NFL Combine 2018: Prospects representing the USC Trojans

(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /

The NFL Combine 2018 has some special talent from the USC Trojans.

It’s early March which means Combine Time! This is a magical time of year as it is the first time we get some football activity since the Super Bowl featuring the best of the best from college football. Six prospects hailing from USC have been cordially invited to test their skills for the big boy teams. Before too much gets revealed, let’s take a look at what evaluators are saying about each one leading to this week’s drills.

Sam Darnold

Definitely the biggest name representing the Trojans at this year’s Combine, Darnold has already created headlines after it became known he would not be throwing during the event. Yes, it sounds crazy on the surface for a quarterback many consider will be taken in the top 10 of the draft to not show off his arm for NFL scouts. But Darnold will be throwing during USC’s Pro Day on March 21st and will take his time at the combine to focus on his interviews and athletic testing.

Darnold put together a great tape over the past few years showing off his improvised play making abilities and natural talent for the game. He is a guy who players can rally around and performed in big moments. At 6’4″ and 220 pounds he has the size to play the position at the next level.

You don’t need the combine to know he needs to work on technique, his turnover rate, and need for a decent offensive line. That’s all stuff that can be fixed through coaching and team management, and participating in drills won’t be able to demonstrate to scouts if he has improved in those areas. Pro Day will have a larger effect on Darnold’s position in the draft.

Ronald Jones II

Ronald Jones II will be looking to show off his great speed and athleticism for NFL scouts, with some projecting him as a 1st or 2nd round talent. While not known for his speed, Jones’s abilities to break tackles, fight for extra yards, and ability to be an all-around back should be able to shine in drills. Look for Jones to impress in the 3 Cone Drill and Shuttle drills as they have an emphasis on quick changes in direction and explosiveness.

Most scouts love Jones’s energy and talent, but their concerns come from his size. Jones stands at 6’0″ and 200 pounds which is a bit under the weight teams would prefer him to be. If Jones can be convincing in his interviews that he can withstand even 15-20 touches a game, scouts should be excited about what he can bring to a backfield. Other than that, the Combine shouldn’t affect his draft grade barring extreme events.