USC Trojans: Draft analysis

Recap of Trojans in NFL draft

April, 28, 2012
After seeing Matt Kalil and Nick Perry go off the board quickly in the first round of the NFL draft, USC fans waited until fullback Rhett Ellison was chosen by the Minnesota Vikings in the fourth round (No. 128 overall) to see another former Trojans player selected.

That was it for former USC players in this draft and, although several players have and will be signing free agent contracts, the total of three overall picks reflects the fewest number of USC players selected in a draft since 2002.

Whether that reality is a comment on recruiting, a coaching transition or a program under sanctions, the fact is that there were nine players who were eligible to be drafted this year that came to USC ranked as one of the top five players at their position. Only one, Kalil, was selected in the draft.

That mark should certainly change next year when Trojans are likely to dominate the draft boards, particularly with seniors such as Matt Barkley, T.J. McDonald and Khaled Holmes.

The good news is that USC continues to lead the nation when it comes to total number of draftees (476) and first round selections (77).

Kalil became the 22nd offensive lineman to be drafted in the first round from USC since 1968, an average of one every other year. He is the third member of his family to be selected in the draft -- father Frank by the Bills and brother Ryan by the Panthers -- while he is also the third USC offensive tackle to be a first-round choice of the Vikings (Ron Yary, 1968 and Steve Riley, 1974).

Ellison certainly has some NFL connections of his own as his father, Riki, was a fifth-round pick of the San Francisco 49’ers and won two Super Bowls during his playing career.

Kalil and Ellison were one of three sets of college teammates who were chosen by the Vikings in the draft (Harrison Smith and Robert Blanton from Notre Dame and Jarius Wright and Greg Childs from Arkansas).

Perry will have some USC familiarity when he heads to Green Bay as he will be lined up opposite Clay Matthews, who was a senior in 2008 when Perry redshirted for the Trojans.

Perry was known as a defensive end in high school and college, but the Packers are planning to use him as an outside linebacker to apply some much needed pass rush help for the defense.

There were also several early free agent signings for USC players on Saturday:

RB Marc Tyler -- Green Bay Packers

WR Brandon Carswell -- Oakland Raiders

LB Chris Galippo -- Indianapolis Colts

ESPN radio: Kalil and Perry

April, 26, 2012
Listen to Matt Kalil and Nick Perry discuss being picked in the first round of the NFL draft Thursday by the Minnesota Vikings and Green Bay Packers, respectively.

Kalil's interview can be heard here while Perry's interview can be heard here.

Trojans put two in first round

April, 26, 2012
The USC Trojans had a pair of players drafted in the first round of the 2012 NFL draft on Thursday with OT Matt Kalil (Minnesota Vikings, No. 4) and LB Nick Perry (Green Bay Packers, No. 28).

The selection of Kalil was not a surprise, as the Vikings had long been rumored to be interested in the All-American left tackle. Kalil was the consensus choice as the top offensive tackle available in the draft -- with particularly strong pass protection skills -- while the Vikings gave up 49 sacks last year, a number they will certainly hope to reduce for 2011 first-round choice QB Christian Ponder.

“The Vikings called tonight and asked if I was ready for the draft to be over with,” Kalil told ESPN radio. “I said hell yeah. It seemed like forever that I was waiting in the green room but I know it wasn’t that long. There’s no place I’d rather be than with Minnesota and I’m really excited right now.

“There are certain aspects of the game I’ll look to work on, such as bull-rushing. I’ve been working hard on that this offseason. I think they will find I’m very coachable and I’ll work my butt off.”

(Read full post)

Perry to Packers at No. 28

April, 26, 2012
USC defensive end Nick Perry was selected by the Green Bay Packers with the No. 28 overall pick of the 2012 NFL draft.

Perry played DE for the Trojans, but will likely begin his Packers career as an outside linebacker opposite Clay Matthews, another former USC star. It will be a return to the Midwest for Perry, who grew up in Detroit before coming to the West Coast to play college football.

Perry becomes the 77th first-round draft choice from USC and the 475th choice overall. Both totals are the most of any college team in NFL history.

Kalil to Vikings at No. 4

April, 26, 2012
USC left tackle Matt Kalil was selected by the Minnesota Vikings with the No. 4 overall pick of the 2012 NFL draft.

It was long rumored that Kalil was the favored pick of the Vikings at pick No. 3, but Minnesota traded that pick on Thursday to the Cleveland Browns and dropped down one spot. Kalil is expected to step in immediately and provide protection for quarterback Christian Ponder, Minnesota's first-round pick in 2011.

Kalil becomes USC's 76th first-round draft selection in NFL history, the most of any college team.