These are the school's prospects for the 2013 NFL Draft by status * - denotes 2014 prospect ** - denotes 2015 prospect.
This page was last updated April 24, 2013. Follow me @walterfootball for updates.
D.J. Swearinger, S, South Carolina
Height: 5-11. Weight: 208. 40 Time: 4.67. Projected Round (2013): 2-3. 4/24/13: Swearinger was a solid contributor for South Carolina in 2012. He had 79 tackles, two interceptions, two forced fumbles and seven passes broken up as a senior. Swearinger is an extremely hard hitter who plays with a chip on his shoulder. There are some who feel he is one of the top value safeties in the class. Sources with multiple teams have said they really like Swearinger, so his stock is on the upswing.
9/2/12: Swearinger is a sleeper safety prospect to keep an eye on. He was a solid player for the Gamecocks last year and formed a nice duo with Antonio Allen. Swearinger started 13 games and could've produced more if it weren't for a nagging foot injury. He totaled 80 tackles with three interceptions. The junior was second to Allen in tackles (88). Swearinger started eight games in 2010 and had 66 tackles with one interception and one forced fumble.
Swearinger has a nice combination of speed and instincts. He could be a nice free safety prospect for the mid-rounds who could move higher with a strong senior season.
Devin Taylor, DE/OLB, South Carolina
Height: 6-7. Weight: 266. Arm: 3.08. 40 Time: 4.72. Projected Round (2013): 3-4. 4/24/13: Taylor was underwhelming in 2012. Jadeveon Clowney commanded constant double-teams, yet Taylor didn't take advantage of the one-on-ones. He's a decent run-defender, but is not able to generate sacks.
Taylor picked up 45 tackles, 8.5 tackles for a loss, six passes batted and three sacks in 2012. The redshirt senior is frustrating because he clearly has the skill set to produce more. Taylor can cause disruption, but struggles to finish plays. He would probably be best adding weight and playing 3-4 defensive end in the NFL.
Taylor was excellent at the East-West Shrine and showed his potential. He followed that up with a good day at the Combine. There is the capacity for Taylor to go sooner than expected.
8/27/12: Taylor recorded 7.5 sacks with 46 tackles in 2010. The sophomore also broke up eight passes with an interception returned for a touchdown.
Taylor started the 2011 season extremely slowly. Around mid-October, something woke him up and he had a strong three game stretch. Taylor recorded a sack, three tackles, 1.5 tackles for a loss, a pass broken up, and an interception returned 48 yards for a touchdown against Arkansas. He had 42 tackles, 7.5 tackles for a loss and 7.5 sacks last year.
Taylor was on the sideline at times last season as Melvin Ingram and Jadeveon Clowney logged more snaps for South Carolina. With Ingram in the NFL, Taylor should have plent of opportunities to improve his production in 2012.
Clowney should draw a lot of double-teams that will allow Taylor to be single-blocked. If the senior is drafted into a 4-3 defense, he probably will need to put on some weight.
Marcus Lattimore*, RB, South Carolina
Height: 6-0. Weight: 218. Hand: 9.78. Projected 40 Time: 4.58. Projected Round (2013): 3-5. 4/24/13: Lattimore used recent a workout for NFL scouts to prove that he is making excellent progress in his rehab. Teams love Lattimore's character, drive and work ethic. He looks likely to be a mid-round pick.
Lattimore's season came to a tragic end after suffering a gruesome knee injury against Tennessee. His knee was dislocated and there was ligament damage as well. There is some doubt about him playing in 2013, but Lattimore has decided to make his comeback to football in the NFL.
It might be a good idea for him to spend his first season on injured reserve, but at the Senior Bowl, Lattimore told WalterFootball.com and other media that his goal was to be ready for the 2013 season. His doctors said it is achievable.
Lattimore was having a good season prior to the injury. He was gradually regaining his speed and explosiveness. Lattimore averaged 4.6 yards per carry with 662 yards and 11 touchdowns. He had 26 receptions for 173 yards as well.
