5 players to watch in the College Football National Championship

The 49ers finished the year as hot as anyone, but their slow start to the 2017 season has them sitting home on wildcard weekend. With a bright future ahead, fans’ eyes turn to the College Football National Championship for a glimpse at potential future 49ers. Both Alabama and Georgia are ripe with NFL talent at positions San Francisco are likely to address in the off-season. Here we take a closer look at five of the top prospects the 49ers should have on their radar.

Championship Game airs Monday 1/8 on ESPN @ 8 pm 

Alabama Crimson Tide:

Minkah Fitzpatrick, Alabama, DB, #29
Height/Weight: 6’1, 216lbs
Draft Projection: Top 10
Why you should be watching:
A stellar 2017 saw Fitzpatrick join Charles Woodson and Patrick Peterson as the only defensive backs to win both the Thorpe (Best DB) and Bednarik (Best Defensive Player) Awards in the same season. Though he has spent most of his college career playing off-ball in the middle of the field, Fitzpatrick’s prototype size, sub 4.4 speed, high football IQ, and sound tackling make him an ideal fit as a cornerback in Robert Saleh’s defense. Fitzpatrick is considered a top 5 talent, but an early run on quarterbacks could see him fall to the 49ers.

Calvin Ridley, Alabama, WR, #3
Height/Weight: 6’1, 190 lbs.
Draft Projection: RD 1
Why you should be watching:
While he doesn’t have the size of SMU’s Courtland Sutton or eye-popping stats of Oklahoma State’s James Washington, Ridley is regarded as one of the best receivers in the nation due to his incredible speed, precision route running and strong hands. He doesn’t get featured heavily in Alabama’s run-heavy attack, but when he does get the ball in his hands he makes it count. He’d be a great go-to target for the ultra-accurate Jimmy G, but like Fitzpatrick could hear his name called before the 49ers get on the clock.

Georgia Bulldogs:

Sony Michel, Georgia, RB, #1
Height/Weight: 5’11, 222 lbs.
Draft Projection: RD 2-3
Why you should be watching:
Decisive runner with excellent vision who bursts through running lanes like he was shot out of a cannon. Doesn’t have quite the same balance through contact as backfield mate Nick Chubb (#27), but is strong enough to break arm tackles and agile enough to break ankles. Flashes good hands in the passing game and has been solid in pass protection. Widely expected to be taken on day 2 of the draft, Michel looks like a natural fit in Shanahan’s offense and could be available when the 49ers get back on the clock in RD 2.

Isaiah Wynn, Georgia, OL, #77
Height/Weight: 6’2, 302 lbs.
Draft Projection: RD 3-4
Why you should be watching:
Wynn will be at left tackle to finish his college career, but his size makes it unclear if he’ll stay there in the NFL. Prior to this season Wynn started at Guard for Georgia and is expected to move back inside as a pro. On tape, he appears to have the athleticism and strength to play on the outside if asked, but his best and most intriguing fit for the Niners may be center. Wynn blows defenders off the ball in the run game and shows incredible balance and ability to keep the pocket clean in the pass game. After the luck the 49ers had keeping their O-Line healthy in 2017, adding a playing who could line up at all 5 spots would be invaluable.

Lorenzo Carter, Georgia, OLB/DE, #7
Height/Weight: 6’6, 242 lbs.
Draft Projection: RD 2-4
Why you should be watching:
The most intriguing of Georgia’s triumvirate of NFL caliber Linebackers; Carter is a versatile playmaker best known for his pass rush, but flashes ample athleticism to drop into coverage and has evolved into a quality run defender. Proven adept at rushing both from standing as well as with his hand in the dirt. Carter uses his long arms, strong hands and relentless motor to fight his way to the QB. There is sure to be some concern over his thin frame, and low sack totals (never more than 5 in a season) but Carter is a freak athlete who could become a dominant force in the NFL if he can fill out his frame.

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1 Reply to "5 players to watch in the College Football National Championship"

  • comment-avatar
    January 7, 2018 (10:41 pm)

    I think our pick had gotta be a WR or CB. Both positions have been a weakness and we have missed on some studs the last 5 years at both positions.The 9ers have also struggled in the red zone since T.O. Gotta take Sutton,Ridley,or Minkah. One of them will be there. Unless Barkley slips of course. Browns should take him at #1 but that’s another story.

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