In years past we have brought you primers for every game of Bowl Season. However, given how bowl games have proliferated over the last few years, we decided to just highlight a few select games.
Those games are either big ones which should be good, competitive, fun games, or they are games featuring draft prospects who could interest the New York Giants. The first game of today’s slate checks off both of those boxes, so without further ado, lets get to it.
SERVPRO First Responder Bowl: Boston College vs. (25) Boise State
ESPN - 1:30 p.m.
Today marks the first day of Bowl Season with a game to which pretty much every Giants fan is going to want to pay attention.
This afternoon we see two teams boasting prospects who could wind up figuring in to the Giants’ draft plans. We should also see a good game between a pair of teams which don’t get much national buzz, but play solid football.
Thanks to the enduring quarterback question, we pretty much have to start here. Regular BBV contributor, and great and powerful (quarterback) Know It All, Mark Schofield has been a fan of Boise State quarterback Brett Rypien for months now. Rypien is one of the best quarterbacks in Boise State history, ranking second in passing yards with 13,581, completions with 1,036, passing attempts with 1,618, and touchdowns with 90. He also has the second-best interception ratio in school history, with a pick on just %1.79 of his passes.
Brett is also the nephew of former NFL QB Mark Rypien, who won a pair of Super Bowls (including an MVP award in the second one) with the Washington Redskins.
As a pro prospect, Mark said about Brett back in October:
If there is one quarterback whose name I want you to remember from this group, it is this one. A veteran QB who was a starter for the Broncos as a freshman, Rypien is a quarterback who excels at many of the small things, and this season has shown an ability to make some truly impressive throws with velocity and accuracy, adding one more positive trait to his growing list. Rypien is experienced in a more pro-style offense that tasks him with operating under center and in the shotgun, and he is required to be active in the pre-snap phase and also works well on play-action designs, turning his back to the defense as necessary. He is not afraid to challenge the middle of the field, and shows competitive toughness in the face of the blitz or pressure. He can adjust his thought process when the post-snap look does not mirror his pre-snap expectations, and still makes good decisions in those moments.
Rypien does get flustered at times against pressure or in the face of blitzes, and has a tendency to stare down his first read. His arm talent is not elite, and there are others in this group with a more impressive arm or with better velocity, but he can still make all the throws asked of him and is not limited schematically.
A month later, Mark was still high on Rypien, and wrote about him as a possible Senior Bowl attendee.
Now, if Jones decides to pass on the NFL and play one more season under Cutcliffe, then the player likely next in line is Boise State’s Brett Rypien, a player I implored you to study back when we put together the watch list, and a quarterback I remain very high on. Rypien checks a number of the boxes (especially if you are a believer in the “Parcells Rules,” where he checks all of them) and does a lot of the little things (anticipation, manipulation, pre-snap activity) very well. Now, Rypien has already accepted an invite to the East-West Shrine Game, so we’ll be seeing him in at least one more game (in addition to his bowl game) but it remains to be seen if St. Petersburg, and not Mobile, is in his future.
If the Giants either cannot, or do not, address the quarterback position with one of their first two picks, Rypien could be an option later in the draft to compete with Kyle Lauletta.
If you’re watching Rypien, odds are you’ll get to see plenty of Boston College’s top prospect Zach Allen. Allen has been an absolute wrecking ball for BC defense this season. He has 55 QB pressures, 15 tackles for a loss, and 6.5 sacks on the season from the defensive end position.
At 6’5”, 285 he probably doesn’t have the flexibility or lateral agility to be a true “EDGE” in the Giants’ scheme. However, his frame, power, and burst off the line are well suited to playing along the Giants’ defensive line — whether that is at the 5-technique defensive end in 3-man fronts, or as the 7-technique base end or 3-technique under tackle in 4-man fronts. While he might not be a replacement for Olivier Vernon, he could be a (very) rich man’s Kerry Wynn and would be a disruptor for a defense in need of one.
On the Boston College offense is interior offensive lineman Chris Lindstrom. Playing guard, Lindstrom is one of the biggest reasons for the success of Boston College’s running game. He plays with an excellent base and functional strength, as well as the technique to bring it to bear. He consistently wins his one-on-one battles in run blocking and pass protection, and also plays well in space.
Listed at 6’4”, 305 pounds, he has a versatile build, and the NFL will wonder whether or not he can transition to center and boost his value.
There are also two other bowl games on today:
Quicklane Bowl - Georgia Tech vs. Minnesota (ESPN, 5:30 p.m.)
Cheez-It Bowl - Cal vs. TCU (ESPN, 9 p.m.)
So, Giants fans, what, and who, are you watching today?