As great of an NFL wildcard playoff weekend as it was, I think the final BCS title game between Florida State and Auburn may have topped it. After a soul crushing 37 yard touchdown run by the Auburn running back Tre Mason with just 1:19 left on the clock, freshman quarterback Jameis Winston led FSU back down the field and with just seconds to go found Kelvin Benjamin in the endzone for the game winning touchdown. It was a historic game and an instant classic that people will be talking about years from now. Let’s look at some of the key players in the game and what their performances did for their NFL draft stock.
Tre Mason RB Auburn
With an incredible 34 carry 195 yard performance that included a 37 yard touchdown run late in the game that put his team up 31 - 27, Tre Mason solidified himself as one of the top RB prospects in the 2014 NFL draft. Mason reminds me a little of Cadillac Williams when he was coming out in 2005. Both are smaller backs at around 205 pounds but run with power thanks to impressive lower leg drive. At this early juncture I see Mason as a solid choice in the 3rd round.
Timmy Jernigan DT Florida State
Elite defensive tackles are hard to come by in the NFL so Jernigan is likely to be a first or second round pick. Jernigan was created chaos along the interior of the Auburn offensive line and in the backfield seemingly every other play. I do question his motor however as he did seem to be breathing heavily and looking spent late in the game. I wonder if he will be more effective in a rotation in the NFL rather than an every down player. Either way, a player of his abilities at that position will be coveted by NFL teams come April.
Jameis Winston QB Florida State
Winston is ineligible for the draft this season coming out of his freshman year but he very well could be the #1 overall pick in the 2015 draft. Jameis Winston is the first freshman QB to ever win the national championship game. Did I mention that he also won the Heisman trophy as a freshman? Winston struggled mightily during the first three quarters of the game but made plays when his team needed him the most. On the final game winning drive Jameis Winston went 6-7 for 77 yards including the 49 yard catch and run by Rashad Greene and the 2 yard touchdown pass to Kelvin Benjamin.
Greg Robinson OT Auburn
The monster 6’5 305lb left tackle for the Auburn Tigers is a likely top 10 pick if he decides to enter the 2014 NFL draft. Robinson was perhaps the most important piece of the dominant Tigers’ run game this season and made one of the most important blocks of the championship game when he made a second level block that sprung Tre Mason for the go ahead touchdown with 1:19 left to play. Jake Mathews will most likely be the first offensive lineman off the board but Robinson will be a close 2nd. In most years the second best left tackle is a top ten pick.
That will do it for this Wednesday's’ edition of the ramblings. Stay with us here at Dobber Sports all offseason for NFL draft analysis. As always, direct any questions or comment to me on twitter @MPricer.