ESPN NFL draft guru Mel Kiper has some nice things to say about three Pac-10 players -- UCLA linebacker Akeem Ayers and fullbacks Stanley Havili of USC and Owen Marecic of Stanford -- in his latest "Stock Watch."
Of Ayers, he writes, "A long and prosperous NFL career awaits him."
All you needed to watch was the first half of the stunning UCLA visit to Austin to see why I am so high on Bruins LB Akeem Ayers. The first thing that jumps out at you is how physically gifted he is. At 6-foot-3½, 251 pounds, he displays the athletic ability of someone 30 pounds lighter.
He writes this about Marecic, who starts at linebacker and fullback for Stanford:
Just the fact Marecic is getting reps at linebacker in the spring and performed well enough to be named a starter (and on a very good team) tells you all you need to know about his football acumen.
As for Havili, Kiper writes:
Throughout his career, Havili has made the most of his limited opportunities carrying the pigskin (he came into this season with 55 carries for a very impressive 6.2 yards per carry average) and has proven to be a very good safety valve in the passing game (80 catches for a 10.8-yard average over the previous three seasons). As a runner, he has good vision, balance and enough speed once through the hole to do damage. As a receiver, he has soft hands and creates a lot of matchup problems.