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SportNational Championship: Christian Wilkins and other prospects whose draft stock changed in Alabama-Clemson title game

17:30  09 january  2019
17:30  09 january  2019 Source:   cbssports.com

Clemson's NFL prospects step closer to championship goals

Clemson's NFL prospects step closer to championship goals Clemson All-American defensive tackle Christian Wilkins is grateful for the journey he has taken during his final college season. 

Christian Wilkins , Clelin Ferrell and Austin Bryant came back to Clemson for a national title During the on-field hysteria of Clemson ’s stunning 44–16 win over Alabama in the national championship game , he needed to Offers may be subject to change without notice. Copyright © 2019 ABG-SI LLC.

I am so ready for Alabama vs. Clemson Part Four, and it's amazing it's the third iteration of this colossal matchup with a national title at stake in Clemson 's become a powerhouse too, but most of its 2019 prospects are on the defensive side of the ball. We're going game by game to let you know

National Championship: Christian Wilkins and other prospects whose draft stock changed in Alabama-Clemson title game© Provided by CBS Interactive Inc.

Jan 7, 2019; Santa Clara, CA, USA; Clemson Tigers defensive lineman Christian Wilkins (42) reacts after a play during the fourth quarter in the 2019 College Football Playoff Championship game against the Alabama Crimson Tide at Levi's Stadium.

Amazingly, for the second-straight year, freshmen stole the headlines in the College Football Playoff title game, but a handful of future 2019 NFL Draft picks made an impact on Clemson's convincing over Alabama.

No one went from undrafted free-agent to second-rounder or vice versa.

  • 2019 NFL Mock Draft: Jaguars trade up for franchise QB, Raiders go defense at No. 4, Eagles draft RB

However, in a contest of that magnitude, with droves of NFL talent on the field, scouts will spend extra time on the individual performances in the national title game, and yes, draft stocks were impacted. Let's examine which prospects boosted their stock, and whose stock took a hit.

Clemson QB Switch: Tigers thrived after freshman's promotion

Clemson QB Switch: Tigers thrived after freshman's promotion The choice was clear for Clemson coach Dabo Swinney last September- freshman quarterback Trevor Lawrence deserved to start over well-liked, well-respected senior Kelly Bryant. It's a move that could've led to dissension, in-fighting and a divided locker room. Instead, the switch started the second-ranked Tigers on a glide path to the national championship game where they'll take on defending champion Alabama on Monday night.

Clemson . Christian Wilkins . In this Storystream. 2015 National Championship results: Alabama takes down Clemson for 4th title in 7 years. Meet the walk-on who owned Bama 2 years in a row.

Clemson stun Alabama with last-second touchdown to capture first national championship since A year after Alabama won its fourth title under Saban with a 45-40 classic in Arizona, Clemson closed the When it ended, Clemson ’s 315lb defensive lineman Christian Wilkins did a cartwheel and Ben

Clemson

Stock Up

Christian Wilkins, DL

Wilkins was the best defensive player on the field in a game loaded with early-round prospects. And while he'd played much better in 2018 than 2017 heading into this game, the senior saved his finest outing for the grandest stage. He finished with four tackles, a half sack, and a tackle for loss, but especially in the second half, he got consistent pressure on Tua Tagovailoa and was a monster against the run. As usual, he scraped well down the line of scrimmage on run plays away from him, got off blocks quickly, and his athleticism helped him get into the backfield in a hurry. The senior is an older prospect but is as well-rounded as they come at the position.

Clelin Ferrell, EDGE

Ferrell didn't dominate his heavyweight battle against Alabama's brick-wall of a left tackle Jonah Williams, but he undoubtedly punctured holes in that wall throughout the game. Ferrell's length, twitchiness, and especially his athletic fluidity on inside moves and stunts stood out and led to disruptive plays. At 6-5 and 260 pounds, Ferrell is a freaky specimen, and his long arms gave the entire Alabama offensive line issues all night. He had four tackles and 1.5 tackles for loss. The ACC Defensive Player of the Year needed a big performance to stay in contention to be the second edge-rusher off the board after Nick Bosa, and he did just that. Oh, and Ferrell doesn't turn 22 until May.

Top 8 draft prospects in national title game

Top 8 draft prospects in national title game After months of anticipation, the College Football National Championship Game is finally here with the matchup we all expected.

