When you look back on this years draft it is hard not to be disappointed in how we all thought things should have went.
Hindsight tells us that expectations were not at all realistic for Matt Barkley, but Robert Woods T.J. McDonald and Khaled Holmes were all drafted. Maybe not where we have wanted them to go, but getting drafted no matter where is a memory these young men will never forget.
On the other hand, things turned out different for the other four. Nickell Robey, Jawanza Starling, Curtis McNeal and Wes Horton went undrafted but all signed on as UDFA's with Buffalo, Houston, Pittsburgh and Carolina respectively. Robey is the only one that really stands out to me as he had a 3rd or 4th round grade. Robey could have used another year but he had family issues to address as he is in charge of raising his sister since his mother passed shortly before he arrived at USC.
Who did I miss?
The NFL is a mean business and reality is a harsh lesson.
Names from the past continue show the strength of the USC pipeline.
Everybody's favorite former Trojan Jarvis Jones went in the first round to Pittsburgh. Brice Butler was drafted in the seventh round by Oakland. Jordan Campbell signed with Cincinnati.
Hard not to be happy for those guys even though they went on to other programs.
Was this draft as good as previous years for USC?
Nope, not even close.
It is hard to know why. Some will point to USC feeling the effects of the Pete Carroll's last two recruiting classes, some will blame the sanctions and others will point to the current regime.
It is probably a combination of all three.
One thing is for sure though, if USC starts to have 10-plus win seasons then things will change in the draft again. I really want to believe this a blip on the screen, but I have little faith in where this program is now to develop players that could go high in the draft and have productive careers.
Kiffin has his work cut out for him this season.
We all know what happened at USC in 2012. There was lying about poll votes and chicanery by student managers and weird media feuds and classless actions at a bowl game and fights in the locker room. Oh, and Matt Barkley saying there wasn't much leadership and the play-calling was stale. And losses. More losses than any preseason No. 1 has had before. It was bad on and off the field.
Athletic director Pat Haden stood by his coach that went 10-2 the year before, and he was criticized for that. With that kind of heat on Kiffin, it would be surprising if the coach could survive another bad season, especially if the football program continues to represent the school as poorly as it did last year.
This is just one more log on the fire to bash the coach that everyone loves to hate.
You can't blame everything on Lane Kiffin...but you can blame a lot.
This past draft, with Barkley especially, will make it next to impossible for a top junior to stay in school. Kiffin needs to develop the players better or the top players won't even consider USC in the recruiting process.
Will it get worse before it gets better?
Time will tell....