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Thursday, April 25, 2013
WeAreSC roundtable: Draft edition

By WeAreSC staff

Percy Harvin and Robert Woods
With Percy Harvin having left for Seattle, the Minnesota Vikings could be in the market to draft Robert Woods, who would be their second Trojans first-round pick in as many drafts.
"USC has more first-round NFL draft choices (77) than any other school in the country. Will Matt Barkley and Robert Woods join that group? Give your thoughts on where they will be picked and by which team."

Garry Paskwietz

Robert Woods -- Minnesota Vikings (No. 25). USC players have been good to the Vikings in recent years, with Matt Kalil and Rhett Ellison both earning roles last year as rookies and Everson Griffen developing into a dependable defensive option as well. Minnesota has also been one of the teams that has shown a lot of interest in Woods during the draft process and sources say they have liked what they’ve seen. With the departure of Percy Harvin, the Vikings need playmakers for Christian Ponder and Woods would give them a solid professional to plug in the lineup for years to come.

Matt Barkley -- Arizona Cardinals (late first round). This pick is something of a flyer since it would require the Cardinals to move around in the draft to have a pick at this stage of the first round (they currently have the No. 7 spot). Most draft analysts seem to think the late part of the round is where there could be movement as teams don’t want to miss out on specific quarterbacks. The Cardinals gave Barkley a private workout and new coach Bruce Arians would like to select a future heir apparent to Carson Palmer. Barkley would seem to fit in the Arians system, so this pick could end up making sense.

Johnny Curren

Matt Barkley
Matt Barkley could come off the board in the late part of the first round or very early in the second round.
Robert Woods -- Minnesota Vikings (No. 25). Like Barkley, Woods has developed into somewhat of a hot name as of late, and it’s not hard to see why. While he was overshadowed by Marqise Lee during his junior campaign, he is USC’s all-time leading receiver and has NFL-caliber speed to go along with strong fundamentals. The Vikings have been rumored to have strong interest in Woods, and I think that’s where he goes at No. 25. With another pick at No. 23, the Vikings can afford to take a chance on a bit of an underdog and they’re desperate for help at wide out, particularly with Percy Harvin now in Seattle.

Matt Barkley -- Jacksonville Jaguars (No. 33). While Barkley’s stock certainly appears to have gone up over the course of the last two weeks, right now I’m picking him to go to Jacksonville with the first pick of the second round. The Jaguars, Arizona, Buffalo, Cleveland, Oakland and Philadelphia are some of the teams that have been most closely linked with the talented USC standout, but each of those squads have draft choices in the early stages of the first round, and I’m not totally convinced that anyone is willing to take Barkley with a top-10 pick. What’s more likely to happen is that one of those teams will trade down to the later portion of the first round, and that’s where the Trojans gunslinger could very well go. But if Barkley is still available after day one, I don’t think that the Jaguars will be able to pass up on the opportunity to grab him, especially with a real need at quarterback.

Greg Katz

Round 1: WR Robert Woods -- I think of the two, Woods stand the better chance of being drafted in the first round. Woods is a real student of the game, has standout athletic ability, and is likely going to make a fine pro. It says here that the Minnesota Vikings, given the Vikes’ great success last draft day with the first-round drafting of former Trojans offensive tackle Matt Kalil, will also draft Woods in the first round. You can bet that will be in the back of the minds of the Minnesota brass.

Round 2: QB Matt Barkley -- The Barkley of 2011 would absolutely be at the top of the first round, but the Barkley of 2012 didn’t like the same quarterback as the year before at times. One thing you can be certain, the pros have long formulated their opinion of Trojans head coach Lane Kiffin controversial play-calling, but that won't dismiss Barkley’s accountability for interceptions in 2012. It says here that No. 7 is drafted in the second round by the Buffalo Bills. The irony would be that he’ll probably be competing with former Trojans quarterback Aaron Corp, who signed with the Bills as a free agent.