Friday, May 3, 2013
2013 breakouts, 2014 draft
By Kevin Gemmell
A few Insider posts to share with you this morning.
For starters, Todd McShay released his "Top 32" of 2014. And there are some marquee Pac-12 names on his list -- and more in his "10 more to monitor" section.
In total, there are 11 players. Here's how he ranks the Pac-12 players in his top 32:
Half of his 10 more players to monitor are also from the league -- including USC defensive end Morgan Breslin, Oregon State defensive end Scott Crichton, Stanford linebacker Trent Murphy, Washington tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins and Arizona State defensive end Will Sutton.
That leads us to Brock Huard's take on the 10 best quarterback prospects in the country in 2014. Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota is the only Pac-12 player on the list, and he checks in at No. 4. Writes Huard:
Prototypical. Smooth. Effortless. Accurate. The scouting descriptors come fast and furious when evaluating the Ducks' 6-4 quarterback. I vividly remember former Oregon coach Chip Kelly telling me in our production meeting before the 2011 Civil War game just how much I would like Mariota, and this was while Mariota was redshirting without having played a college snap.
Kelly was right: I did like Mariota from his first snap to his last in 2012, a season in which the Ducks won 12 of 13 games and were one bad half away from setting up the title game most of the country wanted to see. Wrapped up in those 12 victories was the country's sixth-most efficient passer, who threw 32 touchdowns from just about every angle, platform and movement imaginable while completing slightly less than 70 percent of his overall throws. He added another 752 yards on the ground, running for more than seven yards a carry and five TDs.
Finally, Travis Haney offers his list ofpost-spring breakout players from 2013. Included on the list are USC wide receiver Nelson Agholor and Oregon defensive lineman Arik Armstead.
Haney on Agholor:
The last time I had Trojans receivers coach Tee Martin on the phone, I asked him how Agholor was coming along now that Robert Woods is gone.
Martin compared it to the way Marqise Lee, when he was entering his sophomore year, began to emerge once everyone got wise to stopping Woods. Now it's Lee who will command the attention from defenses, creating opportunities for others -- most notably Agholor.
The offense gets the bulk of the publicity in Eugene, but No. 3 overall pick Dion Jordan joins Haloti Ngata as Oregon D-linemen who have been early first-rounders. Is Armstead working toward that territory?
Jordan included, Armstead was surrounded by talent a year ago, but he will need to make more of an imprint as a sophomore. He appears ready, having stayed in shape -- maybe even tightened up a bit -- by playing for the Sweet 16 hoops team. He stepped right off the hardwood and onto the spring football field.