USC’s NFL Draft Predictions

NFL draft: Which USC players might get picked and when

Here’s a breakdown of six Trojans who could hear their names called from Thursday to Saturday in Kansas City, Mo.

Adam Grosbard (OC Register)  —  With the NFL draft beginning Thursday, here’s a look at where USC prospects can expect to be selected over the weekend.

JR WR Jordan Addison, 5-11, 173

Coming straight out of the season, Addison seemed like a lock not only to be a first-round pick but possibly as high as in the top 12. But as draft season progressed, there seemed to be less consensus on the valuation of receivers in this year’s draft, after a run on wideouts in Round 1 a year ago. Still, given his versatility and raw athleticism at his size, here’s guessing someone in the first round takes a gamble on Addison on Thursday night.

SR CB Mekhi Blackmon, 5-11, 178

Blackmon has done a lot of good work to improve his standing in the past year, from his breakout season at USC to running a 4.47-second 40-yard dash at the combine. But given how he’s used his physicality to make up for other athletic shortcomings, Blackmon is still likely a Day 3 guy, in Rounds 5-6.

SR RB Travis Dye, 5-10, 201

Dye is a tricky one to nail down, given the ankle fracture he suffered in November. He was still recovering from surgery at the NFL combine and did not get to run a 40-yard dash there, and the rainy conditions slowed down his time at USC’s pro day. This put a lot of weight on Dye’s private workouts with teams to show that he has regained his burst since the injury. Dye is likely a Day 3 selection, probably Rounds 6-7.

SR C Brett Neilon, 6-2, 295

Neilon entered the draft coming off a devastating leg injury suffered in early December. Unable to participate at the combine and pro day, Neilon will rely on game tape to get him a chance in the pros. He’s looking at either a Round 7 selection or undrafted free agency.

JR DE Tuli Tuipulotu, 6-3, 266

It’s tough to know exactly how an NFL team will use Tuipulotu, given his size doesn’t exactly match up with most NFL defensive linemen. But there’s enough film showing how much Tuipulotu’s strength and athleticism make up for any size limitations, and someone will take him in Round 2 or 3.

SR OL Andrew Vorhees, 6-3, 310

Vorhees was looking like a late first-round, early second-round selection prior to tearing his ACL at the NFL combine. Still, his incredible bench press performance after the injury stole headlines, and there will be a team without an immediate need on the offensive line willing to stash Vorhees for a year and allow him to recover from surgery. But it’s more likely to come in Rounds 4-5 than 2-3 now.

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Knighted Member
April 28, 2023 4:43 am
Reply to  Allen Wallace


Knighted Member
May 3, 2023 5:40 am
Reply to  Allen Wallace

Thank you Allen! I’ve always had mixed thoughts on the Vikings as on the one hand, they seemed to always beat the Rams in the playoffs back when they had Fran Tarkenton and on the other hand, they drafted Ron Yary, one of SC’s best OL ever, with the first pick of the NFL draft back in 1967.