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Ten Pac-12 players enter NFL draft early

1/18/2011

Ten Pac-12 players are among the 54 underclassmen who opted to enter the NFL draft early before the Jan. 15 deadline.

The list:

Shane Vereen, RB, California

Lawrence Guy, DT, Arizona State

Jacquizz Rodgers, RB, Oregon State

Thomas Keiser, DE, Stanford

Akeem Ayers, LB, UCLA

Rahim Moore, FS, UCLA

Jurrell Casey, DT, USC

Tyron Smith, OT, USC

Brandon Burton, CB, Utah

Sealver Siliga, DT, Utah

It's fair to say Utah's and UCLA's defenses took big hits, but the Bruins expected Ayers and Moore to bolt. The Utes probably felt good about their chances to get Burton and Siliga back.

The conference also lost two of its six 1,000-yard rushers in Vereen and Rodgers. Rodgers departure is more of a surprise than Vereen's, but both make perfect sense: Another year is unlikely to dramatically improve their draft position, and running backs don't have long NFL careers. Better to get started as soon as possible.

It will be interesting to see where Guy and Keiser end up getting drafted. Both were only honorable mention All-Pac-10 players in 2010.

You can view the entire list of early entries here.