Trojan Draft Class Lacks Buzz and More USC Football News

Feb 27, 2016; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Southern California Trojans quarterback Cody Kessler throws a pass during the 2016 NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 27, 2016; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Southern California Trojans quarterback Cody Kessler throws a pass during the 2016 NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports /

USC football’s 2016 draft class is not generating much buzz, with just one Trojan appearing in Sports Illustrated’s draft position rankings.

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1st & 10:

First Take… Sports Illustrated released their NFL draft position rankings for 2016 Tuesday and there’s a noticeable lack of Trojans on the board.

Su’a Cravens checked in at No. 7 among linebackers. The skinny on Cravens? “He wastes little time diagnosing the play in front of him before attacking, then beating opponents to their spots. His coverage background is a plus.”

No other USC player scored a place in the rankings, which highlights the lack of buzz when it comes to Trojans furthering the perception of USC as an NFL factory this draft season.

Jared Goff headed the quarterbacks while Vernon Adams and Kevin Hogan made the top ten, but Cody Kessler was left off.

Max Tuerk didn’t squeak into the 15 ranked offensive linemen, though his knee injury surely has him pegged for eventual “draft steal” status.

None of USC’s five graduating defensive linemen boosted their name among the top prospects, which isn’t a big surprise considering the vanilla production of that defense front in 2015. The same goes for Anthony Sarao, whose steady presence wasn’t matched by stand out moments.

Tre Madden has too many injury red flags and Soma Vainuku is a special teams prospect, while at defensive back Kevon Seymour has the chance to make a team fall in love with him, but was never projected to be a highly ranked prospect after a quiet senior season.

In the end, with the exception of Cravens, USC’s 2016 draft class looks decidedly average. That says a great deal about the often average results generated by the Trojans over the last few seasons.

And Ten USC Football and Basketball News Links…

  1. ESPN: Adoree’ Jackson is the shocking pick for USC’s most versatile player on a list of the most versatile players for each Top 25 team in college football.
  2. Bleacher Report: Who should you keep an eye on during USC’s spring game? David Kenyon says De’Quan Hampton, Daniel Imatorbhebhe, Malik Dorton, Michael Hutchings and Leon McQuay.
  3. Dan Weber breaks down the “long way to go” theme from spring practice, pointing out how the Trojans are waiting for missing personnel like Adoree’ Jackson, Cameron Smith and others to return. They’re also working to break bad habits and changed technique from one scheme to another.
  4. Saturday Blitz: Cameron Smith is predicted to be the No. 1 breakout player in the Pac-12 this coming season after a strong freshman campaign. Looking forward even further, Gabe Encinas predicts the middle linebacker will be a finalist for Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year by his junior season.
  5. Bleacher Report: No surprise, USC is one of the “25 Most Loaded College Football Rosters” for 2016. But as Brian Pedersen rightly states, “Talent has never been the issue for USC.”
  6. Conquest Chronicles: What is the definition of success for Clay Helton? He can’t afford to fall back on moral victories or feel good stories. Winning is what matters at USC.
  7. Scout: Outside linebacker Nadarius Fagan added USC to his top five less than 24 hours after receiving a scholarship offer. His connection to Jamel Cook and Keyshawn Young could help the Trojans in their pursuit.
  8. Sports Illustrated: Three-star wide receiver commit Marlon Williams is on the rise after some stand out performances at camps this spring. Thankfully for the Trojans, he appears firm in his pledge to USC and will be at the Spring Game this Saturday.
  9. Busting Brackets: Katin Reinhardt is ranked among the top offseason transfers in college basketball this season. He committed to Marquette for his final season of eligibility.
  10. Scout: USC added a much needed big with the commitment of power forward Nick Rakovecic.

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