For the final time this season, some of the NFL's top prospects will get the chance to display their talent when LSU and Clemson face off in Monday's College Football Playoff championship.
LSU's QB Joe Burrow, the 2019 Heisman Trophy winner, is expected to be the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. But there are several other prospects worth keeping an eye on. You can see our latest mock draft here.
Here are eight players to keep an eye on Monday night.
Isaiah Simmons, LB/Safety, Clemson
Isaiah Simmons is the ultimate chess piece on defense. He can play linebacker, cover the slot, and play single-high free safety. He can literally do anything you ask of him and do it really well. He made a beautiful interception that displayed his range in the semifinals from his free safety position against Ohio State that really helped turn the game. Simmons will be a pro bowler at linebacker or safety in the NFL, maybe as soon as his rookie year.
Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson
Tee Higgins didn’t have the big game some were expecting in the semifinals due to injury, but look for him to rebound Monday vs. LSU. I’m excited to see what he does against the LSU secondary that is stacked with future NFL talent. Higgins is tremendous at back shoulder and jump ball throws. He’s a stellar red zone threat, indicative of his 25 touchdowns the last two years. I really like his potential, he’ll be a tough cover in the league.
Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson
There’s a wide range of opinions on Etienne’s role in the NFL right now. Some think he’s a complementary back while others think he’s a lead dog. I think he’s a top-five running back in this class. He’s had back-to-back years of at least 1,500 yards rushing to go along with 48 total TDs. All Etienne does is make plays, evident of his two long receiving touchdownsagainst Ohio State in the semifinals, that really propelled Clemson to victory.
A.J. Terrell, CB, Clemson
A.J. Terrell isn’t considered a top cornerback prospect in this class, but I think he’s being slept on a little. He’s more of a Day 2 prospect, but I really like his man coverage ability. Terrell has a knack for the moment like his pick-six on the opening drive of last year’s National Championship vs. Alabama. If he gets to round three, I think a team will be getting a steal.
Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU
Jefferson has exploded onto the national scene this year with over 100 receptions, 1,400 receiving yards, and 18 touchdowns. You probably remember his name from the CFP semis against Oklahoma when he had a 14 reception, 227-yard, four-touchdown performance. Some players don’t get those numbers in half a season, and Jefferson did it one game! He has all the talent to be a first-rounder, but with a loaded WR class he could be pushed to the second round. Look for him to be a big-time player Monday night and on Sundays this upcoming fall.
K’Lavon Chaisson, EDGE, LSU
Chaisson had a really nice semifinal performance providing constant pressure and coming away with two sacks versus Oklahoma. Chaisson would be mentioned more with guys like Chase Young, A.J. Epenesa, and Curtis Weaver if he had been on the field more. He missed all of 2018 with a torn ACL. He has an unreal upside due to his quick first step. A good CFP Championship performance will really help his stock.
Grant Delpit, Safety, LSU
Grant Delpit is my top-ranked safety in this class. He has had a “down” year by some standards, but still won the Jim Thorpe Award, given to the nation’s top defensive back. Safeties aren’t normally drafted high, but I think Delpit warrants a top-15 selection. Delpit can play single-high safety and in the slot, but really excels against the run. I could see him dropping a little in the first because he doesn’t play a premium position. Although, I think that would be a mistake, because he’s a Jamal Adams type of player at the next level.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RB, LSU
Clyde Edwards-Helaire was nursing a hamstring injury so he played a very limited role in the semifinals against Oklahoma. However, I think LSU will need him Monday going against a tougher opponent in Clemson. If you saw LSU vs. Alabama earlier this year you could see what type of impact Edwards-Helaire can have on a game. He averaged over six yards a carry and scored 16 touchdowns this year. He reminds me of former Buccaneers running back Doug Martin and should be a Day 2 pick in April.
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