New York Giants: 3 wide receivers to keep an eye on during the National Championship

New York Giants, Devonta Smith

The Alabama Crimson Tide and Ohio State Buckeyes are playing on Monday night in the National Championship Game. This is the last time NFL teams will see these players play in a live game before they go through the NFL Draft process. The New York Giants need a No.1 wideout to be paired up with Daniel Jones. All Giants players and fan’s eyes will be glued to the T.V., watching hopefully one of their future playmakers on the outside.

Here are three WRs, the New York Giants could be interested in:

DeVonta Smith, Alabama

DeVonta Smith is arguably the best wideout in college football and will easily be the best wideout you see on Monday. Most draft analysts expect Smith to be off the board when the Giants pick, but what happens if Smith falls or if the New York Giants trade up?

The 6-foot-1 wideout out of Alabama has incredible hands but would need to bulk up some at the NFL level. He needs to balance his height with the cornerback’s strength to get off press coverage. Besides Smith’s weight, Smith is a perfect prospect. Smith excels at creating separation, which the Giants need the most on offense. Smith is also a fantastic route runner with perfect footwork.

This is the player that all Giants fans would be thrilled to get in April.

Jaylen Waddle, Alabama

Jaylen Waddle is a name you might not have heard of, but he is in that DeVonta Smith tier of wide receiver. Waddle has been hurt for most of the season, which is why you have not heard his name much.

Waddle is not a big body receiver (5-foot-10), which the New York Giants are looking for, but he is lightning fast. The Giants lack separation on the outside, Waddle best attribute is his speed. Waddle can stretch the field or catch one short and take it to the house. Defense’s have to be aware of Waddle at all times; he reminds me a lot of Odell Beckham Jr.

Waddle is expected to be drafted in the top 15 in April, maybe to the New York Giants.

Chris Olave, Ohio State

Alabama has been breeding wide receiver talent, but Ohio State has a receiver that can find his way in the first round.

After Ja’Marr Chase, Waddle, and Smith, there is a drop off of wideout talent, but Olave is in that next tier. The Giants could trade down in the draft and get Olave later, but should they?

Olave is 6-foot-1, 187 pounds, the perfect size for an outside receiver. The biggest issue with Olave is his route running, which the Giants’ biggest need is for the wideouts to get separation. Olave has the speed, strength, and athleticism to get a consistent receiver at the next level in the NFL.

Olave is expected to go in the late first round or top of the second round.

NFL: Draft Top Five Running Back Rankings

New York Giants, Saquon Barkley

With the NFL Draft rapidly approaching, over the next few days I plan on breaking down the best and brightest talents in this years class. The RB position has a few big names, mostly, the draft has some very unique late round guys. Of all those guys who are the top ones?

1. Jonathan Taylor, Wisconsin

Pro Comparison: Melvin Gordon Jr.

Jonathan Taylor is the top back in this class. He was the best running back in college football last year. Taylor is THE do it all back in the class. He’s got everything you want in a running back and then some. He’s got high IQ, good elusiveness, good leadership. He’s an excellent back and could really be one of the safest playmakers in the draft overall. Taylor would have an expected value of being at a level similar to Gordon. If he lives up to his potential and then some, he can outplay this comp. Taylor is a can’t miss pick at running back.

2. JK Dobbins, Ohio State

Pro Comparison: Le’Veon Bell

Dobbins is far and away my favorite back in this class. He’s a fierce runner, patient, elusive and has phenomenal vision. Dobbins is a do it all back. He’s got potential to be a lead back very shortly. Dobbins has such a patient and violent running tactic that Bell is a great comparison for him. Dobbins would be very high on my board if I was a GM based on tape, which leads me to wonder why he’s not as highly rated by the general media.

3. D’Andre Swift, Georgia

Pro Comparison: Alvin Kamara

Swift is well, swift. He’s a really elusive back who excels in open space. He’s got a game breaking ability with the ball in his hands. He’s good catching the ball out of the backfield. He’s also very good in open space. Swift would be a great back in a lot of offenses immediately. There’s not a lot of questions with him. How his game will translate to the next level shouldn’t be a question because Georgia is a running back factory. Swift reminds me of Kamara because of his success in open space.

