College Football Championship week: What seniors should you have your eye on?

By: Eric Herauf | @ejh1528IDP

We are down to the last week of the college football regular season and bowl season is at our fingertips. It has been short but it certainly has been a fun one! As we head into championship weekend, there are still a lot of scenarios to be determined. What happens if Florida beats Alabama? Will Clemson and Notre Dame both get into the college football playoff? Can a Group of Five school make it into the playoff? A lot of questions but there is not much time to get those answers. 

Pete Werner – LB – Ohio State

Credit: USA Today Sports

Yet another linebacker out of Ohio State is getting serious draft recognition. Pete Werner has ideal size for the linebacker position. He can play at any of the three linebacker positions but is more suited for inside or on the strong-side. Werner currently leads the Buckeyes in tackles with 27 this season. He has struggled with dropping into coverage, making him less apt to be three-down linebacker teams looking for at the linebacker position. However, when playing on first and second downs, Werner can take on opposing offensive lineman at the point of attack and make plays on ball carriers in the backfield. 

Baylon Spector – LB – Clemson

He is one of the leaders on that Clemson defense that ranks among the best in the country overall. Baylon Spector currently leads the Tigers in total tackles with 50 and is tied for second on the team with four quarterback sacks. He has been one of the best run defenders on the team this year to date. Spector also has 9.5 tackles for a loss and has been accredited with 32 total stops at or beyond the line of scrimmage, according to PFF. At 6’2”, 230lbs, Spector shows excellent size and strength at linebacker but does lack some coverage skills. The Tigers have a massive rematch with Notre Dame this weekend. Spector recorded eight tackles the first time these two teams met and will need more of the same to continue to gain NFL Draft momentum.

Chase Lucas – DB – Arizona State

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He is more of a swiss army knife on the back end for the Sun Devils. Chase Lucas played running back in high school and managed to have over 1,000 receiving yards in his high school career. He is an asset in the return game as well and these skills bode well for him playing cornerback, boasting excellent ball skills. Lucas also has excellent play recognition. He is versatile, showing the ability to play in the slot or outside corner. Lucas needs to get more physical and work on his man coverage skills but overall possesses an intriguing all-around profile.

Buddy Johnson – LB – Texas A&M

Texas A&M is currently the fifth-ranked team in the country and the defense is a massive part of their overall success. Right now, they have an outside chance of making the college football playoffs. Buddy Johnson has been a big part of the team’s stellar campaign thus far. The senior inside linebacker leads the team with 58 total tackles to go along with three sacks and two pass deflections. He has ideal size for the inside linebacker position but Johnson could add a bit more weight and play more physically at times. He has a tough time occasionally with bigger offensive linemen getting inside his frame. Johnson does not have the ground-breaking closing speed you might covet on the second level but he does not miss many tackles, showing consistently as a solid wrap-up tackler.