Trojans take lead in all-time draft picks

After only three former USC football players were selected in the first three rounds of the NFL draft Thursday and Friday, six ex-Trojans heard their names called Saturday, including three in succession in the seventh round.

In total, the nine USC players picked were tops of any school and gave the Trojans the lead over Notre Dame in all-time draft picks, 472 to 469, since the draft began in 1936. USC had trailed the Irish by two selections entering the weekend, but Notre Dame had only four players selected.

Tight end Jordan Cameron started off USC's day when he was selected with the fifth pick of the fourth round by the Cleveland Browns. Receiver Ronald Johnson was the Trojans' next pick, by the San Francisco 49ers, when he came off the board in the middle of the sixth round; running back Allen Bradford was taken five picks later by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Then, in a rare feat, three straight USC players were taken in the seventh round, with picks 240-242: fullback Stanley Havili, receiver David Ausberry and linebacker Malcolm Smith.

Havili went to the Eagles, Ausberry to the Raiders and Smith to the Seahawks, where he'll be coached by former USC head man Pete Carroll.

Center Kristofer O'Dowd was the most notable Trojan who went undrafted. He had been projected by most draft experts as a sixth- or seventh-round selection. Few had Ausberry as a likely selection. Havili and Johnson were each expected to go a round or two higher than they did.

On the first two days of the draft, right tackle Tyron Smith was taken ninth overall by the Dallas Cowboys, defensive tackle Jurrell Casey was taken 77th by the Tennessee Titans and cornerback Shareece Wright was taken 89th by the San Diego Chargers.