For years, one of the most sacred USC NFL Draft records has been the Trojans’ status as the producer of the most-ever first-round picks. That’s no longer the case.
USC and Ohio State entered Thursday night’s 2020 NFL Draft tied at 81 all-time first-round draft picks apiece, but the Buckeyes wound up with three selections to the Trojans’ one. It gives OSU an 84 to 82 pick lead, taking away a key pro record from Troy’s ever-present NFL recruiting pitch.
The record was always going to be in doubt. Austin Jackson (18th overall to the Miami Dolphins) and Michael Pittman (undrafted) were coin flips to go on Day 1, while OSU’s Chase Young and Jeff Okudah were consensus Top 5 guys and went second and third, right on cue.
But it was Ohio State’s third draftee, Damon Arnette, that proved to be the shocking clincher as USC awaited Pittman’s fate.
Not only was the cornerback not mentioned in the mock drafts of Mel Kiper Jr, Peter King or Todd McShay, but CBS Sports had him going in the third round at pick No. 70.
Instead, in true
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Las Vegas Raiders fashion, he was taken 19th overall to give the Buckeyes their third first rounder.
It was that kinda night for USC, who also saw Pittman slip to Day 2 while LSU’s Justin Jefferson, Arizona State’s Brandon Aiyuk and TCU’s Jalen Reagor got taken from a ridiculously deep receiver pool.
The good news?
Despite losing the first-round record, the Trojans still hold serve of the all-time picks record.
Jackson’s selection was USC’s 510th selection in school history, extending their lead over Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish didn’t have a single selection on Thursday night, but boast a host of prospects who could be taken Friday in the second or third round.