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Previewing the New Year’s Day bowl games

Players to watch in today’s bowl games

NCAA Football: Big Ten Conference-Football Championship-Northwestern vs Ohio State Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

For the second time today, Happy New Year New York Giants fans!

Today is Janurary 1st, so that means that it’s time for the traditional New Year’s Day celebration. No, not trying to overcome your hangover in time to be a functional adult/human (though that is traditional for many). I mean that it’s time to pull up some couch and watch College Football Bowl games!

Today features some great match-ups and potential draft prospects who should interest the Giants.

Outback Bowl - Iowa vs (18) Mississippi State

ESPN 2 - Noon

Unfortunately, Iowa tight end Noah Fant will be skipping this game as he prepares for the 2019 NFL Draft. However, that gives fellow TE T.J. Hockenson time to shine. Hockenson is a player who could appeal to the Giants should they decide to make Rhett Ellison a cap casualty. He is a punishing blocker and a reliable receiver with athletic upside. He and Engram could form a dynamic duo in 12-personnel packages. He is, however, a red-shirt sophomore and might well decide to return to school.

On the Mississippi State side of things is the top prospect in the game, DT Jeffery Simmons. Simmons doesn’t get the buzz that Ed Oliver and Quinnen Williams get, but he is very nearly at their level as a prospect. He is a bit undersized for a “traditional” defensive tackle, but he is long and very athletic. He uses his tools well and is a disruptive force along the defensive interior. Likewise, EDGE Montez Sweat is worth watching as well. He is long, athletic, and a solid fit in either 3-4 or 4-3 fronts.

Players to watch


  • T.J. Hockenson (TE)
  • Anthony Nelson (DL)

Mississippi State

  • Jeffery Simmons (DL)
  • Montez Sweat (EDGE)
  • Jonathan Abrams (S)
  • Darryl Williams (OL)
  • Elgton Jenkins (OL)

Citrus Bowl - (14) Kentucky vs. (12) Penn State

ABC - 1 p.m.

The top prospect on either squad should interest the Giants. The obvious one here is Kentucky’s EDGE/OLB Josh Allen. Allen has worked his way into becoming one of the top EDGE and linebacker prospects in the nation. Not only is he a pass rushing force off the edge, but he is also fully capable of playing off-ball linebacker should the situation demand it.

On the Penn State side of things is CB Amani Oruwariye. The Giants might find themselves with a hole to fill at cornerback, and Oruwariye has the frame and athletic profile they typically covet at the position. He is a talented man coverage cornerback and would be a good fit in the Giants’ defense

Players to watch


  • Josh Allen (EDGE/OLB)
  • Derrick Baity (CB)
  • Mike Edwards (S)

Penn State

  • Amani Oruwariye (CB)
  • Miles Sanders (RB)
  • Juwan Johnson (WR)

Fiesta Bowl (11) LSU vs. (8) UCF

ESPN - 1 p.m.

This is another game which will be missing some of its best, or most exciting, players

At the top of the list is UCF quarterback McKenzie Milton, who suffered a gruesome knee injury earlier in the year and nearly lost his leg.

But then LSU cornerback Greedy Williams and DL Ed Alexander are both sitting the game out as they begin their preparations for the NFL draft. LSU’s other cornerback, Kristian Fulton will miss the bowl game due to ankle surgery, which was performed in the beginning of December.

Players to watch


  • Devin White (LB)
  • Rashard Lawrence (DT)
  • Garrett Brumfield (OL)

Rose Bowl - (6) Ohio State vs. (9) Washington

ESPN - 5 p.m.
If there is one game to watch today, the Rose Bowl might be it. Between the pageantry of the Parade of Roses to the teams on the field, this game is set to be the highlight of the afternoon and evening.

The most obvious prospect to watch is Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins. Haskins hasn’t yet declared for the draft, but if he does he will dominate mock drafts for the Giants. Haskins has size, arm strength, and accuracy, but with just 15 starts to his resume, experience is a question. Of course, Ohio State boasts a huge number of future NFL players on their roster.

Washington too has a talented roster and DB’s Byron Murphy and Taylor Rapp could intriguing options for the Giants’ secondary

Players to watch

Ohio State

  • Dwayne Haskins (QB)
  • Dre’Mont Jones (DT)
  • Robert Landers (DL)
  • K.J. Hill (WR)
  • Parris Campbell (WR)


Byron Murphy (CB)

Taylor Rapp (S)

Ben Burr-Kirven (LB)

Kaleb McGary (OT)

Myles Gaskin (RB)

Sugar Bowl - (5) Georgia vs. (15) Texas

ESPN - 8:45 p.m.

Our final game of the day should be a good match-up.

We still don’t know what the future of the Giants’ quarterback position will be, and scouting players who might be factors in future drafts might not be a bad idea. I’ve mentioned Georgia’s Jake Fromm a few times, and I will do so again. Fromm is a solid, sound quarterback to good arm strength, accuracy, and plenty of poise. He’s been in big-game situations going back to little league base ball, and pressure is familiar to him.

Facing Fromm will be Texas DBs Kris Boyd (CB) and Brandon Jones (S). The Giants will likely want to add talent to their secondary over the course of their off-season, and either player might present intriguing value if they happen to slip out of the second day of the draft. Wide receiver Collin Johnson could be an option in the second round, should Dave Gettleman want to add a big (6 feet, 6 inch, 215 pounds) receiver to the offense.

Players to watch


  • Jake Fromm (QB - not draft eligible)
  • Riley Ridley (WR)
  • Isaac Nuata (TE)
  • D’Andre Walker (EDGE)
  • J.R. Reed (S)


  • Collin Johnson (WR)
  • Kris Boyd (CB)
  • Brandon Jones (S)
  • Charles Omenihu (DL)

Enjoy the games everyone, and feel free to use this as your open thread for the games.