The latest “Game of the Century” in college football goes down Saturday evening with No. 1 and No. 2 facing off in the Southeastern Conference, LSU at Alabama. There are all sorts of prospects for the 2012 NFL Draft. The Crimson Tide under Nick Saban have a large number of potential draft choices, so we’ve broken them down into several parts that will pop up in the coming days. We covered the Alabama offense and LUS previously. This time it’s the Alabama defense.
#41 OLB Courtney Upshaw/Senior β 6-2, 265 pounds. Considered the best defensive player on the Tide’s roster, Upshaw has shown himself to be a real pass rushing force off the edge and he has real playmaking ability. He’s been a starter the last two seasons and over his 48-game career he’s had 12.5 sacks, 6 forced fumbles and earlier this season, he had an interception that he returned 45 yards for a touchdown. Overall, he has 115 total tackles, 30 TFL, along with 6 forced fumbles. TOP-HALF OF FIRST ROUND PICK.
#37 FS Robert Lester/Junior β 6-2, 210 pounds. Two-year starter has show good ball-hawking skills on the back line, getting help playing next to Mark Barron. This season, he has 22 total tackles, 1 INT, plus one blocked kick. Over 29 career games with 21 starts, he’s had 82 total tackles, 1 sack and 9 interceptions. THIRD-FOURTH ROUND PROSPECT.
#4 SS Mark Barron/Senior β 6-2, 218 pounds. Outstanding secondary performer in the SEC and a three-year starter, Barron has played in 48 games and started 34 times. In this season, Barron has 49 total tackles, 3.5 TFL and 1 INT. Over his career he’s had 218 total tackles, 11.5 TFL, 4 sacks and 11 INTs. FIRST-SECOND ROUND POTENTIAL
#21 CB Dre Kirkpatrick/Junior β 6-2, 192 pounds. A two-year starter on the corner for the Tide, Kirkpatrick is a tall, rangy and strong for his size. He has
19 total tackles this season, 2 TFL and 2 forced fumbles. Over 33 games, with 20 starts, he has 80 total tackles, 3 forced fumbles and 3 interceptions. THIRD-FOURTH ROUND PROSPECT.
#24 CB DeQuan Menzie/Senior β 5-11, 198 pounds. A junior college transfer, Menzie has become a starter on the corner for the past two seasons and has shown playmaking skills, scoring on a 25-yard return with an interception earlier this year. He’s played in 19 games with 15 starts and produced 55 total tackles, 5.5 TFL, 2.5 sacks and one INT. MID-LATE ROUND POTENTIAL.
#30 ILB Dont’a Hightower/Redshirt-Junior β 6-4, 260 pounds. Speedy and athletic, he’s the leading tackler for the Tide this season with 48 total tackles, 6 TFL, 1.5 sacks and 1 INT. He’s appeared in 39 games with 37 starts over his career; he missed the 2009 season with a knee injury. Over his career, he had 197 total tackles, 16 TFLs, 2.5 sacks and 1 interception. FIRST ROUND TALENT.
#5 OLB Jerrell Harris/Senior β 6-2, 242 pounds. A versatile player who has seen playing time at both inside and outside LB in the 33 games he’s gotten on the field. He became a starter this season and has 15 total tackles with 2 TFL. Over his carreer Harris has 48 total tackles 3 TFL. He’s also been active on special teams, both as a blocker and tackler. MID-ROUNDS CHOICE.
#99 NT Josh Chapman/Senior β 6-1, 310 pounds. Chapman has played in 50 games and started 21 for the Tide. This season, he has 13 total tackles, 2.5 TFL and .5 sacks. Overall in his career he’s been credited with 78 total tackles, 12.5 TFL and 2 sacks. LATE-ROUND POTENTIAL.
#92 DE Damion Square/Junior β 6-3, 285 pounds. After a redshirt season as a true freshman, his first year getting to play in 2009 lasted two games before he tore an ACL and was finished for the rest of the season. He’s fought back and gotten himself involved on defense and in a starting role ahs 12 total tackles and 2.5 TFL this season. In 21 career games, he has 40 total tackles 10 TFL and 3 sacks. LATE-ROUND CHOICE OR FREE AGENT.