Pac-12: Nick Perry

Poll: Pac-12 and the NFL draft

February, 19, 2013
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ESPN analysts Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay are both predicting four Pac-12 players will be taken in the first round of the NFL draft. With the NFL scouting combine starting this week, it's possible that number could rise -- or drop -- pending workout performances.

SportsNation

How many Pac-12 players will be taken in the first round of the NFL draft?

  •  
    3%
  •  
    12%
  •  
    27%
  •  
    31%
  •  
    27%

Discuss (Total votes: 3,291)

As of right now, the four players mocked in the first round are Utah defensive tackle Star Lotulelei (No. 1 by McShay/No. 3 by Kiper), Oregon outside linebacker Dion Jordan (5/9), California wide receiver Keenan Allen (27/22) and Stanford tight end Zach Ertz (30/19).

McShay and Kiper agree on the four players -- but Kiper ranks Ertz higher than Allen while McShay gives the nod to the Cal receiver.

Could a fifth or sixth player enter the first round? ESPN's Adam Schefter reports it's possible that USC quarterback Matt Barkley could still end up being the first quarterback taken in the draft and possibly in the first round. Could one of the running backs -- with a strong performance at the NFL combine -- make a push? There's a lot of defense in the two mock drafts, so maybe a linebacker like Chase Thomas, a defensive back like Desmond Trufant or a defensive end like Datone Jones sneaks in. Look again at the Pac-12 players invited to the combine and see if there is a first-round sleeper in the mix.

Four would be consistent with how the Pac-12 did last year. In 2012, it was Andrew Luck (No. 1), Matt Kalil (No. 4), David DeCastro (No. 24) and Nick Perry (No. 28).

Will that number stay the same in 2013? Your Tuesday poll question: How many Pac-12 players will be taken in the first round of the NFL draft?

Five things to watch: USC-Hawaii

August, 31, 2012
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The No. 1-ranked USC Trojans begin their 2012 season on Saturday against Hawaii (4:30 p.m. PT) at the L.A. Memorial Coliseum. Here are five things to watch:

1. Who's playing? Because of Lane Kiffin's new injury-reporting restrictions that began this week, we don't know which of the Trojans' injured players will be playing on Saturday. It certainly creates some mystique around this opener, as there's really no telling who was practicing this week and who wasn't. Among the players who missed all or most of USC's Saturday scrimmage, the last day injuries were allowed to be reported, were receiver George Farmer, tight ends Randall Telfer and Christian Thomas, defensive tackle Leonard Williams, defensive ends Wes Horton and Greg Townsend Jr., linebacker Lamar Dawson, cornerback Torin Harris and safety Demetrius Wright.

2. Silas Redd and Curtis McNeal. The expectation is that McNeal will start, because he's been at USC longer and been successful with all of his opportunities. But Redd's first three-plus weeks in a USC uniform have gone about as well as the Trojans could have expected. The early-season competition between the two to decide who the primary back will be might be more interesting than the battle between Marqise Lee and Robert Woods, because we don't yet have any idea of how Kiffin plans to use Redd in games. Here's guessing both guys will get about 15 touches on Saturday, with another 5-10 for D.J. Morgan.

(Read full post)

All Pac-12/NFL team

May, 29, 2012
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This posted on Friday, but because of the long weekend we didn't get a chance to get to it until today. But it's still worth exploring a very interesting post from the folks at Pacific Takes, who put together an All-NFL team consisting of Pac-12 alumni. Only current NFL players are eligible. Their team:

Offense

QB Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay, Cal
RB Maurice Jones-Drew, Jacksonville, UCLA
RB Marshawn Lynch, Seattle, Cal
T Jordan Gross, Carolina, Utah
G Zane Beadles, Denver, Utah
C Ryan Kalil, Carolina, USC
G Andy Levitre, Buffalo, Oregon State
T Tyron Smith, Dallas, USC
WR Steve Smith, Carolina, Utah
WR DeSean Jackson, Philadelphia, Cal
TE Rob Gronkowski, New England, Arizona
K Jason Hanson, Detroit, Washington State

Defense

DE Andre Carter, New England, Cal
DT Haloti Ngata, Baltimore, Oregon
DT Jurrell Casey, Tennessee, USC
DE Frostee Rucker, Cleveland, USC
LB Terrell Suggs, Baltimore, Arizona State
LB Clay Matthews, Green Bay, USC
LB Lance Briggs, Chicago, Arizona
CB Nnamdi Asomugha, Philadelphia, Cal
CB Brandon Browner, Seattle, Oregon State
S Troy Polamalu, Pittsburgh, USC
S Eric Weddle, San Diego, Utah
P Chris Kluwe, Minnesota, UCLA

They go on to list a complete second team for offense and defense as well as honorable mentions for most positions (it's a good, in-depth post with thoughts on each player).

