You have seen a lot of mock drafts at this point- as have I -about the up coming NFL draft and mulled over where your favorite player goes, who takes him and have already charted out the defensive/offensive rookie of the year.
So rest assured, I am not bringing another mock draft, I am going to provide my USC based speculations for the upcoming selections. These will range allover the place, so sit back and reserve judgement, enjoy this instead of taking them as Ten Commandment truths.
- Adoree Jackson wins the defensive rookie of the year trophy with the Baltimore Ravens. First if this pick does not make immediate sense to you, I cannot help you. As for the award, Jackson has some of the most impressive raw talent of anyone in the draft, on par with Myles Garrett.
- Justin Davis gets drafted before rushing leader Donnel Pumphrey. Davis comes from a better school in a tougher conference and had he bigger frame. He is a great threat out of the backfield. He has also played against top level talent before, tested against *top level conferences, which gives us a better idea of his performance potential at the next level. He will go in the fifth round and become a roll play back while Pumphrey goes in the sixth.
- Chad Wheeler is the first linemen from USC drafted, but not the best. Wheeler has a lot of raw variables in his build that teams will like, which I mentioned in his draft card. But when he played on the outside this season the tackles were the weakest part of the USC line. Through the middle of the line, the Trojans were the tightest, making Damien Mama my favorite guy on the line. He is solid at holding his own against interior defensive players and is really good in rush blocking along with keeping with sliding protection. If he could end up with a team like Buffalo and develop he would really go places.
- Darreus Rogers ends up being just as good as JuJu Smith-Schuster. While Smith will probably end up going in the top three rounds of the draft compared to Rogers going on the back end, they both have about the same ceiling. This season Rogers did a good job trying to prove the gap between the two is not very wide at all. Smith had some bad drops and failed to constantly get the separation he had last season. Rogers stepped up in the void and made big play both on the outside and from the slot, jumping from 289 yards last season to 696 yards on 56 catches with four touchdowns. He is quick out of his breaks and finds a way to get the ball, both will be solid.
- Stevie Tu’ikolovatu will be the Malcolm Brown for Tampa Bay. After six tackles for loss and a pair of sacks in 2015, some could look at two tackles for loss and a half a sack last season as a step back. But his career high 53 total tackles, more than the last two seasons combined, is a showing of his impact in the middle of the line. He is extremely efficient at chewing up blocks and holing down the middle of the defensive line against the run. Something the Buccaneers could use for cheap after spending more on the offense so far this off-season.