The time has come for the 2023 NFL Draft and a few Trojans are expected to hear their name called by the end of the three-day event. Follow along here for live updates on the USC players taken in this year’s NFL Draft.
Minnesota Vikings, Pick 23: Jordan Addison, WR
Addison was an explosive wide receiver for two college programs, winning the Biletnikoff Award at Pitt during his sophomore season and making an immediate impact upon transferring to USC for his junior year. Addison battled injuries during his sole season with the Trojans but still managed to post 875 receiving yards and eight touchdowns through 11 games in a stacked wide receiver room.
He brings elite route-running to a team that is desperate for a second option at receiver. Addison will play alongside one of the top receivers in the country, Justin Jefferson, and will try to fill Adam Thielen’s shoes as the Vikings try to make a splash in the NFC North.
With Addison’s selection, USC continues its streak of having at least one player selected in every NFL Draft since 1939. It was also the fourth straight year where a Trojan was taken in the first round and the second year in a row that a USC wide receiver was taken in the first round.
Los Angeles Chargers, Pick 54: Tuli Tuipulotu, EDGE
The second Trojan off the board is staying home in Los Angeles. The Chargers selected Tuipulotu in the second round to beef up their front seven. The former-USC defensive lineman displayed tenacity on the line in his junior season. He registered 13.5 sacks, good for best in the nation, and 22 tackles for loss.
Tuipulotu will team up with established pass rushers Joey Bosa and Khalil Mack. The Chargers look to sure up a defense that was largely to blame for their crushing playoff loss in the 2022 AFC Wild Card game. Because of his size, Tuipulotu may be moved to playing as an outside linebacker at the professional level.
The Chargers made Tuipulotu the first USC defensive player selected in this year’s draft. He is now the highest selected defensive Trojan since linebacker Uchenna Nwosu went at No. 48 in 2018.
Minnesota Vikings, Pick 102: Mekhi Blackmon, CB
With the final pick in the third round, Mekhi Blackmon heard his name called. Blackmon was taken by the Minnesota Vikings who also picked up Jordan Addison yesterday, giving the team an all-Trojan draft class through the first three rounds.
Blackmon led the Trojans in pass breakups last season with 12 and also grabbed three interceptions. The Vikings’ defense could use some help and Blackmon fills a major need at the cornerback position. His smaller frame has some analysts uncertain of his impact at the next level, but he’s sure to add a strong tackling ability to Minnesota’s secondary.
Baltimore Ravens, Pick 229: Andrew Vorhees, OG
Andrew Vorhees has his landing spot: The Baltimore Ravens took the offensive guard in the seventh round. He’ll hope to protect quarterback Lamar Jackson who signed a massive contract extension on Thursday.
Vorhees reportedly dropped in the draft due to an ACL tear and lateral meniscus tear he suffered during a shuttle drill at the NFL Combine last month. Vorhees’ surgeon sent a letter yesterday addressed to all 32 NFL teams expressing that he expects Vorhees to make a full recovery. Even with the injury, Vorhees had the most reps on the bench press of any player at the combine.