COLUMBIA, S.C. — This is a life changing week for NFL hopefuls. It is NFL Draft week and a number of Gamecocks will be waiting to hear their names called this weekend and for Deebo Samuel he could become a first round draft pick.
Deebo has been projected to be a late round first rounder or early second rounder by many draft experts and mock draft services.
The speedy receiver out of Inman has shown his quick feet, sure hands, route running ability and versatility as a returner. He's been consistently ranked as top 10 receiver in this year's crop of draft eligible receivers.
Deebo has met with the Denver Broncos who have the 10th pick and New England who have the last pick in the first round at 32. There have also been mock drafts of him going 27th to Oakland and rumors of Buffalo also being interested. The Bills have the 9th pick and the 40th pick in the second round.
Hayden Hurst was first rounder last year and if Deebo goes in round one he'll be the first USC receiver to do that since Troy Williamson went 7th in 2005.
Deebo does have an injury history. He's dealt with hamstring issues early on in his playing career at Carolina and even suffered a fractured fibula which shortened what looked like a Heisman caliber junior season. But he bounced back and played all of last year except for the Belk Bowl. He says his senior year was worth it.
"It was great for me. If you watch it I came out very slow and as time progressed I kind of built back to the 2017 Deebo and that kind of carried over into the Senior Bowl and after that I've been lighting it up."
As far as other Gamecocks in the draft a lot of them will be getting looks on the third day in rounds four through seven.
Ridge View product Dennis Daley has been projected to go as high as the fourth round. He's be rated as top 15 offensive tackle.
Fellow USC offensive lineman Zack Bailey is coming off an injury but most have him going in the 6th round or maybe a free agent deal.
That's the case for linebacker Bryson Allen-Williams who has been taking advantage off opportunities in front of scouts since the end of the season.
Defensive back Rashad Fenton, who has got the nickname Fenton Island, after a great year in 2017 as a cornerback, is slated to go in the 6th round as well.
The first round of the NFL draft is this Thursday night in Nashville.