While both Rice and Mississippi State have a number of draft eligible prospects, there's really only one that New York Giants' fans need to pay attention to during today's Liberty Bowl, and that is Gabe Jackson.
Jackson is the one player on the field who is (almost) certain to hear his name called in May. When he hears it is still up for debate, but he will certainly be drafted.
Jackson is a truly massive guard prospect, currently listed at 6-3 and weighing in at 340 (you read that correctly) pounds. However, despite his huge size, he carries the weight well. He manages to look enormous without looking overly fat.
Jackson is every bit as powerful a blocker as his frame suggests, but he is also a surprisingly nimble athlete for an offensive line prospect in generel, particularly for somebody 340 pounds. Jackson is a natural knee bender with long arms and powerful hands.
Not only is Jackson a road-grading run blocker able to use his strength and natural agility to create movement off the ball, but he is also agile enough to be effective on the second level. His light feet, balance, and natural bend make him an effective pass protector as well.
Jackson's draft stock in currently in flux. He's generally considered one of the top three or four guards in the 2014 draft along with David Yankey (Stanford), Cyril Richardson (Baylor), and Zach Martin (Notre Dame). Where each of them falls might depend on who gets picked around them and what an individual team is looking for scheme-wise. Regardless, big number 61 bears watching today.
Teams: Rice vs. Mississippi State
Date and Time: Dec. 31st, 4 p.m. ET