Former USC football players begin NFL careers

first_imgChuma Edoga was a full-time starter for two years at USC and appeared in 34 games throughout his college career. Now a Jet, he will reunite with former USC quarterback Sam Darnold in New York. This preseason, Edoga has seen increased action with Darnold and the starting unit due to an injury to starting right tackle Brandon Shell. Edoga’s chemistry with Darnold should help him learn the Jets’ blocking schemes quickly and allow him to communicate effectively throughout his rookie year. Edoga is projected to be a backup offensive tackle and has a chance to see the field this year if the Jets’ offensive line should suffer any injuries. However, he will need to improve his pass protection before becoming a full-time starter in the NFL.  Throughout its history, the Trojans’ storied football program has sent more players to the NFL than all but one other school in the nation. This year, USC has continued to establish itself as a breeding ground for NFL-bound talent, as four Trojans were drafted into the league and one signed as an undrafted free agent. OT Chuma Edoga The leading tackler for USC’s defense in 2018, Cameron Smith was drafted by the Vikings in the fifth round, joining star linebackers Anthony Barr and Eric Kendricks in Minnesota. Smith is a high-IQ player adept at diagnosing offensive calls and seeking out the ball carrier. His highest tackle total for USC (112) came in 2017, when he played in all 14 games. In his three other seasons as a Trojan, he averaged just over 80 tackles a season. Smith is still battling to make the Vikings’ 53-man roster this year, and it wouldn’t be a shock if he does, but he is unlikely to see significant game action this season.  Round 3, Pick 92 Overall  LB Porter Gustin Former USC cornerback Iman Marshall, who was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens, makes a tackle against Washington State last season. (Tal Volk/Daily Trojan) CB Iman Marshall At USC, Marvell Tell III proved to be a playmaking free safety whose speed could help him make an impact at any level. In his junior year, Tell made 85 tackles and had three interceptions, returning one for a touchdown. Indianapolis drafted Tell intending to use him as a safety, but teams were wary about taking him due to his smaller stature, believing him unable to be a consistent tackler. Tell earned a spot in Pro Football Focus’ “Team of the Week” after allowing no receptions on two targets and breaking up one pass in the Colts’ preseason opener. He will continue to be a promising prospect that Indianapolis will hope to develop into a contributing corner in the near future. Iman Marshall was a four-year starter at the cornerback position for USC. As a Trojan, the 6-foot-1 207-pounder was known as a big hitter and never shied away from contact with smaller Pac-12 receivers. In the NFL, he may struggle guarding faster, more disciplined wideouts one-on-one. The Ravens have considered transitioning him to safety, where his physical style and experience as a cornerback should certainly benefit him. Marshall is not projected to have a starting role in Week 1 but will be on the team’s radar throughout the year. Marshall has been sidelined due to injury.  Indianapolis Colts New York Jetscenter_img Minnesota Vikings LB Cameron Smith  CB Marvell Tell III  Round 5, Pick 162 Overall  Round 6, Pick 144 Overall  Undrafted Free Agent Round 4, Pick 127 Overall Baltimore Ravens  New Orleans Saints At USC, Gustin was a dominant outside linebacker with a knack for getting to the quarterback. However, his injury history and a positive test for Adderall (considered a performance-enhancing drug) at the 2019 NFL combine caused his once-promising draft stock to plummet, and Gustin was not selected. The Saints picked him up hoping to convert him from outside linebacker to defensive lineman. Gustin played defensive end in 2016 for the Trojans and picked up 68 total tackles, 5.5 sacks and four deflected passes. He may have to bulk up for the position change; while his 6’4” stature is average for NFL defensive ends, his weight of 260 lbs would put him at a disadvantage against massive offensive linemen. Gustin has seen valuable action throughout the preseason and tallied a sack and tackle in the Saints’ matchup against the Jets. Gustin is unlikely to see much regular season game action this year.last_img read more