As NFL Draft Nears, USF Players Wait

It's a big weekend for USF football and the Bulls aren't even playing a game. Over the next two days, several Bulls will be watching and waiting to see what the future may bring. Especially today, when history can be made by cornerback Mike Jenkins who could be the first USF player selected in the in the first round of the NFL draft ever!

 As the NFL draft approaches many former USF players will be spending this weekend in different ways and different places, but all will have the similar thoughts going through there minds, what will the future bring? For a few, the dream of getting drafted into the NFL will become a reality this weekend, while others could sign NFL free agent contracts after the draft.


Since facing Oregon in the Sun Bowl, it's been all business for many of the Bulls players. Selecting representation for some, and then spending a couple of grueling months training at various locations throughout Florida leading up to the NFL Combine, where three Bulls, Mike Jenkins, Trae Williams and Ben Moffitt, were all invited to participate.


For the Bulls that weren't invited to Indianapolis, they got their chance at the USF Pro Timing day. Eight other Bulls worked out in front of over 30 NFL scouts and coaches from teams that included Monte Kiffin of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers that attended the USF Pro timing day to further evaluate Jenkins, Williams, Moffitt and at the same time look at the other seniors, including, Richard Clebert, Walter Walker, Amarri Jackson, that are hoping to make it to the next level.


In addition to the Buccaneers, the other teams in attendance were: Carolina Panthers, Cleveland Browns, Cincinnati Bengals, Detroit Lions, Chicago Bears, San Francisco 49ers, Atlanta Falcons, Baltimore Ravens, Houston Texans, Arizona Cardinals, Green Bay Packers, New York Giants, New York Jets, New Orleans Saints, Jacksonville Jaguars, San Diego Chargers, St. Louis Rams, Indianapolis Colts, and New England Patriots. All got a close look at the USF seniors.


Since then, and leading up to this weekend, many have had individual interviews and work-outs with various NFL coaches on the USF practice fields and across the country.


Cornerback Mike Jenkins, who is a likely candidate to be the first Bulls player selected in the first round, has garnered the most interest. He's worked out for New England coach Bill Belichick & Dom Capers, and then last week he flew out to San Francisco for the weekend for a work out with the 49ers, and went through a personal workout with the New Orleans Saints to add to his list of teams he's spoken with. Different mock draft talk has Mike projected all over the first round, from the Pats at 7th to the Buc's at 20th and when asked who he likes? "It doesn't matter, seventh sounds good," he said smiling. "I just want to be taken as early as possible." Jenkins added, and will be watching the draft at a private party with family.


Tom Marino (NFL scout with over 35 years experience) Scouting Report:

1. Mike Jenkins, CB, South Florida
40: 4.43v Ht: 5102v Wt: 197v Rating: 1.14
A shutdown corner with adequate size and outstanding quickness. Has race horse speed, a very smooth compact, explosive hips and the ability to stick his foot in the ground and close to the ball. No wasted movement or extra steps. Underneith close was rare. Impressive play instincts and anticipation. Has the speed to easily stay on top of receivers on deep routes. Inconsistent hands and was just an adequate tackler. Special player. Top round selection



Fellow cornerback Trae Williams who's had 13 interceptions the last two seasons has also been busy. He's worked out with the Patriots coach Bill Belichick & Dom Capers, and also flown to Indianapolis for a work-out with the Colts among others, and has been projected as early as a second rounder to a fourth- to fifth-rounder. Trae doesn't have a favorite and will also be hosting a private draft watch party for family and friends. Trae and Mike have been fixtures on the field and during the Bulls spring practice and where ever they end up will be friends for life.  "Mike and I are like brothers," said Williams.  "We talk every other day, pushing each other and motivating each other.  One of the great things about going through this whole process is being able to do it with such a close friend."

Tom Marino (NFL scout with over 35 years experience) Scouting Report:
20. Trae Williams, CB, South Florida

40: 4.54v Ht: 5090v Wt: 193v Rating: 1.662
Experienced four year regular. Liked his foot quicks, body control and I felt his hands were outstanding for the position. The problem that I see with this player is that he does not have top speed for the position and is short in stature. Marginal strength and overall effectiveness in press coverage. Was marginal in run support (marginal wrap up tackler who missed too frequently). A nickel back and back up corner. 6th to 7th draft potential.


Linebacker Ben Moffitt, has been a fixture in the middle for years with Bulls and after a strong showing at the NFL combine, then running a 4.5 40 at the USF Pro day is considered a mid-round to late round pick. He received plenty of attention from Jacksonville during his pro day workout, and told that he had previously talked with the Jaguars at the Senior Bowl, along with other teams that included the Panthers and the Dolphins. Most recently, the Buccaneers, Eagles, Lions, Cardinals, Patriots, Jets, Redskins and Falcons have joined the Jaguars in showing interest in the Bulls middle linebacker, who also has experience at strong side linebacker. Moffitt has kept a low profile and draft day may be no different. "My mom wants to have a party, but I told her no.  I'm thinking about just going fishing and maybe being by myself.  I'm thinking about taking my two kids and just hanging out and waiting to see who wants to call." 

Tom Marino (NFL scout with over 35 years experience) Scouting Report: 16. Ben Moffitt, MLB, South Florida
40: 4.67v Ht: 6007v Wt: 224v Rating: 1.799
Great young man who loves the game. Try hard guy but was very stiff and had a particularly tough time getting off blocks. Got bounced around pretty good on the inside (catcher) Very much a limited area player who wasn't stout on the inside. Looked more comfortable in coverage. Got depth in his drops and sorted things out quickly. Can run with the TE or RB on flat and arrow routes. Has a outside chance of being drafted late, but was more likely a priority FA.

Defensive tackle Richard Clebert one of the strongest Bulls, who holds the USF record for 225 bench reps of 43, has also received interest, and has worked out for the hometown Bucs and the Dolphins. He hasn't been projected in many early round mocks, but could get a look in late rounds or a free agent contract.

Offensive Tackle Walter Walker who was paramount in the Bulls success has received interests, and could be a late round pick, but injuries may have tempered that and a Free agent contract may be more likely.

Receiver Amarri Jackson showed flashes during his career but has also been inconsistent could garner some interest and possibly some invites.

Other Bulls that are hopeful are DL Woody George, DT Julian Riley, LB/S Sam Miller, OT Jared Carnes, & WR Courtney Denson. None are projected draft picks but still hope to continue their playing careers, possibly with free agent contracts, or at another level. But for now, like their teammates they must wait.

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