Jawanza Starling had a fairly impressive performance at the 2013 NFL Combine–even being dubbed a Top Performer in a couple of events–but was it enough to move his name up the board come this weekends NFL Draft? That is the question undoubtedly running through Starling’s mind as Thursday approaches, but it very likely won’t be answered until Saturday.
In his career at USC, Starling started 20 games and amassed 86 tackles and one interception over four years, but got lost a bit in former defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin’s complicated scheme, and that really hampered his ability to develop as a safety. In the NFL, a team would need him primarily to defend the run, which is something that his size and speed make him ideal for. At the very least, his college pedigree coupled with the flashes he has shown on the field merit bringing him into camp.
He’s got a great work ethic; in 2011 he was named USC’s Co-Lifter of the Year, a testament to how dedicated he is in the weight room. He will put in the work necessary to secure a place on an NFL roster at the next level, and he has a high ceiling for growth.
Once the NFL Draft begins, look for Starling to go undrafted, though he could wind up in the 7th Round.