Tag:Southern California Trojans
Posted on: December 15, 2011 5:14 pm
Edited on: January 6, 2012 3:48 pm
 

To surprise of no one, USC DE Perry heads to NFL

'Tis the season for underclassmen to leave college early for a chance at the NFL.

While NFL teams will certainly be pleased with the pass-rushing "present" they're set to receive from Southern California, they certaintly won't be surprised by the gift. It has been common knowledge for quite some time that junior defensive end Nick Perry would be parlaying his breakout 2011 season into a shot at NFL millions. 

Last week I had a source tell me that another Trojan, junior left tackle Matt Kalil, was "set to return" to USC. Since, Kalil has told reporters that he hasn't made an official decision. I've had numerous other sources tell me since my initial report that Kalil is almost certainly going to leave school early, as many had originally assumed he would. Kalil, after all, is considered by most to be the elite offensive tackle potentially available for the 2012 draft and thus, a likely top ten pick. Not many players are willing to forfeit such an opportunity. 

Similarly, I've heard that USC quarterback Matt Barkley is also carefully weighing his options. Like his blindside protector, Kalil, Barkley looks the part of a top ten pick. Therefore, some would consider him foolish to even consider returning for his senior season and risking injury or poor play that could send his stock crashing. Barkley and Kalil, however, each seem very happy at USC and may relish the opportunity to help take USC back to bowl game next year, as the university's bowl ban ends after this season. 

It had been well known in scouting circles, however, that Perry had been actively shopping for agents since December 1, when agents abiding by NCAA rules could contact underclassmen. Perry, sources tell me, has signed with the firm Lock, Metz and Malinovic. LMM&P represents Tyron Smith, whom the Dallas Cowboys selected ninth overall in April, a former teammate of Perry's at USC.  

Many believe that the the 6-3, 255 pound Perry is ultimately likely to be rewarded for his decision with a first round draft pick. Perry emerged as a First Team All-Pac-12 player this season, leading the Trojans in sacks (9.5) and tackles for loss (13) as well as leading the team's defensive linemen with 54 stops.  Perry is a good football player but a great athlete. As such, many feel that he is just beginning to scratch the surface of his potential. Perry's upside, therefore, could lead to a rapid rise up the board. 

Perry is currently the No. 25 player on my Big Board. He's going even higher on my current mock draft, however.


Posted on: December 2, 2011 1:30 pm
 

Barkley, Kalil not only Trojans exploring NFL

Considered possible top five picks in next April's NFL draft, it should come as no surprise that Southern California quarterback Matt Barkley and left tackle Matt Kalil are considering leaving school early.

According to multiple sources, these aren't the only Trojans exploring their options.

Defensive end Nick Perry, a 6-3, 250 pounder in the midst of a breakout campaign is also strongly considering making the jump to the pros. I've been told that if Perry receives a first round grade, the decision has essentially been made. Even if the grade he receives from the NFL Advisory Committee is "a little lower than [first round], he'd still likely go."

Perry led the Pac-12 with 9.5 sacks through the regular season. He also has 13 tackles for loss among his 54 stops, which ties him for third in the conference and three forced fumbles. While slimmer than scouts might want as a full-time defensive end in the 4-3 alignment, Perry's size and athleticism may make him perfectly suited to transition to outside linebacker for a 3-4 club.

Free safety T.J. McDonald is also strongly considering making the leap to the NFL early. The son of former USC All-American and San Francisco 49ers' All-Pro safety Tim McDonald, the 6-2, 205 pound Trojan star has a build and reputation as a big hitter reminiscent of former USC standout Taylor Mays. McDonald has proven to be more comfortable in coverage than his former teammate, however, and has better ball skills. He leads the team with three interceptions this year and had three in 2010, when he earned Second Team All Pac-10 honors in just his first season as a starter. McDonald led the Trojans in tackles (89) in 2010. He finished third this season with 67 stops, including 2.5 for loss.

Perry is currently rated 30th overall on my Big Board and is sixth overall among defensive ends on NFLDraftScout.com's rankings.

McDonald is my 40th rated prospect and ranks second behind only Alabama's Mark Barron among NFLDraftScout.com's 2012 free safety prospects.


 
 
 
 
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