Hard to argue with a lot of those names on the first team. And maybe I could see swapping a couple of the first-teamers out for the second-teamers and vice-versa. But for the most part it's solid.

So in the interest of sparking some additional discussion, here's who I think from the 2012 draft class could land on this list of first-teamers in five years.

Offense

QB Andrew Luck, Indianapolis, Stanford
RB LaMichael James, San Francisco, Oregon
OL Tony Bergstrom, Oakland, Utah
OL David DeCastro, Pittsburgh, Stanford
TE Coby Fleener, Indianapolis, Stanford

Defense

DE Nick Perry, Green Bay, USC
LB Mychal Kendricks, Philadelphia, Cal
S Brandin Hardin, Chicago, Oregon State

USC spring wrap

May, 14, 2012
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2011 overall record: 10-2
2011 conference record: 7-2 (1st, South)
Returning starters: Offense: 9; defense: 8; kicker/punter: 2

Top returners
QB Matt Barkley, S T.J. McDonald, OL Khaled Holmes, WR Robert Woods, WR Marqise Lee, RB Curtis McNeal, DL Devon Kennard, DL Wes Horton, CB Nickell Robey, LB Dion Bailey, LB Hayes Pullard, K Andre Heidari

Key losses
OL Matt Kalil, DL Nick Perry, FB Rhett Ellison, DL DaJohn Harris, DL Christian Tupou, LB Chris Galippo, RB Marc Tyler, WR Brandon Carswell, LS Chris Pousson

2011 statistical leaders (*returners)
Rushing: Curtis McNeal* (1,005 yards)
Passing: Matt Barkley* (3,528 yards)
Receiving: Robert Woods* (1,292 yards)
Tackles: Dion Bailey*, Hayes Pullard* (81)
Sacks: Nick Perry (9.5)
Interceptions: T.J. McDonald* (3)

Spring answers

1. Marqise Lee is ready for prime time: It’s no secret that Lee is a talented player who put together a terrific freshman season, but he took that performance to an even higher level this spring when he was the best player on the field for the Trojans. We’re seeing a rare athlete in Lee, one whose acrobatic style is being compared to Lynn Swann.

2. The USC defense is worthy of mention: There is so much attention paid to Matt Barkley and his offensive weapons -- and deservedly so -- but this spring was a reminder that the Trojans defense is going to be pretty good too. The back seven will be a strength, as the starters return intact plus there is a nice supply of talented depth.

3. The future of the USC quarterback spot is in good hands: Spring was an extended audition for Max Wittek and Cody Kessler, as Barkley was limited in his reps. Both players had their moments as they look to settle into the No. 2 role and the inside track to be Barkley’s heir apparent. The Trojans also got a verbal commitment from Max Browne (No. 2 rated pocket passer in ESPN 150), who will enroll next spring.

Fall questions

1. Interior of the D-line: One of the keys of spring was replacing two senior starters from the middle of the line. George Uko stepped in at defensive tackle and had flashes of real solid play. After Uko, however, things are not so clear. There is no established backup for him and no set starter at nose tackle, as J.R. Tavai and Antwaun Woods continue to battle for the job.

2. Lack of depth at tailback: The Trojans have a returning 1,000-yard rusher in Curtis McNeal but not a lot of experience behind him. D.J. Morgan had 42 carries in 2011, Buck Allen redshirted last season and Nelson Agholor has yet to join the team. That’s the extent of the playing time for the 2012 USC reserve tailbacks.

3. Protecting the blind side: There wasn’t a ton of worry last year about left tackle with Matt Kalil but replacing him has not been easy. Kevin Graf got the first look, but then the coaches moved Aundrey Walker into the spot. Lane Kiffin said Walker was not consistent but he showed enough with the potential of the size benefits he brings that he will stay as the starter heading into fall camp.

