While most of the headlines surrounding USC's departing talent has focused on the five draft-eligible juniors, three seniors took center stage this weekend in preparation for the 2014 NFL Draft.
After playing their final game in cardinal and gold during the Las Vegas Bowl, these seniors are putting their best foot forward for NFL scouts, who are currently assembling their individual draft boards before the much-anticipated NFL Scouting Combine.
The East/West Shrine Game- Tampa, Fla.
Last time getting to wear this helmet together but won't be the last time that we are on the field… http://t.co/Fi6zoHI7Nd— Kevin Graf (@KevinGraf77) January 18, 2014
The three-year starter for USC finished out his collegiate career getting some major playing time at right tackle in the East-West Shrine Game. Graf may not have had the best game in terms of protecting the quarterback in pass protection, but he did hold his own in the running game by maintaining good shoulder pad level throughout the contest.
Graf is currently rated the 24th best OT in the 2014 Draft Class and is projected to hover around the 7th round this April. Interestingly enough his father Allan, who lettered 3 years (1970-72) as an OG at USC, appeared in the 1973 College All-Star Game while his brother Derek lettered as a center for USC in 2002.
Kennard, a Lott IMPACT TROPHY Finalist, was all over the field for the West defense mixing in reps at his traditional outside linebacker spot along with some pure looks in pass coverage.
His vesatility seemed to play a role with the East, who ran the football away from Kennard's side for most of the first half. The Trojans leader in sacks and tackles for loss from this past season also made some outstanding tackles chasing speedy-quick rushers down the sideline.
Following an excellent week of practice not only against the run but also in pass coverage, Kennard showcased why his draft stock continues to rise each and every time he steps on to the field.
I'm so grateful for this last opportunity to represent myself, my family and USC on the football field today..— Devon Kennard (@DevonKennard42) January 18, 2014
NFLPA Collegiate Bowl- Carson, Calif.
Demetrius Wright led the American Team with six tackles and recovered one fumble. He also played well in coverage throughout the afternoon, building upon his 59-tackle season in the back end of USC's secondary.
Wright played especially well against the run, utilizing his athleticism and instincts to tackle Stanford RB Anthony Wilkerson with authority on multiple occasions. He did fail to get over in time to stop one deep pass to Fresno State receiver Isaiah Burse, but that play was more the result of a fantastic pitch and catch as opposed to poor coverage.