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10 prospects to watch in college football national championship game

A national champion will be decided in college football tonight, and it will be either Alabama or Georgia.

These two were arguably the top two programs in college football all year, with rosters full of NFL talent. Here are 10 prospects to watch out for come NFL Draft time from tonight's contest:

1. Linebacker Nakobe Dean, Georgia

The 2021 Butkus Award winner, SEC Defensive Player of the Year and first-team All-American is the total package at linebacker. Dean has 68 tackles (34 solo) to go along with 10.5 tackles for loss, 6.0 sacks and two interceptions. He can do a little bit of everything, which defensive coordinators love. He had seven tackles, two tackles for loss and a sack in Georgia's dominating performance over Michigan in the semifinal.

2. Wide receiver Jameson Williams, Alabama

A transfer from Ohio State, Williams is having a terrific season for the Tide, catching 75 passes for 1,507 yards and 15 touchdowns. He could be the best big-play threat at receiver this draft will have. He hauled in an Alabama single-season record and NCAA-leading four touchdowns of 70-plus yards this season, and totaled 11 touchdowns of 30-plus yards or more to lead the nation. He caught seven passes for 62 yards in Alabama's win over Cincinnati in the semifinal.

3. Defensive lineman Travon Walker, Georgia

Versatility is the name of the game for Walker. He can play inside and outside with size (6-5, 275) and athleticism. From the inside, he could provide some much needed pass-rushing prowess for the Lions. He started at defensive tackle all season and has 34 total tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, 5.0 sacks and a team-high 29 quarterback hurries. He had a sack against Michigan in the Capital One Orange Bowl.

4. Offensive tackle Evan Neal, Alabama

The Lions are pretty set at tackle with Taylor Decker and Penei Sewell, but Jacksonville, who has the No. 1 overall pick, could decide that protecting franchise quarterback Trevor Lawrence is a top priority, and Neal is the best offensive tackle in this class. That would give the Lions their choice of any defender or skill-position player on offense they like at No. 2.

5. Defensive tackle Jordan Davis, Georgia

The Outland Trophy and Chuck Bednarik Award winner is a mountain of a man in the middle of Georgia's defense. Only Ndamukong Suh and Aaron Donald have won both trophies in the same season. He's imposing (6-6, 340) and powerful, with experience playing the nose tackle in a 3-4 and defensive tackle in a 4-3. Imagine the Lions teaming up Alim McNeill and Davis in the center of their defense.

6. Cornerback Derion Kendrick, Georgia

The Lions have a lot of depth at cornerback, but if the 2021 season has shown anything it's that a team can never have too many good cornerbacks on the roster. Kendrick is an Associated Press and Coaches' All-SEC Second Team performer. He has 38 tackles, a team-high four interceptions, three quarterback pressures and three pass breakups. He was the Defensive MVP of the Orange Bowl with two interceptions and five tackles in the win over Michigan.

7. Safety Jordan Battle, Alabama

Battle has good size (6-1, 210) and a nice skill set that earned him All-SEC First Team honors from both the AP and the conference coaches. He's got three interceptions on the year with two returned for touchdowns. He's also added 82 tackles to rank third on Alabama's defense this year.

8. Defensive tackle Phidarian Mathis, Alabama

Mathis is a really productive player at 6-foot-4, 312 pounds in the center of Alabama's defense. He totaled 12 tackles for loss and nine sacks to rank second on the Tide defense in each category. He's also added six quarterback pressures, two pass breakups, two fumble recoveries and a forced fumble in his senior season.

9. Safety Lewis Cine, Georgia

Cine (6-1, 200) is second on the Bulldogs in tackles through 14 games with 66 total tackles (37 solo). He's also tied for the team lead with eight pass breakups and played in 82 percent of possible defensive snaps this season. With Tracy Walker set to become a free agent this offseason, the Lions might be in line to add to that position via free agency and the draft.

10. Linebacker Christian Harris, Alabama

The 6-foot-2, 232-pound Harris was a semifinalist for both the Butkus and Lombardi awards. He's notched 73 tackles, including 7.5 for loss and 2.5 sacks. He's added four quarterback hurries, three pass breakups and a forced fumble. The Lions will likely be looking to add some speed and production to their linebacker room this offseason.

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