4. Clyde Edwards-Helaire, LSU

Pro Comparison: Ray Rice

Helaire is maybe my 2nd favorite back in this class. Helaire flashed signs of his full potential last year in an offense where Joe Burrow stole the headlines. Helaire is a really good back and he can be a lead back in an offense at some point soon. Every LSU staffer and teammate has given him rave reviews, they’ve even said he’s still capable of much more. Helaire and his running style reminds me heavily of vintage Ray Rice. Helaire has a lot of potential and I’m excited to see him at the next level. The only question marks revolve around whether or not he can truly fulfill that potential or if he just succeeded because of the talent of his quarterback.

5. LaMical Perine, Florida

Pro Comparison: Tj Yeldon

Perine is a very strong running back. He dominated the bench press and flashed strength. He does lack that incredible burst. Perine is more of a do it all back capable of grinding out yardage. Perine is very similar to Tj Yeldon in the sense of being able to pick up 1st downs as a grind out yardage back. Perine can be a very productive back out of a committee. Perine has a lot of questions, the biggest being if he can develop into a more elusive back. If not than he’ll be an above around ground and pound back at best. 

Ohio State Quarterback Situation Clear Cut For 2019 Season

With the 2018 college football season over, it’s time for some quick recaps of where various teams are in 2019, starting with the quarterback situation of conference champions Ohio State.

Unlike Ohio State’s quarterback situation last year, there won’t be too many question marks before the season begins. Last season, there was a nominal race between Tate Martell and Dwayne Haskins Jr., but the race could be described as nominal for a reason. Haskins was the favorite coming into the season after serving as J.T. Barrett’s backup, and took the starting job easily once spring football proved who was the better player.

Martell is now with the Miami Hurricanes, jumping from the Big Ten to the ACC despite the player that had started in front of him being gone going into the 2019 season. That doesn’t mean that the Buckeyes are without a quarterback for 2019 and it does make things a lot more interesting when you consider the fact that Georgia transfer Justin Fields has been granted immediate eligibility by the NCAA.

Fields lost out in the starting quarterback battle long ago to Jake Fromm, but that doesn’t say as much about Fields being bad as it does about Fromm being one of the top NFL draft prospects in next year’s class of quarterbacks. In fact, there’s some oddmakers who think that Fields can even compete for the Heisman Trophy.

Fields was listed by BetOnline as having 12/1 odds to win the trophy. Fields was the top ranked recruit in his class according to ESPN and 247Sports, but only had 39 passing attempts during his 2018 season, when he was a freshman. Despite the small amount of throws, Fields still made appearances in 12 games and looked good, throwing four touchdowns during that time and completing 69.2% of his passes.

Is Fields going to be as good as Dwayne Haskins was? That’s a very tall task, as Haskins is currently the top quarterback prospect in the NFL Draft, and Fields is only a sophomore. But Ohio State is perhaps getting more of a sure thing than they were with Haskins, who entered the season as one of the team’s question marks. Things turned out well for Haskins and Ohio State, but the narrative at the end of the season was very different from the one at the start of it.

Fields has a bit more hype entering the season but it remains to be seen whether or not that hype means that Fields is more of a sure thing than the player that came before him. It is sure, though, that things are a lot more clear cut for Ohio State going into this season than they were before.

New York Giants: Top Quarterback Prospect Declares For The 2019 Draft

Could the New York Giants draft Dwayne Haskins with the No. 6 overall pick?

New York Giants fans have been debating all season long what their team should do this off season. The offseason is finally here and the 2019 NFL Draft will soon be here too. The Giants have a big decision to make: should they draft a quarterback or address another position of need?

Fans want the Giants to draft a quarterback because of current quarterback Eli Manning’s age and regression. Eli turned 38 years old this month, so how much longer he can play in the NFL is unclear. The Giants could choose to move on from Manning and draft his successor this offseason. If the Giants do decide to draft a quarterback, they now officially have a top quarterback prospect to pay attention to.

