NFL stock rising for Tide defenders

Kevin Weidl of Scouts, Inc. came away from the Allstate BCS Championship Game believing four Alabama defenders could be taken in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft.

Here's what he said about Tide linebacker Courtney Upshaw: "He was the defensive MVP of the win over LSU with seven tackles and a sack, showing off the blue-collar mentality and nonstop motor that make him a tempo-setter along the front seven.Upshaw (6-1¾ , 271) isn't an elite athlete, but he did show more range and quickness than expected when he forced Tigers QB Jordan Jefferson to pitch the ball on an option play then turned and chased down the ball carrier to the sideline. He also flashes some quickness as a pass rusher, but his defining trait is his explosive power."

For the rest of what he said about Upshaw, and his thoughts on cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick, safety Mark Barron and linebacker Dont'a Hightower, click here.