This game was a good test for Alabama left tackle Evan Neal because Auburn has some young defensive line talent. The Tigers attacked Neal with undersized speed rushers off the edge. Neal was having some problems with the short defenders getting underneath him and charging upfield to pressure Bryce Young. Neal was called for a holding and was fortunate that some passes were released quickly by Neal. On a third-and-goal in the fourth quarter, the Auburn defensive end disengaged from Neal to chase down Young for a sack.
Overall, this tape will fortify the belief of some area scouts that Neal should be a right tackle in the NFL. He is a monster of a tackle who is a tough run blocker and has a ton of media hype. Some NFL scouts, however, think his massive size leads to him not having left tackle feet and he would be a better fit on the right side in the NFL. Regardless, Neal looks like a top-16 pick next April in the 2022 NFL Draft.
Alabama wide receiver Jameson Williams had a noteworthy game, but no one would have expected that it would come in punt coverage. Early in the first quarter while Williams was playing gunner, and he used his elite speed to fly down the field to catch the ball at the two-yard line. Later in the first quarter, Williams got open running a deep cross for a 34-yard gain. Early in the second quarter, Williams laid out a vicious helmet-to-helmet hit in punt coverage, which drew a targeting penalty. With college football's absurd rules, that penalty ejected Williams from the game and will cost him the first half of the SEC Championship Game versus Georgia.
Overall, this tape won't hurt Williams with NFL teams. In fact, his willingness to play and tackle hard on special teams will impress pro evaluators about his team-first attitude and physicality. The 6-foot-2, 189-pound Williams has quality height, but his explosive speed with suddenness and a vertical burst that catches defensive backs by surprise are what make him truly special. The lightning bolt-fast Williams could be one of the NFL's most dangerous deep-threat receivers early in his career. Williams has put himself in contention to be a first-round pick with his dominant 2021 season.
Auburn cornerback Roger McCreary was seeing a tough test with Williams and John Metchie, but McCreary showed why he is a future NFL cover corner with a fabulous performance in his final home game.
In the second quarter, McCreary ran stride-for-stride with Metchie before making a leaping pass breakup. In the third quarter, McCreary ran with Metchie across the field, and that helped lead to an overthrow that was intercepted. Late in the third, McCreary broke hard on a deep out to make a diving breakup at the one-yard line. Late in the fourth quarter, McCreary was running close with Metchie along the sideline and reacted well to the pass dropping in to break up another pass. In the fourth overtime, Metchie got open against McCreary on a short route, slanting to the inside and then cutting back to the outside to catch the two-point conversion that won the game. It was a very difficult assignment for McCreary, and Metchie executed it perfectly with Bryce Young.
Overall though, this tape will really help McCreary with pro evaluators because he showed the ability to run the route and prevent separation. McCreary stayed in phase and didn't panic when the ball came his direction. With nice twitch, McCreary did a good job of slapping passes away and playing the ball rather than interfering with the receiver. This performance should boost McCreary, who looks like he could be a starting slot corner in the NFL.