How potential Patriots draft picks fared in CFB semifinals originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
With the New England Patriots' 2020 season all but over, it's time to focus on the challenging offseason ahead. That, of course, includes the 2021 NFL Draft.
The four best teams in college football played Friday in the College Football Playoff semifinal. Alabama took down Notre Dame, then Ohio State pulled off a convincing victory over Clemson.
Our Phil Perry provided an in-depth breakdown of the Prototypical Patriots to keep an eye on during the two matchups, so how did those potential Pats picks perform? Here's a recap:
Mac Jones, QB: Jones, the frontrunner for the Heisman Trophy, was stellar yet again vs. the Fighting Irish. The Alabama quarterback threw for 297 yards, four touchdowns and zero interceptions in the Crimson Tide's 31-14 win.
With the Patriots expected to address the QB position, Jones is one of the more intriguing names on this list.
Mac Jones ➡️ Jahleel Billingsley for the TD! 🐘 pic.twitter.com/I197Pmo8Ea
— ESPN College Football (@ESPNCFB) January 1, 2021
Devonta Smith, WR: Another Heisman Trophy favorite, Smith was simply too much for Notre Dame to handle in Friday's game. The 6-foot-1, 174-pound wideout hauled in seven catches for 130 yards and three touchdowns.
There's no doubt the Patriots need serious help at receiver. Perhaps Smith will be on their radar this spring.
— The Checkdown (@thecheckdown) January 1, 2021
THAT'S THREE FOR DEVONTA SMITH 😤 pic.twitter.com/Ugnf9D6xe5
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) January 1, 2021
Patrick Surtain II, CB: Surtain tallied two tackles in 'Bama's victory. Notre Dame only dared to throw two passes in his direction the entire game.
As Perry notes, the son of the former Dolphins star could be a perfect fit in Foxboro.
Patrick Surtain II in coverage vs Notre Dame
🔒 52 snaps
🔒 2 targets
🔒 1 catch allowed (6 yards) pic.twitter.com/ZPBwOAvHzi
— PFF College (@PFF_College) January 2, 2021
Christian Barmore, DL: Barmore notched a sack and four tackles in Friday's game. The 6-foot-5, 310 pounder, as Perry writes, could be a great fit for the Patriots' 3-4-style defense.
Skycam look at Christian Barmore sack on Ian Book pic.twitter.com/PqhC021j3m
— Alabama Crimson Tide | AL.com (@aldotcomTide) January 1, 2021
Najee Harris, RB: The Patriots don't necessarily need a running back in this year's NFL Draft, but it's impossible to ignore the talent of Alabama RB Najee Harris. The 6-foot-2, 230-pound back rushed 15 times for 125 yards on Friday. He also caught four passes for 30 yards and provided the highlight of the day with an insane hurdle over a defender.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) January 1, 2021
Pats running back and 'Bama product Damien Harris is a fan.
Najee Harris, BEST RB in college football and it’s not even close‼️
— Damien Harris (@DHx34) January 1, 2021
Dylan Moses, LB: Moses had six total tackles (four solo) in the win. As Perry writes, he could be a value pick for the Patriots on Day 2 of the draft.
Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Adetokunbo Ogundeji, EDGE: Ogundeji assisted on a sack of Alabama QB Mac Jones on Friday.
Trevor Lawrence, QB: The Patriots won't be in the Trevor Lawrence Sweepstakes as the Jacksonville Jaguars will have the first overall pick and likely select the Clemson QB. Still, we can't just skip over the consensus No. 1. Lawrence was outplayed by Ohio State's Justin Fields on Friday. He finished with 400 passing yards, two TDs, and a pick in the Tigers' loss.
Travis Etienne, RB: If the Patriots do make the surprising decision to draft a running back with an early pick, Etienne appears to be a player they would covet. The 5-foot-10, 210 pounder had 10 carries for 32 yards and a touchdown in Clemson's defeat. He also tallied four catches for 64 yards.
Derion Kendrick, CB: Kendrick struggled in Friday night's loss. He was burnt by Ohio State wideout Chris Olave on a third-quarter touchdown and was beat by Garrett Wilson on another deep pass. Overall, not an ideal night for the Clemson cornerback.
Ohio State Buckeyes
Justin Fields, QB: Fields outplayed Lawrence and led the Buckeyes to victory in Friday night's semifinal matchup. He completed 22 of his 28 passes for 385 yards, six touchdowns and one interception. One of the most accurate QBs in the nation certainly could pique the Patriots' interest in this year's draft.
— The Checkdown (@thecheckdown) January 2, 2021
Chris Olave, WR: In Perry's Protypical Patriots piece, he notes Olave as a wideout who "wins more with his route-running, quickness and his understanding of leverage." That certainly was the case Friday night as he ended up with six catches for 132 yards and two touchdowns.
JUSTIN FIELDS ABSOLUTE DIME TO CHRIS OLAVE 🔥🔥🔥 pic.twitter.com/5aGTTwFe81
— Buckeye Videos+ (@BuckeyeVideos) January 2, 2021
Shaun Wade, CB: Wade had a difficult time keeping Clemson wideout Cornell Powell (8 catches, 139 yards, 2 TDs) in check Friday night, to say the least. He finished with nine total tackles (seven solo).
Trey Sermon, RB: Clemson's Travis Etienne was the RB getting all of the attention, but it was Sermon stealing the show Friday night rushing for 193 yards a TD on 31 carries. He also had four catches for 61 yards in Ohio State's win.