The recent NFL draft was rather shocking to those of us who believed USC's 2012 football team was loaded with talent.
The Trojans had one player taken in the first two rounds and two in the first three rounds. That hardly speaks of them as one of the best teams ever to appear at Rice-Eccles Stadium, as I was billing them last October.
As it turned out, USC failed to live up to such advertising, on the field and in the NFL's eyes. Quarterback Matt Barkley's shoulder injury contributed to both the Trojans' 7-6 record and his fourth-round status, but the draft results were still stunning. USC receiver Robert Woods went in the second round, safety T.J. McDonald in the third and center Khaled Holmes in the fourth.
In two games against Utah, Barkley completed 43 of 62 passes (.693) for 567 yards and four touchdowns with one interception. That's pretty good for a fourth-round pick.
Already, the forecast for the 2013 season (and the '14 draft) is more promising for the Trojans. SI.com's mock draft has receiver Marquise Lee going No. 4 overall and defensive end Morgan Breslin No. 10.
They're among nine Pac-12 players listed in the first round. The most intriguing player is UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley (No. 9), who's eligible as a redshirt sophomore. The others are Arizona State defensive tackle Will Sutton (No. 14), Washington tight end Austin Sefarian-Jenkins (No. 15), UCLA linebacker Anthony Barr (No. 12), Stanford safety Ed Reynolds (No. 25), Oregon tight end Colt Lyerla (No. 27) and Stanford offensive tackle David Yankey (No. 30).
Utah is scheduled to face all of those players except Sefarian-Jenkins in 2013.