How did Justin Fields, other potential Jets draft picks do in major bowl games?

Sam Neumann
·5 min read

Friday’s New Year’s Six bowl games were a possible look into the future for Jets fans.

The nation’s top prospects, including two of the country’s top quarterback prospects, were in action. With New York strapped with draft capital, it will have a chance to plug multiple holes throughout April’s draft. Friday was an opportunity for Joe Douglas to dig further into his scouting operation and there could very well be a new frontrunner for the No. 2 pick.

With that said, let’s take a look at how some potential Jets draft picks performed in the major bowl games on Friday.

QB Justin Fields, Ohio State

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Nobody did themselves more favors on Friday than Justin Fields. He certainly earned some praise for his toughness after taking a serious blow to his ribs during Friday's College Football Playoff semifinal. After missing one play, Fields returned under center to throw a touchdown pass on the run while grimacing in pain. While that was an impressive feat, it pales in comparison to what Fields accomplished throughout the rest of Ohio State's 49-28 win over Clemson. Fields completed 22-28 passes, throwing for 385 yards with six touchdowns and an interception. Standing tall in the pocket, even after taking a big hit, Fields made highlight-reel throw after highlight-reel throw. With a lot of riding on this performance after a disappointing outing in the Big 10 championship, Fields delivered on the country's biggest stage. https://twitter.com/kaelenjones/status/1345214969999196160?s=20 Fields upstaged Clemson's Trevor Lawrence on Friday night, though it's hard to imagine he surpassed him on any draft boards. Overwhelming odds are Lawrence is still going No. 1 to Jacksonville -- thus out of New York's reach -- but Fields showed that he's a worthwhile consolation prize.

RB Travis Etienne, Clemson

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With Clemson trailing for most of the night, the Tigers didn't really have a chance to jumpstart their run game and Travis Etienne struggled to make an impact because of it. While Etienne did become the ACC's all-time points leader with a touchdown, he rushed for just 32 yards on 10 carries. Etienne also added four receptions for 64 yards.

G Wyatt Davis, Ohio State

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Wyatt Davis hurt his left knee on one of Ohio State's scoring drives, but returned to the fold and overall did a nice job of keeping a battered Fields upright. The consensus All-American also helped open up running holes for Trey Sermon and company, who were dominant out of the backfield on Friday.

CB Shaun Wade, Ohio State

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While Shaun Wade is a fellow first-team All-American selection, you wouldn't have known it from the way he struggled in coverage on Friday night. Clemson wideout Cornell Powell had his way with Wade en route to a performance that included eight receptions for 139 yards and two touchdowns. Even though Wade led the Buckeyes with nine total tackles, he struggled to cement his status as one of the nation's top cornerbacks.

WR Chris Olave, Ohio State

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If there was someone who needed to have a big day against Clemson, besides Fields, it was Chris Olave. It was Olave's route-running blunder that led to Ohio State's demise in last year's CFP semifinal. This time around, Olave redeemed himself, hauling in six catches for 132 yards and two touchdowns with a long of 56 yards.

RB Trey Sermon, Ohio State

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While Fields shined under center for the Buckeyes, Sermon was dynamic out of the backfield. The former Oklahoma transfer rushed for 193 yards and a touchdown on 31 carries. Not many people expected Sermon to outperform Etienne, but he certainly proved why he's one of the nation's more underrated backs with his performance, displaying a perfect combination of power and speed.

WR Devonta Smith, Alabama

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Devonta Smith has emerged as the favorite to the win Heisman and he proved why in Alabama's 31-14 rout of Notre Dame on Friday. Smith put on a show, hauling in seven receptions for 130 yards and three touchdowns. Smith would be a viable option for Gang Green in a trade back scenario, as he's a do-everything wide receiver.

RB Najee Harris, Alabama

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Najee Harris once again dominated the ground game for the Crimson Tide. He ran for 125 yards on 15 carries, averaging 8.3 yards per carry. The cherry on top of his productive day out of the backfield was his ridiculous hurdle over Notre Dame cornerback Nick McCloud. https://twitter.com/SportsCenter/status/1345124341478875136?s=20

CB Patrick Surtain II, Alabama

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Coming into Friday's game, Notre Dame was adamant about not throwing towards Patrick Surtain II's side of the field. And while Ian Book and the Fighting Irish didn't look Surtain's way for most of the afternoon, he still managed to be named the Defensive MVP of the Rose Bowl.

EDGE Azeez Ojulari, Georgia

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Azeez Ojulari's fourth-quarter strip-sack of Cincinnati quarterback Desmond Ridder helped spark a Georgia comeback in Friday's Peach Bowl. He finished his last collegiate contest with four tackles, three sacks, two forced fumbles and a safety. Ojulari's ability off the edge makes him an intriguing pass-rushing option for the Jets with Seattle's first-round pick.

LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah

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Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah is the definition of a coverage linebacker and his versatility and athleticism make him Notre Dame's best defensive weapon. That said, he was held mostly in check against Alabama, recording just six tackles while being overmatched in coverage. Owusu-Koramoah could be someone New York plugs and plays next to C.J. Mosley in the middle, although, his play on Friday left a lot to be desired.