Shotgun Spratling | USCfootball.com

So where, and when, does Adoree' go?

Here we go, on to the NFL Draft next week. How goes it for USC alums? Where, and when, will they go? Or will they go free agent? For this USC class, it's not all that clear. We'll start with Adoree' Jackson and move through the rest of the Trojans as they head to next weekend.

It's a different NFL Draft world this year, everybody says. Nobody knows all that much for sure. Not great consensus.

The standards are changing. With the game getting so much more complex, a draft prospect's ability to get into the playbook quickly really matters.

The problem there is the way it overlays one more layer -- a subjective one at that -- on the NFL Draft experts who put their heads together and figured that not only Jared Goff was the worthy No. 1 overall pick a year ago but worth the Rams putting together a package of what -- a half-dozen picks -- to get him.

Despite the explosion of draft experts and ways to test the guys coming out of college, an inexact science doesn't seem to be getting all that much more exact.

Which brings us to Adoree' Jackson, coming out of college after a storied three-year All-American career at USC that saw the 5-foot-10, 186-pound speedster from Serra by way of East St. Louis, top off his undergrad days with the Thorpe Award as college football's best defensive back.

For certain, he's a great teammate. Great guy in the locker room. A great player with the ball in his hands. Great body control. Great ability to stop and start, to change directions. Great hands. Great leaping ability. Great offensive threat as a pass-catcher or on the toss sweep. Great return guy -- punts, kickoffs, interceptions, even fumbles. Great work ethic as a football-track guy. Great student of the game. Great interview guy. Great leader.

Just not a great corner back, not yet. And that's something of the problem predicting where Adoree' will land since it's at corner where he's being considered, although his return skills will certainly factor in no matter where he goes. Just how much. And does the team that take him consider him on offense as well.

On USC's Pro Day, he said only Seattle's Pete Carroll had talked offense to him. So we just don't know for certain.

What we do know for certain is that Adoree' will be one of 22 prospects who will be in Philadelphia for the 32-pick Day 1 first-round draft next Thursday. And maybe the one who gets the most focus on the first day as everybody likes to look at those "will they or won't they get picked?" scenarios as the draft gets to the end of the round.

Here's Pro Football Focus' BOTTOM LINE on Adoree': "Jackson is an interesting player to evaluate in this corner back class. He has more obvious flaws than the top corner backs in this draft class, but it is possible that his development was stunted by some usage on offense. USC used him on offense because of how special a player he is with the ball in his hands, and while he likely will have some teething problems in the NFL, it is that ability that will make him a Day 1 contributor as a returner, and the type of player who can turn defense into offense in the blink of an eye at corner back."

In its own mock draft, PFF has six first-round corners projected but no Adoree'. Scout's Inc.'s draft board has Adoree' as the 31st best player available. Again, right on the first round/second-round cusp.

Which sets the scene for Adoree' right now, as a quick glance at the draft experts at NFL.com alone says it's a split decision. Half say yes, Adoree' will go. Half say no, Adoree' won't go until Day 2.

The NFL.com's Lance Zierlein has Adoree' going at No 32, the last man picked, to the New Orleans Saints with their second first-round pick. Too bad in a way. The good news is that if you get picked at the end of the first round, you can go to a really good team. Oh well.

Two NFL.com guys -- Chad Reuter and Charlie Casserly -- don't see it. They do not have Adoree' in their first round. But two others -- Daniel Jeremiah and Bucky Brooks -- do. Brooks has Adoree' also going to New Orleans at No. 32.

But Daniel has him higher, going at No. 28 to Dallas where there's getting to be something of a Trojan enclave with Tyron Smith and Brice Butler.

At this point, we can let ESPN's old reliable, Mel Kiper, break the tie. The last time we looked, Mel had Adoree' at that No. 32 spot to the Saints and that would make it a worthwhile trip for Adoree' to Philly.

So here's where we go with a word from Adoree' on Pro Day last month. Asked the best advice he'd been given for the buildup to the draft and how to handle it, Adoree' put it into one word.

"Relax," Adoree' said he'd been advised. The NFL Draft isn't something you do, it's something that's done to you.

Might as well enjoy it. Which is what Adoree' plans to do Thursday. It's been his approach all along so why change it now.

You can follow me on Twitter at @dweber3440 or email me at weber@uscfootball.com.


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