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2022 CFP National Championship: Draft prospects Bears should target and open thread

Tonight’s national championship showcases plenty of elite talents the Bears would be smart to target in the 2022 draft.

Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl - Cincinnati v Georgia Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images

Monday marks a day that Bears face begin to look towards the future.

With the firings of general manager Ryan Pace and head coach Matt Nagy, the Bears have decided to move on from their current regime in hopes of building something better in the coming seasons. Though George McCaskey and Ted Phillips’ press conference didn’t exactly inspire confidence in Chicagoland, one can only hope that having made several hiring mistakes would give the Bears some semblance of understanding in this process.

While currently unknown who will be coaching and GMing (general managing?) the team going forward, those remaining in the organization should have their eyes peeled towards the 2022 College Football Playoff National Championship.

No. 1 Alabama and No. 3 Georgia face off Monday night at 7:00 PM CST to determine who the FBS champion will be. Both teams possess loaded rosters with dozens of future NFL draft picks, which means the Bears would be smart to pay attention to the players on each team.

We’ve decided to give you all an open thread during the national championship game, as well as the top 2022 draft prospects to watch out for in the matchup. Or feel free to use this WCG-MA thread as an excuse to let your anger out regarding the current state of the Bears. We’re cool either way!

Not all of the prospects listed below will be playing in these matchups, whether it be due to injury or having opted out of the bowl itself. However, I have decided to keep it inclusive and list the top prospects for each team playing this weekend, whether the player suits up or not.

Alabama Crimson Tide

  • OT Evan Neal
  • WR Jameson Williams
  • WR John Metchie III
  • LB Christian Harris
  • LB Henry To’o To’o
  • CB Josh Jobe
  • S Jordan Battle
  • TE Jahleel Billingsley
  • OG Emil Ekiyor Jr.
  • RB Brian Robinson Jr.
  • DL Phidarian Mathis
  • DL Justin Eboigbe
  • DL DJ Dale
  • DL LaBryan Ray
  • S Demarcco Hellams
  • DB Jalyn Armour-Davis

Alabama has now appeared in six of the eight National Championship games since the adoption of the playoff format, so it’s no surprise the juggernaut program has another loaded roster this year.

Their offense is led by Heisman Trophy winner Bryce Young, a dynamic quarterback who isn’t eligible for the 2022 draft. Though Jameson Williams or Evan Neal won’t be available by the time the Bears pick, John Metchie III is a polished route runner who should generate Day 2 consideration. Their offense also features an unproductive, yet wildly gifted tight end in Jahleel Billingsley who could be a sleeper pick on Day 3, as well as a big-bodied interior blocker with a mean streak in Emil Ekiyor Jr.

If the aforementioned Young isn’t the top pick in the 2023 draft, there’s a good chance it could be his teammate, edge rusher Will Anderson Jr. The Crimson Tide have plenty of draftable defenders in 2022, though, including the athletic linebacking duo of Christian Harris and Henry To’o To’o. Bears fans should familiarize themselves with lengthy and athletic cornerback Josh Jobe, in addition to well-rounded safety Jordan Battle.

Georgia Bulldogs

  • DL Jordan Davis
  • LB Nakobe Dean
  • CB Derion Kendrick
  • S Lewis Cine
  • WR George Pickens
  • DL Devonte Wyatt
  • DL/EDGE Travon Walker
  • OG Jamaree Salyer
  • EDGE Nolan Smith
  • RB Zamir White
  • LB Quay Walker
  • S Tykee Smith
  • EDGE Adam Anderson
  • RB James Cook
  • LB Channing Tindall
  • OG Justin Shaffer
  • WR Dominick Blaylock
  • P Jake Camarda

Georgia finds itself in its second National Championship game, having faced Alabama after the 2017 season. This time around, they hope to come out victorious.

The calling card of the Bulldogs’ roster has to be the defense, featuring one of, if not the best front-seven in the nation. Jordan Davis and Nakobe Dean are both likely first-round picks, while Derion Kendrick and Lewis Cine are both fluid and rangy defensive backs worth the Bears’ consideration on Day 2. Essentially their entire starting defense has a chance to be drafted should they declare this year.

Though Georgia’s offense doesn’t have as much firepower as its defense, it’s far from a weak unit. The dynamic running back duo of Zamir White and James Cook has both backs looking like future NFL contributors, led by a nasty group of offensive linemen. Chicago’s best option may be wide receiver George Pickens, who missed most of the season with a torn ACL but offers top-notch size, speed and ball skills along the boundary.

Remember that open threads are rated WCG-MA, and while swearing is allowed, community guidelines must be followed.

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