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A former NFL defensive coordinator told NFL Media's Bucky Brooks that he worries about USC CB Adoree' Jackson's ability to hold up against larger receivers.

We have heard this refrain before regarding the 5-foot-10, 186-pounder's size. Said this particular former DC, "It's hard on the outside for small guys to deal with the 'monsters' that teams feature in the passing game." He went on to name-check Dez Bryant, Julio Jones, Brandon Marshall and Mike Evans as players who "eat little guys up on the outside." He pointed to Jackson's performance against Penn State WR Chris Godwin (6-foot-1, 209 pounds) in the Rose Bowl as one very tangible recent example of these struggles. Godwin went off for a 9-187-2 receiving line in that game. "I'm fine with him coming off the board in the first round as an athlete/returner or nickel corner, but if you're expecting him to come in and develop into a lockdown corner, I don't know if he can hold up on the outside," Brooks' contact concluded.
Source: NFL.com
Mar 24 - 6:52 PM

Pro Football Focus compared USC WR JuJu Smith-Schuster to San Francisco 49ers WR Pierre Garcon.

"Garcon has carved out a niche for himself as a No. 2 receiver, and that appears to be Smith-Schuster’s role at the next level," writes the PFF analysis team. "He’s talented, but his game leaves you wanting more, whether it be separating more consistently or making more downfield catches against tight coverage." The 6-foot-2, 220-pounder has fallen out of the first-round conversation, but should find himself an NFL home by the end of Day 2. Concludes the PFF crew, "If he can be more efficient with his cuts and routes to make up for that [lack of separation], he could develop into a solid outside receiver."
Mar 24 - 5:53 PM

Draft Analyst's Tony Pauline relays that USC TE Taylor McNamara "caught the ball exceptionally well" on pro day.

McNamara took part in the East-West Shrine Game, but did not receive an invitation to the NFL Scouting Combine. Pauline writes that "many" insiders felt he deserved that invitation. The 6-foot-4, 252-pounder caught 25 passes for 198 yards and five touchdowns during his career with the Trojans. He will likely have to fight his way onto an NFL roster as an undrafted free agent unless he draws a look late on Day 3.
Mar 23 - 9:32 PM

Draft Analyst's Tony Pauline called USC OL Jordan Simmons "the big surprise" from the Trojans' pro day.

"He looked terrific in position drills and easily moved his huge frame around the field," Pauline writes, adding that Simmons "could surprise in camp this fall." The analyst expects him to slip through the draft. Backstory time: Simmons was plagued by severe knee issues during his time with the Trojans, undergoing a surgery to repair a torn ACL as well as two bone scopes. Due in part to health concerns and coupled with the talent USC routinely houses along the offensive line, the 6-foot-3, 339-pounder made just two starts during his collegiate career. On that note, Pauline hears that Simmons performed better than two more vaunted linemen on pro day in Zach Banner (TP: "Shows little in the way of balance) and Chad Wheeler (TP: "Little in the way of strength").
Mar 23 - 7:49 PM

A Western regional scout with an NFC team told NFL Media's Lance Zierlein that USC T Chad Wheeler "[g]ets more hype than he should."

"I think injuries have taken a toll on him some. He might end up a starter at some point, but I'm not sure you want him out there full-time," the scout said, adding, "I think he will end up a guard." NFL Media's Lance Zierlein has some concern about the 6-foot-7, 306-pounder's "core strength" and notes that he displays a lack of consistency in his footwork when protecting for the pass. Draft Analyst's Tony Pauline does not see Wheeler being drafted at this juncture.
Source: NFL.com
Mar 18 - 2:35 PM

An NFL scout told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that USC CB Adoree' Jackson is "a first-round player for me but he’s got to be penalized because he’s a midget."

Naturally, the scout sees him as a second-rounder. "He’s a really good player but he’s small," said the scout. The dynamic 5-foot-10, 186-pounder posted a 40-yard dash of 4.42 seconds at the NFL Combine. "Only negative is his height," another scout said. "He’s always in the right spot at the right time. He knows how to keep position and break on the ball. Reminds me of Darrell Green, who was just 5-8. He’s so instinctive. Excellent one-on-one cover."
Mar 17 - 1:11 PM

USC redshirt freshman WR Trevon Sidney is not expected back until August at the earliest due to a pair of hip surgeries.

Sidney has already been scuttled for spring practice. While HC Clay Helton is hoping he will be able to return to action by the start of fall camp, that is far from a given. His status for August and beyond should clarify over the coming months. The 5-foot-11, 164-pounder ranked as ESPN's No. 144 overall prospect for the 2016 cycle.
Mar 12 - 2:16 PM

Sports Illustrated's Pete Thamel reports that Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott has received a contract extension through 2022.

