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NFL Draft Prospect Watch: Florida State vs. Miami Hurricanes

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Prospects to watch today when Florida State faces Miami.

Michael Shroyer

The New York Giants are 3-6 and heading into a critical game against the San Francisco 49ers this weekend. I know things look grim, but I prefer not to give up on the team quite yet...if the Giants win toady things could look much better three weeks from now as the Giants remaining games are home vs Cowboys, at Jaguars, at Titans, home vs Redskins, at Rams, and home vs the Eagles. They could end up with a record of 8-8 or perhaps even better, which would disappoint some who are hoping for a high draft pick! As we go forward I'll highlight a few games a week to check out.

No. 3 Florida State at Miami Hurricanes

The New York Giants don't currently have any players on their team from Florida State, but over the past few years have had plenty from Miami. The best prospect in the game is quarterback Jameis Winston but he's not a New York Giants type and Eli has had such a good year quarterback is no longer a problem the next few years.

Florida State does have some good players on defense. Junior cornerbacks P.J. Williams and Ronald Darby are both guys who should be drafted before the second day is over--Williams possibly in the first. Both have good size and fluidity, though neither have great take away numbers.

The second best prospect for the Seminoles might be defensive linemen Eddie Goldman who was a highly sought after high school recruit who is finally putting it together now. He is very good against the run and offers some pass rush ability. He has 43 DT/ 34 DE versatility and at 6-foot-3, 320 pounds some good size. North Carolina State coach Dave Doeren called him the best defensive tackle in the nation. The Seminoles have another top defensive linemen prospect in Mario Edwards who fits best as a 34 DE. The Giants don't currently run a 34 defense, but if the rest of the season goes poorly next year, they might, and it's worth watching the prospects.

Florida State is generally known for their great defense but actually have more offensive prospects than defensive ones (though the defensive ones are more top tier). On offense the 'Noles second best prospect is wide receiver Reshad Greene who is a ball magnet. He's caught 11 passes at least three times already this year. He's always open. He's not big though about 5-11, 175. Tight end Nick O'Leary has been one of the better tight ends in the nation from his first year on the field with the 'Noles and that remains true now. He doesn't have great size, but is a very good receiver. He's possibly a day 2 pick.

A big reason I chose to highlight this game is because of the next three prospects: the Seminoles have a couple of potential day 2 offensive linemen who should get a look from the Giants in OT Cameron Erving who some projected as a top 20 type before the season, but he hasn't played consistently at that level. He's 6-5, 310 pounds, he played defensive tackle when he first got to Florida State and plays with a lot of toughness, as you'd expect from a guy who transitioned to offensive linemen is technique isn't always great. But he's tough and athletic and the Giants are missing that along their offensive line.  Offensive Guard Tre' Jackson is just what the doctor ordered. He's 6-4, 330 pounds and a mauler, but has struggled in pass protection. He was mentioned as the top guard prospect frequently prior to the season, but now teams must figure out if he can pass protect well enough for that kind of investment. At 6-6, Josue Matias has tackle size (and experience) and now is one of the better guards in the country. Matias might actually be selected before Jackson in the draft.

Running back Karlos Williams is the last prospect I will highlight. He's a big back with speed.  The 6-1, 225-pound Williams has 17 receptions on the year. He should score high on the speed score metric which is something that has drawn the Giants to players in the past.

Miami Hurricanes

Two players to watch on Miami. The first is running back Duke Johnson, who is 5-9, 206. Johnson is one of the best big play backs in the nation. He possess terrific acceleration. Hes' currently averaging 7.68 yards per carry! He also has 21 catches for 273 yards. Johnson has dynamic ability that is tough to find and could be a great addition to the running back group of Jennings and Williams as he offers a different skill set. He has had some head injuries that could worry teams, but the Cincinnati head coach brought up Walton Payton and Barry Sanders while praising him (obviously some exaggeration here), but just to indicate his ability.

Next a linebacker! Denzel Perryman received a third-round grade from the draft advisory committee last year so he decided to return to school and he has been very good this year. Perryman has good range to chase sideline to sideline and he likes blowing people up. He has 72 tackles this year, 5 tackles for loss, and a couple of sacks. He's listed at 6-0, 242 pounds. Perryman needs some space to operate, but when he gets it he makes plays.

There are other draftable prospects on Miami like OL Ereck Flowers (injured), CB Ladarius Gunter, WR Phillip Dorsett, and tight end Clive Walford, but the two to really pay attention to are Johnson and Perryman.