Despite this being the BCS National Championship, there were other bowl matchups with better prospects playing in them. I guess, that means Florida State and Auburn played more as a team than anybody else. The one elite prospect playing for either of these teams belongs to Auburn. His name is Greg Robinson, and he's their left tackle.
Standing at an imposing 6-foot-5, 320 pounds, Robinson is an ascending player similar to Lane Johnson. An athletic "freak," he got by in the early going just by being more physical than the other player. However, as the season wore on, his fundamentals and technique got better ... and better ...a nd better. He got so good that he completely shut down Missouri's nightmarish tandem of Kony Ealy and Michael Sam in the SEC championship game. He's a bruiser in the running game as well, with enough athleticism to get out into open space. It would not surprise me if he became a top 10 pick this May.
The other major Auburn prospect is defensive end/outside linebacker Dee Ford. He is powerful at the point of attack and flexible enough to win most leverage battles. He has active hands and plays angry, and that might be his best trait. Look for him to try and impact Jameis Winston early and often.
On FSU's side of the ball, the biggest and baddest player is not yet eligible. That'd be "Famous" Jameis Winston. There are several other prospects that are available however, so let's hit on them.
The best FSU prospect is clearly wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin, who's getting some run as a potential top 30 pick. Standing at 6-5, 235 pounds, he seems more like a tight end than a wide receiver, but he can run. He wins with physicality and creates awesome leverage by outfighting others for the ball. Rashad Greene is another WR prospect that will likely get lost in how amazing this entire WR class will be, but he's a great secondary option in the NFL as a "Z" WR. He's shifty and slippery, and is a fantastic route runner with great YACability.
Cameron Erving is a freak offensive tackle in his own right, and has a chance to be a first round pick. He's 6-foot-6, 320 pounds and is a rock in pass protection. He is a big riser similar to Greg Robinson, and warrants watching as well.
Florida State also has two linebackers to look out for, Christian Jones and Telvin Smith. Jones is the better of the two prospects and is one of the best all-around inside backers in college football. He's got range, he's got instincts, and he's fast. Look for him to come off the board sometime in the second round, but could sneak into the late first. Smith is the better run defender of the two.
Tre' Jackson is a guard prospect that's a strong run blocker and could go as high as the second to third round. Look for him to hold off Auburn's defensive tackles.
Two mid round prospects are defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan and safety/cornerback Lamarcus Joyner. Jernigan has been somewhat of a disappointing player given his pre-season status, but is an explosive 3 technique that could be in play for the Giants. Joyner is an all around playmaker and hits incredibly hard from his safety position. He's miniscule however, at only 5-8, 190 pounds and may have to move to cornerback.
Finally, Florida State has two draftable running backs, James Wilder Jr., and Devonta Freeman. Freeman has got really good vision and underrated power and will likely be drafted higher. He's very good at making cuts and is a shifty type of runner. Wilder Jr., meanwhile, is a power back through and through at 6-2, 236. He averaged more than 5 yards per carry this season. Both should be available in the late fourth to fifth round.
Teams: Auburn Tigers vs. Florida State Seminoles
Game Time: Monday, Jan. 6, 8:30 p.m. ET