Last year the PAC 12 had four of the initial 13 players selected in the draft. This year they have potentially the top prospect from the senior class as well as the top rated senior quarterback and the conference is poised to inject a lot of talent into the NFL next April.
|3-4||Viliami Moeakiola||S||Arizona State||4Jr|
|4th||D.J. Foster||RB||Arizona State||4Sr|
|5th||Antonio Longino||ILB||Arizona State||5Sr|
|5th||Christian Westerman||G||Arizona State||5Sr|
|6th||Vivii Teofilo||G||Arizona State||5Sr|
|6th||Scooby Wright III||ILB||Arizona||3Jr|
|6th||Dustin Stanton||T||Oregon State||4Jr|
|6th||Jordan Simone||S||Arizona State||5Sr|
|6th||Storm Woods||RB||Oregon State||5Sr|
|6th||Ellis Jefferson||WR||Arizona State||3So|
|6th||Kweishi Brown||CB||Arizona State||4Sr|
|7th||Mike Bercovici||QB||Arizona State||5Sr|
|7th||Sean Harlow||T||Oregon State||3Jr|
|7th||Larry Scott||CB||Oregon State||5Sr|
|7-FA||Lloyd Carrington||CB||Arizona State||5Sr|
|FA||Leon McQuay III||S||USC||3Jr|
|FA||Nicholas Kelly||C||Arizona State||4Sr|
|FA||Victor Bolden||WR||Oregon State||3Jr|
|FA||Gavin Andrews||T||Oregon State||4Sr|
|FA||Caleb Smith||TE||Oregon State||4Sr|
|FA||Kody Kohl||TE||Arizona State||4Jr|
|FA||Dominique Williams||WR||Washington St||5Sr|
|FA||Isaac Seumalo||C||Oregon State||4Jr|
|FA||Gary Chambers||WR||Arizona State||5Sr|
|FA||Ricky Ortiz||FB||Oregon State||4Jr|
|FA||Demetrius Cherry||DE||Arizona State||5Sr|
|FA||Joshua Mitchell||C||Oregon State||4Sr|
|FA||Joesph Dahl||G||Washington St||5Sr|
|FA||Taylor Taliulu||S||Washington St||4Sr|
|FA||Jeremiah Allison||ILB||Washington St||4Sr|
|FA||Kache Palacio||OLB||Washington St||4Sr|
The Wildcats are amongst a handful of programs in college football where the coaches are able to get a lot out of a little, meaning the staff extracts all the talent possible from their players. The end conclusion are solid athletes that are not given high grades by scouts.
A lot of people like Cayleb Jones and while he’s a big bodied receiver who wins out in battles Jones is also a one gear athlete with limited quickness.
Conversely I believe David Richards is slightly underrated. He’s another big body receiver with solid hands but gets lost in the shuffle of Arizona’s receiver rotation. He’s someone who’ll go undrafted then ends up making a roster in 2016.
Opinions on linebacker Scooby Wright are varied. While some like him I feel he’s an undersized two-down defender with limited upside. I’m told the feeling from Wright’s camp is he’ll feeling draft worthy next April.
Keep an eye on offensive tackle Freddie Tagaloa, the Cal transfer who I’m told is looking very good.
The opinion on potential prospects from Arizona State is wide ranging.
Some scouts consider D.J. Foster a late round pick while others feel he’s mid round talent. I agree with the latter. Foster is a skilled ball handler with an elusive style that can help a team in a variety of ways, which may the problem. Many are split on his best position at the next level; running back or receiver.
Arizona State has a nice combination at safety in junior Viliami Moeakiola and senior Jordan Simone.
Moeakiola is more the complete safety and a steady run defender who also looks good in coverage. Simone lacks great size and speed but offers terrific instincts and a hard charging style.
The team also has a terrific guard tandem in Christian Westerman and Vivii Teofilo, both last day picks on my board but linemen with the ability to play in a run oriented system on Sunday.
Several west coast scouts have told me while they like Cody Kessler of USC they feel Jared Goff has franchise potential. And though I like Goff, I’m not ready to anoint him to that level just yet.
The junior is patient and poised in the pocket and displays a nice degree of accuracy on throws. I also like his command of the offense but Goff is rail thin and unless he fills out, he may struggle holding up at the next level.
Receiver Kenny Lawler is a nice sized target for Goff and has a good degree of upside in his game.
Last year at this time I was singing the praises of Chaz Green, the underrated Florida lineman who was ultimately selected in the third round. I feel Stephane Nembot is a likely comparison as few have him on the radar screen as anything other than a potential late round pick. But watching Nembot the past three seasons you’ll see the makings of a potential starter on the NFL level. I like his size (6’ 6”/310) quickness and athleticism. I presently grade Nembot as a fourth rounder, right around where I had Green at this time last year.
The Ducks had five players drafted last April including a pair in the first round and two more on the second day. Its only fair to say had he not been injured seventh round pick Ifo Ekpre-Olomu would’ve added to the second day list.
