For all the remarks made throughout last season by Lane Kiffin about USC’s lack of talent and surviving post-glory days, nine players were drafted by NFL teams. And a 10th — center Kris O’Dowd — was supposed to be picked.
I’m not suggesting this draft class is anything close to a couple years ago. But it’s not exactly talent that justifies an 8-5 record when you’re producing twice as many pro picks as Auburn, Florida and Oklahoma.
Here’s how USC compared to some other college football powers:
School, draft picks
Ohio State 5
Two mainstays of USC’s offensive line — Kris O’Dowd and Butch Lewis — did not get drafted. It sounds as if injuries were a factor and O’Dowd did not have the strongest Senior Bowl. When the NFL lockout ends, they should quickly with NFL teams as free agents.
Lane Kiffin would sure like them back.
USC tailback Allen Bradford will join a running backs group at Tampa Bay that includes former Oregon tailback LeGarrette Blount and former Stanford player Erik Lorig.
Wide receiver Ronald Johnson on facing Pete Carroll twice a year:
“That will be fun, just to be able to talk to him after the game or before the game, and once I get on the field, forget about it and have to go and beat his team. That’s my thing. I’m going to come into the NFL with a chip on my shoulder and lead my team to a Super Bowl.”
USC wide receiver Ronald Johnson on whether he liked his new coach, San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh:
“We all respected him. He’s a great coach and he had his players doing the right things on the field, and off the field, and he’s a great coach and I can’t wait to play for him.”
Here’s where the USC players went in the draft:
OT Tyron Smith (Dallas, 9th)
DT Jurrell Casey (Tennessee, 77)
CB Shareece Wright (San Diego, 89)
TE Jordan Cameron (Cleveland, 102)
WR Ronald Johnson (San Francisco, 182)
TB Allen Bradford (Tampa Bay, 187)
FB Stanley Havili (Philadelphia, 240)
WR David Ausberry (Oakland, 241)
LB Malcolm Smith (Seattle, 242)
Here’s Cleveland Browns GM Tom Heckert on Jordan Cameron:
“He played a lot. I mean he had 16 catches, but he played an awful lot. He really did. You see him do it. He obviously doesn’t catch the ball every time he’s on the field, but we made a cut-up just to have the thing and there’s like 500 plays. This guy played offense for them.”
Pete Carroll drafted Stanford cornerback Richard Sherman in the fifth round of the NFL Draft. In 2009, Sherman intercepted a Matt Barkley pass and returned it 43 yards for a touchdown. Carroll famously blamed the wide receiver on the play and didn’t credit Sherman (or blame Barkley).
Maybe he changed his mind.
Ronald Johnson goes to the 49ers and Allen Bradford to the Buccaneers in the sixth round. Will Kris O’Dowd be the next player taken?
Tight end Jordan Cameron goes to the Cleveland Browns in the fourth round.