The 2014 BCS National Championship game should be required viewing for Miami Dolphins fans.
That's because tonight's winner-takes-all match-up between the No. 2-ranked Auburn Tigers and No. 1-ranked Florida State Seminoles will boast big-time talent on both sides of the ball--especially in the trenches, where the Dolphins were skewered early and often this season.
Tonight's game stands as arguably the most competitive and highly anticipated BCS Championship tilt since the Oklahoma Sooners and Florida Gators squared off at then-Dolphins Stadium in January 2009. Not unlike that contest, the 2014 BCS title game will put on display a wealth of draft-eligible talent--the likes of which have been ranked below for your reading pleasure. Let's get to it.
1) Greg Robinson, OT Auburn
It's unconventional to suggest that Monday night's biggest star will anchor Auburn's offensive line, but that's exactly the case with Robinson, a redshirt sophomore who metamorphosed from little-known starting to tackle to big-time blindside protector this season. It's rare to see a redshirt soph left tackle make the jump to the NFL, but Robinson has dominated nearly every pass-rusher he's encountered this season, displaying impressive polish, range and overall strength along the way. If the big Auburn left tackle declares, he'll be the No. 2 prospect in this year's class--no mean feat, considering that Michigan's Taylor Lewan, Auburn's Cyrus Kouandjio and Tennessee's Antonio Richardson all figure to be day one selections.
2) Timmy Jernigan, DT Florida State
Really, Jernigan is worthy of a 1b slot on this list. A premier 3-technique prospect who excels as both a run stuffer and pass-rusher, Jernigan could (and should) go as high as the top 15 in next May's draft. That's because he boasts one of the quickest first steps in college football, displays very good snap anticipation, and possesses bull-like upper-body strength. A proven penetrator and disruptor along the interior, and he's only going to get better.
3) Cameron Erving, OT Florida State
The other left tackle in tonight's match-up is hardly chopped liver. In fact, one could make the case that Erving is just as good a fit in Miami's zone-blocking scheme as Robinson. A rangy protector who plays light on his feet and displays the ability to erase second-level defenders, Erving has the frame and athleticism to excel as a left tackle in the NFL. Polish and overall technique is still in question, however, and he might need to get a bit stronger in the lower base.
4) Kelvin Benjamin, WR Florida State
One of the largest receivers in the country, Benjamin should get some first-round looks this May thanks to the play of power-forward NFL wideouts Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery and Larry Fitzgerald. Benjamin is a nightmare to defend in the red zone, but he's also very good as an open-field runner, and can be difficult to bring down after the catch.
5) Tre Mason, RB Auburn
The junior speedster has been nothing short of unbelievable in 2013, and he can tie up a second- or third-round grade if he brings his wheels to Pasadena. Defenders routinely struggle to put a square lick on Mason--pair that with his natural shiftiness in the open field and you have the makings of a very good runner at the NFL level.
6) Lamarcus Joyner, CB Florida State
Joyner has enforcer-like hitting ability, and really came on as a corner for the Seminoles this year after previously manning the strong safety position (he's excellent in that role, as well). Joyner is a small-ish defensive back prospect in a draft class loaded with big-framed talent, but his tenacity and physicality will win him over with many NFL scouts.
Bryan Stork, C Florida State
Christian Jones, ILB/OLB Florida State
Telvin Smith, OLB Florida State
Dee Ford, DE Auburn
Terrence Brooks, S Florida State
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