Who will the Cardinals take at no. 1? Whose stock will rise and fall? Which future All-Pros are flying To some scouts, Clemson ’s Trevor Lawrence ( who beat Tagovailoa’s Alabama team in January’s national title He’s extremely quick to gear down and change direction defending comeback routes

After losing to Alabama in last season’s College Football Playoff semifinal Clemson had a talented A star who was sure to be coveted by several teams in the NFL draft , Wilkins gushed over his time at A 44–16 annihilation of Alabama had made these Tigers the first undefeated national champion of

Trayvon Mullen, CB

Mullen had a pick and sack against the Crimson Tide, and he made a big tackle early in the second half in the red zone on a crossing route. The 6-2, 190-pounder stayed in the hip pocket of Alabama's young but talented receivers, particularly after halftime. The interception was Mullen's first of the season. While he doesn't have loads of production, with just six pass breakups over the last two years before this game, after his strong showing against one of the most explosive passing attacks in the country, with an impressive performance at the combine, Mullen could be on the first-round radar.

Stock Down

It was really difficult to find a Clemson prospect who hurt himself draft-wise in the throttling of Alabama.

Alabama

Stock Up

Irv Smith Jr., TE

Smith had three receptions in the first quarter, all of which showcased his smooth athleticism before and after the catch. The 6-4, 241-pounder had his last snag of the game on the first drive of the third quarter on a bootleg, and he was able to smoothly cut back against the grain while making a defender miss to get extra yardage. For an outing with just 43 receiving yards, Smith boosted his stock a bit and is a key member of what's become a strong tight end class.

Clemson WR Justyn Ross makes two spectacular catches in the third quarter vs. Alabama

Clemson WR Justyn Ross makes two spectacular catches in the third quarter vs. Alabama Justyn Ross’ third quarter against Alabama in the National Championship Game produced more highlights than many players’ seasons. Ross scored a 74-yard touchdown on a catch-and-run after Alabama cornerback Saivion Smith went down with a non-contact injury. The score extended Clemson’s lead to 37-16 with 8:26 to go in the third period. And it was somehow the least spectacular thing Ross did in the quarter. On Clemson’s next drive, Ross made this catch on a 3rd and 12. © Provided by Oath Inc. (via ESPN) Since that wasn’t enough, he followed it up with another crazy catch that might have been even better.

7, will be the third national championship game in four seasons between Alabama and Clemson , with the two having split their previous showdowns. (Well, yeah, you played Alabama in that semifinal.) In other words, the Clemson - Alabama national championship game should be close.

Alabama 's onside kick changed the national title game . Although it looked spontaneous, a ton of work went As a sophomore in high school, he boomed kicks at Alabama 's camp and a man who he was told All Alabama needed was to make sure Clemson did its part. Spotters watched each kickoff to

Quinnen Williams, DT

Against Clemson, Williams didn't have a vintage performance -- based on what he showed this season -- but he was the most disruptive Alabama defender on the field in the blowout loss. He was exceptionally quick off the ball, flashed his swim move, and pressured Trevor Lawrence, mostly early in the game. And, he faced a ton of double teams. No, Williams' stock couldn't improve much after a remarkable season. He did help himself though -- albeit slightly -- against Clemson.

Stock Down

Raekwon Davis, DL

Davis was invisible in the title game, against a Clemson offensive without a top draft prospect. The tall interior defensive lineman played high and was erased as a pass-rusher, unable to generate consistent push on the inside. And he was a non-factor in the Crimson Tide's run-stopping efforts, often getting washed down the line of scrimmage. For a 6-6ish, 317-pound prospect, Davis must be very active and powerful with his hands to keep blockers off his frame. He wasn't against Clemson.

Ross Pierschbacher, C

Pierschbacher put a handful of quality run-blocking reps on tape against Clemson, but his lack of athleticism and power were evident for a large portion of the evening against Wilkins and Co. For a pivot who has relied on his linear movement ability, technique, and anchoring skills, Pierschbacher's stock dipped in the national title game defeat.

Isaiah Buggs, EDGE

The 6-5, 286-pound defensive end was not able to utilize his power to his advantage against either Clemson offensive tackle with any regularity, and at times, he failed to set a sturdy edge against the run. Buggs wasn't considered a top-tier prospect before the national championship, but he hurt his stock because of his stiffness and lack of explosion.

Clemson celebrates latest title amid cheers and doughnuts.
Clemson is celebrating its second national football title in three seasons with a parade and rally before thousands of fans on a chilly, overcast morning.

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