Draft Takeaways From the College Football Playoff National Championship Game

The 33rd Team’s Mike Tannenbaum was at Monday night’s national championship game between Alabama and Ohio State and came away with a few NFL draft-related takeaways:

“When the national championship game began, the big question for Joe Douglas and the New York Jets personnel department was, ‘Is Justin Fields better than Sam Darnold?’ Could the Ohio State quarterback show that he was worthy of the second overall pick in the draft? After Alabama’s 52-24 domination, now there is a new question is, ‘Should DeVonta Smith be the second pick in the draft?’

“And he very well might be.”

Other observations from Tannenbaum:

  • Alabama RB Najee Harris has great lateral quickness and rarely goes down on first contact. He can pass protect, has great hands, has all the skills to be an NFL back.
  • Fields flashed his ability, but you could tell he wasn’t 100%. The TE seam was an NFL throw, and he really made some good plays.
  • Ohio State CB Shaun Wade was inconsistent; he made some good tackles but missed some and he has taken a step back from where he was a year ago.

Here’s an overview of 10 NFL draft prospects from each team, with a few more notes from Monday night’s game:


Justin Fields, QB

Projection: First round, No. 2 overall pick

Made some great throws early, but he did not have as good a game as he did against Clemson

He looked a little flustered from some of the pressure that was thrown at him by Bama’s defense

Shaun Wade, CB

6-1, 195

Projection: Day 2

Got beat bad by the Devonta Smith

Has been exposed in man coverage the last two games

Chris Olave, WR

6-1, 188

Projection: Second round

Was held in check by Patrick Surtain. Had 2 catches for 23 yards until the Buckeyes were down 45-24

Ended the game 8 for 69 and no scores

Wyatt Davis, OL

6-4, 315

Projection: Day 2

Injured, needed to be walked off the field without putting weight on his leg

Trey Sermon, RB

6-1, 215

Projection: Day 2 or 3

Stood to have the biggest payday with a big game, but sadly was injured early in the game (possible collar bone injury) and taken to the hospital during the game

Josh Myers, C

6-5, 312

Projection: Day 2 or 3

Very athletic center

Possesses good mobility and is a strong athlete. Has a few really impressive pulls where he shows good athleticism when he gets out in front of the runner. Good ability to get to the second level (very comfortable pulling). Good athlete at the center position. He is on the larger side for the center position.

Jonathan Cooper, DE

6-4, 257

Projection: Day 2 or 3

Thayer Munford, OL

6-6, 315

Projection: Day 3

Haskell Garrett, DT

6-2, 299

Projection: Day 3

Baron Browning, LB

6-3, 240

Projection: Day 3

Looked good as a pass-rusher early, as he had a strip sack and a fumble recovery on Mac Jones – it was Jones’ first fumble this season


Mac Jones, QB

6-3, 214

Projection: First round, No. 4-rated QB

Showed a great ability to go through his reads Monday night

Showed good control of the offense and continues to show he is comfortable taking what the defense gives him when needed — specifically on check downs

Has also shown off an ability to scramble out of the pocket — something he hasn’t done a lot this season

Finished 36 of 45, 464 yards, 5 TDs, no INTs

DeVonta Smith, WR


Projection: First round

Was ranked to be the second or third WR drafted before this game, but could potentially propel himself to be the top WR, and maybe even a top 5 pick. Former Jets GM Mike Tannenbaum thinks it is not out of the questuion the Jets could take him at No. 2.

Left game in third quarter with hand injury (returned at the end of the game with a cast/wrap over his pointer and middle finger)

Broke CFP records for receptions and receiving TDs in the first half

Finished with 12 receptions, 215 yards, 3 TDs

Jaylen Waddle, WR

5-10, 182

Projection: First round

Probably wasn’t ready to play in this game, as he had a noticeable limp

Caught a ball at the beginning of the game, and it was clear he was not ready

Patrick Surtain, CB

6-2, 202

Projection: First round

Playing mostly on Olave in the first half, kept him shut down; almost let up a TD because he had his hips turned, causing him to lose a step, but other than that he played really well.

Olave was not able to beat him deep like he did against the Clemson corners

Alexander Leatherwood, OL

6-6, 312

Projection: First/Second round

Najee Harris, RB

6-2, 230

Projection: Day 2

Was effective on the ground and catching passes. Has shown great ability to turn nothing into positive yardage and moderate gains into touchdowns

Ran through contact very well

Finished with 22 carries, 79 yards (3.6 avg), 2 TDs, and 7 receptions, 79 yards (11.3 avg), 1 TD

Christian Barmore, DL

6-5, 310

Projection: Day 2

Was been dominant and disruptive in both pass and run game. Had significant penetration and made tackles on ball carrier.

With 1:02 left in third quarter, made a huge play on fourth down to stop a run

Was the best defensive player on the field Monday night

Dylan Moses, LB

6-3, 240

Projection: Day 2

Landon Dickerson, OL

6-6, 325

Projection: Day 3

Deonte Brown, OL

6-4, 350

Projection: Day 3

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