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2024 NFL Draft watch: Players to watch for the Giants on Championship Saturday

Who should Giants fans be watching on Championship Saturday?

NCAA Football: CFP National Championship-Georgia vs Alabama Joshua Bickel-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning New York Giants fans! Happy Saturday and welcome back to college football’s Championship Weekend.

We already got a start on the festivities last night with the CUSA and Pac-12 Championships. Today we have eight championship games on tap over the course of the day:

  • Big 12 Championship: (7) Texas vs. (18) Oklahoma State - ABC, noon
  • MAC Championship: Toledo vs. Miami (OH) - ESPN, noon
  • Mountain West Championship: UNLV vs. Boise State - Fox, 3:00 p.m.
  • SEC Championship: (8) Alabama vs. (1) Georgia - CBS, 4:00 p.m.
  • AAC Championship: (22) Tulane vs. SMU - ABC, 4:00 p.m.
  • Sun Belt Championship: Troy vs. Appalachian State - ESPN, 4:00 p.m.
  • Big-10 Championship: (16) Iowa vs. (2) Michigan - Fox, 8:00 p.m.
  • ACC Championship: (4) Florida State vs. (14) Louisville - 8:00 p.m.

I want to encourage everyone to use this as an open thread to discuss all of today’s games and the 2024 NFL Draft prospects on the field. But, to keep this piece somewhat manageable, I’ll only be talking about the Big 12, SEC, Big-10, and ACC championships.

That said, I do want to give a mention to Michael Pratt and Tulane. The Tulane QB will likely be a riser over the course of the draft process, and it would be good to get acquainted with him now.

Big 12 Championship

Oklahoma State

  • Collin Oliver (edge)

Texas

  • Xavier Worthy (WR)
  • Adonai Mitchell (WR)
  • Ja’Tavion Sanders (TE - Hybrid)
  • T’Vondre Sweat (iDL)
  • Byron Murphy II (iDL)
  • Jahdae Barron (S)

Notes: Texas has done an excellent job of recruiting over the last few years, and they have quite a few future NFL players on their roster. The Giants will likely be most interested in Worthy and Mitchell, both of whom are talented receivers with the ability to take the top off a defense. T’Vondre Sweat could also appeal as an absolutely mammoth (6-foot-4, 362-pound) defensive tackle with startling movement skills for a man of his size. Pairing Sweat with Dexter Lawrence could be absolutely ridiculous in the best way possible.

SEC Championship

Alabama

  • J.J. Latham (OT)
  • Jermaine Burton (WR)
  • Dallas Turner (edge)
  • Chris Braswell (edge)
  • Kool-Aid McKinstry (CB)
  • Terrion Arnold (CB)

Georgia

  • Brock Bowers (TE)
  • Ladd McConkey (WR)
  • Carson Beck (QB)
  • Amarius Mims (OT)
  • Kamari Lassiter (CB)
  • Javon Bullard (S)
  • Tykee Smith (S)

Notes: While both of these teams are down a bit from where they were a year or two ago, this game is still a scouting bonanza. Personally, I’ll be watching to see how Alabama’s defense deals with Georgia TE Brock Bowers. Bowers might be the premier offensive mismatch in college football and is right there with Marvin Harrison Jr. when it comes to dangerous receiving weapons. This could also be a golden opportunity for Georgia QB Carson Beck to throw his hat into the ring for the 2024 NFL Draft — or set himself up as a frontrunner for a 2025 class that currently appears to be headlined by Shadeur Sanders and Quinn Ewers.

BIG-10 Championship

Michigan

  • J.J. McCarthy (QB)
  • Blake Corum (RB)
  • Donovan Edwards (RB)
  • A.J. Barner (TE)
  • Roman Wilson (WR)
  • Drake Nugent (C)
  • Kris Jenkins (iDL)
  • Junior Colson (LB)
  • Rod Moore (S)

Notes: Injuries have hit this game hard and knocked out three players I was really looking forward to watching. On the Iowa side, CB Cooper DeJean (named Big 10 Defensive Back and Return Specialist of The Year) was lost about two weeks ago to a lower leg injury suffered in practice. TE Luke Lachey suffered an ankle injury back in September that required surgery to repair. It’s possible that he could return for this game, but that’s more of a “hope” than anything else as of this writing.

Michigan guard Zak Zinter suffered a fractured tibia and fibula last week against Ohio State. He got surgery to repair the fractures and aid in healing, but he certainly won’t be playing today. The injury shouldn’t impact his availability for the 2024 season, nor should it impact his draft stock. However, it would have been good to see him on the field for this game and the playoffs.

ACC Championship

Louisville

  • Jamari Thrash (WR)

Florida State

  • Keon Coleman (WR)
  • Johnny Wilson (WR)
  • Trey Benson (RB)
  • Jaheim Bell (TE)
  • Jared Verse (edge)

Notes: Unfortunately, FSU QB Jordan Travis suffered a season-ending injury two weeks ago against North Alabama. As a red-shirt senior, the injury also ended his college career.

As far as the players on the field go, this game shows the potential of the transfer portal. Each schools’ top prospects started elsewhere but blossomed after transferring. Jamari Thrash started his college career at Georgia State, while Keon Coleman transferred from Michigan State. Both transferred before the 2023 season and took steps forward this year. Jared Verse originally went to my alma mater (and former Giants’ training camp home), SUNY Albany, and became one of the top edge defenders in the Power 5 last year.