There was the potential for a good draft matchup with Washington right tackle Abraham Lucas going against USC edge defender Drake Jackson. Lucas and Jackson could both be early-round picks, and Cougars left tackle Liam Ryan has mid-round potential.
For a lot of the first half, the Washington State tackles got the better of Jackson. Early in the first quarter, Lucas tied up Jackson to let Max Borghi burst downfield for a gain of about 15 yards. Ryan did a similar thing, pushing Jackson to the inside to open a big hole on the edge of the line. Jackson was struggling to get off blocks in the ground game, but was hustling to make tackles downfield in pursuit. Late in the first half, Jackson got going when he stuffed a goal-line run for no gain after darting past the guard.
Late in the third quarter with the Cougars passing out of their own end zone, Jackson used speed to get around Ryan and maul the quarterback for a strip-sack that USC recovered for a touchdown.
Overall, Jackson and Lucas represented themselves well. Jackson showed the has speed and athleticism to rush the passer off the edge. He needs to get stronger in the ground game for the NFL, but the 6-foot-4, 250-pounder has the potential to be a starting defensive end.
Lucas looks like a starting right tackle in the NFL. He has quality length, strength and athleticism. While Lucas may not have elite speed and footwork to move to left tackle, he has size and an ability to bend at the knee. Lucas could be an early-round pick who works his way into a starting role early in his pro career.
Ryan looks like a mid-round candidate who could be a future backup.
USC wide receiver Drake London is a big receiver who is a dangerous 50-50 receiver and a physical force on the field. Even though USC starting quarterback Kedon Slovis went out with an injury, London stepped up with a huge game to help the Trojans pull off their comeback win. London totaled 13 receptions for 170 yards and two touchdowns.
In the second quarter, London got a step on his cornerback while running a post route, and he snatched the ball for a 33-yard gain. London had some rough moments after that, including two dropped passes. In the third quarter, London was targeted in the end zone, but the pass was knocked away after London did not get good position or outfight the defender for the 50-50 pass. London made up for it later on the drive by using his big frame to box out a safety for a short touchdown catch on a slant.
On the next drive, London laid a really nice crack-back block on a linebacker who was coming in motion, which sprung the USC running back for first-down yardage. On that same drive, London caught a jump ball for 33 yards despite the cornerback draped all over him. Later in the second half, London caught a slant over the middle and was rocked by a safety with bone-rattling hit that popped his helmet off. It was a vicious blow, but London jumped up shouting and pumped up. A couple of plays later, London made a leaping grab deep down the field for a 31-yard touchdown, but on this play, London was slammed down and had his head bounce hard off the turf.
London is a big receiver who has good size, strength, and the ability to win contested catches. His stature, leaping ability and catch radius mean he is never really covered. London, however, has average speed and struggles to separate from college cornerbacks. Thus, he will have a very time getting open against NFL defensive backs. All told, London could be more of a second-day prospect for the 2022 NFL Draft.