Seven Trojans traveled to Indianapolis over the past weekend looking to boost their stock towards the 2014 NFL Draft, and made crucial steps before the all-important USC Pro Day on March 12th.
While many of these top prospects declared early for the Draft, their speed and strength were on full display these last few days; especially for Devon Kennard and George Uko. Injured center Marcus Martin did not participate in running or agility drills as he continues to rehab from a knee injury, while Xavier Grimble will run on Pro Day.
While Pete Carroll may not have been impressed with Marqise Lee's 40-yard-dash time, the Trojans as a whole (who sent the second-most players to the combine in the Pac-12) put together a good showing over the past few days.
WR Marqise Lee - 4.52 40-yd dash, 38" vertical and 127" broad jump
Lee stood out with his great hands in the pass-catching drills, and also notched the third best broad jump by any receiver at the Combine. Following a solid performance in situational drills, Lee remains one of the best receivers on the board along with Clemson's Sammy Watkins and Texas A&M's Mike Evans.
OLB Devon Kennard - 4.70 40yd, 23 bench press reps, 30" vertical and 113" broad jump
Kennard followed up an excellent week at the East-West Shrine Game with strong numbers at the Draft Combine. The one area that may be lacking in his game is overall strength with just 23 reps, but that is by no means an indictment on his overall skill. Put together the tape following an impressive pass-rushing campaign, and Kennard's stock will only continue to rise before this May's NFL Draft.
C Marcus Martin - 23 bench press reps
Marcus Martin, viewed by Mike Mayock as the No. 1 Center prospect in the draft, will certainly be looking forward to the Pro Day on March 12th. He expects to be healthy, and could put together some work in pass protection and short cone drills and 10-yard shuffles for NFL Scouts to evaluate whether his initial burst will return.
S Dion Bailey - 4.66 40-yd dash, 34" vertical and 113" broad jump
Highly known for his development at strong safety this past season, Bailey exhibited his athleticism in the vertical and broad jump. We know that Bailey does an excellent job surveying the field, so it might come down to whether Scouts believe his coverage skills (which are far different at safety as opposed to cover corner) can translate to the NFL.
DL George Uko - 4.99 40-yd dash, 18 bench press reps, 29.5" vertical and 110" broad jump
Uko posted a respectable 40-yard dash time, but struggled in the bench press. While his overall numbers seemed very mundane among this year's draft class, he did display loose hips and good vision in "fetch drills" that are extremely valuable for teams that are assessing his value as a three-technique defensive lineman.
CHECK OUT THESE NFL PROSPECTS GETTING READY...
RB Silas Redd - 4.70 40-yd dash, 18 bench press reps, 37" vertical and 122" broad jump
Silas Redd is in the all-too familiar position of posting a slow 40-yard time while also showcasing plenty of power and burst during individual drills that leave teams scratching their heads. Redd could certainly translate to the next level with his physicality, but now looks less like a three-down back then first expected when he transferred to USC in 2012.
TE Xavier Grimble - 26.5" vertical and 113" broad jump
Xavier Grimble will look to combine his physically impressive Combine with a strong pass-catching performance at Pro Day to boost his draft stock, which currently sits around the sixth or seventh round at best.
While top scouts would love to see him catch more passes and run the 40-yard dash, his former interim head coach hold few doubts. "I think Xavier is going to be an All-Pro in the NFL," Orgeron told FoxSports.com. "He has unusual body size for a tight end that looks like a left tackle. He can block, run and catch, and he's a great young man."