Defensive Tackle Fili Moala guards his kill. Image from Static.flickr.com
The NFL Draft: Two Trojan players go in the Top-10 overall. A total of five get drafted by the end of the first round, more than any other school in the nation. Oh...did I mention it's 2009? The smoke hasn't yet cleared from last weekend's draft, but that doesn't stop Rivals.com from looking to the future. And the future looks like a big helping of deja-vus on steroids. With the help of some underclassmen departures, Rivals' ridiculously early projection shows five Trojans goings in round one. The Rivals picks/analysis includes:
2. Fili Moala, DT, USC. (Falcons) The 300-pounder is stout and his value goes far beyond numbers -- he makes his teammates better, too. He is versatile enough to play in any defensive scheme.
7. Rey Maualuga, MLB, USC. (Lions) He's not as technically sound as many other linebackers, but is a big play waiting to happen. He has more than ample speed and athleticism, and can be as good as it gets at the point of attack.
13. Taylor Mays, FS, USC. (Broncos) Mays has linebacker size (6-4, 215) and plays with linebacker-sized ferocity while he patrols the middle of the field. He can run, too.
26. Brian Cushing, OLB, USC. (Giants) He suffered an injury-plagued season in '07, but has been the team's most consistent playmaker. He's a pass-rushing demon who could be a star in the right 3-4 defense at the NFL level.
27. Kyle Moore, DE, USC. (Saints) Scouts love his versatility but would like to see more production. Moore has a great frame and even drops into coverage at times.
Who says it couldn't get better?