Mike Stoops has restored the Arizona program to some semblance of competitiveness as the team has played in a few minor bowl games recently.  While most of the NFL talent presently on the roster is of the late round variety there’s plenty of possibility for upward movement.

There are several players on offense to watch starting with quarterback Nick Foles.  Sized well with the arm strength to match, Foles sells the ball fakes, displays a  nice sense of knowing where his receivers are on the field besides terrific overall awareness. He has the ability to power the ball into receivers and easily gets passes downfield.  Foles is not an elusive signal caller that can avoid the rush and he lacks classic pocket passer height yet possesses an upside.

Juron Criner is a developing receiver with a solid game.  He displays good timing and anticipation, gets vertical over defenders and fights to make the reception.   Criner shows a lot of quickness in his overall game and is a consistent hand catcher that easily makes the reception downfield running full speed.

Greg Nwoko is a dynamite young back that shows terrific power and strength on the inside as well as a degree of quickness and agility in his game.  He runs with good lean, picks up the tough yardage and is a solid receiver out of the backfield.  Nwoko is definitely someone to watch.

Nic Grigsby is an adequate prospect who displays good running vision, quickly finds the cutback lanes and immediately gets through them.   He’s a solid receiver out of the backfield yet really has no wow factor to his game.

At one point Delashaun Dean was a receiver on our radar as he is a big bodied pass catcher that uses his size and strength as an advantage.  Dean has never developed as we thought possible, in fact his game regressed.  He was dismissed from the Arizona program over the summer and will play at Texas A&M Kingsville this season.

The Wildcats have two prospects to watch on defense and both reside on the line.

Brooks Reed is an intense defender that goes hard until the whistle blows.  He plays with terrific pad level, displays solid first step quickness and is rarely off his feet.  Reed shows better than average strength at the point and gets push up the field.  He lacks natural bulk and struggles battling bigger blocker.  Reed suffered with an ankle injury last season but offers a nice upside.

Ricky Elmore is not nearly the prospect of Reed yet a possible back-up for the next level. He possesses good first step quickness, uses his hands well and plays with good pad level.  Elmore struggles getting off blocks at the point of attack and does not come with a great upside.

Arizona Pro-Prospects

Round Full Name Pos Num Year
4th Juron Criner WR 82 3Jr
5th Nick Foles QB 5 4Jr
5-6 Greg Nwoko RB 28 3So
5-6 Brooks Reed DE 42 5Sr
6-7 Nic Grigsby RB 5 4Sr
FA Delashaun Dean WR 18 5Sr
FA Ricky Elmore DE 44 5Sr
FA Adam Grant T 78 6Sr
FA Colin Baxter C 30 5Sr

Discuss all the NFL prospects from the PAC  Ten!

There are many who think Oregon will win the Pac Ten.  We disagree.  They lost a decent amount of talent to the NFL then the starting quarterback was dismissed from the program.  The way we see it the majority of draft eligible talent is of the free agent variety.

Carson York is a terrific young offensive line prospect with a bright future.  He’s a fundamentally sound blocker at guard who bends his knees and sets with a wide base.  York is strong at the point and does a solid job in pass protection.

Senior William Thran is a small area blocker and lacks the skill to handle the left tackle duties he presently holds down.  Strong at the point, he controls defenders once he gets his hands on them and turns them off the line yet cannot adjust to oncoming blitzers, lacks lateral blocking range and footwork in space.

In similar fashion C.E. Kaiser shows poor movement skills from his right tackle position.  He is effective with his hands and displays good strength at the point of attack.

Jeff Maehl lacks the great size yet is a hardnosed football player with a complete game.  He possesses terrific eye/hand coordination and hands of glue.  Maehl does a great job finding the open seam in the defense and consistently offers the quarterback a nice target.  He extends his hands away from his body and possesses soft, reliable hands.  Maehl also gives effort blocking downfield. Really more of a one speed receiver who lacks a second gear or burst, Maehl projects as a fifth receiver/special teams player at the next level.

The top senior prospect is middle linebacker Casey Matthews, son of former USC star Clay Matthews.  He is a hard hitting run defender with a good nose for the ball.  Matthews shows top instincts, quickly diagnoses plays and scrapes well laterally.  He’s a good football player yet not a great athlete and does not possess a huge upside.

Spencer Paysinger was a prospect we liked off the ’08 tape yet a linebacker whose game went flat last season.  Paysinger is relatively effective in space and quick getting out laterally to make plays.  He showed a lot of indecision in his game which was costly last year.

Defensive lineman Brandon Bair is well thought of in many circles.  He’s a hard-working player with a non-stop motor but lacks strength at the point and does not possess the great upside.

The Ducks have a pair of junior safety’s to watch, Javes Lewis and Eddie Pleasant.

Oregon Pro-Prospects

Round Full Name Pos Num Year
5th Carson York G 77 3So
5th Casey Matthews ILB 55 5Sr
5-6 Javes Lewis S 14 4Jr
6-7 Jeff Maehl WR 23 4Sr
7th Eddie Pleasant S 11 4Jr
7-FA Spencer Paysinger OLB 35 5Sr
FA Brandon Bair DE 88 5Sr
FA William Thran T 69 5Sr
FA C.E. Kaiser G 68 5Sr
FA Jordan Holmes C 54 5Sr
FA Talmadge Jackson III CB 37 4Sr

Discuss all the NFL prospects from the PAC  Ten!

The pickings are slim at Arizona State as their top NFL prospect is a second year sophomore and not eligible for next April’s draft.  There are a nice number of utility defensive linemen to watch.

Lawrence Guy is an intense interior lineman who plays with a competitive nature.  Rarely off his feet, he plays with good lean, balance and has an explosive first step off the snap.  Possessing a thick lower body, he is constantly doubled in the middle the line and shows the ability to collapse the pocket.  A force when healthy, Guy struggled with injuries last year but comes with an upside.

Saia Falahola flashes power on the inside  nice bulk on the inside and is tough to move off the point.  He has a squat, low to the ground build and could be used as a rotational lineman at the next level.

Omar Bolden is a guy we liked off the ’08 film but the cornerback that really did not improve last season, in large part due to injuries.  Effective facing the action, he does a nice job locating the pass in the air.   Bolden is also effective returning kicks.

Gerald Munns, who was primarily a reserve as a junior, was given a solid pre-season grade by scouts who think has an upside.  Breaking down well, he uses his hands to protect himself and remains disciplined with assignments.  We are not high on Munns, an opinion some would disagree with.

Arizona St Pro-Prospects

Round Full Name Pos Num Year
3-4 Lawrence Guy DT 50 3Jr
FA Omar Bolden CB 3 3Jr
FA Gerald Munns ILB 47 5Sr
FA Saia Falahola DT 77 5Sr

Discuss all the NFL prospects from the PAC  Ten!

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