There won’t be the same abundance of talent in 2016 but the team does possess the player many scouts feel is the top senior prospect in the nation.
Deforest Buckner is an explosive defensive lineman that shows himself to be a disruptive force. He’s impossible to move from the point of attack and if he can’t make the play he’ll occupy gaps and allow teammates a free run to the ball. How does he compare to Arik Armstead, his former teammate who left early for the draft to become the 17th selection? Most scouts agree that while Armstead is the better athlete Buckner is the better player at this point in their respective careers.
Some will be surprised I have Chris Seisay ranked so early but I was blown away by his film, limited as it was. Seisay saw a lot of action late in the year, especially when Ekpre-Olomu was down for the count, and looked good in every aspect of the cornerback position.
When I watched Evan Baylison film I kept thinking Crockett Gilmore; a well rounded tight end that’s solid as a pass catcher and dominates blocking.
The Beavers have two underclassmen tackles to keep an eye on, Sean Harlow (son of former first round pick Pat Harlow) and Dustin Stanton. In my opinion Stanton’s a little more rounded and definitely stronger.
Larry Scott is a cornerback who deserves more mention. He offers solid ball skills and better size than former teammate Steve Nelson, third round pick of the Kansas City Chiefs last April.
Andrew Luck not withstanding the belief amongst scouts is most of the players entering the league from Stanford are pretty tapped out and don’t possess great upside. And though there will be exceptions it’s the primary reason Stanford prospects are selected later than initially anticipated. The implication being the coaching staff is first rate and gets the players to play above their level of ability.
Linebacker Blake Martinez is a solid prospect who makes most of his plays with hustle and instincts rather than brute force. I could see a 3-4 team taking him in the middle rounds.
One “sleeper” I like on the Cardinal defense is Kevin Anderson, who primarily lines up in a three point stance but projects to outside linebacker. Anderson is a high revving defender who plays smart football. He also comes with next level measurables.
Receiver Devon Cajuste has outstanding measurables but plays spotty football. Cajuste looks dominant during some games then is a non factor in others. The poor quarterback play at Stanford is part of the problem. Cajuste will be the main wide out this season and the end result will dictate much of his draft stock next April.
The talent amassed by the Bruins from several top recruiting classes will finally be available to the NFL next April.
Kenny Clark is a difference maker on the defensive line. He’s an explosive interior lineman that’s impossible to handle or move from the point of attack. While there’s room for improvement I like his entire game and feel he comes with terrific upside.
Myles Jack is another forceful defender at linebacker. Very sudden in his game, Jack flashes on the scene and is a disruptive force. He’s not only good up the field but also stands out in pursuit and plays with a vicious style. The lack of size and growth limitations are an issue as Jack will fit just a few schemes at the next level.
Talk to ten difference people about cornerback Fabian Moreau and you’ll get fifteen different opinions, that’s how varied thoughts are about his game. He’s a well built defensive back with solid ball skills. I’m concerned as Moreau struggles making plays with his back to the ball and loses out in battles. Though I’ve seen some early projections for him I grade Moreau as a middle round nickel/dime back.
The Trojans hope to contend for conference supremacy and possess a lot of next level talent on the roster.
Su’a Cravens is a forceful safety, disrupting the action up the field against the run while showing competent ball skills in coverage. Cravens is big boy, maybe too big for safety and may get consideration as a one-gap linebacker.
I see a lot of Mark Sanchez when I watch Cody Kessler. That’ not a knock as I believe if Kessler is used correctly, unlike the way Sanchez was during much of his career with the New York Jets, he can start and be a successful signal caller on Sunday. Kessler is an accurate passer who does not make mental errors but has size limitations.
Anthony Sarao will be downgraded as he’s not even 6-feet tall but on film he’s a terrific linebacker with a complete game. In the right system he will produce at the next level.
The current belief is Zach Banner will enter the 2016 draft but unless he significantly improves his game its a mistake off the ’14 film. Banner is a big bodied blocker but a lineman who shows little in the way of balance or the ability to consistently finish blocks due to his lack of balance.
The Utes enter the season with more than a half dozen seniors considered draftable by scouts. Overall I don’t see any prospect that really stands out.
Jared Norris is a smallish linebacker with incredible instincts. Norris is always around the ball making positive plays, defending the run or covering the pass. In the end I consider him a smaller version of James Laurinaitis; a very steady defender that does not make mental mistakes.
I want to like receiver Ken Scott but there’s just to much inconsistency in his game. He plays like a dominant game controlling receiver in many instances than just as quickly has catchable throws bouncing off his hands.
Unlike last year the Huskies won’t have any first round picks in the next draft but do offer one of the most underrated linebackers in the conference.
Travis Feeney is a terrific athlete and a three down prospect at linebacker. He’s quick up the field defending the run, gets depth on pass drops and also stands out in pursuit. I think his instincts need a bit of brushing up but believe if he plays productive, mistake free football Freeney could move into the third round.
Not much from the Cougars. Dom Williams is a smallish receiver who could slide into the late rounds based on his return skills.