South Carolina Football: Four Gamecocks make PFF's NFL Draft big board, two MUCH too low

Four South Carolina football alums crack PFF's NFL Draft big board, but Xavier Legette and Spencer Rattler rank lower than expected.

South Carolina football quarterback Spencer Rattler
South Carolina football quarterback Spencer Rattler / Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports
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South Carolina football fans will be paying close attention when April's NFL Draft begins. At least two Gamecocks will be taken as quarterback Spencer Rattler and wide receiver Xavier Legette are expected to be taken in the top half of the draft. However, a few more prospects who spent their college days wearing garnet and black have a chance of being selected, as well.

PFF has four South Carolina football alums on their 2024 NFL Draft big board, and all four are ranked high enough that the national outlet is projecting them to be drafted.

The first player from the 2023 Gamecocks on the big board was Xavier Legette. The electric wide receiver slots in as the #72 player in the draft according to PFF. He was the 16th receiver on the list behind Marvin Harrison Jr., Malik Nabers, Rome Odunze, Brian Thomas Jr., Troy Franklin, Ladd McConkey, Adonai Mitchell, Keon Coleman, Jermaine Burton, Xavier Worthy, Roman Wilson, Ja'Lynn Polk, Ricky Pearsall, Jalen McMillan, Tez Walker, and Johnny Wilson.

The ranking is a bit low for Legette who has been called by some the best phycial prospect in the draft at the wide receiver position. Harrison, Nabers, Odunze, and Thomas are the clear-cut top-4, but the next 15 names on the receiver board are somewhat interchangable based on what an NFL team likes and/or needs from a player. Being picked 72nd would have Legette going in the 3rd round to the New York Jets.

The second Gamecock that popped up on PFF's board was quarterback Spencer Rattler. The strong-armed Rattler was the 84th player overall and 8th quarterback on the big board behind Caleb Williams, Drake Maye, Jayden Daniels, JJ McCarthy, Bo Nix, Michael Penix Jr., and Michael Pratt.

Rattler's status as the 8th quarterback on the board is lower than the consensus. Rattler has floated anywhere from 4th to 7th in most pre-draft works after a strong showing at the 2024 Reese's Senior Bowl. If he were to be selected 84th, he would be a 3rd round pick of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The third former Gamecocks in PFF's rankings (and the next most likely player to be drafted) is cornerback Marcellas Dial at 228. Dial comes is the 33rd cornerback on the board. Cooper DeJean, Nate Wiggins, Quinyon Mitchell, Kool-Aid McKinstry, Terrion Arnold, Ennis Rakeshaw Jr., TJ Tampa, Kamari Lassiter, Mike Sainristill, Khyree Jackson, Jarrian Jones, Cam Hart, Kris Abrams-Draine, Andru Phillips, Renardo Green, Jarvis Brownlee Jr., Kalen King, DJ James, Caelen Carson, Chau Smith-Wade, Josh Newton, Dwight McGlothern, Nehemiah Pritchett, Tarheeb Still, Ryan Watts, Kamal Hadden, MJ Devonshire, Johnny Dixon, Josh Wallace, Daequan Hardy, Myles Harden, and AJ Woods.

Dial is one of about 20 cornerbacks who are unsure of whether or not they will be drafted. Former Gamecock Johnny Dixon (who transferred to Penn State) is also among this group. If he is the 228th pick Dial will be a 7th round draft choice of the Cleveland Browns.

Trey Knox is the final South Carolina football alum on PFF's big board, and he is in the 243rd spot. He is the 11th tight end on PFF's big board behind Brock Bowers, Ja'Tavion Sanders, Cade Stover, Ben Sinnott, Dallin Holker, Theo Johnson, Jaheim Bell, AJ Barner, Tip Reiman, and Tanner McLachlan.

After the top 4 of 5, no tight end is sure if they will be selected in this year's draft. Knox falls in this group along with former Gamecock Jaheim Bell (who left to play the 2023 season at Florida State). If picked 243rd, Knox would be a Green Bay Packer pick in the 7th round.

Gamecock offensive lineman Nick Gargiulo and wide receiver Ahmarean Brown both have outside chances of being drafted this spring, as well. Gargiulo also was invited to the 2024 NFL Scouting Combine, joining Legette, Rattler, Dial, and Knox in receiving invitations.

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