Monetary figures on that extension have yet to surface. For perspective, tax returns show that he made $4 million in 2014. A raise off that number for this extension would not come as a huge surprise. Scott has served as Pac-12 commissioner since 2009.
Mar 9 - 1:54 PM

An NFC West regional scout stamped a fifth-round grade on USC RB Justin Davis.

"They didn't ask much of him as a pass-catcher in that offense but I think he can do it," the scout said. "He can play heavier than he is right now so he carries third running back value. He also returned kicks last year so that helps him too." A high ankle sprain ended up wrecking Davis' 2016 season and also cost him a Shrine Game appearance. "Davis has decent vision and elusiveness once he gets up to the second level, but he lacks early creativity and typically gets what is blocked for him on the first level," NFL.com's Lance Zierlein chimed in. "He could get drafted on the third day but appears to be a garden-variety, replaceable runner."
Source: NFL.com
Mar 8 - 1:54 PM

NFL Media draft analyst Bucky Brooks noted that USC CB Adoree' Jackson "displayed extraordinary movement skills in positional drills [at the Combine]."

"He is an easy turner with exceptional agility and change-of-direction quickness. Most importantly, he displays strong hands and ball skills as a natural ballhawk," Brooks writes. His 'Move the Sticks' podcast partner-in-crime Daniel Jeremiah would agree with these assessments, as Jeremiah noted during the NFL Network telecast of the Combine on Monday that Jackson looked "fluid and smooth and easy the way [he] moved around" in drill work. The dynamic 5-foot-10, 186-pounder killed the 40-yard dash, running the event in 4.42 seconds.
Source: NFL.com
Mar 7 - 10:47 PM

USC five-star 2018 verbal QB commit Matt Corral is considering taking visits to Alabama and Georgia.

Corral initially committed to the Trojans in early February of 2016. He has stuck by that pledge in the interim. The 6-foot-2, 185-pound gunslinger told Rivals that he remains a "hard commit" to USC and that he is not seriously considering possible trips beyond those to the Crimson Tide and Bulldogs at this juncture. Rivals ranks him as the No. 8 overall prospect in the 2018 class.
Source: Rivals
Mar 7 - 7:54 PM

USC CB Adoree' Jackson cruised through the 40-yard dash in 4.42 seconds at the NFL Scouting Combine on Monday.

NFL Network's Daniel Jeremiah noted on the Combine broadcast that Jackson looked "fluid and smooth and easy the way he's moved around" in drills. This despite the fact that (per Draft Analyst's Tony Pauline) he was dealing with a lower leg or ankle injury in training in mid-February. Come the draft, Jackson is a likely first- or early second-round selection.
Source: NFL.com
Mar 6 - 4:24 PM

USC WR JuJu Smith-Schuster clocked an unofficial 40-yard dash time of 4.54 seconds at the NFL Scouting Combine on Saturday.

Smith-Schuster is not an out-and-out burner, but 4.54 seconds is more than respectable for the future NFL wideout. Two teams to watch who are intrigued by the 6-foot-2, 220-pounder: The Rams and the Eagles. He met formally with Los Angeles at the Combine and also worked out with last year's No. 1 pick, Jared Goff. And in that same vain, he worked out with last year's No. 2 pick, Carson Wentz.
Source: NFL.com
Mar 4 - 1:23 PM

USC hired Indiana RB coach Deland McCullough to serve in the same capacity.

McCullough steps in for Tommie Robinson, who accepted the gig as running backs coach at LSU earlier this offseason. Prior to taking the job with USC, McCullough had been coaching up Hoosiers backs since 2010. In a statement, HC Clay Helton said, "[McCullough] had great success recruiting and then developing prolific running backs at Indiana who were NFL ready. The Indiana run game during his time was effective, efficient and productive."
Mar 4 - 12:02 PM

According to NFL Network's Daniel Jeremiah, the "biggest talk" at the Combine among NFL personnel people is how talented USC redshirt freshman QB Sam Darnold is.

Jeremiah goes on to use the word "rare" when discussing Darnold, saying "it's tough to ignore him when you're studying other guys." We think it is fairly nuts of the NFL to talk about a future prospect when some might not even be in their current position at that time. Even if it is noticing his talent from afar, we have seen second year play spur negativity thanks to preseason expectations. No matter what, Darnold is extremely talented.
Mar 1 - 11:24 AM


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