USC football in the NFL: JuJu Smith-Schuster's perfect free agency fits revealed

Former USC football WR JuJu Smith-Schuster
Former USC football WR JuJu Smith-Schuster / Michael Reaves/Getty Images

The perfect fits for former USC football star and free-agent wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster would unite him with Trojan alums in the NFC East and NFC West.

JuJu Smith-Schuster is one of the top names on the free-agent market. While a flurry of signings started earlier this week, the former USC football receiver appears to be taking his time to find a new team.

Hopefully that means he's looking to land with the franchise that will lead him to the most success.

What is the best fit for JuJu Smith-Schuster?

It can be hard to pin down exactly what success looks like, though. We've already laid out the WR's best landing spots from the perspective of a USC fan who wants Smith-Schuster to thrive. But there's another way to look at it.

Over at, Cynthia Frelund took an analytics-based approach to find the most advantageous player-team fits.

Where could Smith-Schuster have the biggest impact? It turns out, the answer is the New York Giants, where he would add 1.11 wins.

"I really wanted to list two teams here, just to show the impact that a slot receiver can have, especially in the red zone. As for Smith-Schuster's fit with the Giants, eight of his nine touchdowns in 2020 came from the slot (tied for the most, with Travis Kelce, per NGS). New York QBs had a passer rating when targeting the slot of just 82.3 last season, second-lowest in the NFL. On a roster that also boasts a returning Saquon Barkley, Smith-Schuster could easily fulfill the role of a No. 1 WR. Now, Smith-Schuster also projects to add a healthy 1.07 wins with the Cardinals, were he to join Arizona (presuming Larry Fitzgerald begins the countdown clock to his Canton induction by retiring). Smith-Schuster aligned in the slot on 75 percent of plays in 2020, a career high for him, and Arizona averaged just 7 yards per target from the slot as a team in 2020 (sixth-lowest). Combining Smith-Schuster with DeAndre Hopkins would drive so much value that the Cardinals could strategically pull off not re-signing running back Kenyan Drake along with not overpaying for O-line help -- GASP! (That latter factor is based on the assumption Arizona will be able to take advantage of cap casualties who end up on the market, who are likely to provide high return on investment.) "

Cythia Frelund,

The nice thing about heading to New York would be running the show in that receiving corps. The Giants have yet to spend on the big-time receiver they'll need to help quarterback Daniel Jones.

Better yet, from the USC perspective, Leonard Williams just signed a big new contract with the G-Men to keep him there for another three years. Williams' defense and Smith-Schuster's offense would give Trojan fans an extra reason to tune in to NYG games in 2021.

CHECK OUT: Buy or sell USC's 2021 wide receiver group?

The Cardinals are also an intriguing landing spot. Smith-Schuster was at his best in Pittsburgh when he played alongside Antonio Brown as a No. 2 option. DeAndre Hopkins would be an incredible partner for Smith-Schuster in his new home.

The fact that Arizona just signed A.J. Green to a one-year deal may not help make this one happen, but the Cardinals are still among the betting favorites to pick up Smith-Schuster. isn't even the only publication to speculate on the match made in heaven between Smith-Schuster and Arizona. ESPN also pitched the partnership earlier in March.

There are a few former Trojans on the Cardinals' roster to help Smith-Schuster feel at home, including linebacker Devon Kennard and wide receiver Isaac Whitney.

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