Dwayne Haskins Jr. Declares for the 2019 NFL Draft

On January 7th, 2019, the top quarterback prospect in the 2019 NFL Draft, Dwayne Haskins Jr., officially declared for the draft.

The red-shirt junior out of Ohio State University has quickly soared to the top of the draft board for most analysts. Haskins is the best quarterback in the draft. The talent at that position in this class drops off significantly after Haskins. If the Giants want to draft a quarterback this year, Haskins is by far their best option.

Statistics And Records:

2018 was Haskins’s first year as a starter. In 2018, Haskins broke plenty of college football records. Dwayne threw 50 touchdown passes this season which is the most ever by a quarterback in the Big-Ten in a single season. He even surpassed all-pro quarterback Drew Brees to break this record. He also broke the Big-Ten record for single-season passing yards with 4,831 yards. On top of all that, Haskins completed 70% of his passes this season, a record for Ohio State quarterbacks. Haskins’s amazing play in 2018 lead him to be a Heisman Trophy finalist.

Connection To The Giants:

Dwayne Haskins Jr. is a New Jersey native who grew up a big Giants fan. In an interview at the Heisman ceremony, Haskins discussed his life-long love for the Giants. He recalled childhood memories of Giants’ training camp and watching legends such as Jeremy Shockey, Amani Toomer, and more.

When asked about the Giants’ current quarterback Eli Manning, Haskins referred to him as a “legend.” He added that he would love to sit behind Eli and learn from him if the Giants do draft him.

Haskins also has a friendship with Giants’ pro bowl running back Saquon Barkley. Him and Barkley have been friend since high school. Haskins would love to have the opportunity to play alongside his friend Saquon and within the prestigious franchise that is the New York Giants.

Check out the full interview below:

Big Ten: The Conference’s Hopes Rest On Ohio State

Want to see a Big Ten team in the College Football Playoff? You’ll have to hope that Ohio State can beat the odds and make it in over Oklahoma or Georgia, because once again, there’s a number of teams that possibly deserve to get in, and only four spots. The worst case scenario for Ohio State would be a Georgia victory against Alabama, which would have caused Alabama to fall in the standings and likely would have seen them take the final playoff spot based on being the most dominant team of the year.

That didn’t happen. But the other scenario isn’t exactly good for Ohio State, either. Even with Georgia losing, the fact that they played such a close game with Alabama and finished the season with only two losses will cause some to argue that they should be in. Even if this gets dismissed as SEC bias, there’s also Oklahoma to think about. The Sooners and Ohio State are nearly neck and neck this season in terms of accomplishments, and OU didn’t benefit the Buckeyes by losing the Big 12 title game to their rivals from Texas.

Oklahoma came into conference championship week one spot above Ohio State in the standings. Both teams handled what they needed to handle and won their respective conferences, but it’s hard to pick Ohio State over Oklahoma if you consider the rest of their seasons. Both teams are 12-1, but they’ve had very different stories.

Style matters when it comes to making the playoffs and in Oklahoma’s 12 wins, they’ve struggled less than Ohio State has in the games that they shouldn’t have struggled in. While they did win their conference, their games like the narrow victories against poor Nebraska and Maryland teams that will count against them when comparing them to an Oklahoma team that has one of the top offenses in the country.

Ohio State is an underdog to make the playoffs. You could argue that both Georgia and Oklahoma have better cases to get in, but there’s no telling what will happen once the committee sits down to make their decision.

This wasn’t a great season for the Big Ten as a conference, really. Michigan faltered in the end, keeping them from claiming a higher ranked Ohio State as a quality win and potentially beating Northwestern to get into the playoffs. Penn State’s down year ensured that they were out of the race with months left in the season, and a weak Big Ten West left the eastern part of the conference as the sole hope to send a team to the postseason.

But what does Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer have to say about it? “Well, I think all you have to look at is the body of work. We went on the road and had some tough wins, TCU, Penn State, Michigan State. And then to come back and play against our rivals the way we did. And then we went and represented the eastern conference and had a great game here. I think we deserve a shot.”

Does OSU deserve that shot? They might. But we’ll just have to wait until later today to see if they get it. After all, when it comes to this part of the season, you can throw your predictions out the window.

