Drought forecast for USF on draft weekend

No Bulls player is expected to be taken in the seven-round NFL draft.
Former USF and Plant High cornerback Mazzi Wilkins (23) could land a free-agent deal with an NFL team if he isn't drafted this weekend. (Times, 2017)
Former USF and Plant High cornerback Mazzi Wilkins (23) could land a free-agent deal with an NFL team if he isn't drafted this weekend. (Times, 2017)
Published April 23

The final chapter of a football season Bulls fans found nearly impossible to stomach will be authored this weekend.

It likely will be as difficult to digest as the pages that preceded it.

No senior from USF’s 2018 team, which lost its final six games, is expected to be taken in the NFL draft this weekend. Even the mock drafts that stretch all seven rounds ― such as this one from NFL.com’s Chad Reuter ― are bereft of Bulls.

If those projections hold true, it will mark only the third time this decade ― and second time in four seasons ― in which no USF player has been drafted.

The consolation: At least one or two players could sign free-agent deals with NFL teams immediately after the draft’s conclusion Saturday. A handful of undrafted Bulls, including quarterback Quinton Flowers (Bengals), signed post-draft free-agent deals last year.

Four of them ― Flowers, cornerback Deatrick Nichols (Cardinals), defensive tackle Bruce Hector (Eagles) and defensive end Mike Love (Bills) ― stuck with their respective teams and logged stints of varying length on the regular season roster.

The likeliest free-agent candidate or fringe draft prospect from this year’s class is cornerback Mazzi Wilkins.

A late addition to the East-West Shrine Game, Wilkins had an interception and solo tackle in that January contest, and was among several Bulls invited to the Bucs’ annual pre-draft workout of local players.

Slot receiver Tyre McCants, who appeared to have a solid workout at USF’s recent pro day, also could land a free-agent deal. McCants also participated in the Bucs workout, but as of last week hadn’t met or worked out privately with any other teams, according to his agent.

Contact Joey Knight at jknight@tampabay.com. Follow @TBTimes_Bulls.



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