Saturday, April 30, 2011
Days 1 & 2 recap; Day 3 preview
By Pedro Moura
Two days in, three Trojans have been picked in the 2011 NFL Draft. The third day stands to see several more USC products selected.
Here's a quick player-by-player breakdown of the three Trojans already selected and an overview of where the final five to seven draftees could go today:
OT Tyron Smith
Smith went ninth overall to the Dallas Cowboys on Thursday, where he now stands to take over the right tackle spot from Marc Colombo either immediately or in the foreseeable future. Dallas has a capable left tackle in Doug Free, but Smith could also set his sights there in the next several years. He told Dallas reporters after his selection that he sees himself as a potential Hall of Famer. For contextual purposes, last year's No. 9 pick, Buffalo running back C.J. Spiller signed a contract worth more than $20 million in guarantees four months after the draft.
DT Jurrell Casey
Casey was the next USC player to go off the board after Smith, 77th overall to the Titans, and experienced a precipitous freefall from his potential slot in the early- to mid-second round. He had even been thought of as a possible first-rounder when he declared back in December. He's a nice small-risk, high-reward pick for Tennessee and a player who will assuredly take the field with a chip on his shoulder come September.
CB Shareece Wright
Wright gets to stay local. The San Diego Chargers took him with the 89th overall selection in the third round, right around where most draft experts had him going in the weeks leading up to the draft. He could've gone higher had his big-play production been consistent during his lone starting season in 2010, but, as it is, Wright represents a solid value pick for a team looking for a potential starting cornerback. He won't be a flashy player in the NFL, but he could very easily end up being a productive starter.
Anywhere from four to seven more Trojans are expected to be selected today. Those include, in relative order of where they are projected to go, receiver Ronald Johnson, tight end Jordan Cameron, center Kristofer O'Dowd, fullback Stanley Havili, running back Allen Bradford and linebacker Malcolm Smith. Quarterback Mitch Mustain and linebacker Michael Morgan are also names NFL teams are tossing around.
Johnson is a projected fourth- or fifth-rounder; Cameron likewise. O'Dowd is a fifth-round type, whereas not much is known about Havili's draft status because of his precarious injury situation regarding his shoulder. Bradford, Smith, Mustain and Morgan will all be late-round selections, if they are picked at all.