Ohio State: “Something Isn’t Quite Right” According To Eddie George

Ohio State is a fringe contender for the College Football Playoff at this point in the season, but school legend and Heisman winner Eddie George isn’t the happiest with the way things are going for the Buckeyes. Not just on the field this season, but for the program as a whole. Ohio State might be a powerhouse on the field, but events before this season have shown that they aren’t the most stable blue blood program in the country.

That may be where some of George’s criticisms of the school come from. “There’s something going on there that we the public don’t know. I feel like, my personal opinion, there’s a level of dysfunction there within the walls of Ohio State. Whether it’s with the coach, the administration, the coaching staff… Something is not right.”

It seems to be an allusion to the preseason troubles that Ohio State and head coach Urban Meyer dealt with earlier this year, which is the type of thing that usually rarely happens at a program like Ohio State.

While Meyer retained his job and nothing came of it in the long run, the team hasn’t been playing the best since his return and their scares caught up with them when they finally lost to Purdue, dropping them down in the division and making it much harder for them to gain easy entry into the playoffs.

“Something isn’t quite right there, especially when you’re jumping into November football. “This is when you make your claim, you know, ‘hey, we’re going to be one of the four teams in the Playoff.’ I definitely think Ohio State has regressed a lot since the beginning of the year,” George said about the team’s current play.

It’s fairly accurate. Ohio State struggled heavily against Penn State and needed a defensive collapse from their opponents to win, they lost to Purdue in a game that wasn’t very close and allowed 49 points, and they struggled and won by less than a touchdown against a Nebraska team that only had two wins going into the game.

The Buckeyes take on Michigan State tomorrow, but there’s no guarantee that they win. Considering the early phase of the season and how Michigan State struggled and Ohio State dominating, that’s not something most thought would be true at this point, in November.

But there’s only three games left for the entire season, and if Ohio State can defeat old rivals Michigan, there’s no telling whether or not they can recover to make it into the playoff at the end of the year.

Michigan, Not Ohio State, Is In Driver’s Seat For Big Ten

Michigan and Ohio State are rivals on two completely different paths. It’s strange to hear, because of Michigan’s lack of success as a national contender in recent years, but the Wolverines are the ones that are in the driver’s seat for the Big Ten and the College Football Playoffs. Meanwhile, the Buckeyes let their earlier mistakes catch up to them, and were dealt their first conference loss. Michigan, on the other hand, has none.

At the beginning of the season, Michigan lost to Notre Dame and many wrote them off. It seemed understandable. Not a lot of people predicted Notre Dame to be this good at this point in the season, and Michigan is in one of the toughest division’s in the country. But since then, they haven’t lost a game, and their wins include every conference game that they’ve played so far.

Ohio State started off much stronger, but their out of conference schedule wasn’t anything special and they would have more adversity when they faced Penn State. The higher ranked Buckeyes team won but they played a sloppy game where their offense just didn’t execute consistently and their defense allowed big plays. They only did just enough to win, and absolutely nothing extra.

Some thought their problems in that game would be fixed, but yesterday, the Buckeyes lost to Purdue and allowed 49 points to give the Boilermakers their highest scoring game of the season. Ohio State was the second ranked team in the nation, while Purdue was unranked and only had a record of 3-3. In other words, the loss was the type that kills morale and, more importantly, looks bad to the Playoff committee.

Michigan’s fate on Saturday was the opposite. They played their local rivals from Michigan State, and didn’t falter despite a bad recent history against this team and despite an altercation before the start of the game raising the intensity level a bit. They only put up 21 points, but their defense proved their credentials by shutting down quarterback Brian Lewerke.

Michigan State had their worst offensive performance since 1947, with only 94 yards. It makes Michigan’s defensive performance contrast with Ohio State’s even more.

Going into The Game, everyone thought just a few weeks ago that OSU would be the favorite. Now, it’s impossible to see things that way. Their offense just doesn’t do enough against top teams, and the running game is showing that it isn’t as advertised despite better performances against weaker teams.

