Pete Carroll's impact on the NFL draft

Recently, I was checking on USC coach Pete Carroll's production of National Football League draft choices.

Pretty fancy record, especially on the defensive side. Pete has been the head man at USC since 2001, when he succeeded Paul Hackett. Since then. Carroll has produced eight NFL first-round defensive selections and five second-rounders.

First-rounders were safety Troy Polamalu (2003), end Kenechi Udeze (2004), tackle Mike Patterson (2005), tackle Sedrick Ellis (2008), linebacker Keith Rivers (2008), end Lawrence Jackson (2008), linebacker Brian Cushing and linebacker Clay Matthews (both 2009).

Carroll's second-rounders were tackle Shaun Cody and linebacker Lofa Tatupu (both 2005), defensive back Terrell Thomas (2008), and linebacker Rey Maualuga and tackle Fili Moala (both 2009).

That's 13 defensive players selected in the first two rounds of the NFL draft under Carroll.

Just for the heck of it, I decided to see how one of the nation's leading coaches, Urban Meyer of Florida, has fared with draft choices during a similar period. Meyer was at Utah in 2002 and 2003, and has been a Florida ever since.

Including his two seasons at Utah and four at Florida, Meyer has had three first-round defensive selections, all at Florida – safety Reggie Nelson and end Jarvis Moss (both 2007) and defensive end Derrick Harvey in 2008. No second-round defensive selections at either school.

Clearly, defense has not been a priority at Florida, whereas Carroll's prowess is defense, a reputation earned as both a defensive coordinator and head coach in the NFL. But Carroll and Meyer are even on national championships with two apiece.


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