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NCAA Bowl Season Round-Up: How Did Potential New York Giants Targets Fare?

January 8th, 2014 at 4:00 PM
By axr29

The BCS era has come to an end, and it came to and end with a bang. What started with a thrilling Rose Bowl between Michigan State and Stanford, and ended with one of the best National Championship games in the BCS era — it was a fun month. In that month, a lot of players helped and hurt their draft stocks in this May's draft. Take Cyrus Kouandjio for example, who was dominated in the Sugar Bowl. Let's take a look at some of the New York Giants draft prospects that we profiled at the beginning of bowl season.

Stock Risers:

1. Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson

Watkins likely played himself out of the New York Giants range, with a record setting Orange Bowl performance. Watkins totaled sixteen catches for 227 receiving yards, which is not only an Orange Bowl record but a Clemson record as well. What put a bow on Watkins likely being a top ten draft pick was his highlight reel touchdown catch in the fourth quarter. The 6'1" receiver put to rest any doubts that he might be to short to be a number one wideout, as he high pointed a touchdown grab that only taller receivers usually make. Watkins will be a star at the NFL level.

2. Telvin Smith, OLB, Florida State

Smith was an unsung hero of Florida State's National Championship victory, totaling a team high fifteen tackles on the night. Smith showed great closing speed getting out to the edge, and was a huge part in the Seminole's second half resurgence. He still needs to work on reading the run, but his skills in zone coverage are top notch. Likely still a third round pick, Smith could be a steal for the New York Giants that late.

3. Brian Stork, C, Florida State

Stork was another player who played a huge part in the Seminoles come from behind victory. The Florida State offense was non existent for almost all of the first half, partly due to offensive line struggling and what seemed to be nerves for quarterback Jameis Winston. The offensive line, starting with Stork pulled itself together in the second half, especially on the final drive of the game. Stork still needs to work on getting more push on his run blocking, but is a player willing to put in the hard work to improve. Likely a mid round pick this coming May.

4. Tre Mason, RB, Auburn

Not much left to say about Mason that he hasn't already said on the field. A strong, tough runner Mason had an exceptional game, including a near game winning touchdown run where he ran over freshman safety Jalen Ramsey. Mason's last three games might push him out of a comfortable spot for the Giants to take a runningback, but if he is there in the mid rounds the Giants have to at least consider it.

5. Storm Johnson, RB, UCF

Another runningback who improved his draft stock, Johnson ran for three scores in UCF's upset win over Baylor in the Fiesta Bowl. Johnson is a great between the tackles runner, and his size and speed give him the potential to be a star at the NFL level. He is also very effective in the passing game, so if the Giants can learn how to effectively run a screen Johnson would be good fit for it. Johnson is likely a mid to late round pick barring an exceptional combine.

Mixed Review:

1. Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn

A lot of people have said Robinson dominated in the National Championship, but that is in exaggeration in my opinion. Robinson was exceptional in the run game in the first half. However there were a couple of times Florida State sophomore defensive end (and a guy to keep an eye on for the 2015 draft) Mario Edwards Jr. was able to beat him with pure speed. There was also a play where Edwards Jr. just ran right over Robinson. Robinson's talent still will land him in the top ten to fifteen picks, as he officially entered the NFL draft.

2. Kelvin Benjamin. WR, Florida State

Benjamin was supposed to star in the National Championship, but struggled to get separation in the first half. We noted that drops were an issue for Benjamin in our National Championship preview, and he had a huge third down drop for the Seminoles. Just like the rest of the team however, Benjamin rose to the occasion in the second half. He was key on the final drive of the game, including catching the game winning touchdown. Benjamin's size, speed and talent will overshadow the drops when it comes to draft time, and if he lasts until the second round could be a target for the New York Giants.

Stock Down:

1. Ryan Shazier, LB, Ohio State

Shazier was expected to shine in the Orange Bowl, as his speed matched up well with an extremely fast Clemson offense. While he totaled nine tackles, Shazier constantly took bad angles on plays and missed way to many tackles. His overall body of work still speaks for its self, but a poor showing on a national stage solidified him as a day two pick at best. Shazier had a golden opportunity to make a name for himself and just couldn't take advantage of it.

2. Khalil Mack, OLB, Buffalo

Likely still a top ten pick, Mack was neutralized by the San Diego State offensive line and struggled the entire game. Mack, who dominated the Ohio State offense the first week of the season, was a no show in a San Diego State blow out of Buffalo. Like Shazier, Mack had a golden opportunity to improve his draft stock, and launch himself into the top five but couldn't take advantage. It's unlikely Mack was a real fit for the New York Giants as he projects to be more of a 3-4 linebacker.

3. Carlos Hyde, RB, Ohio State

Hyde was shut down in the first half of the Orange Bowl by a Clemson defense that sold out to stop the run early. He performed much better in the second half, but a lot of that had to do with Clemson completely selling out on the pass. Hyde didn't have a bad game by any means, but he wasn't the dominant player we saw all season. Hyde is likely a fourth to fifth round pick, barring a spectacular combine.

4. Kyle Van Noy, LB, BYU

Van Noy's stock dropping isn't really his fault, as BYU used him mainly to contain quarterback Keith Price. He didn't do anything to hurt his stock, but Van Noy wasn't able to showcase his true skills due to the defensive game plan. He'll likely fall into the third or fourth round of the draft, where he would be a steal for what ever team selects him.