Ohio State had a number of times during the Purdue game where they weren’t far from the end zone but couldn’t come away with scores. That’s not going to do when they face Michigan at the end of their season. And after their first conference loss, they’ll need the Michigan win if they want to stay in contention for the playoffs.

It turns out Ohio State couldn’t make adjustments quickly enough after their poor showing against Penn State. And now, just like that, they’ve lost their position at the top that they spent all season building up. A strong Michigan team means that they have no cushion or room for a loss here… Because of this result, the road to Indianapolis is going to run through Ann Arbor, and Ohio State can’t blame anyone but themselves.

Ohio State: Buckeyes Are Just About In The Clear

It looks like Ohio State is going to roll to another appearance in the Big Ten Championship Game, and a chance at their second straight conference title. It’s still relatively early in the season to be talking about this, as we’re not yet in the crucial month of November, but it seems like the race for the East was over as soon as Penn State blew a lead last week and allowed the Buckeyes to escape Happy Valley with a win.

That game ensures that, unless some complex tiebreakers happen, the Buckeyes would need to lose twice for Penn State to take first place in the division. The Penn State team that they recently beat was the toughest team on their schedule, and now, it looks like there’s a limited number of teams that can realistically go toe to toe with the Buckeyes.

Some looked to Indiana, which entered their game against Ohio State with a  4-1 record, as the team that might give the Buckeyes a challenge despite being big underdogs. And Indiana did keep things close, but during the fourth quarter, they were outscored 14-0 and the Buckeyes pulled away without letting their opponents back into the game.

“I’m not going to lie, we were probably still tired from last week. Definitely was a little low in energy in practice during the week,” said quarterback Dwayne Haskins Jr. But that low energy in practice didn’t keep Ohio State from surviving another week, staying in first place in the division.

On the same day, Michigan State lost to Northwestern by a score of 29-19. The reason why that’s significant? Going into the week, Ohio State had two ranked teams in their remaining schedule: Michigan, and Michigan State. Now, after their second loss of the year, it just doesn’t look like the Spartans are in the right shape to even be considered a true challenger. They’ve given Urban Meyer problems in the past, yes, but MSU is 3-2 this year. In both of their losses, they were favored to win.

Assuming that Michigan State isn’t a big threat to pull off the upset, Ohio State has very good chances of running the table in the regular season. It’s not expected that they’ll lose to someone like Minnesota, Purdue, Nebraska, or Maryland after all. The most threatening team on their schedule is Michigan, whose only loss this season is in nonconference play, but that’s just one game.

It’s not that Ohio State is guaranteed to win, but at this point, they’ve vanquished their top threat and Michigan State’s poor season has already put the Spartans out of the running for the East. Barring a result that would be considered a major upset, there’s only one game this season where Ohio State isn’t the favorite firmly. And that’s a game where you can throw the records out the window.

Anything can happen in Michigan versus Ohio State, so the Buckeyes aren’t in the clear yet. But it’s fair to say that they’re almost there. After all, how many are seriously picking them to lose to Maryland, Michigan State, or the three Big Ten West opponents left on their schedule?

Big Ten: Meyer, Harbaugh, And Frost Lead Conference In Salary

College football head coach is a well-paying job, at least in the FBS. In major conferences like the Big Ten, that’s doubly true. USA Today recently released their list of head coach salaries for 2018, and two of the three highest paid coaches in the entire country are from the Big Ten Conference.

Nick Saban takes the top spot, but behind him are Urban Meyer and Jim Harbaugh. It makes sense, considering that Ohio State and Michigan are two of the most popular and wealthy teams not just in the conference, but in all of college football. The SEC has the most coaches in the top ten for salary, but Michigan and Ohio State pay more than any of those schools with the exception of Alabama.

Surprisingly, the third highest paid coach in the Big Ten is Scott Frost, who has lacked success so far with Nebraska after an 0-4 start to the season. However, Frost was coming off of an undefeated season with UCF at the time that the contract was signed, explaining the high dollar amount. While Frost is the third highest paid coach in the conference, he’s the tenth highest paid coach nationally.

