The College Football Playoff has created a lot of buzz and excitement with average football fans, and it has also been well received by the scouting community. It's very helpful for evaluators to get an extra look at some of the top prospects in the country, especially in big games.
Both Oregon and Ohio State are loaded with high-profile prospects, but the championship game could be decided by some future NFL players without the same name recognition as guys like Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota and Ohio State wide receiver Devin Smith. I reached out to five NFL executives and asked them to give me the name of an under-the-radar player to watch on Monday night. Here are their answers:
Executive 1: DL DeForest Buckner (Oregon)
"DeForest Buckner doesn't get the same attention as (Arik) Armstead, but he's a much better player."
Executive 2: DL Adolphus Washington (Ohio State)
"Adolphus Washington jumps out in tape. He could have a big impact on the game."
Executive 3: CB Troy Hill (Oregon)
"Troy Hill is playing at a very high level. He will be a key in slowing down Ohio State's passing game."
Executive 4: LB Curtis Grant and CB Doran Grant (Ohio State)
"I don't think they'll be NFL starters, but they'll get drafted and they could have an impact on this game."
Executive 5: CB Doran Grant (Ohio State)
"Doran Grant doesn't have great speed, but he has excellent ball skills. Keep an eye on him Monday night."
Summary: Keep an eye on DeForest Buckner. I've been told by numerous personnel guys that he is "big time!" I'm anxious to watch him.