clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Finding a home for all the USC Trojans in the 2017 NFL Draft

It is always exciting to see where the latest group of USC Trojans will land in the NFL

NCAA Football: Rose Bowl Game-Penn State vs Southern California Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

With the combine and the USC Trojans Pro Day in the books, the next step for this group of Trojans looking to turn pro is the NFL draft. With the draft only a few weeks away mock drafts are popping up all over the place. I’m not going to try and come up with a mock draft, I don’t have the experience nor the hair of Mel Kiper Jr to try and complete such a daunting task. However, since I always continue to cheer on and follow former Trojans in the NFL, instead of a mock draft I am going to take a look at the Trojans top prospects and find the best landing spots for them in the NFL.

Let’s get started:

Zach Banner

Position: OT

Position Rank (via Espn): 6

Overall Rank: 104

Will they be drafted: Yes.

NCAA Football: Rose Bowl Game-Penn State vs Southern California Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Best fit: The Carolina Panthers. Carolina has had issues at tackle going back to the 15-16 season when Von Miller exposed them on the NFL’s biggest stage. The Panthers have taken steps to address their deficiencies by signing former Trojan Matt Kalil but, that only takes care of the left side. The panthers still need help on the right side of the line, and with them looking to add a running back in the draft and improve their ground attack, Banner would slide in nicely as a mid-round pick.

Justin Davis

Position: RB

Position Rank: 32

Overall rank: NR

Will they be drafted: If he is it’ll be late.

NCAA Football: Rose Bowl Game-Penn State vs Southern California Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Best Fit: Denver Broncos. Justin Davis has been the number one back at USC for the last two seasons and has been an integral part of the Trojan’s resurgence. However, at the next level I think his size 6’0, 208lbs, will make it difficult for him to be a workhorse, every down back. That’s where the Broncos come in, with booker having fumbling issues, and the broncos typically working with running back by committee, Davis’ one cut style could mesh perfectly here.

Stevie Tu'Ikolovatu

Position: DT/NT

Position Rank: 11

Overall Rank: 104

Will he be drafted: Yes.

NCAA Football: Southern California at UCLA Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Best fit: Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs had a great defense last season, especially when it came to turning opponents over. However, they ranked only 26th in rush defense, this was mainly due to injuries along the defensive line and linebacking core. Also, with Dontari Poe now a member of the Falcons Stevie T can step in and help solidify a struggling run defense, while utilizing his underappreciated ability to collapse the pocket in passing situations.

JuJu Smith-Schuster

Position: WR

Position Rank: 5

Overall Rank: 46

Will he be drafted: Definitely.

NCAA Football: Rose Bowl Game-Penn State vs Southern California Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Best fit: Baltimore Ravens. The Ravens are in desperate need of wide receiver help, especially with the retirement of Steve Smith Sr and Breshad Perriman failing to establish himself as a definitive WR1. Smith-Schuster provides a bigger and more physical replacement to the tough, over the middle, YAC receiver that the Ravens are losing in Smith Sr. If this connection happens, I would pencil in JuJu as a possible Offensive Rookie of the Year contender.

Damien Mama

Position: OG

Position Rank: 8

Overall Rank: 147

Will he be drafted: Most likely.

NCAA Football: Rose Bowl Game-Penn State vs Southern California Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Best fit: Los Angeles Chargers. The departure of DJ Fluker leaves a hole in the Chargers offensive line. With Phillip Rivers getting up there in age and in order to build on the breakout season Melvin Gordon had last year drafting a guard to compete for a starting spot is the right move. Mama would fit this team nicely, he is a monster when it comes to run blocking yet, athletic enough to get out on screens and pull, which the Chargers like to do. A mid to late round pick would make sense for the Chargers as well, low risk with a potential for high reward and providing their new fan base with a familiar name.

Adoree’ Jackson

Position: DB/KR

Position Rank: 7

Overall Rank: 40

Will he be drafted: Definitely.

NCAA Football: Rose Bowl Game-Penn State vs Southern California Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Best fit: Tennessee Titans. This pick is completely and utterly biased, I am a die-hard Tennessee Titans fan, yes even though I live in California and no I’m not from Tennessee, I’ve just been in love with Titans since I first witnessed Steve “Air” McNair when I was an 8th grader. The Titans need a Corner Back, and Jackson’s Dynamic ability in the return game would definitely be an addition, even though the team just added KR Eric Weems, but he’s 31 and who knows how long his speed will last.

If I had to make a non-homer pick, I would say the New Orleans Saints. With Desean Jackson and Taylor Gabriel in the division, the Saints could use someone who can track deep threats. Also, Jackson would be a great addition for the Saints on special teams and I am sure an offensive genius like Sean Payton would figure out a way to get Adoree’ involved on offense.

Where ever these Trojans land in the upcoming draft, they will undoubtedly make a positive impact. I only focused on some of the top prospects from USC. Next time I will take a look at some of the lower round and undrafted free agent prospects from the Trojans and look at potential landing spots for them as well.

Until Next time.

Fight On!