After Frost, the next highest paid coach is Lovie Smith, of Illinois. He surprisingly makes more than Penn State’s James Franklin, who rounds out the top five for the Big Ten. There’s two more coaches from the Big Ten that are in the national top twenty, Kirk Ferentz of Iowa and Mark Dantonio of Michigan State. They come in at number 17 and 18 respectively, giving their schools a lot of success over the past years for the relatively low salaries.

The Big Ten is certainly interesting when looking at the contracts, because while the most valuable schools are no stranger to paying their coaches almost eight million dollars a year, the conference as a whole has performed well in comparison to the SEC despite the SEC generally paying more to its coaches, even at middling programs such as Texas A&M and Auburn.

Big Ten: The Biggest Winners And Losers From Week Five

The fifth weekend of college football is over, with less upsets this week but still some interesting results. The Big Ten especially had an exciting weekend, with the result of the Ohio State versus Penn State game causing a shakeup in the polls as Ohio State moved into the top three, and Penn State fell out of the top ten entirely and most likely out of the race for the Big Ten East.

Who emerged as the winners, and who emerged as the losers on Saturday?

Winner: Ohio State Buckeyes

There’s a very real chance that Ohio State finishes the regular season undefeated. The toughest opponents on their schedule at this point are Michigan and Michigan State, but it looks like they can run everyone else over easily. Upsets happen, but one shouldn’t just assume that a top three team will be upset because it’s technically in the realm of possibility.

No, it looks like the Buckeyes will either take a loss against one of the Michigan teams, or play for the Big Ten title with an undefeated record. They’re listed here as winners because they just got past the hardest game on their schedule, even if it took some bizarre missed tackles and a similarly ridiculous playcall near the end of the game to let them take the lead. Still, despite the Penn State team collapsing, the Buckeyes earned the win.

Now, they just have to get through the rest of the season with an even bigger target on their back. Can they do it? It would have sounded unlikely at the start of the season, but with the way Dwayne Haskins Jr. is playing in his first season as a starter, it’s not so bold of a prediction anymore.

Loser: Scott Frost And Nebraska Fans

This once great program can’t catch a break. Nebraska has started the season with no wins and four losses, the latest one coming at the hands of Purdue. Some predicted that the 0-3 start would make the Huskers come out with something to prove, leading them to a division win against an opponent that has shown up with mixed performances and close losses this season. This game, though, wasn’t as close as the other ones featuring Purdue this season.

The Nebraska defense still isn’t much better. They allowed 42 points, giving Purdue their best offensive performance of the entire season. It’s not the way that Scott Frost wanted things to start off in his first year as Nebraska’s head coach, and it certainly won’t help the Cornhuskers in recruiting. It doesn’t matter that this is a rebuilding year and that the team wasn’t expected to win.

While they weren’t expected to be good, an 0-4 start is worse than anyone but the most pessimistic of fans imagined. It’s going to severely hurt the confidence in head coach Scott Frost, and while he’s still supported by the fans for now, none of the hype that existed before the season is still there. The hype is what went away first. How long will it be before the locker room is lost, or the rest of the confidence held by the fans?

The answers to those questions depend on when Nebraska picks up win number one.

Loser: Good Playcalling

Penn State called an interesting play on their last possession of the game against Ohio State, which ended with a turnover own downs. To call the play interesting, however, is really sugarcoating it. Let’s tell it like it is. It was a bizarre call, and it helped the Buckeyes win the game. In the end, it came down to one play to continue the drive with a chance to win the game by kicking a field goal.

And instead of going for literally any other option, the staff called a play to send Miles Sanders right up the middle, where he would be stopped far short of the first down marker. The same Miles Sanders that had less than 50 yards for the entire game.

“We knew they were going to make their linebackers jump when we moved Miles, and they weren’t going to be set in position, and it was going to give us a chance to get a hole up the middle and crease them,” said Trace McSorley, in an attempt to explain the thought process behind the play. “We weren’t able to pick up a twist, and a guy got in the backfield and made a play.”

Look on any fan forum of choice, and you can find plenty of confusion about this playcall not just from Penn State fans, but from fans around the country. That’s why this is the second thing in the loser’s section. It’s fitting because in this case, it might have lost Penn State the game.