WeAreSC staffers discuss NFL draft topics for USC players.
1. Who will take Leonard Williams, and with what pick?
Garry Paskwietz: I think Leonard will end up with the Tennessee Titans as the No. 2 pick in the draft. Part of me would like to see the symmetry of having Jack Del Rio pick a fellow Trojan if Leonard should fall to the Raiders at No. 4 but I don’t think that will happen. Tennessee hit it big on the DL with Jurrell Casey from USC and they will look to duplicate that success with the Big Cat.
Johnny Curren: Unless the rumors of a potential trade for Philip Rivers wind up coming to fruition, I don’t see Tennessee passing on Williams with the No. 2 pick. The Titans have a real need on the defensive line, and Williams, who would be the top overall player on the board here, is a versatile talent that you just don’t have the opportunity to grab too often.
Greg Katz: With the third overall selection, the home-state Jacksonville Jaguars will pick the Florida native.
2. Will Nelson Agholor go in the first round?
GP: This is a tough one because I really do think Nelson is on the bubble to potentially get picked in the first round but I’m going to say no, I think he ends up going early in the second. It’s nothing against Nelson, it’s just that Robert Woods and Marqise Lee got picked in the second round from USC the last two years and that would keep with the symmetry theme mentioned above.
JC: There is a lot of buzz right now about Agholor and the New Orleans Saints, so I think they take him with the No. 31 pick. He didn’t necessarily have the numbers that Marqise Lee and Robert Woods did at USC, but his physical tools are undeniable, and he’s obviously done well on the pre-draft combine and private workout trail because he’s one of the fastest rising prospects out there.
GK: There seems to be a lot of momentum for Nelson to go late in the first round, but you know how that goes. If he does get selected in the first round, it will probably be a team like New Orleans that needs receivers.
3. Will George Farmer get drafted?
GP: It’s no sure thing but I do think George ends up getting picked. It might actually be beneficial for him not to get picked, that way he could have more of a choice which team to sign with as a free agent, but I just think his 4.35 40-time will be too much for some team to pass up, even if there are only 30 career catches to his credit.
JC: With somewhat limited film to go on, I just don’t see Farmer getting drafted right now. He had an outstanding showing at USC’s pro day, however, with his 4.35 electronically timed 40-yard dash obviously catching everybody’s attention. Because of that, I do think he gets picked up as a free agent in a hurry, and I think he could wind up surprising.
GK: This is a real wildcard and easily the most curious of Trojans players on the draft board. For whatever reasons, his college career never lived up to his high school hype. If he does get drafted, it will be very late. It will be no shock here if he doesn’t get drafted but becomes a free agent, which may be in his best interest. How’s that for a politically correct answer?
4. How many Trojans total will get drafted?
GP: I will say Williams, Agholor, Shaw, Allen, Pullard, Tavai and Farmer.
GK: I’ll go with seven: DT Leonard Williams, WR Nelson Agholor, RB Buck Allen, DB Josh Shaw, ILB Hayes Pullard, TE Randall Telfer, and OLB J.R. Tavai.
5. Which pick, or non pick, will be the biggest Trojan surprise of draft day?
GP: If Agholor goes in the first round I think you would have to qualify that as the biggest surprise, and kudos to Nelson if it happens. On the flip side, I think it will be very interesting to see where Josh Shaw gets picked. There isn’t a whole lot of buzz around Josh right now and some projections have him in the 4th round, but all it takes is one team to look at his obvious skill set and take a chance on him earlier.
JC: Shaw. If Shaw doesn’t have the off-the-field incident, and he plays his entire senior year, I think everybody is talking about him being a late first-round pick right now. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case, but I do think that there is a team out there that falls in love with his abilities as a cornerback with unique size, and he potentially gets taken in the second round, rather than the third as many are projecting.
GK: If former offensive lineman Aundrey Walker gets drafted, it will be the biggest surprise to me. In fact, it might be the biggest USC surprise to a lot of people. Of course, it depends on one’s definition of “biggest surprise.” If you define surprise as somebody who sticks with a team and makes a contribution, I’d say George Farmer would be as good a candidate as any.