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Pac-12 top 25 for 2012: No. 10

2/11/2013

Our countdown of the top 25 players in 2012 continues.

You can see our preseason top 25 here.

No. 10: Markus Wheaton, WR, Oregon State

2012 numbers: Wheaton caught 91 passes for 1,244 yards and 11 touchdowns. He also rushed for 142 yards -- 7.1 yards per carry -- and two scores.

Preseason ranking: Unranked

Making the case for Wheaton: Marqise Lee was the best receiver in the Pac-12 and the nation last year. Wheaton, who shared first-team All-Pac-12 honors with Lee, might have been second best. Despite the Beavers' quarterback carousel, he ranked 17th in the nation in receptions per game (7.0) and yards per game (95.7). He averaged a robust 13.7 yards per reception and was tied for second in the conference with 11 touchdowns receptions. But what was most notable about Wheaton, who figures to be an early-round NFL draft pick this spring, is how he showed up every week. Other than a two-receptions game against Washington -- sorry to mention that bit of passing ugliness, Beavers fans -- he caught at least five passes in every other game. Check that. He only caught four passes against Arizona State, but those went for 108 yards and two touchdowns. He had five games with over 100 yards receiving, but his high was "only" 166 yards. In 10 of 13 games, he was over 80 yards receiving. That's consistency, even when every opposing defense knew he was the Beavers first option on offense. It will be interesting to see what Wheaton runs in the 40-yard dash at the NFL combine. We do know he's pretty fast in the 100 meters.

No. 11: Anthony Barr, LB, UCLA

No. 12: Jordan Poyer, CB, Oregon State

No. 13: Zach Ertz, TE, Stanford

No. 14: Matt Barkley, QB, USC

No. 15: Brett Hundley, QB, UCLA

No. 16: Trent Murphy, OLB, Stanford

No. 17
: Chase Thomas, OLB, Stanford

No. 18: Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, CB, Oregon

No. 19: David Yankey, OL, Stanford

No. 20: Dion Jordan, DE/OLB, Oregon

No. 21: Scott Crichton, DE, Oregon State

No. 22: Ed Reynolds, S, Stanford

No. 23: Michael Clay, LB, Oregon

No. 24: Taylor Kelly, QB, Arizona State

No. 25: Reggie Dunn, KR, Utah