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What we learned in Alabama's 26-23 win over Georgia: Arizona Cardinals could find a star in the 2018 NFL Draft

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The National Championship Game produced some big games and great performances.

CFP National Championship presented by AT&T - Alabama v Georgia Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Superb performance from both teams---what a game---and what a showcase of NFL talent---never before has anyone seen so many true freshmen make such a profound impact on the Championship game?


Jake Fromm ---has Brady-esque pocket feel and footwork, did you see how he shifted his feet a little to his left in order to throw the TD bomb up the right sidelines? Kirby Smart’s game plan to pass in running situations and to run in passing situations was brilliant, but then he dialed it back in the 4th quarter, dang. And, get this---Georgia has the top QB of the Class on 2018 coming to Athens in Justin Fields.

Tua Tagovailoa ---it’s hard to imagine how he was able to come into that game down 13-0 and turn a listless offense into a scoring machine. The Russell Wilson comparisons are legit---he is a left handed Wilson. Coincidentally, the game winning play is called “Seattle” (4 go routes) and Tago executed it exactly as RW would---looking off the safety and then firing the ball up the sideline. But, an even better play was the 4th down TD pass to Calvin Ridley which tied the game late in the 4th quarter---the way Pago extended the play with his feet and bought just enough time to allow Ridley to clear the defenders.

Jaylen Hurts —-what class. Unbelievable class for a kid who has gone 25-2 in his two years as starter.


Sony Michel---best blend of quicks and explosion at RB last night. He’s an all-purpose RB and, imo, will go in Round 1, the 2nd RB behind Saquan Barkley.

Nick Chubb---such a tough, gritty competitor. Should make some team happy in the 3rd round. One has to wonder whether he can bounce back from his knee injury in time the way Frank Gore did.

Damien Harris---reminds me of Marcel Shipp. Hard runner who makes good yards after contact.

Bo Scarbrough---has Derrick Henry type size and may be even faster once he gets to the second level. But, he wasn’t featured this year as much as he was last year---which may have as much to do with Harris’ 7 ypc production as anything else.


Calvin Ridley---silky smooth, very slippery in the open field. Needs to add more muscle tone to be able to fight off press coverage in the NFL. But he can play wide and in the slot, which makes him a valuable chess piece.

Riley Ridley---did anyone else think he looks like Anquan Boldin? What a gritty performance from him last night.

Robert Foster---nice combination of size and athleticism. He could be a day 3 steal.


Isaiah Wynn---this Bulldog really stood out---smooth pass pro set up---good strong base---plays within himself.

Bradley Bozeman---solid anchor of Bama’s OL.


Da’Ron Payne---what a Payne in the arse he was for the Georgia offense as he was plugging the run like a pro and was in the backfield all night pressuring Fromm. His disruptive play now likely catapults him into the top 15, as DTs who can both stop the run and pressure the QB are in such high demand.

Trenton Thompson---this Bulldog was in beast mode last night. Will he declare for the draft? He has to have at least a 2nd round grade, if not a back end of the 1st.

Lorenzo Carter---size and speed will land him a low 1st, early 2nd round selection.


Roquan Smith---if he’s on the board at #15, it would be hard for the Cardinals to pass up on him. He has uncanny range and finishing power.

Rashaan Evans---excellent size and toughness---should be a 2nd round pick.

Davin Bellamy---Dawgs’ OLB who has edge quickness and sneaky strength.


Minkah Fitzpatrick---this year’s version of Jalen Ramsey---can do it all as a DB. Tough, smart, versatile and instinctive.

Anthony Averett---made impact blitzing from the back side---good cover CB, but needs to turn quicker to locate the ball.

Levi Wallace---physical CB who plays with leverage and very good hand technique.

Tony Brown---tough, physical, might be better suited to play SS


Ronnie Harrison---he’s exactly what the Cardinals need at FS---has the size, speed, toughness and range to be a consistent enforcer in pass coverage and alley run support. Imo, Harrison would be worthy of the #15 pick, if the QB the Cardinals want has been taken.


Rodrigo Blankenship---would love to see the Cardinals draft football’s version of “Wild Thing.” What a clutch kicker. Just earned his scholarship this year as a redshirt sophomore. I imagine that Michael Bidwill and Steve Keim were at the game, seeing as they were in Atlanta to interview Keith Armstrong earlier in the day. they probably planned it that way.

The players in this game who are worthy of the Cardinals’ 1st Round pick (if they have signed or traded for a QBOF), imo:

1. CB Minkah Fitzpatrick 2. LB Roquan Smith 3. WR Calvin Ridley 4. DT Da’Ron Payne 5. FS Ronnie Harrison 6. RB Sony Michel