clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

2014 NFL Draft Prospect Watch: Rivalry Week

Which 2014 NFL Draft prospects to watch today.

Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

This week might be the best week of college football of the year. It's rivalry week and there are plenty of good games on today, headlined by Alabama and Auburn, but Ohio State-Michigan, UCLA and USC, Norte Dame-Stanford, Clemson-South Carolina are all interesting games as well.

Ohio State-Michigan

These are not two teams we have discussed frequently, but there are some terrific players in this game. For Michigan the big star for draft purposes is offensive linemen Taylor Lewan. Lewan is the best Michigan linemen since Jake Long and has a good shot at being a top 10 pick in the draft. How the Giants fix their offensive line will be the story of the winter for the Giants-- do they keep Pugh at right tackle or move him inside? If they decide to move Pugh inside they could look at a player like Lewan. He's big, athletic, and plays mean. The Wolverines also have another offensive linemen who is draftable in Michael Schofield.

Ohio State  has a load of good players led by the terrific Ryan Shazier and cornerback Robey. Last week Shazier had 20 tackles (5 for loss), a sack, and a forced fumble. All in a days work. Shazier is a mid- first-round pick, but maybe if he's available early in the second the Giants could solve one problem they have at outside linebacker. Robey is very athletic and is also going to hear his name called in the first. The other player of primary focus is running back Carlos Hyde.

Clemson at South Carolina

What should the Giants do about Hakeem Nicks? If they can keep him for their price they will, if not they could look at wide receiver early in the draft and one of the best is definitely Clemson wide receiver Sammy Watkins. Watkins burst onto the scene two years ago as a freshman, and after a down year last year has put up big numbers again. Watkins has terrific body control, good size and he can beat you deep. He's often projected to be in the top 15 picks.

If the Giants decide to fix the strongside linebacker with a pass rusher type like Bruce Irvin then Clemon's Vic Beasley is the way to go. He's a sack specialist who is too small to play a standard 4-3 defensive end.

South Carolina Jadeveon Clowney is still possible for the Giants at this point in the season, though he's almost assuredly a top three pick, but it seems like a long shot.

Florida State-Florida

Florida is not as good as it has been in the past, but they are not devoid of top talent. The Gators have a terrific cornerback in Louchiez Purifoy. He's listed at 6-feet, 190 pounds, which is the size the Giants like in their cornerbacks. He's mocked anywhere from mid-round one to early round two right now. On the other side is cornerback Marucs Roberson who is listed at 6-feet, 195 pounds. And then if you can believe it the Gators have another cornerback in Jaylen Watkins also listed at 6-feet and weighing in at a 188 pounds who is projected to be a third or fourth-round pick. They all have a big test today going up against Jameis WInston who has been phenomenal. And seeing how the Giants will likely need help at cornerback at draft time, this is a game you should be interested in from a draft prospective.

Florida State offensive linemen Cameron Earving has been discussed here before, but he's a potential first-round pick. The Seminoles have five guys on defense who are projected to be day two picks, in DB Lemarcus Joyner, DT Timmy Jernigan, Terrance Brooks at safety and linebackers Christian Jones and Telvin Smith. One of the better centers in the nation plays in Tallahassee and that is Ryan Stork.

This is really just a primer for all the action, I also suggest you check out the former Mocking the Draft for more information on this big college football week. They'll have you covered in the games I missed.