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National Championship Game Preview: 10 best NFL Draft prospects to watch

An eye on college football’s biggest matchup.

Playoff Semifinal at the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic - Cincinnati v Alabama Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

The College Football Playoff National Championship is tonight. Alabama and Georgia will be facing off for the second time this season in what should be an exciting showdown. Of course, this matchup would not be possible without the efforts of both team’s NFL Draft prospects. Here are the 10 best pro-bound players in the game.

10. Jahleel Billingsley, Tight End, Alabama: While production has yet to come for the talented tight end, there is no doubt Jahleel Billingsley has the ability to go off at any moment. The 6’4”, 230 pound senior is a wide receiver in a tight ends body given his speed, route running, and catching radius. With John Metchie out of the lineup, expect Billingsley to be far more involved on offense.

9. Jamaree Salyer, Offensive Tackle, Georgia: The senior right tackle has been a constant on the UGA line for a long time now. At 6’4” and 325, Salyer has great size for the position and uses it well to bully defensive lineman. Alabama has quite a group of defenders in their trenches, so Salyer will need to be at his best to keep them at bay.

8. Travon Walker, Defensive Lineman, Georgia: Travon Walker is a bit of a tweener on the Georgia defense. At 275, Walker spends most of his time playing inside where he takes advantage of the attention Jordan Davis gets to wreak havoc as a pass rusher. Walker is quick with a high motor and will need to turn the heat on against Alabama’s high flying offense.

7. Jordan Battle, Safety, Alabama: Alabama always has a do it all safety in their defensive backfield and Jordan Battle is the leader of that group this year. Battle is a versatile, intelligent defensive quarterback. Georgia’s offense features some playmakers in the running and passing game, so Battle’s game will be tested in all facets.

6. Derion Kendrick, Cornerback, Georgia: After starring at Clemson, Derion Kendrick transferred to UGA and immediately became one of their top players. Kendrick is a technically sound, physical cornerback who excels as a man-coverage cornerback. Kendrick struggled in his last outing against Alabama, and could have some redemption for his final game at the college level.

5. Christian Harris, Linebacker, Alabama: It is weird to think an Alabama linebacker is underrated by Christian Harris certainly is. The athletic defender is the fullback of the Alabama defense, constantly crashing down on the line of scrimmage and opening things up for other defenders. He is a tough, smart player and will be an excellent NFL linebacker.

4. Nakobe Dean, Linebacker, Georgia: Nakobe Dean is one of the flashiest defenders in college football. He is highly athletic and UGA constantly puts him in position to make big plays. Expect him to be all over the field on Monday as a run defender and blitzer.

3. Jameson Williams, Wide Receiver, Alabama: There is no replacing DeVonta Smith, but Jameson Williams has been excellent shouldering the burden of the Alabama passing game. William’s blend of route running savvy and speed make him a deadly deep threat in the Alabama offense. Williams has thrived despite losing John Metchie as his running mate and will see the ball a ton in this game.

2. Jordan Davis, Defensive Tackle, Georgia: Jordan Davis is the engine of the Georgia defense. His size, his strength and his surprising athleticism become the dread of every offensive line he faces off against. His ability to open things up for the rest of the Georgia front seven is unmatched across college football. A lot of the havoc the Bulldogs can wreak comes from Davis alone. Jordan Davis is coming off a fantastic game against Michigan, but the Crimson Tide is a different beast. He will need to have a phenomenal game to avoid a repeat of the SEC championship.

1. Evan Neal, Offensive Tackle, Alabama: Evan Neal is one of the few true Blue Chip talents in the 2022 class. His size, athletic ability and physicality make him as pro-ready as any offensive tackle to come out in recent years. The Georgia defense will be a challenge, but expect Neal to respond as he did in the teams’ last match up.

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