warning Hi, we've moved to USCANNENBERGMEDIA.COM. Visit us there!

Neon Tommy - Annenberg digital news

Three Former Trojans Drafted In 2012 NFL Draft

Sammi Wong |
April 29, 2012 | 7:31 p.m. PDT

Staff Writer

Matt Kalil was the first former Trojan drafted, going No. 4 to the Vikings (Neon Tommy/James Santelli).
Matt Kalil was the first former Trojan drafted, going No. 4 to the Vikings (Neon Tommy/James Santelli).
Matt Kalil, Nick Perry and Rhett Ellison had the weekend of their life.

From the exciting first round of the 2012 NFL draft on Thursday night, the Trojan excitement began.

Thirty minutes into round one of the draft, with the No. 4 pick, the Minnesota Vikings selected offensive tackle Matt Kalil. Elite left tackles are hard to come by, and Kalil was a solid prospect that was well sought after. In addition to having an incredible awareness of space, Kalil is quick on his feet. It’s important for the Vikings to add much needed protection for Christian Ponder, and Kalil is the best guy for that job.

But the round-one excitement didn’t end with Kalil.

With the No. 28 pick, the Green Bay Packers selected defensive end Nick Perry.

Joining the ranks of elite USC pass-rusher Clay Matthews, Perry can be explosive for Green Bay. He has incredible potential and great speed, which will add weapons to the Packers defense. With 9.5 sacks in the 2011 season for the Trojans -- which led the Pac-12 -- Perry will be the perfect complement to the Aaron Rodgers-led offense.

Last but not least, at the end of the fourth round, with the No. 128 pick, the Minnesota Vikings took on another Trojan in fullback Rhett Ellison.

Often praised for his incredible work ethic, Ellison is expected to make a huge impact for the Vikings’ special teams. With his versatility and ability to play multiple positions well, Ellison will be an invaluable player in the building of the Vikings’ offense. He will also be useful in making plays since he pretty much catches every ball thrown his way.

Despite a handful of USC players leaving the draft undrafted, many of them have found positions during free agency.

Running Marc Tyler is heading to the Green Bay Packers; wideout Brandon Carswell is on his way to the Oakland Raiders; and linebacker Chris Gallipo is joining the Indianapolis Colts. In addition to those three, defensive tackle Christian Tupou signed with the San Diego Chargers; defensive tackle DaJohn Harris is heading to the Tennessee Titans; and long snapper Chris Poussan has agreed on a deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Reach Sammi by email, or follow her on Twitter.



Craig Gillespie directed this true story about "the most daring rescue mission in the history of the U.S. Coast Guard.”

Watch USC Annenberg Media's live State of the Union recap and analysis here.