Good morning New York Giants fans!
Happy Saturday and welcome to Week 10 of the 2023 college football season.
While it feels like the 2023 season has been going on forever, we still have 10 more games left until the NFL’s playoffs start. College football, however is really starting to come down to the wire. This year has been chaotic and while we’ve had several teams playing really good football, no team has been truly dominant. Taking a step back, this year has made a great argument for an expanded College Football Playoffs.
This week gives us one of the biggest games on the entire calendar to watch, as well as some great matchups across the slate. So without further ado, let’s take a look at some players who could interest the Giants in the 2024 NFL Draft.
Jer’Zhan Newton, iDL, Illinois
Minnesota vs. Illinois (Big Ten Network, 3:30 p.m.)
I’ve been wanting to talk about Newton for a while now, but haven’t had a great opportunity. But now is the perfect time with Leonard Williams being traded to the Seahawks.
I’ll put it simply: Newton might be the most disruptive interior rusher in the entire nation and he simply leaps off the tape. He’s an undersized defensive tackle at 6-foot-2, 295 pounds, but he has an impressive burst and plays with the kind of violence that’s reminiscent of Ndamukong Suh coming out of Nebraska.
Illinois DT Jer'Zhan Newton is the best defensive prospect in the 2024 NFL Draft— Chicago Football Connection (@CFCBears) October 26, 2023
The Bears need to add pass rushers this offseason and ideally that comes from the edge but give me Newton over any of the top edge guys this year pic.twitter.com/E8Ahn12Z5y
Ja’Tavion Sanders, TE, Texas
(7) Texas vs. (23) Kansas State (FOX, noon)
The Giants made some head-scratching decisions at tight end when making their final cut-downs. It’s clear they value Darren Waller’s skill set as a big, athletic hybrid tight end who can play all over the offensive formation. Not only did they trade for Waller, but also kept Lawrence Cager on the roster over more traditional tight ends.
Sanders is another tight end in that mold at 6-foot-4, 240 pounds and is certainly a “receiver first”. He’s a natural pass catcher with sticky (and incredibly strong) hands, as well as a savvy route runner who can pick up yards after the catch due to sheer competitiveness. In fact, Sanders leads all tight ends in yards after the catch and is top-10 among all pass catchers in the nation.
Ja'Tavion Sanders takes a lick but holds on pic.twitter.com/9FqFFd1oti— Ian Valentino (@NFLDraftStudy) October 28, 2023
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Sanders needs to improve his blocking heading into the NFL — at least in the running game. If your offensive coordinator is asking Ja’Tavion Sanders to stay home and pass protect instead of going out into routes, you probably need to re-evaluate your offensive scheme.
Sanders certainly has the willingness to get his hands dirty, as well as the toughness to be a factor as a run blocker. Sanders will likely never be a dominant blocker but he doesn’t need to be. He just needs to clean up his technique and pad level enough to lose slowly in the run game.
Javon Foster, OT, Missouri
(2) Georgia vs. (12) Missouri (CBS, 3:30 p.m.)
I decided to go with a bit of a deep cut for this game. Foster was named the SEC Lineman Of The Week for his performance against South Carolina two weeks ago. He’s a big, long-armed right tackle with a reputation as a mauling run blocker who relishes contact. Foster also has a reputation as a very smart lineman who keeps his head when faced with stunts, twists, and blitzes.
At 6-foot-5, 320 pounds, I think Foster might actually be a good candidate to slide inside to guard. He can be heavy-footed and has been dinged for stopping his feet when faced with speed. Moving Foster inside would limit his exposure to athletic edge rushers, as well as limit how much ground he needs to cover. Likewise, it would accentuate his strengths as a close-quarters mauler. And while Foster might be a marginal athlete as a tackle, he could be a good athlete for a guard, which would expand his scheme versatility. He could make for a very intriguing mid-round pick for a team looking to beef up their offensive line.
As usual, the Georgia Bulldogs are flush with NFL talent and the best way to scout them is to just enjoy the game and take note of whoever flashes brightest. There’s plenty of time to circle back and re-watch the various future NFL players on their squad.
Malik Nabers (WR, LSU)
(8) Alabama vs. (14) LSU (CBS, 7:45 p.m.)
The annual showdown between Alabama and LSU is always one of the biggest games of the year and must-watch tape for scouts.
This year’s draft class could be replete with pass catchers, and LSU’s Malik Nabers is one of the best. Nabers doesn’t quite have Marvin Harrison Jr’s athletic tools, but he’s a very good receiver in his own right. Nabers is athletic, a savvy route runner, sure-handed, dependable in traffic, and a great deep threat.
#LSU WR Malik Nabers has an innate ability to find soft spots in zone coverage and exploit it with his explosiveness after the catch. Turns it into another gear in an instant.— Devin Jackson (@RealD_Jackson) October 26, 2023
Sinks smoothly in and out of his routes (Jayden Daniels is playing at a high level too). Fun prospect. pic.twitter.com/JM0l1L6BYb
J.C. Latham, T/G, Alabama
(8) Alabama vs. (14) LSU (CBS, 7:45 p.m.)
This is one of those games that’s absolutely replete with NFL talent. I’m not sure, as of this writing, if Latham will play. But if he does, Alabama’s right tackle could be of interest to the Giants.
Latham is a 20-year-old junior with a rare combination of size (6-foot-6, 330 pounds) and athleticism. He started his career at Alabama by playing right guard as a true freshman and has played right tackle the last two seasons. He’s a bull of a run blocker and easily able to drop anchor and absorb power as a pass protector. It should be noted that Latham has some of the same issues as Neal with regards to lateral agility, waist bending, and dealing with speed off the edge. Considering he started the week in a walking boot (why I’m not sure if he’ll play against LSU), those issues could be exacerbated in this game. However, Latham’s upside and potential to slide inside and be a mauling guard deserve attention.