Alexander is more recognizable than others on this list, but after injury limited him to six games, this is his final chance to make a mark in 2017. The bowl also marks Alexander’s last opportunity to impress NFL scouts in a game setting if he elects to skip his final season. Alexander had five interceptions in 2016 and can change games, especially as he takes on a young quarterback in Keytaon Thompson.
Derrius Guice, RB, LSU — Guice had a huge game in a 45-21 win over Texas A&M. The 5-11, 212-pound junior ran for 127 yards and a touchdown on 28 carries and added an 18-yard reception. Guice now has 1,153 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns this season.
B.J. Hill, DT, North Carolina State — While Bradley Chubb garners most of the headlines for the N.C. State defense, and deservedly so, Hill was the one who dominated Saturday against rival UNC. The 6-4, 315-pound senior clogged up the middle with eight tackles, including 1 1/2 for loss and a sack. Chubb had six tackles, one for loss, in the 33-21 N.C. State victory.
Whether the Senators trade Karlsson is almost two different questions, depending entirely on Karlsson’s aspirations. If it seems like he’s most interested in greener pastures than being a career Senators, then Ottawa has to entertain the idea. If he wants to remain in Ottawa, and the question is whether they should flip one of the best defensemen in NHL history before he’s 30 in exchange for rebuilding blocks, then the answer is a resounding “no.”
The Chargers have won all three of their home games (with their nonexistent home-field advantage) in their run of six wins in eight games. Their offense has only had to not ruin things for their defense … but that could change against Washington, which somehow allowed depleted Dallas’ offense to get better last Thursday. Washington also is scraping the bottom of its roster barrel on its offensive line, and this is one of the last teams they need to see in that situation.