USC football had seven NFL prospects received NFL Combine invites. Will all of them be drafted? One seven-round mock draft sees opportunities for the Trojans.
While NFL Free Agency is the talk of the town these days, the NFL Draft is fast approaching. For USC football's NFL hopefuls, crunch-time is here.
Seven players will participate at the Trojan Pro Day next week with status as NFL Combine invites. All seven have a real shot at hearing their name called on draft day.
If USC were to have seven draftees, that would be more than the last two years combined. The last time the Trojans had that many in a single year was in 2011 when they had nine.
How likely is that to happen? It's always hard to say with players projected for Day 3. The difference between a seventh-round selection and an undrafted free agent is often marginal.
There are some clues to be had from mock drafts, especially Chris Trapasso's extensive seven-round mock for CBS Sports.
USC football's mock draftees:
OL Alijah Vera-Tucker - 1st Round, Pick 18 to the Miami Dolphins
WR Amon-Ra St. Brown - 2nd Round, Pick 60 to the New Orleans Saints
DL Jay Tufele - 3rd Round, Pick 98 to the Los Angeles Chargers
DB Talanoa Hufanga - 4th Round, Pick 131 to the Baltimore Ravens
WR Tyler Vaughns - 7th Round, Pick 245 to the Washington Football Team
You don't often see seven-round mock drafts because of how daunting they are. With so many players and teams with so many different needs and ways to fill them, it's impossible to get it all right.
That's why Trapasso will get some slack about the two major misses in his mock draft. Marlon Tuipulotu and Olaijah Griffin are missing.
Tuipulotu ranks No. 92 in CBS Sports' prospect rankings, just a few spots behind Tufele. Maybe he won't command a Day 1 or Day 2 selection, but it would be a major surprise for him to go undrafted.
Olaijah Griffin is a more cloudy case. The cornerback has undeniable athleticism, but his current stage of development could net him uncertain draft stock. Pro Football Focus graded him No. 290 in their Big Board of NFL Prospects, so he's on the edge.
Fortunately for Griffin, he'll have a Pro Day workout to impress scouts with his raw talent.
It's a safe bet to say Vera-Tucker, St. Brown, Tufele, Hufanga, and Tuipulotu will be drafted. That's five. The two wildcards are Vaughns and Griffin, who may be biting their nails on Day 3.