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NFL Draft 2016: Will Any USF Football Players Be Drafted?

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Ummm... probably not.

Logan Bowles-USA TODAY Sports

UPDATED: I've corrected the story to add USF's two 2015 draftees that weren't on the list I used as a source. I think that list only includes players who were on a regular-season roster or practice squad. I should have used this list instead. I'm an idiot and I apologize.

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The 2016 NFL Draft begins tonight in Chicago. Although USF has a handful of fringe prospects and potential free-agent signings like Jamie Byrd, Sean Price, Thor Jozwiak, and Brynjar Gudmundsson, it's unlikely any of them will be drafted. If no Bull hears their name called during the three days and seven rounds of this weekend's draft, it will be only the second time since 2007 that USF did not have at least one draft pick.

The NFL draft is still another indication of how badly Skip Holtz tanked the program. The losses shot up, the recruiting level dropped way off, and fewer prospects panned out once they got here. That all led to a huge dropoff in draftable talent:

  • Jim Leavitt's last four recruiting classes (2006-09): 11 draftees (Nate Allen, Sam Barrington, B.J. Daniels, Terrell McClain, Tyrone McKenzie, Carlton Mitchell, Jason Pierre-Paul, Mistral Raymond, George Selvie, Kayvon Webster, Jacquian Williams)
  • Skip Holtz's three recruiting classes (2010-12): 3 draftees (Reshard Cliett, Aaron Lynch, Austin Reiter)
Of course, Aaron Lynch was a transfer to USF from Notre Dame. That means Skip Holtz has had only two players he recruited to USF out of high school drafted by the NFL. (Out of Leavitt's 11, seven of them were recruited to USF out of high school.) There are a few holdover redshirt seniors from Skip's 2012 class on the 2016 roster, but realistically this is the last chance for any of Skip's recruits to get drafted.

Fortunately Willie Taggart has erased most of Skip's damage, and it shouldn't be too many more years before we hear the names of USF players during the NFL Draft again.