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Winners and losers from USC Pro Day 2021

By Alicia de Artola
Mar 24, 2021, 1:46 PM PDT
USC football receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown
USC football receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown | Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images
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The 2021 USC Pro Day gave Trojan stars their chance to show out in front of scouts from all 32 NFL teams. Who shined the brightest?

This year's NFL Combine couldn't be held in Indianapolis, so USC football's NFL prospects had to leave an impression on their home turf. Sort of.

The 2021 USC Pro Day was held on Cromwell Field at USC with a representative on hand from each NFL team.

Who stood out? Who missed out? We've got winners and losers ahead...

Winner: Alijah Vera-Tucker

Alijah Vera-Tucker was already a sure thing for the first round. His USC Pro Day performance made him even more of a lock.

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The offensive lineman put up 36 reps on the bench press, hit 5.10 in the 40-yard dash and was able to show his athleticism during on-field drills.

While his dash time won't stand out in particular, it's perfectly within the range of times put up by linemen at the 2020 Combine. It was faster than last year's fourth-overall pick Andrew Thomas.

His bench press output would have been third at last year's Combine.

Loser: Olaijah Griffin

It was a seriously tough break for Olaijah Griffin having to miss out on the USC Pro Day because of a positive COVID-19 test. Of all USC's athletes, he needed the opportunity to shine in front of scouts from all 32 NFL teams the most.

Winner: Amon-Ra St. Brown

Amon-Ra St. Brown told reporters he was aiming for a blazing 4.4 in the 40-yard dash. He didn't quite get there but his 4.51 was more than enough to show his speed shouldn't be a worry.

In fact, that time was spot on with the one Michael Pittman posted last year and a smidge better than the 4.54 JuJu Smith-Schuster had in 2017.

With 20 reps on the bench press, he looked plenty strong too.

Loser: Tyler Vaughns

Tyler Vaughns just didn't put up impressive numbers on Wednesday. He was only able to do seven reps on the bench press, a mark that would have tied for dead last at the 2020 Combine.

A bench press number hardly matters as much as a 40 time, and there Vaughns didn't make waves. He posted a 4.62, which would put him in the class of Dwayne Jarrett in terms of speed. The difference being, Jarrett was 6-foot-5 and Vaughns is 6-foot-2.

The good news for Vaughns is his worth as a receiver was never going to be shown by workouts in shorts or measurements. His production at USC tells his story.

Winner: Jay Tufele

Since he opted out of the 2020 season, it's been a long while since Jay Tufele was able to show his stuff on a football field. As a result, he'd faded into the background of USC's other pro prospects.

On Wednesday, he displayed the combination of size and athleticism that will make teams want to select him in the draft.

He was strong with 30 reps on the bench press and his 4/97-second 40-yard dash is a good mark for his size.

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