Blog Entry

Gamecocks lose Jeffery, Gilmore to NFL Draft

Posted on: January 5, 2012 12:45 pm

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

South Carolina likely didn't have any illusions about where star receiver Alshon Jeffery was going to play his football next season. But the Gamecocks were no doubt hoping that Jeffery might be the only major early departure for the NFL Draft; the decision made Wednesday by junior corner Stephon Gilmore, however, means that Jeffery will have company on the way out of Columbia.

Both players have now publicly declared for April's draft, with Jeffery relaying his decision to ESPN and Gilmore's mother confirming her son's choice to RapidReporter Josh Kendall. Gilmore informed the Gamecock coaching staff Wednesday.

"I'm ready for the next step," Jeffery said. "I'm physical and can make plays in the red zone. I can make big plays in big games. I can work on my speed and get quicker. I want to be like Larry Fitzgerald, Calvin Johnson and Andre Johnson."

For Jeffery, the decision was a likely no-brainer. Though the buttoned-up nature of the Gamecocks' 2011 offense (and increased defensive attention without the presence of Marcus Lattimore) saw a sizable decline in Jeffery's numbers, his All-American sophomore season -- 88 catches, 9 touchdowns, and more yards (1,517) than any wideout not playing in a non-BCS league or the state of Oklahoma -- meant he'd already proven just about everything he could prove at the college level. His final collegiate game showed that his immense physical talent is as intact as ever, as he skied for a game-changing Hail Mary and finished with 148 yards in a Capital One Bowl MVP performance.

It wasn't enough for either of our draft experts to move Jeffery into the first-round of their most recent mock drafts, but a series of good workouts could change things.

Gilmore didn't have nearly Jeffery's nationwide name-recognition, but he arguably had a much larger impact on the Gamecocks' 2011 success than his offensive counterpart; after a subpar 2010, the South Carolina secondary finished second in the nation in pass defense and third in opponent's passer rating, with Gilmore's four interceptions and cover-corner skills playing a large role in that improvement. Our Dan Brugler has Gilmore projected to go to the New England Patriots with the 28th pick of the draft. 

That kind of projection is why the Gamecocks will have some big shoes to fill in the passing game -- on both sides of the ball -- come 2012.

Check out where Jeffery, Gilmore, and all the 2012 draft prospects rank on the draft board, and follow all the news on early entrants here. 

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Since: Mar 9, 2009
Posted on: January 6, 2012 10:38 am

Gamecocks lose Jeffery, Gilmore to NFL Draft

Tigerdug, do you remember what he did to Clemson in 2010 at Death Valley? Elite in my book.

Since: Mar 7, 2008
Posted on: January 6, 2012 6:38 am

Gamecocks lose Jeffery, Gilmore to NFL Draft

Gamecock49er, what i said was hardly a rant , but was meant solely as an opinion about the player . I think Alshon will be a good NFL receiver ...Mike Williams-like is certainly more of a comliment than an insult. Fitzgerald and the Two Johnsons though are about the bestin the pro game , and to aspire to be like those guy s is wonderful but a little too lofty for Alshon. He doesn't have great speed like Fitz or Andre , and Calvin has the type of Athleticism that Alshon only dreams about. As long as he can catch jump balls and stay on his routes he will be a good recieverin the NFL , but top tier or elite ? Not gonna happen.  Absolutely devestating loss and embarrasing result by my Tigers , I wasn't trying to refocus any frustration on a Coot player , just an observation. I don't have a tweet account .... GO Tigers  Tongue out

Since: Feb 15, 2010
Posted on: January 6, 2012 5:02 am

Gamecocks lose Jeffery, Gilmore to NFL Draft

Tigerdug, I can understand why you would comment on this article.  The best way to get over a 70-33 "Orange Crush" by those Mountaineers is to quickly find a Gamecock player to rant about.  The next best way to get over would be to find a way to blame the Gamecocks for that unworthy effort in the Orange Bowl.  Good luck to the Tigers in the Amazingly Crappy Conference next year. 2-13 in BCS bowls is pathetic, and everyone agrees the ACC is the worst automatic qualifying conference, and it shows.

While Alshon may never be an "elite" receiver, he will fit in nicely in the now pass-heavy NFL.  Our QBs at SC haven't been effective in years, and if Alshon has a good NFL QB throwing him the ball he'll be a pro-bowler sooner than later.  Tweet that!

Since: Mar 9, 2009
Posted on: January 6, 2012 1:46 am

Gamecocks lose Jeffery, Gilmore to NFL Draft

Give Jeffrey a NFL QB and watch out in the red zone. I don't think any Carolina fan is sad about Gilmore going. Gilmore is overrated.

Since: Mar 7, 2008
Posted on: January 5, 2012 7:17 pm

Gamecocks lose Jeffery, Gilmore to NFL Draft

Jeffery said he wants to be like Andre Johnson, Larry Fitgerald and Megatron . Well , if he were that talented he could, but he is not , so he wont. He will be more along the lines of Mike Williams or Vidal

Since: Aug 13, 2008
Posted on: January 5, 2012 4:21 pm

Gamecocks lose Jeffery, Gilmore to NFL Draft

Gilmore benefitted from a great D-line.  He should be a second to third round choice.  

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