The 24th-ranked USC Trojans take on the Nebraska Cornhuskers in the Holiday Bowl. This is a great game for Giants fans to pay attention to. There's a plethora of great prospects from both teams, including two targets that will almost surely go in the top 5 of the NFL draft. I'd still watch with interest, however, since they could fall just far enough for our team to pounce.They are, of course, USC's Leonard Williams and Nebraska's Randy Gregory.
Let's start with Williams. A goliath DE, tipping the scales at 6-foot-5, 298 pounds, he projects best as a dominant 3 technique in a 4-3 scheme or as a 5 technique in a 3-4 defense. That being said, he can move wherever he wants. He possesses elite athleticism, a long prototype frame, and brutal quickness. He shows a level of polish and instincts. If he can't get to the QB, he'll often double back and fill gaps or get into throwing lanes. He shows an absurd motor and often makes those backside tackles in pursuit and he's tough, as he played all of 2014 with a multitude of injuries (though none big enough to be concerning).
As far as Randy Gregory goes, I see him as the 3-4 version of Ezekiel Ansah. Extremely raw but insanely athletic defensive lineman with a high motor. He's only about 250 pounds dripping wet, but he's got a fantastic frame to add weight. His hands are extremely active and he's disruptive on almost every play. He's got some hidden strength that needs coaxing for his speed to power, but he's also got a quick release off the snap and has some bend to him.
Those two aren't the only great prospects. We've got two running backs from each team that will be looked upon very highly as well. Ameer Abdullah from Nebraska is the more well known, and projects as a speedy/shifty complementary back in the NFL. He has fantastic movement skills and has had some ridiculous cuts in college. I'm not sure he's a workhorse type back and may function best as a change of pace runner at the next level. Meanwhile, USC's Javorius Allen, also known as "Buck" is a bigger back at 6-foot-1, 220 pounds. He's got a nice blend of speed and power and is more of a one-cut back. He's an accomplished pass protector as well as receiver and he's durable. Both guys project as Day 2 selections.
Nelson Agholor is a shifty wide receiver that relies on his speed, route running, and cutting ability. Everybody is split on him. His hands are inconsistent and I don't trust him to make catches in traffic, but there's no doubt he's a talented player. I've seen him go as high as the 30s for some experts to as low as the fourth round for others. I personally see him as an early third round receiver.
Finally, linebacker Hayes Pullard and S Josh Shaw, both from USC, are Day 3 players to keep an eye on. Pullard isn't the most athletic player, but he flashes instincts, fundamental tackling ability, and is just a smooth, aggressive player. Shaw, meanwhile, you might recognize, as the player who lied about saving his cousin and subsequently breaking his ankles. In terms of character, he isn't the sharpest tool in the shed, but he's got some playing ability. Nice blend of height/weight/speed.
Teams: (24) Southern California Trojans vs. Nebraska Cornhuskers
Odds: USC (-7)
Game Time: Saturday, Dec. 27th, 8 p.m. EST