USC Football 2013 NFL Draft Tracker and Analysis

Ian BergCorrespondent IApril 17, 2013

USC Football 2013 NFL Draft Tracker and Analysis

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    The Southern Cal Trojans are ushering out a very talented football draft class in 2013 which is loaded with top-rated offensive talent.

    A number of top Trojans have been in the scouts' spotlight this winter, with quarterback Matt Barkley as the most intriguing and profiled player in the Trojans' draft class, but there are a number of others who are making waves as well.

    Here is a look at the top Southern Cal players in this year's NFL draft.


    Note: Player profiles will be updated once drafted 

Robert Woods: WR

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    Where He Was Selected: Second round - 41 Overall to the Buffalo Bills

    Height: 6'0"

    Weight: 201 pounds

    Robert Woods surprised some when he declared early for the NFL draft, but it was a smart move for the talented receiver out of LA.

    He is a solid pick for a team that struggles to find consistent playmakers on offense. Woods is a great fit in Buffalo. 


T.J. McDonald: S

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    Where He Was Selected: Third round - 71 Overall to the St. Louis Rams 

    Height: 6'2"

    Weight: 219 pounds

    When playing against the run, McDonald is as good as they come at the safety position, but his game falls apart in pass coverage. He has to find a way to improve his play against the pass or he will not be a consistent starter in the NFL.

    He can’t cover well in man and won’t be asked to perform on an island at the next level.

    McDonald has all the intangibles to become a very good player, but his lack of development under an NFL mind in Monte Kiffin is a concern heading into draft weekend. 

    He should be able to apply his skills immediately for the Rams. 

Matt Barkley: QB

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    Where He Was Selected: Fourth round - 98 Overall to the Philadelphia Eagles

    Height: 6'2"

    Weight: 227 pounds

    He may not be the most athletic quarterback available in the draft, but Matt Barkley is as good of a game manager as any signal-caller in this class.

    Barkley’s arm strength has been questioned in the past, but he displayed a lot of good zip on the football during his pro day shortly after having shoulder surgery.

    It will be interesting to see where he fits in the Chip Kelly system. It usually relies on an athletic quarterback, but that could change with the addition of Barkley's skills to the team. 

Khaled Holmes: C

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    Where He Was Selected: Fourth round - 121 Overall to the Indianapolis Colts

    Height: 6'3"

    Weight: 302 pounds

    There are only a handful of elite centers in this draft class and Holmes is one of the best.

    Holmes has great footwork, and has the ability to man-up a defender. He is a taller center so keeping his base low has been an issue against compact defensive linemen in the past. He can be a long term solution for a pro team, but he will take a year to settle into the league. 

    The quicker that he gets his power base where it needs to be, the faster that he will be a solid on-field contributor on Sundays. 

Nickell Robey: CB

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    Where He Was Selected: TBD

    Height: 5'7"

    Weight: 169 pounds

    The first thing that you notice about Nickell Robey is his size—or lack of it.

    He is a very talented athlete who is as quick as they come at the corner position, but he struggles when he is matched against big-bodied or aggressive receivers. Because of his size, he has to fight for every pass.

    He is relatively ineffective against the run, and as Matt Miller points out, it will push him down the draft board. He is expected to be a middle-of-the-pack draft selection.

    His speed will keep him in the picture for a number of teams however, and that could push up his selection. As Bryan Fisher points out (via Twitter), he has elite closing speed on the field:

    Mariota up the gut and... gets caught. Nickel Robey one of the few players in CFB that could run him down. TD on the next play.

    — Bryan Fischer (@BryanDFischer) November 4, 2012

    In his latest mock draft, Miller has Robey going in Round 6 to the 49ers. 

    Robey is a nasty ball-hawk and that will help him gain back some ground from his size liability. 

Wes Horton: DE

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    Where He Was Selected: TBD

    Height: 6'5"

    Weight: 255 pounds

    Wes Horton is a steady performer and is considered to be a hard-working average edge-rusher. Horton has good NFL size, and as Matt Miller points out, Horton will be a steady performer once he makes it into the pros.

    This is a player who was a solid contributor for USC when he was there, but he never made it to all-star or standout status.

    He has to get better against the run or he will be limited in his contributions at the next level. There is a lot of talent that he wasted with bad technique in college that could be turned into solid production in an NFL system. 

Jawanza Starling: SS

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    Where He Was Selected: TBD

    Height: 6'1"

    Weight: 202 pounds

    Jawanza Starling is not expected to be a high selection in the draft, but he may be a player that is pulled in the later rounds.

    He has been a proven ball-hawk in his time at USC, and he has been able to play well against the run in open space.

    He isn’t the ideal size for a strong safety at the next level, but he will be able to contribute in a secondary at some point. He has good ball recognition and could slip into the draft in the later rounds.