Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-USA TODAY Sports
USC saw four Trojans get their names called during this weekend’s 2013 NFL Draft, bringing the total to 480 all-time in school history. The Trojans continue to hold the record for most athletes drafted into the NFL, though this year’s event saw very few Men of Troy get picked.
Somewhat surprisingly, wide receiver Robert Woods was the first Trojan to be summoned into the pros, receiving his call in the second round from the Buffalo Bills. They selected him with the 41st overall pick, and got the ball rolling for USC’s draftees after a slow start. In the third round, safety T.J. McDonald found himself selected by the St. Louis Rams with the 71st pick and all the while USC fans and analysts alike began to wonder why a certain quarterback had yet to be picked up this late in the draft.
Finally, at the beginning of the fourth round and with the 98th pick, Chip Kelly and the Philadelphia Eagles caused quarterback Matt Barkley’s phone to light up, putting an end to the anxiety and speculation. The fourth round was surely not where Barkley saw himself going when he elected to stay at USC for his senior year, but despite the fall from grace, he now has the opportunity to learn a system under Kelly and his current starting quarterback, Michael Vick. This mentorship could really serve Barkley well, allowing him to be properly groomed for a promising pro life that recently has evaded USC quarterbacks.
The last Trojan to be drafted also happened in the fourth round, when the Indianapolis Colts picked up center Khaled Holmes with the 121st overall selection.
Four other Trojans got signed with NFL teams immediately after the draft, the most surprising of which being cornerback Nickell Robey. Though he is slight of size and stature, Robey had a standout career at USC and was thought to be good enough to get selected during one of the NFL Draft’s seven rounds. That ultimately proved not to be the case, but he will join Woods with the Bills this season, as an undrafted free agent. Safety Jawanza Starling signed with the Houston Texans, defensive end Wes Horton with the Carolina Panthers, and running back Curtis McNeal with the Pittsburg Steelers.