USC in the NFL: Preseason Week 1 Roundup


The first week of the preseason kicked off over the weekend, meaning it’s time to start watching USC in the NFL. The most notable Trojan of the opening set of games? The Eagles’ Nelson Agholor.

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Agholor, who was picked in the first round by the Eagles had a sensational start to his career, catching a 34-yard touchdown pass from fellow Trojan Mark Sanchez in the first quarter of a 36-10 win over the Indianapolis Colts.

The Eagles got a slew of USC alums involved on Sunday, with Sanchez and Barkley accounting for the bulk of their pass attempts. As for Agholor, he currently sits atop the team’s depth chart at wide receiver, ahead of veteran Riley Cooper.

Three Stars of the Week

  1. Nelson Agholor: The aforementioned first rounder gets the nod as the No. 1 star thanks in part to his three catch, 57-yard performance that saw him score his first touchdown as a professional. He caught the ball on a quick hitch route, then turned on the afterburners and finished off the score with his legs.
  2. Carson Palmer After tearing his ACL last November, the 2002 Heisman Trophy winner made a triumphant return to the field on Saturday, completing all four of his passes for 77 yards. It’s about as good, and quick of a comeback you could’ve imagined for Palmer.
  3. Matt Cassel: Entrenched in a battle for the No. 1 job, Bills quarterback Matt Cassel had a solid outing against Carolina in the first week. He was 7-for-8 for 45 yards, capping off a week in which he handled a majority of the first team reps in practice.

What Other Projans Did

  • Buck Allen: The first pro game of the latest Tailback U graduate was a rough one. Allen had 35 yards on 11 carries, with a long of 12 yards.
  • Dion Bailey: Pete Carroll loves his USC guys, and Bailey is one of them. He had five tackles on Friday night against Denver, and has been given a big opportunity in practice to earn his way onto the Seahawks’ 53-man roster, with first team reps in lieu of holdout Kam Chancellor.
  • Matt Barkley: He’s probably not going to win the Eagles’ job, but he’s sure trying. The USC record holder was 12-for-20 on Sunday, gaining 192 yards through the air, with an interception. His pass attempts were far and away the most on the team, as Chip Kelly rotated Barkley, Sanchez and Tim Tebow.
  • Allen Bradford: Five combined tackles was a good start to the preseason for the former Trojan running back, but all indications are that he won’t make Atlanta’s roster.
  • Jordan Cameron: Though he didn’t record a stat in the opener against the Bears, Cameron has been a strong red zone presence for Ryan Tannehill in Dolphins camp.
  • Rhett Ellison: Despite being listed second on the Vikings’ depth chart at tight end, Ellison has not recorded a catch in either of their first two preseason games.
  • George Farmer: The rookie wide receiver didn’t catch a ball in the first week vs. San Diego. Todd Archer of ESPN called his performance ‘disappointing’.
  • Everson Griffen: Both Jameis Winston and Donovan Smith’s ‘Welcome to the NFL’ moment came via Everson Griffen on Saturday. The Trojan crashed in off the edge with a spin move to record a sack of the No. 1 overall pick.
  • Marqise Lee: The 2012 Bilnetnikoff Award winner missed the Jaguars’ first game of the preseason, as he’s still getting over a strained hamstring.
  • Hayes Pullard: Browns rookie linebacker Hayes Pullard recorded three combined tackles in his debut.
  • Silas Redd: It was a disaster week for Redd, who not only tore his MCL and ACL on Thursday night, but was waived by the Washington Redskins as a result.
  • Nickell Robey: Despite not getting in the statbook on Friday night, Robey found the pocketbook. He inked a two-year extension with the Buffalo Bills worth over $4 million.
  • Mark Sanchez: Though he started the game, the Eagles’ Sanchez will probably want Sunday’s game against the Colts back. He was just 2-for-7 for 52 yards. The lone completion was the 34-yard touchdown to Agholor, however.
  • Josh Shaw: Talk about jumping out to a good start, Bengals rookie cornerback Shaw had six combined tackles in Friday’s debut against the Giants.
  • George Uko: After going undrafted in the 2014 NFL Draft, Uko is making his case for being a fixture on a roster. He had four tackles in Tampa Bay’s 26-16 loss to Minnesota on Saturday, though he’s still buried on the Bucs’ depth chart at defensive tackle.
  • Aundrey Walker: The current Dolphin has seen time as a third team left tackle, but all indications are that he’ll be one of the earlier cuts in camp.
  • Leonard Williams: The Big Cat saw action in the Jets’ 23-3 loss to the Lions, but didn’t find the stat sheet. Guess he’s still holding back for that first sack being Tom Brady.
  • Robert Woods: Woods had a casual two catches for 11 yards to start the preseason with Buffalo.

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