A few weeks ago the New York Giants were destined for a top five pick in the 2014 NFL Draft and were looking at the possibility of landing super stud Javedeon Clowney. Now the Giants are looking at an outside shot of making the playoffs and if the draft was held today they would currently be picking 10th. We'll try to focus today on a few teams we haven't looked at yet this year, tarting with the Fighting Illini and the Ohio State Buckeyes.
Illinois has two players who are in a position to be drafted at the moment -- linebacker Jonathan Brown and wide receiver Ryan Lankford -- but only one will be playing today because Ryan Lankford is injured. Brown has been terrific this year racking up 4 sacks and 88 tackles. He is an athletic player with experience on the outside and in the inside. Brown is a mid-round prospect who is athletic and can shed blocks well. I think he's a player who could end up being selected higher than people expect.
[Complete Week 12 Preview | SB Nation NFL Draft Top 100]
The Ohio State Buckeyes have a number of players who should be drafted in the first two days of the draft, which you would expect from a team that is consistently ranked as high as they are (currently No. 3 in the nation). Buckeyes prospects are also of interest to me because there are many Buckeyes players who have transitioned well to the NFL (and two former Buckeyes are currently on the Giants -- Jim Cordle and Johnathan Hankins). The best draft eligible player on the Buckeyes might be linebacker Ryan Shazier. Shazier has put up big numbers the last two years and has the length and explosiveness scouts look for in linebacker prospects. Shazier is mocked consistently in the first round right now and is currently SB Nation draft analyst Dan Kadar's 18th overall ranked player.
Cornerback Bradley Robey is the Buckeyes' best player, if it's not Shazier. Robey has decent size, but exceptional speed and plenty of experience. He could end up as the first cornerback drafted after the combine. OL Jack Mewhort, RB Carlos Hyde and S C.J. Barnett are all mid-round picks who could make contributions in the NFL.
To watch: The teams play at noon on ESPN.
Georgia Bulldogs at Auburn Tigers
This is the best game of the day in terms of a pure football game. I'm not sure if I've discussed either team yet either.
Gerogia's best prospect is probably quarterback Aaron Murray, but I don't see the Giants taking a quarterback early. The Bulldogs do have a nice tight end prospect in Arthur Lynch who has good blocking ability now and the size to be a solid blocker in the NFL. Offensive linemen Chris Burnette is a mid round guard prospect, though the Giants have enough of those already (Mosley, Brewer), but they could go that route again. Garrison Smith is a defensive tackle who is intriguing if he tests better than anticipated.
Auburn's best player is redshirt sophomore offensive tackle Greg Robinson. Robinson is #22 on Mel Kiper's big board. I usually don't include redshirt sophomore's on anything because who has any idea if they'll actually declare. The Tigers Dee Ford is a solid prospect who could play SAM linebacker in the NFL (and the Giants desperately need one of those). Running back Tre Mason has over a 1000 yards rushing this year with 6 touchdowns. Depending on David Wilson's potentially career-threatening neck injury running back could be a big position of need. The Tigers also have a terrific full back in Jay Porsch, but the Giants have two good ones in Conner and Hynoski.
To watch: The Bulldogs and Tigers play at 3:30 p.m. on CBS.
