The focus of the college football world now shifts to the 2020 NFL Draft. With the draft 100 days away, last night’s College Football Playoff National Championship game was the last time to evaluate some of these players.
LSU and Clemson put a thrilling close to another season. LSU took home their first national title since 2007, defeating Clemson 42-25.
Here’s a look at who improved their NFL Draft stock and who saw their stock drop.
NFL Draft: Stock Up LSU
Joe Burrow, QB
LSU’s quarterback couldn’t see his stock get any higher, especially considering he’s expected to be the No. 1 overall selection. Burrow‘s performance, though, solidified that thinking.
Burrow went 31 of 49 for a BCS/CFP title game record 463 yards. He threw five touchdowns and ran for another. He seemed frazzled at first against Clemson, but settled in and took over.
Burrow sports the prototypical size for the position and amazing touch on deep passes. He’s agile and athletic, with great pocket presence. His performance during the CFP title game just reinforced the notion that he’s a franchise-level quarterback.
K’Lavon Chaisson, EDGE
While the boxscore will note Chaisson only record two tackles, his affect on the game was still palpable. LSU disruptive edge rusher pressured Clemson’s Trevor Lawerence all night.
Chaisson demonstrated for the world his high-motor and elite, quick first step. He was explosive coming off the edge, and his athletic skill set will certainly translate to the NFL. Chaisson solidified his Day-1 grade and may have played himself into the top-15.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RB
The 2020 NFL Draft is deep with running backs, but Edwards-Helaire flashed last night. At 5’8″, 209 lbs, the diminutive running back showed burst and strength against a solid Clemson front.
Edwards-Helaire’s low-center of gravity makes him difficult to take down. He sports all those adjectives teams want to label their backs with: strong, shifty, and speedy.
He featured great quickness and a decisive one-cut-and-go approach. He gained 110 yards on 16 carries and his fourth quarter production helped put away the game.
Thaddeus Moss, TE
One of the surprise performers from last night’s game, Thaddeus certainly made his daddy proud. In a shallow tight end pool for the 2020 draft, Moss may have played his way into the mid-rounds with his last two performances.
In the biggest game of his career, Moss caught five passes for 36 yards and two touchdowns. That’s after his 4-catch, 99-yard, 1-touchdown performance in the semifinal. Moss is a solid athlete and has good hands.
Patrick Queen, LB
Another surprise from last night, Patrick Queen made his presence felt throughout. Queen posted eight total tackles, 2.5 tackles-for-loss and 0.5 sacks.
Queen flashed his speed and tackling ability. He also demonstrated his range from sideline to sideline. In a weak linebacker class, Queen is now a mid-round selection.
NFL Draft: Stock Up Clemson
Isaiah Simmons, LB
Simmons might have seen his stock rise more than any other player last night. Listed as a linebacker, Simmons lined up all over the field and made his presence felt. He blitzed, provided run support and dropped in coverage.
Simmons finished the night with seven tackles, including two tackles-for-loss and a sack. He also have two passes defensed. He finished his junior year with 104 total tackles, eight passes defensed, seven interceptions and three sacks.
Simmons’ versatility will see him fly up draft boards. At 6’4″, 230-lbs, he’s an elite athlete with great range and high motor. He’ll fit any defensive scheme and has probably played his way into the Top-5.
Travis Etienne, RB
Much like his counterpart Edwards-Helaire, Etienne demonstrated his skill last night. In a crowded running back class, Etienne stands out as a playmaker. He had over 100 total yards and tied for the team lead in receptions (5).
Etienne flashed his game-breaking speed and acceleration, especially early in the game. He also showed the ability to run between the tackles. He has great vision and is a good receiver out of the backfield.
Etienne’s stock has risen to the point where’s definitely a Day-2 selection, and is probably a borderline first-rounder.
NFL Draft: Stock Down
A.J. Terrell, CB
Clemson’s talented cornerback Terrell will need to rebuild some of his stock at the Senior Bowl. While it was a difficult task for anyone, Terrell struggled all night long against LSU’s elite.
Matched up most of the night with Ja’Marr Chase, Terrell was repeatedly beaten. Chase posted a 9-catch, 221 yard, 2-touchdown performance.
Terrell was often in good position versus Chase, but couldn’t finish the play. He struggled with tackling and whiffed on big hits. He’ll need to rebuild his stock in the coming weeks or risk slipping to the third round.
Tee Higgins, WR
While Higgins might have had the highlight of the night, it was a momentary success. Higgins’ 36-yard end-around touchdown in the second quarter was the high point of the night for him and for Clemson. He was pretty quiet beyond that play.
Higgins posted just three catches for 52 yards in this one. And that’s after a quiet night against Ohio State. In the CFP semifinal, Higgins managed just 33 yards on four catches.
In a deep wide receiver class, Higgins had the chance to solidify his top-15 talent, but missed the opportunity.
Kristian Fulton, CB
Another highly-touted cornerback, Fulton struggled last night as well. Fulton’s technique failed him repeatedly and Trevor Lawerence took advantage.
While Fulton is arguably the top cornerback in the 2020 draft, his performance brought him back to the pack some.