South Carolina Football: Recapping the Nine New NFL-Bound Gamecocks
The Gamecocks had an excellent draft for the program with six players selected. These players are the first wave of many who will be joining the professional ranks in the coming drafts.
The Gamecocks also had three players (thus far) who signed contracts as undrafted free agents. This is a great indicator of the health and respect of the program. NFL teams trust the coaching and the talent coming out of the school.
It truly is a great time to be a Gamecock, and it will be highly enjoyable following these players careers.
Stephon Gilmore: Bills
Stephon Gilmore was drafted 10th overall by the Buffalo Bills. His draft stock soared after his incredible display of athleticism at the combine.
Gilmore will be expected to step in as an opening-day starter. While his team isn't going to be be the greatest, he has an excellent opportunity to showcase his substantial talents.
Melvin Ingram: Chargers
I have already mentioned in a previous piece that I think Ingram was placed in the perfect situation.
His draft slide (first round, pick 18) will give him an even bigger chip on his shoulder, and the Chargers are in a good position to be competitive.
Ingram's nasty streak will continue in the league.
Alshon Jeffery: Bears
Alshon Jeffery slid to the second round of the draft and was snatched up by the Bears with the 13th pick.
He will be paired up with Brandon Marshall and get the pigskin tossed to him by Jay Cutler.
He's got a great opportunity to make some noise.
Rokevious Watkins: Rams
Rokevious Watkins' sheer size made him jump up the draft board a few rounds. He was picked by the Rams in the fifth round. He will be a player who surprises many people.
It wouldn't shock me to see Watkins make the team and be in the offensive-line rotation in his first season.
Antonio Allen: Jets
Antonio Allen's poor combine showing had him falling almost as quickly as Stephon Gilmore was rising. Allen's free fall was stopped by the Jets in the seventh round.
The Jets received a high-motor, intelligent and hard-hitting player who knows how to make plays.
Allen may very well become the steal of the draft.
Travian Robertson: Falcons
The last of the drafted Gamecocks, Travian Robertson gets to stay close to home and prove why he was a long-term starter on one of the best defensive lines in football.
Travian is a winner and has excellent measurables.
His size is good, and he's athletic.
Jason Barnes: Chargers
I am relatively shocked that Jason Barnes signed with an NFL team.
He's got all of the ability in the world but had very little production in school. It's always been a mental issue with him.
If he can focus, he could be good. He's a big guy with good hands.
Marty Markett: Falcons
Marty Markett is a solid all-around player. He's got good speed and is one of the most hard-working players you will ever find.
He has some growing to do in terms of his fundamentals in order to actually play in the NFL though.
C.C. Whitlock: Vikings
C.C. Whitlock came to South Carolina with tons of hype. He was a 4- or 5-star prospect depending on your source.
His blazing fast speed and athleticism made him a player with huge potential. While he was a productive player, and at times a starter, he never became that star that he could have been.
He could be a great NFL player. He still has the tools. He just needs to get his mind involved.