8/16/12: Lattimore is a powerful workhorse back who took college football by storm as a freshman. He ran for 1,197 yards and averaged 4.8 yards per carry with 17 touchdowns in 2010. Lattimore also hauled in 29 receptions for 412 yards and one touchdown. For that effort, he was named the SEC Freshman of the Year.
Lattimore's second act didn't go as planned. The sophomore was one of the nation's leaders in rushing through seven games in 2011. Lattimore tore ligaments in his left knee against Mississippi State and that ended his sophomore campaign. On the play, he was blocking for a receiver when a defender rolled into his leg.
Lattimore ran for 818 yards on 163 carries (5.02 average) with 10 touchdowns in his shortened season. He also caught 19 passes for 182 yards and one touchdown.
The power back hits the hole quickly and trucks into the second level of the defense. He is very strong, tough to bring down and breaks arm tackles with ease. Lattimore has more agility than one might think with good pad level, vision and cutting ability. The only thing missing from his game is that he does not have a second gear to break off long touchdown runs when he hits the open field.
Lattimore is said to be 100 percent healthy and has been practicing without restrictions. The injury is said to have refocused the junior. Reportedly, he is doing more work in the training room to maintain his body and has improved his eating habits. Lattimore checked in 12-15 pounds lighter for fall camp.
Ace Sanders, WR, South Carolina
Height: 5-8. Weight: 173. Arm: 29.48. Hand: 8.78. 40 Time: 4.58. Projected Round (2013): 6-7. 4/24/13: The Combine didn't go well for Sanders as he ran much slower than expected. The small, speed receiver was expected to time in similar fashion to Tavon Austin or Marqise Goodwin.
Sanders was a big-play threat for South Carolina. The junior caught 45 passes for 531 yards and nine touchdowns in 2012. The speedster is a threat to score any time he touches the ball. Sanders also averaged 11.2 yards per punt return in his career, including three touchdowns. He should contribute as a punt returner immediately in the NFL.
DeVonte Holloman, OLB, South Carolina
Height: 6-1. Weight: 243. Arm: 32.48. 40 Time: 4.76. Projected Round (2013): 6-FA. 4/24/13: Holloman recorded 57 tackles, eight tackles for a loss, four passes broken up and two sacks in 2012. He was a solid contributor for the Gamecocks. At the Combine, Holloman didn't run fast and had a low total on the bench press (15 reps).
8/29/12: Holloman played strong safety the past two seasons, but he is too big to be a defensive back in the NFL. Holloman totaled 51 tackles with an interception and four passes broken up last season. He had 69 tackles in 10 starts at strong safety in 2010.
Holloman looks like a good special teams player for the NFL, but he will be a developmental project on defense.
Justice Cunningham, TE, South Carolina
Height: 6-3. Weight: 258. Arm: 33.78. Hand: 10.08. 40 Time: 4.94 Projected Round (2013): 7-FA. 4/24/13: Cunningham had a disappointing Combine performance. The senior had 23 receptions for 324 yards in 2012. He had 18 catches for 142 yards and one score the year before. Cunningham projects as a blocking tight end for the NFL.
Shaq Wilson, OLB, South Carolina
Height: 5-11. Weight: 224. Projected 40 Time: 4.68. Projected Round (2013): 7-FA. 4/24/13: Wilson had 86 tackles, 4.5 tackles for a loss, two sacks, two interceptions and two forced fumbles in 2012. He was a good player for South Carolina. The senior is fast and plays with some aggressiveness, but is extremely undersized.
Wilson collected 52 tackles, five tackles for a loss and two passes broken up in 2011. He missed the previous season with a hamstring injury.
Out of sheer boredom and the upcoming NBA draft has gotten me itching to make a new mock draft. Of course the NFL draft is a whole lot less predictable than the NBA draft, but also provides more success stories than the NBA draft. Again, I used schedules to determine each team's records and if you get upset with me just remember it's June and a whole lot can change by next April.