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TWENTYMAN: 10 prospects to watch in college football national championship game

The college football national championship game is tonight (ESPN, 8 p.m.). It will feature a number of talented players whose next stop will likely be the NFL Draft in April. With so much talent assembled on one field for one game, the Detroit Lions, who have the No. 3 overall pick in this year's draft, should have a close eye on tonight's action.

Here's a look at 10 players in particular to keep an eye on tonight:

1. Isaiah Simmons, OLB, Clemson

Simmons has the prototypical frame (6-4, 225) and skillset to play linebacker in today's NFL. He's got position versatility, and can run and cover. A creative defensive mind can have some fun with a player like Simmons, who has 97 tackles, 14 tackles for loss, seven sacks and has defended seven passes on the year with three interceptions. Simmons had four tackles and an interception in Clemson's 29-23 win over Ohio State in the semifinals.

2. Joe Burrow, QB, LSU

The Heisman Trophy winner and Ohio native seems like a perfect fit for Cincinnati with the No. 1 overall pick, but the NFL Draft is anything but predictable. Burrow is coming off a 493-yard, seven-touchdown performance in the Tigers' blowout win over Oklahoma in the semifinal. He completed 77.9 percent of his passes for 4,715 yards with 48 touchdowns and only six interceptions during the regular season. Matthew Stafford is under contract through 2022, but the Lions don't have a clear successor in the fold.

3. Grant Delpit, S, LSU

A proven playmaker for LSU's defense, Delpit has terrific length (6-3, 203) and ball skills. He had 74 tackles and five interceptions as a junior in 2018. Those numbers have fallen off a bit this season (59 & two), but he's a rangy safety that can tackle and cover. He had three tackles, a tackle for loss and a pass breakup in the win over Oklahoma. The Lions have a good young safety in Tracy Walker and another youngster they like in Will Harris, but they play a lot of three safety packages on defense.

4. Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson

Terrific frame (6-4, 215) and ball skills make Higgins a pretty safe bet as a first-round draft pick. He has 13 touchdowns on the year and is averaging better than 20.0 yards per grab. He's totaled 56 grabs for 1,115 yards on the year. With Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones Jr. entering the final year of their contracts, and veteran Danny Amendola a free agent this offseason, receiver is an under-the-radar need for the Lions.

5. Kristian Fulton, CB, LSU

Fulton has good NFL size (6-0, 200) and has a knack for getting his hand on the football with 13 passes defended and an interception this season. He's a man-cover corner, and that's a staple of the Lions' defense. He's considered by most draft analysts to be one of the top four cornerback prospects available in this draft.

6. Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson

The 5-foot-10, 210-pound junior has a terrific combination of shiftiness and power that he's turned into back-to-back 1,500-yard campaigns. He's averaged a ridiculous 8.0 yards per attempt over his last three seasons at Clemson with 54 touchdowns. Etienne showed off his receiving prowess in the semifinal win over Oklahoma, catching three passes for 98 yards, including touchdown grabs of 53 and 34 yards. He'll likely be one of the first three or four running backs off the board.

7. Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU

Burrow's go-to man all year, wide receiver Justin Jefferson, caught 102 passes for 1,434 yards with 18 touchdowns. He had 14 grabs for 227 yards and four touchdowns in LSU's semifinal win over Oklahoma. He's not in the same athletic category as Alabama receiver Jerry Jeudy, but not many are. Jefferson's proven this season he can be a big-time playmaker and workhorse at the position.

8. John Simpson, G, Clemson

A consensus All-American and Outland Trophy finalist, Simpson entered the bowl season having played 1,916 snaps over 48 games (27 starts) in his career. He's played both guard spots in his time at Clemson. Lions veteran guard Graham Glasgow is scheduled to hit free agency this offseason.

9. K'Lavon Chaisson, OLB, LSU

Chaisson (6-4, 250), was named LSU's Defensive MVP in their win over Oklahoma in the semifinals after recording six tackles and two sacks. He has 4.5 sacks in LSU's last three contests. The First Team All-SEC performer had 6.5 sacks, 13.5 tackles for loss and six quarterback hits in 12 games this season. He missed most of the 2018 season with a torn ACL, so the medicals will have to be good on him if he decides to declare for the NFL early.

10. A.J. Terrell, CB, Clemson

The junior earned First-team All-ACC honors this season. He's got an NFL frame (6-1, 190) with 17 career pass breakups and six interceptions. Terrell had a pick-six in last year's National Championship. This is expected to be a nice class of cornerbacks in the draft, and Terrell should have no trouble hearing his name called in the first two days.

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