We’re not even a month out from the 2021 NFL draft but analysts and fans alike haven’t wasted anytime in beginning to look towards next year’s crop of prospects.
The Draft Wire’s Luke Easterling recently came out with a new 2022 mock draft and among those players selected in the first round are a pair of Trojans in quarterback Kedon Slovis and defensive end Drake Jackson.
Slovis is the first of the two off the board by way of the Washington Football Team who takes him with the eighth-overall pick in the draft. Slovis is coming off an abbreviated six-games season where he threw for 1,921 yards, 17 touchdowns, and seven interceptions. As a freshman the year before, he threw for 3,502 yards in twice as many games with 30 touchdowns and 17 picks. His 2020 12-game pace would have had him setting career-highs across the board.
The other Trojan included, Jackson, also plays a premium position that will certainly help his draft stock next year. In Easterling’s mock, Jackson gets taken 10th overall by the Falcons.
As a freshman, the 6’4, 255-pound edge rusher racked up 11.5 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks with three pass deflections at the line. During the six-game 2020 campaign, he notched just a pair of sacks and 5.5 tackles behind the line of scrimmage.
USC EDGE/OLB Drake Jackson (6035, 255, Jr.) is an urgent athlete that primarily plays standing up, but can also put his hand in the dirt. There’s tools on the shelf to unlock, but he must continue to develop vs. the run and improve his strength levels. https://t.co/TskhDfzRy0 pic.twitter.com/bvEwlvTii3— Jordan Reid (@Jordan_Reid) May 24, 2021
Despite losing some key pieces on either side of the ball, the Trojans will look to continue their success from a year ago and hopefully end this upcoming season with a victory in the conference championship game. With cornerstone pieces like Slovis and Jackson, that’s certainly in the realm of possibilities.