Ron Chenoy-US PRESSWIRE
USC and UCLA have a number of former players who be drafted in the first round this year.
The USC Trojans had a disappointing 2012 season, while the UCLA Bruins enjoyed a surprise run to the Pac-12 Championship Game. However, both teams have a number of talented players expected to go in the upper rounds of the NFL Draft this April.
SB Nation's Dan Kadar is currently projecting Bruins DE Datone Jones to be drafted by the Seattle Seahawks at No. 25. Jones has been slowly rising up draft boards over the past few weeks and fits a critical need in Seattle:
Look for the Seahawks to upgrade their defensive line this offseason, despite taking Bruce Irvin in the first round last year. Jones is in the same mold as Jason Jones, a free agent for Seattle that went on injured reserve in December. He's a better fit than a player like Sam Montgomery because he can take on blockers better, but can do just enough as a pass rusher.
Cincinnati ranks near the top of the NFL in sacks, but most of that production is coming from inside (Geno Atkins) and Michael Johnson, who is set for free agency. Jones was underutilized at UCLA, lining up mostly at zero and five technique in the Bruins' three-man front, but could be a dangerous edge rusher.
Over at NFL.com, Bucky Brooks projects Trojans WR Robert Woods to be picked by the Houston Texans at the No. 27 spot. Josh Norris is mocking Jones to Indianapolis at No. 24, and Gil Brandt has Trojans QB Matt Barkley going to the Cardinals at No. 7.
Barkley remains one of the bigger wild cards in this year's draft. One a projected top-5 pick, he's still recovering from a shoulder injury and won't be throwing at the Combine. He's a guy who could sneak back into the first round with a strong showing at USC's Pro Day on March 27. Woods is another guy whose stock can rise on that day.
UCLA will be holding their Pro Day on March 13, where Jones can solidify his first-round chances.