South Carolina Football: 4 Gamecocks find themselves in ESPN's latest mock draft

South Carolina football stars Xavier Legette, Spencer Rattler, Trey Knox, and Nick Gargiulo were mocked in ESPN analyst Matt Miller's NFL Draft mock.
South Carolina football stars Spencer Rattler and Xavier Legette will be taken in the 2024 NFL Draft
South Carolina football stars Spencer Rattler and Xavier Legette will be taken in the 2024 NFL Draft / Matt Pendleton-USA TODAY Sports

South Carolina football fans saw five Gamecocks selected in the 2023 NFL Draft as Cam Smith, Zacch Pickens, Darius Rush, Jovaughn Gwyn, and Jalen Brooks all fulfilled childhood dreams of making it to the NFL.

This year, the Gamecocks have six players with a chance of being selected, but only five of them have popped up consistently in NFL Draft projections. Wide receiver Xavier Legette and quarterback Spencer Rattler are locks to be selected (likely in the top half of the draft), tight end Trey Knox, defensive back Marcellas Dial, and offensive lineman Nick Gargiulo all have been mocked in a lot of late-round projections, and wide receiver Ahmarean Brown has a puncher's chance of being picked.

Four of those players made ESPN's latest mock draft, released by draft analyst Matt Miller.

First up in Miller's projection was wide receiver Xavier Legette, who he mocked to the Carolina Panthers with the 1st pick of the 2nd round, #33 overall. As a local talent (both being from the state of South Carolina and having played for the South Carolina football program), Legette appeals to the Panthers off the field, but his size and speed combination make a team desperate for receiver help really intrigued by what he could bring to Charlotte.

Quarterback Spencer Rattler was next up. Miller is a little lower than Rattler than many recent projections as he has the Gamecock signal-caller going in the 4th round to the New England Patriots with the 103rd overall selection. The Patriots need a quarterback, but with them also needing a couple of years to rebuild the rest of the roster a bit under new head coach Jerod Mayo, taking a developmental quarterback like Rattler makes sense.

The third Gamecock selected in Miller's hypothetical NFL Draft is a bit surprising. Most mocks have had Marcellas Dial or Trey Knox going third for USC, but Miller has offensive lineman Nick Gargiulo heading to the San Francisco 49ers in the 7th round with the 251st pick of the draft. Versatile offensive linemen (Gargiulo made starts at center, guard, and tackle during his college career) are hard to come by, so taking a late-round flyer on Gargiulo is an easy choice for a good team like San Fran.

The final South Carolina product in Matt Miller's latest mock draft is tight end Trey Knox. Knox is slated to be the pick after Gargiulo, taken in the 7th round by the Tennessee Titans (via a trade with the Kansas City Chiefs) with the 252nd pick of the NFL draft. Knox would join an inexperienced tight end room in Nashville, competing for playing time on a Titans team that needs some energy from the position.

Marcellas Dial and Ahmarean Brown were not in Miller's mock draft, but both have been projected to be taken in some other projections (especially Dial).

The NFL Draft will take place from April 25th to April 27th.

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