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Monday, August 22, 2011
Pac-12 top 25 for 2011: No. 6

By staff

Our countdown of the Pac-12's top 25 players continues.

You can see the final post-2010 top 25 here. It doesn't, however, include players from Colorado or Utah.

6. Matt Barkley, QB, USC

2010 numbers: Barkley ranked 31st in the nation and third in the Pac-10 in passing efficiency in 2010. He completed 62.6 percent of his throws for 2,791 yards, with 26 touchdowns and 12 interceptions.

2010 ranking: No. 14

Making the case for Barkley: Barkley improved dramatically from his true freshman to his sophomore year, so it's not difficult to project big things for him his junior season. He's a big-time talent, which is why ESPN NFL draft expert Mel Kiper -- and just about everyone else -- rates him the No. 2 junior quarterback in the nation and a likely first-round selection this spring. It helps that he will be surrounded by an outstanding collection of skill players in 2011, though it's also an extremely young collection. Barkley can be streaky -- good and bad. Twice in 2010, he threw five touchdown passes with no interceptions (Hawaii and California). And he did fall off last season after a fast start. On Oct. 18, he ranked eighth in the nation in passing efficiency. He then threw eight of his 12 interceptions over the final five games. Expectations will be high for him taking another step forward in his second year in coach Lane Kiffin's system. If he does, he might even generate some Heisman Trophy buzz.

7. Nick Foles, QB, Arizona
8. Juron Criner, WR, Arizona
9. Cliff Harris, CB, Oregon
10. Jonathan Martin, OT, Stanford
11. Shayne Skov, LB, Stanford
12. T.J. McDonald, S, USC
13. Alameda Ta'amu, DT, Washington
14. Matt Kalil, OT, USC
15. Delano Howell, S, Stanford
16. Mychal Kendricks, LB, California
17. Rodney Stewart, RB, Colorado
18. Jermaine Kearse, WR, Washington
Chase Thomas, LB, Stanford
20. Jeff Tuel, QB, Washington State
21. Robert Woods, WR, USC
22. Johnathan Franklin, RB, UCLA
23. David Paulson, TE, Oregon
24. David DeCastro, OG, Stanford
25. Marquess Wilson, WR, Washington State