Eight USC players earn invites to NFL Combine

The NFL announced its list of invitees to the 2024 Combine Tuesday, and eight Trojans made the cut.

LOS ANGELES — On Tuesday, the NFL announced its list of invitees to its 2024 Scouting Combine. Eight USC players were included on the list: five on offense, and three on defense.

Let’s take a look at the invitees, and where they are currently projected to hear their names called come April.

Caleb Williams

Was there ever any doubt that Caleb Williams would be invited to the NFL Combine?

After two seasons at USC filled with incredible highlights and a Heisman Trophy, Williams is off to the NFL, where he is widely projected to be the number one overall pick. But first, he will make a pit stop in Indianapolis, where the Chicago Bears (who currently possess the pick) and other teams will get to watch him do drills in-person.

Tahj Washington

After arriving as a transfer from Memphis prior to the 2021 campaign, Washington got better in each of his three years at USC. In 2023, he was the Trojans’ top wide receiver, catching 59 passes for 1,062 yards and eight touchdowns.

One of the most beloved players in USC’s locker room, Washington is sure to impress whatever NFL team selects him. He is projected as a mid-round draft pick.

Brenden Rice

The son of Pro Football Hall of Famer Jerry Rice, Rice arrived at USC as a transfer from Colorado in 2022. In two seasons with the Trojans, he caught 84 passes for 1,402 yards and 16 touchdowns.

Like Washington, Rice is also projected as a mid-round draft pick.

Marshawn Lloyd

After three seasons at South Carolina, Lloyd transferred to the real USC ahead of the 2023 season. He was the Trojans’ leading rusher this past year, carrying the ball for 820 yards and nine touchdowns in eleven games. However, he struggled with fumbles down the stretch, coughing the ball up three times in his final four games of the season, including one that was returned for a touchdown against UCLA.

Despite the ball security concerns, Lloyd is viewed as one of the top running backs in the draft. He is projected as a mid-round pick.

Jarrett Kingston

After five seasons at Washington State, Kingston transferred to USC for his final year of college football in 2023. He started at various positions on USC’s offensive line this past season. Although the unit struggled mightily in several games, Kingston put together a solid season. He is projected as a late-round draft pick or undrafted free agent.

Calen Bullock

Believe it or not, Bullock is the only one of USC’s combine invitees to start his career with the Trojans. As a true freshman in 2021, Bullock got his first start in USC’s season opener after senior captain Isaiah Pola-Mao tested positive for COVID-19. Bullock impressed in the contest and never looked back, starting at safety for the Trojans over the past three seasons.

Bullock’s best season came in 2022, when he earned first-team All-American honors. That year, he recorded 48 tackles, six passes defended, and five interceptions. It would be a surprise if Bullock does not here his name called within the draft’s first three or four rounds.

Christian Roland-Wallace

A transfer from Arizona, Roland-Wallace was one of the bright spots in a USC secondary that often struggled in 2023. As USC’s top cornerback he finished the season with 37 tackles, a team-leading nine passes defended, and two interceptions. He is projected as a late-round draft pick or undrafted free agent.

Solomon Byrd

One of the most underrated players on USC’s defense, Byrd, who transferred to USC from Wyoming prior to the 2022 season, finished this past year second on the team with six sacks. He also had 48 tackles and a team-leading four forced fumbles. Like Roland-Wallace, he is projected as a late-round draft pick or undrafted free agent.

A notable snub

One notable name who surprisingly did not earn a combine invite was Austin Jones. A transfer from Stanford, Jones rushed for nearly 1200 yards and 12 touchdowns in two years at USC. Although he was never USC’s featured running back, he made several starts at the position in when Travis Dye and Marshawn Lloyd were unavailable and impressed whenever his name was called.

With the combine out of the picture, Jones will now turn his focus to USC’s pro day this spring.

Another familiar name

In addition to those eight Trojans a notable former USC player also earned an invite to the combine: quarterback Kedon Slovis. Slovis started at QB for the Trojans from 2019-2021, being named the Pac-12 Offensive Freshman of the Year in 2019 and earning first-team all-conference honors in 2020. After a disappointing 2021 campaign and speculation that Williams would follow head coach Lincoln Riley to USC, however, Slovis entered the NCAA Transfer Portal.

Slovis started for Pitt in 2022 and BYU in 2023, but coaching instability and injuries prevented him from replicating the success that he enjoyed at USC. He is projected as a late-round pick or undrafted free agent in April.