South Carolina Football: Gamecocks in the NFL doubted heading into 2024 season

Several South Carolina football alums have been doubted heading into the 2024 season as PFF has labeled their position groups some of the weakest in the NFL.
South Carolina football alum Zacch Pickens with the Chicago Bears
South Carolina football alum Zacch Pickens with the Chicago Bears / David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

The South Carolina football program has put a lot of players in the NFL in recent years. Gamecock head coach Shane Beamer broke an all-time Carolina record this season by putting the most players in the NFL Draft (12) in a three-year span.

According to national football outlet PFF (Pro Football Focus), though, there are some Gamecocks who should be doubted heading into the 2024 season.

This week, PFF released their choices for the NFL team position groups that are the strongest in the league and the weakest in the league, and there are several former South Carolina football players who play for teams listed as having the weakest position groups in the NFL.

The Chicago Bears were chosen as the weakest defensive line unit in all of professional football, and former Gamecock defensive tackle Zacch Pickens is a Bear. Pickens was drafted in the 3rd round of the 2023 NFL Draft and had a decent debut season for Chicago, but he did not crack the starting lineup last year.

Former USC tight end Nate Adkins plays for the Denver Broncos, and his team was chosen by PFF as the worst tight end positional unit in the NFL. Adkins was primarily used on special teams and as a blocker for the Broncos roster, but by the time the year ended, he had carved out a consistent and important role for the team.

The biggest Gamecock-related disrespect from PFF in this article comes for the Dallas Cowboys' running back room. Former South Carolina football star Rico Dowdle is the current favorite to win the starting job for America's Team, but he has some competition with Ezekiel Elliott and Royce Freeman. PFF calls it the worst running back depth chart in the sport and says it "doesn't inspire much confidence."

Pickens, Adkins, and Dowdle are all in positions to play a lot in 2024 for their respective teams, and with that increased playing time, each former Gamecock will also have the opportunity to prove PFF wrong.

The NFL season will begin the first weekend of September.

dark. Next. South Carolina Football: SEC opener has kick time/TV info announced. South Carolina Football: SEC opener has kick time/TV info announced