Photo credit: PDA.PHOTO / Foter.com / CC BY-ND

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Tags: Cyrus Kouandjio, Football, Greg Robinson, Kelvin Benjamin, Khalil Mack, Kyle Van Noy, New York, New York Giants, NFL, NFL Draft, Ryan Shazier, Sammy Watkins, Storm Johnson, Telvin Smith, Tre Mason

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10 Responses to “NCAA Bowl Season Round-Up: How Did Potential New York Giants Targets Fare?”

  1.  TroyThorne says:

    Disagree with the analysis on Mack. His stock isn’t down after a subpar bowl game and is still slated as a high first round pick. He’s headed to the Senior Bowl where he will almost undoubtedly erase any possible doubts about his ability. Dude is a stellar LB prospect. Also disagree with the “better suited for 3-4″ comment. He can absolutely play in a 4-3 and be dynamic. Think Von Miller.

    Greg Robinson played a good game but wasn’t perfect. Got beat by Edwards once or twice and got called for holding at one point. Still a monster of an OT though.

    Kelvin Benjamin lasting until the 2nd round is sketchy at this point and might depend on offseason workouts. I’m really high on him.

  2.  kujo says:

    Don’t follow the NCAA close enough to comment on this player or that player’s “stock.” But I’ll say the same thing that I said about the last couple of UCF running backs to come out–they can handle the load. Kevin Smith was poised for stardom prior to the knee surgeries; Latavius Murray, who was our version of Brandon Jacobs and who was IRed in the middle of August by the Raiders, should very well prove the same.

    So let me say this now–Storm Johnson is going to be a player in this league. He may not be a guy breaking records, but he runs and plays like an amalgam of Reggie Bush, Demarcy Murray and Ahmad Brashaw–short, choppy steps. The Giants should go out and get this guy in the 4th round if he’s there. Hear me now, believe me later: Storm could be precisely the sort of player we’ve all be salivating for.

  3.  Kettles78 says:

    The obvious stars were Watkins and Mason. Watkins looked to be on another level playing at another speed even after hurting his leg.

    Mason ran hard and showed speed.

    I think Denard play pretty well from what I saw as well

    The Lt from Alabama was eaten alive by the speed rush of Oklahoma. That is not a good sign for today’s NFL. Maybe that was just a 1
    Time occurrence but yikes

  4.  Dirt says:

    An often overlooked wrinkle in the search for an OC:

    Coughlin doesn’t allow coordinators to coach from the box

  5.  Kettles78 says:

    The Giants will interview Packers QBs coach Ben McAdoo for their offensive coordinator vacancy on Saturday.
    McAdoo interviewed for the Browns’ head job Wednesday, but that was thought to be a token, information-gathering meeting. McAdoo is also in the Dolphins’ crosshairs, but will meet with the G-Men first. The Giants’ other two OC interviews have been with ex-Bucs OC Mike Sullivan and ex-Titans OC Dowell Loggains.

  6.  BillyS says:

    I still wouldn’t say Hyde’s stock dropped much. I highly doubt he’s available in the 3rd or 4th round. The latest he’ll go is the mid 2nd round, in my opinion. The guy put up 1,500 yards (7.3 AVG) and 15 TDs, plus another 150 and 3 TDs receiving. He’s a 6′, 240 lb guy who has nice speed for his size and can lower his shoulder and move a pile. Plus he doesn’t dance around. He was only stopped for negative yards like 2 times all-season, not counting the bowl game. I wouldn’t be comfortable getting a RB in the 1st round, but if he’s there in the 2nd round I’d definitely love for them to snag him. He’s a power back who fits this team’s philosophy to a T and was very impressive this year. He reminds me very much of Eddie Lacy.

    •  BadBadLeroyBrown says:

      I think after the combine and everything is said and done Hydes stock will drop dramatically.

      Id prefer Heisman finalist that everyone overlooks

      “Andre Williams”
      6’0 230lbs
      2,177 yards(6.1 AVG) 18TDs

      He is a monster and a load to tackle, and I think he moves better than Hyde.
      http://youtu.be/Ujt1S9P2XHE

  7.  BadBadLeroyBrown says:

    Greg Robinson is a STUD he is a little RAW in the passing game technique wise but his athleticism and tools are off the charts. Technique can be taught. By the time draft day comes he will be ahead of Matthews.

    As far as Tre Mason I think Ka’deem Carey is the better back

    Kelvin Benjamin scares me…he has all the tools but I could easily see him being a bust in the NFL…He drops a lot of passes, runs terrible routes and still seems lazy…1 thing that stood out during that ball game was how Winston wasnt targeting Benjamin at all he kept going to Greene. And they mentioned how Winston stated he is more comfortable throwing to Greene because whenever he wanted to practice extra to get in sync with his receivers the only receiver that stayed behind and ran routes for him was Greene. Benjamin can still break out but I dont trust him personally for some reason.

    *Storm Johnson -A lot of people love him in Giants world but if we go with a big back w/a mid to late pick, I think the G-Men use it on ANDRE WILLIAMS

    He is a man beast dude he reminds me of Alfred Morris w/better latera movement and cutting ability…and he runs guys over like B.Jacobs in his prime.and his BC connection.

    Here is a sick vid of Andre Williams
    http://youtu.be/Ujt1S9P2XHE

    SICK

  8.  BleedingBlueSince04 says:

    Only thing that would make me happier than Sullivan getting the OC job is if the packers qb coach Mcadoo impresses TC,JR, and Mara this weekend and takes Eli to Rodgers status .

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