The very first College Football National Championship game of the playoff era was not only a great event but became the most watched cable event of all-time. I did enjoy the game a lot and was happy that my predictions came true and Cardale Jones a 3rd string QB led his Ohio State Buckeyes to a national championship win.
While I wasn't watching extremely close to see every big play I did notice some players who made some good plays and may fit in the NFL.
Of course Ezekiel Elliott was a beast for the entire playoffs and I think he will work out very well in the NFL. From what I have seen off him he reminds me of the next Eddie Lacy and Elliot's national championship performance reminds me of when Lacy dismantled a Notre Dame defense that was headed by Manti Teo who had one of the best senior years of any defensive player in college football. Bottom line I love Elliot and think he will have a successful NFL career.
Another player who stood out to me was Cardale Jones who showed of his NFL talent to me. That being said I completely agree that he should stay at OSU because he is not ready but make no mistake his talent and his 6 ft 5 in and 250 lb frame is NFL material to me. In the National Championship against a very good Oregon team he made some great throws and ran like a running back. His skill set and pocket presence reminds me of a mix of Ben Roethlisberger and Cam Newton which is a pretty big compliment. In a few years the name Cordale Jones will show up again and after he works with guru Urban Meyer we may have the next NFL star.
Marcus Mariota kinda proved my point in this game while he did have flashes of brilliance and did show off why he won the Heisman but he also showed me that he can't win in big games and against good NFL type defenses. His option speed run offense probably won't work in the NFL like most Oregon QB's haven't worked in the NFL. I must admit though that Mariota does remind me of Russell Wilson at times. But make no mistake that is both a negative and positive. Despite his 6 ft 4 in 219 lb he looks very small in the pocket which is fine for a Wilson because Wilson is only 5 ft 11 in. but for someone of Mariota's size its just weird and he needs to play to his size. Watching the game I would have never guessed that his is 1 inch shorter then Cordale Jones. My bottom line on him is his "run around and dance in the pocket" is awesome for Russell Wilson, but for Marcus Mariota it doesn't work. While talented I think he lacks a "clutch factor" and will probably be put in his place in the NFL.
Byron Marshall really stood out to me because he was all over the freaking field and while he made a bonehead move almost taking away a touchdown by almost dropping the ball before he reached the end zone but disipline is teachable. What is not teachable is outrunning everyone to score a 70 yard touchdown. Probably the best thing about this guy is that I found out he is actually a running back who happens to play at Wide Receiver a lot. The dude is also a pretty good runner and I think that his overall athleticism and skill at two positions merits a hard look whenever he enters the draft.
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