Below are notable South Carolina University players eligible for the 2018 NFL Draft. South Carolina was very close to earning an SEC championship bid last season yet it still feels like they are in rebuilding mode. 2017 can be a year that swings the pendulum one way or another.
Wide Receiver Deebo Samuel – 6’0”, 215 lbs. – Redshirt Junior
Samuel is a speedy, quick athlete who led the Gamecocks in receiving last year despite missing 3 games. His bowl game performance (14 receptions for 190 yards) should give him the nod to receive plenty of looks going into this season.
Tight End Hayden Hurst – 6’5”, 250 lbs. – Junior
Hurst became a weapon as a TE for South Carolina after originally joining Major League Baseball out of high school. His size and natural athleticism has made him one of the few consistent targets for the offense. At 23 years old, Hurst could become a professional at his second sport with another successful season.
Offensive Lineman Zach Bailey – 6’6” 311 lbs. – Junior
Bailey has already earned a reputation as a devastating puller after playing left guard his previous two seasons. This season, they are moving his 6’6” frame to the right tackle position. He is not athletic enough to play left tackle but his draft value will increase dramatically if he can use his long arms to derail rushers in pass protection.
Linebacker Skai Moore – 6’2”, 218 lbs. – Senior
Moore has an uphill battle after missing all of 2016 with a neck injury. Before that, he was South Carolina’s starting LB for 3 consecutive seasons. We will have to see if he can get back to his original form, where he smoothly slid through lanes and used his natural athleticism to drop into coverage and be a weapon in space.