Saturday Viewing Guide
|Noon ET||No. 17 UCF, 7-1||Temple, 1-8||ESPN Regional|
|Noon ET||No. 3 Ohio State, 9-0||Illinois, 3-6||ESPN|
|Noon ET||Indiana, 4-5||No. 22 Wisconsin, 7-2||ESPN2|
|Noon ET||Iowa State, 1-8||No. 18 Oklahoma, 7-2||FS1|
|Noon ET||West Virginia, 4-6||Kansas, 2-7||FSN|
|Noon ET||Troy, 5-5||Ole Miss, 6-3||ESPNU|
|Noon ET||Purdue, 1-8||Penn State, 5-4||Big Ten Network|
|Noon ET||Cincinnati, 7-2||Rutgers, 5-3||ESPNews|
|Noon ET||Central Michigan, 3-6||Western Michigan, 1-9||ESPN Regional|
|12:21 p.m. ET||Kentucky, 2-7||Vanderbilt, 5-4||SEC Network|
|12:30 p.m. ET||NC State, 3-6||Boston College, 5-4||Regional Sports Networks|
|12:30 p.m. ET||North Carolina, 4-5||Pittsburgh, 5-4||ACC Network|
|12:30 p.m. ET||FAU, 3-6||Southern Miss, 0-9||CSS|
|12:30 p.m. ET||Maryland, 5-4||Virginia Tech, 7-3||ACC Network|
|1 p.m. ET||Akron, 3-7||UMass, 1-8||ESPN3.com|
|1 p.m. ET||Columbia||Cornell||FOX CS|
|1 p.m. ET||Yale||Princeton||ESPN3.com|
|2 p.m. ET||Washington State, 4-5||Arizona, 6-3||Pac-12 Network|
|2 p.m. ET||UAB, 2-7||East Carolina, 7-2||WITN|
|2 p.m. ET||UL Lafayette, 7-2||Georgia State, 0-9||ESPN3.com|
|2 p.m. ET||North Dakota State||Youngstown State||ESPN3.com|
|2 p.m. ET||Northern Iowa||Missouri State||ESPN3.com|
|2 p.m. ET||Weber State||Montana||Max Media|
|2 p.m. ET||South Dakota State||South Dakota||Midco|
|3 p.m. ET||Idaho State, 3-7||BYU, 6-3||BYUtv|
|3 p.m. ET||UConn, 0-8||SMU, 3-5||ESPN3.com|
|3 p.m. ET||Chattanooga||Samford||ESPN3.com|
|3 p.m. ET||Illinois State||Southern Illinois||CSN|
|3 p.m. ET||Howard||Texas Southern||KHOU|
|3:30 p.m. ET||No. 12 Oklahoma State, 8-1||No. 24 Texas, 7-2||FOX|
|3:30 p.m. ET||No. 16 Michigan State, 8-1||Nebraska, 7-2||ABC or ESPN2|
|3:30 p.m. ET||No. 23 Miami, 7-2||Duke, 7-2||ESPNU|
|3:30 p.m. ET||No. 25 Georgia, 6-3||No. 7 Auburn, 9-1||CBS|
|3:30 p.m. ET||Syracuse, 5-4||No. 2 Florida State, 9-0||ABC or ESPN2|
|3:30 p.m. ET||TCU, 4-6||Kansas State, 5-4||FSN|
|3:30 p.m. ET||South Alabama, 3-5||Navy, 5-4||CBSSN|
|3:30 p.m. ET||Michigan, 6-3||Northwestern, 4-5||Big Ten Network|
|3:30 p.m. ET||Eastern Washington||Cal Poly||Root|
|4 p.m. ET||Utah, 4-5||No. 6 Oregon, 8-1||FS1|
|4 p.m. ET||Sam Houston State||Southeast Louisiana||Southland TV|
|5:30 p.m. ET||California, 1-9||Colorado, 3-6||Pac-12 Network|
|6 p.m. ET||Northern Colorado||Northern Arizona||FSN|
|7 p.m. ET||Florida, 4-5||No. 10 South Carolina, 7-2||ESPN2|
|7 p.m. ET||Houston, 7-2||No. 20 Louisville, 8-1||ESPNU|
|7 p.m. ET||Texas Tech, 7-3||No. 5 Baylor, 8-0||FOX|
|7 p.m. ET||Colorado State, 5-5||New Mexico, 3-6||ROOT Sports|
|7 p.m. ET||Louisiana Tech, 4-5||Rice, 6-3||CBSSN|
|7 p.m. ET||Memphis, 2-6||USF, 2-6||ESPN3.com|
|7:30 p.m. ET||Texas State, 6-3||Arkansas State, 5-4||Sun Belt Network|
|7:45 p.m. ET||No. 1 Alabama, 9-0||Mississippi State, 4-5||ESPN|
|8 p.m. ET||No. 4 Stanford, 8-1||USC, 7-3||ABC|
|8 p.m. ET||FIU, 1-8||UTEP, 1-8||UTEPAthletics.com|
|8 p.m. ET||Northwestern State||McNeese State||ESPN3.com|
|9:30 p.m. ET||Oregon State, 6-3||No. 19 Arizona State, 7-2||Pac-12 Network|
|10:15 p.m. ET||Wyoming, 4-5||Boise State, 6-3||ESPN Networks|
|10:30 p.m. ET||San Diego State, 5-4||Hawaii, 0-9||CBSSN|
|10:30 p.m. ET||San Jose State, 5-4||Nevada, 3-7||ESPNU|