Discover BCS Championship Game
Alabama vs Notre Dame (ESPN, Jan. 7, 8 p.m.)
In what one T-shirt I saw is calling Holy Rollers vs Mobile Homers, two of college football's most storied teams meet for the BCS Championship on Monday night. Both teams boast one of the strongest defenses in the country and will have at least one player each go in the first round. Alabama's offensive line is arguably the best in football, and depending on who declares for the draft, could have three of its linemen go in the first two days of the draft. Both teams have had great success producing high picks. Since taking over the Crimson Tide in 2007, head coach Nick Saban has had 14 players drafted in the first two rounds. In the same time, Charlie Weis and Brian Kelly have put nine Irish in the first two rounds.
Players to watch:
Manti Te'o, LB, Notre Dame, No. 5
After his outstanding 2012 campaign, Te'o (6-2255) has collected more hardware than Home Depot, winning the Lott Trophy, Nagurski Trophy, Butkus Award, Lombardi Award, Bednarik Award, Maxwell Award and Walter Camp Player of the Year. The 2012 AP All-American First Teamer is a thickly-built tackling machine, who has unbelievable instincts for where to be and how to get there. In 2012, he recorded his third-consecutive 100-tackle season (103) and had an incredible seven interceptions. The senior, who passed on the 2012 draft despite being a surefire first-round pick, willed the Irish defense to greatness. While Te'o is probably best suited inside, his speed should allow him to move outside in a 4-3 scheme in the NFL. If he's there at No. 4 overall for the Eagles, it will be a disappointment if he's not selected. These are the kind of players a franchise trying to rebuild its image do it with.
Te'o 2012 highlights
Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame, No. 80
The junior won the 2012 Mackey Award as the nation's top tight end after catching 44 passes for 624 and four scores. Eifert has the good size (6-5255) and hands NFL teams covet. His athletic ability allows him to make the tough catches, and his speed gets him separation over the middle. Eifert will need work on his blocking, as most college TEs do, but some team at the end of the first round -- Atlanta perhaps -- may grab him as teams look to emulate the Patriots' two-TE offense. If he somehow slips to the third pick in the second round, the Eagles could certainly be open to continuing to add talent to a severely diminished offense.
Eifert vs Stanford (2012)
Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama, No. 28
Assuming Milliner declares, the junior would be arguably the top cornerback prospect in the 2013 draft. Not the elite athlete recent Top-10 picks like Patrick Peterson and Morris Claiborne were, Milliner is a tough, instinctive corner who plays physical at the line, both against the pass and run. He doesn't have track speed, but he puts himself in good position to make plays on the ball. The Eagles are in obvious need of corner help, but I think the No. 4 pick is too soon for the talented Milliner. Look for Milliner to go somewhere between picks No. 6 and 11.
Milliner vs Michigan (2012)
Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama, No. 65
Warmack vs LSU (2012)
Others to Watch:
Braxston Cave, C, Notre Dame, No. 52
Barrett Jones, C, Alabama, No. 75
Robert Lester, S, Alabama, No. 37
Eddie Lacy, RB, Alabama, No. 42
Jared Sherman has been providing CSNPhilly.com with draft analysis since 2000. E-mail him at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @Phillyjared