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Ranking the Pac-12's NFL draft prospects

Discussion in 'CU Buffs Newsroom' started by RSSBot, Jul 12, 2011.

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    By Ted Miller

    [​IMG]Mel Kiper has made two lists of top NFL prospects by positions: top seniors and and top juniors (or draft-eligible sophomores).

    As for the Pac-12 prospects on his lists, it appears the conference is stronger among juniors than seniors. Of course, a lot of early-round talents don't last until their senior seasons. And the offensive talent far eclipses the defensive talent.

    Here's where Pac-12 seniors rank among his top five seniors by position. (Note the lack of highly rated defensive players.)

    Quarterback
    No. 3 Nick Foles, Arizona

    Kiper comment: "Is Foles more of a physical prototype than a QB?"

    Receiver
    No. 4 Juron Criner, Arizona
    No. 5 Chris Owusu, Stanford

    Tight end
    No. 3 David Paulson, Oregon
    No. 4 Coby Fleener, Stanford

    Offensive guard
    No. 2 Ryan Miller, Colorado

    Kiper comment: Miller could be the second top-OL guy from Colorado in as many years, following Nate Solder.

    Center
    No. 4 Garth Gerhart, Arizona State

    Safeties
    No. 5 Lance Mitchell, Oregon State

    Punter
    No. 1 Bryan Anger, California

    And here's Kiper's take on Pac-12 juniors (and draft eligible sophomores).

    Quarterback
    No. 1 Andrew Luck, Stanford
    No. 2 Matt Barkley, USC

    Kiper comment: Amazing that, in terms of eligibility, Luck is still a junior. He'll command the most attention, for sure. Even with a new coach, he will be a front-runner for No. 1 in the 2012 NFL draft from August onward. Barkley has had two solid seasons at USC -- and this while thrown into a pretty tough situation.

    Running back
    No. 3 LaMichael James, Oregon

    Fullback
    No. 5 Taimi Tutogi, Arizona

    Offensive tackle
    No. 1 Matt Kalil, USC
    No. 2 Jonathan Martin, Stanford

    Kiper comment: Kalil has been a guy pro scouts have known since he arrived at Southern Cal. He has the bloodlines, the frame and the footwork to be a future left tackle in the NFL. Nobody will be under a bigger spotlight at the position this year than Martin, who protects the blind side of Andrew Luck.

    Offensive guard
    No. 1 David DeCastro, Stanford

    Kiper comment: Stanford has a wealth of talent on the offensive line, and the departure of Jim Harbaugh shouldn't diminish what they're able to accomplish. When it comes to the running game, watch DeCastro, who will maul on the interior.

    Linebacker
    No. 1 Vontaze Burfict, Arizona State

    Kiper comment: There are some scary hitters on this list, starting with Burfict, who was most productive against ASU's toughest competition last season. The guy was a force, quite literally, the moment he stepped on campus. Imagine if he'd stayed with USC.

    Outside linebacker
    No. 2 Chase Thomas, Stanford

    Cornerback
    No. 2 Cliff Harris, Oregon

    Safety
    No. 4 T.J. McDonald, USC

    Punter
    No. 1 Jeff Locke, UCLA

    Originally posted by ESPN.com - Pac-10 Blog
    Click here to view the article.
     

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