Today is a very big day for a few teams, especially Michigan State vs. Ohio State and Duke vs. Florida State. A win by the FSU and the Buckeyes means a very likely entrance into the BCS National Championship game. There will also be plenty of future NFL talent on display.
Stanford at Arizona State
Arizona State has two very good defenders who will be playing on Sundays and one who has a shot at being drafted in the first round in defensive tackle Will Sutton. Sutton doesn't have ideal size, but he has gotten bigger since his freshman year while maintaining his devastating athleticism. He could be a player the Giants are interested in to replace the potential departure of Linval Joseph or to add the pass rushing from the interior that they thought they were getting from Marvin Austin.
The other player you want to watch is linebacker Carl Bradford.
The Stanford Cardinal have really started to stockpile NFL talent in recent years and this year is no exception. Offensive linemen David Yankey should follow in the footsteps of Jon Martin and David Decastro and be selected in the late-first or early-second round. He is the Cardinal's best prospect to me, but many others like DL/OLB Trent Murphy. Some even like him as a top 10 pick, but he kind of reminds me of former Boise State Broncos DE Shea McClellin, he's a nice player, but not someone I'd grab in the first round. Linebacker Shayne Skov has battled injury issues and will get the "character concern" label, but he's a terrific linebacker and is a player the Giants might consider if he falls into round three. He'll also have to test well medically and at the combine. Defensive lineman Josh Mauro and running back Tyler Gaffney are players you should also watch today.
Duke at Florida State
The other game we'll focus on today is Duke and Florida State. Unless sensational freshman Jabari Parker makes the trip down on the bus with his basketball buddies and starts dribbling a basketball down the middle of the field during halftime, the pro prospects on the field for Duke will be limited. The player with the best shot is cornerback Ross Cockrell. Now the good thing for Cockrell is he can raise his profile tonight if he plays well because the Seminoles' quarterback and receivers are terrific.
Florida State has terrific players all over the field on both sides of the football. The highest-ranked player, generally, is offensive linemen Cameron Erving. How the Giants approach fixing their offensive line in the off-season will likely be the biggest off-season storyline. The next player, and my favorite player to watch on the team is safety Lamarcus Joyner. Like Bob Sanders and Tyran Matheiu before him, he's an undersized defensive back who just makes plays. Joyner is listed at 5-foot-8 and 195 pounds and isn't the fastest player on the field, but he has tremendous instincts and is always in the middle of the action. Matheiu is more of a natural ball hawk, but Joyner is a very good blitzer and has five sacks on the year. He's Bob Sanders, and Sanders did win a defensive MVP one year.
Linebacker Christian Jones is a terrific athlete who is lengthy and has some pass rushing ability, but doesn't have the terrific production. Defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan looks like a day two prospect. Safety Terrance Brooks and linebacker Telvin Smith are often projected to go somewhere on day two as well. The Seminoles are loaded on defense, basically just watch them play defense and whoever stands out for you is a NFL prospect.
The Seminoles receivers can ball, but Kelvin Benjamin is an underclassmen who will have to declare to get in the draft. Senior Kenny Shaw has some draft prospects as well.
Be sure to swing over to Dan Kadar and his crew's coverage for more coverage in today's games.
I'm sure there will be plenty up on the other big games of the day especially Missouri and Auburn/Ohio State-Michigan State and Texas-Baylor.
But let me throw the name Ryan Shazier out there from the Ohio State Buckeyes. I don't know if he's approached my affinity for Alec Ogletree yet, but he's another very nice linebacker prospect who would look great in blue.