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College football Week 9: Draft season is coming

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Which games and players will you be watching today?

NCAA Football: Big Ten Championship-Ohio State vs Wisconsin Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Saturday and welcome to Week 9 of the college football season!

The New York Giants might not be saying that they have thrown in the towel on the 2018 season, but the trades of Eli Apple and Damon Harrison should be a pretty clear signal to fans that it’s time to start paying more attention to 2019 draft prospects.

Today we have several games that should have great match-ups. We’re starting with one team we have looked at before, but will keep an eye on throughout the remainder of the season. We also have some other teams that we haven’t checked in on yet.

Northwestern at (20) Wisconsin

FOX - noon

I have put the spotlight on Wisconsin a few times already this season, but for a New York Giants team in desperate need of several offensive linemen, being familiar with Wisconsin isn’t a bad idea. As we’ve pointed out before, Wisconsin is one of the few OL factories remaining in college football, and they have several draft-eligible lineman the Giants should be scouting.

Players to watch

Northwestern

  • Paddy Fisher (LB)
  • Montre Hartage (CB)

Wisconsin

  • David Edwards (OT)
  • Michael Deiter (OT)
  • Tyler Biadasz (OC)
  • Beau Benzschawel (OG)
  • Olive Sagapolu (DT)
  • T.J. Edwards (LB)
  • Ryan Connelly (LB)

(17) Penn State at (18) Iowa

ESPN - 3:30 p.m.

A match of ranked opponents usually makes for a good game. When the two are right next to each other in the rankings, it should make for a great game.

For the Giants, Penn State is probably the more interesting team from a scouting perspective. With Eli Apple traded and Janoris Jenkins possibly next — or a potential cap casualty — the Giants will need to rebuild their secondary to play James Bettcher’s defense. Penn State cornerback Amani Oruwariye has the size, length, quick feet and body control to play in Bettcher’s aggressive coverage schemes, but he is also something of an unknown.

He has 35 games of experience, but never started a game before his fifth year at Penn State.

Also, wide reciever Juwan Johnson could intrigue a team which still has few proven options behind Odell Beckham Jr. and Sterling Shepard. Johnson has great size at 6-foot-4, 230, and could intrigue as a potential flanker.

Players to watch

Penn State

  • Amani Oruwariye (CB)
  • Juwan Johnson (WR)
  • Ryan Bates (OT/OG)

Iowa

  • Noah Fant (TE)
  • Anthony Nelson (DE)

(16) Texas A&M at Mississippi State

ESPN - 7 p.m.

This is one of those interesting games where the more highly ranked team isn’t the one which is most interesting from a draft perspective. The player to watch this game is Mississippi State defensive tackle Jeffery Simmons. Simmons is working his way into the conversation with Alabama’s Quinnen Williams and Houston’s Ed Oliver for the top defensive tackle in the draft. Simmons combines a prototypical build with athleticism and explosive power into a very nasty package.

Players to watch

Texas A&M

  • Daylon Mack (DT)
  • Kingsley Keke (DT)

Mississippi St.

  • Jeffery Simmons (DT)
  • Montez Sweat (EDGE)
  • Darryl Williams (Guard)