet. 

         

Ronnie Harrison, S, Alabama

Everyone knows about the one safety patrolling the Alabama secondary, but there's another player at that position that could join Fitzpatrick as a high pick in the NFL draft. 

Ronnie Harrison is one of the toughest defenders in college football, and he's got the size that NFL teams want as he stands at 6'3" and 214 pounds.

The junior safety has been recognized by his coaches as a top leader on the field. While they appreciate his physical skill set, they believe his intangibles are what's making him stand out more. 

Brynn Anderson/Associated Press

Alabama secondary coach Derrick Ansley said, per Duane Rankin of the Montgomery Advertiser: 

"The stability and the calm and the poise he brings to the secondary is probably the most important thing outside of his physical attributes. We all know he can run. We all know he can hit. We all know he can play the ball. He can tackle. Those are things that he's blessed with, but the intangibles are what kind of keeps the glue together back there."

Harrison leads the Crimson Tide in tackles with 70 and he's picked off three passes. His best statistical game of the season came against Arkansas on October 14, when he totaled 10 tackles. 

The safety will look to put his physical prowess on display one more time in the national championship game as he looks to give Georgia's receivers no room to work with. 

        

Lorenzo Carter, LB, Georgia 

Lorenzo Carter is in the same boat as Harrison when it comes to attention given to him. The Georgia senior linebacker is one heck of a player, but he can be overshadowed by Roquan Smith, who finished 10th in Heisman Trophy voting. 

Carter was an absolute menace to Oklahoma in the Rose Bowl as he recorded 10 tackles and blocked a field goal in double overtime that set up Michel's game-winning touchdown. 

PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 01:  Linebacker Lorenzo Carter #7 of the Georgia Bulldogs  celebrates with a fan after winning the 2018 College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Rose Bowl Game presented by Northwestern Mutual against the Oklahoma Sooners 54-48 at
Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

When NFL teams look at the 6'6", 243-pound linebacker, they'll use the tape from the Sooners game as an indication of what Carter can bring to the field in his rookie season. 

Carter can wreak havoc on opposing offensive lines due to his length, which is an asset that will turn heads during the evaluation process. 

It's hard to think of Carter having a bigger impact in the title game than he did in the Rose Bowl, but that will be the goal for the senior who will try to deliver the Bulldogs a title in his final collegiate game. 

        

Anthony Averett, CB, Alabama

One of the hottest commodities at the draft could be members of the Alabama secondary.

Cornerback Anthony Averett doesn't find his name in the press often because of the terrific safeties that play alongside him, but he's got the skill set to be an impact player in the NFL as well. 

The senior, who excels in zone coverage, might have a chance to shine in the national championship if the line of scrimmage becomes clogged due to the pressure delivered by the Crimson Tide front seven. 

NASHVILLE, TN - SEPTEMBER 23: Anthony Averett #28 of the Alabama Crimson Tide in action during a game against the Vanderbilt Commodores at Vanderbilt Stadium on September 23, 2017 in Nashville, Tennessee. Alabama won 59-0. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Imag
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Averett is one of three players in the Alabama secondary that has seven passes defended; Fitzpatrick and Levi Wallace are the other two. The senior defensive back also has an interception and 42 tackles. 

If Georgia is forced to air it out Monday, it might not complete a ton of passes with Averett and Wallace locking up their top receivers.

Averett doesn't have to come up with a turnover to make an impact, and if he can silence the production of Javon Wims and Terry Godwin, NFL scouts will take notice. 

        

Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.

All statistics obtained from ESPN.com and Sports Reference.

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