Under the radar: Colorado

May, 8, 2012
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We're continuing with our under the radar series.

The idea is to pick out a player who is not a big name, but who may be underrated. Or, at least, a guy who will need to step up and play a critical role in 2012.

We're going in reverse alphabetical order.

Colorado: DE Chidera Uzo-Diribe

2011 production: Totaled 18 tackles -- all solo -- and had 5.5 sacks. He also forced a team-high three fumbles.

Making the case for Uzo-Diribe: Of the eight defensive linemen named to the first and second team all-conference defense last year, only two of them (Nick Perry and Dion Jordan) had more sacks than Uzo-Diribe, who finished ninth in the conference. He tied for fifth in the conference in forced fumbles. But Colorado's poor defensive showing last season (last in scoring defense, 10th in total defense) didn't do much to help his credibility. He's an explosive player at 6-foot-3, 255 pounds and is certainly a defender that opposing offenses can't overlook. The biggest issue for him this spring was being more consistent against the run, and he seems to be making strides. He's poised for another good season -- potentially a breakout season -- and if some of Colorado's younger defenders can step up, he could be in line for some of the postseason honors that evaded him last year.

Under the radar: USC

May, 1, 2012
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We're continuing with our under the radar series.

The idea is to pick out a player who is not a big name but who may be underrated. Or, at least, a guy who will need to step up and play a critical role in 2012.

We're going in reverse alphabetical order.

USC: DE Devon Kennard

2011 production: Appeared in all 12 games and started five. He recorded 29 tackles -- four for a loss and two sacks with a safety.

Making the case for Kennard: We hear there’s a blonde-haired, sword-toting quarterback who seems to be flying under the radar. But we’re still not sure how he’s going to pan out so we’ll keep our distance from him for now. That brings us to Kennard, a versatile defender who has spent a little time at middle linebacker, but finally settled back on defensive end.

He’s started parts of the past two seasons, so he’s known to USC fans. But with Nick Perry gone to the NFL, Kennard's role and visibility are going to increase along with Wes Horton. For his career, which includes 18 starts, Kennard has 135 tackles and 13 for a loss. Some of those include his time as a middle linebacker in 2010. Kennard is a senior leader on a defensive line that doesn’t have a great deal of depth. And while USC’s starting 11 might be as talented player-for-player as anyone in the conference, there are some untested players behind him. So the pressure is on Kennard to no longer be under the radar -- but to emerge as that Perry-esque player who can dominate in the run game and pass rush. All reports are that he had an outstanding spring session. At 6-foot-3, 260 pounds, he certainly has the size to put up Perry-like numbers (led the conference in sacks with 9.5 last season). With the experience he has in the scheme and an increased role, Kennard could be the breakout player on USC’s defense in 2012.

WeAreSC links: Recruiting Friday

April, 27, 2012
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Greg Katz writes Insider: While 10 Trojans were selected in the 2008 draft, walk-on receiver Brad Walker saw his career, which was highlighted by being the intended receiver on Reggie Bush's ill-fated lateral against Texas, end.

WeAreSC recruiting mailbag Insider: Erik McKinney fields questions from readers about recruiting in the Southeast, defensive back recruiting, and possible near-future commitments.

Garry Paskwietz writes: With the selections of Matt Kalil by the Minnesota Vikings with the No. 4 pick, and Nick Perry by the Green Bay Packers at No. 28, USC adds to its NCAA-best number of all-time first-round draft picks.

Erik McKinney writes Insider: Tempe, Ariz., defensive back Priest Willis is the inspiration for a feeding frenzy, as schools from all over the country lobby for his services.

McKinney writes Insider: Pinetop, Ariz., fullback Chans Cox is being looked at as both an offensive and defensive player in recruiting.

More McKinney Insider: Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif., offensive lineman Dane Crane has seen his recruiting increase in recent weeks.
The inevitable is now official. Former Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck is an Indianapolis Colt.

Commissioner Roger Goodell had announced the 2012 NFL draft was open and Luck was on the phone with the Colts no more than 15 seconds later.

[+] EnlargeAndrew Luck
Jerry Lai/US PresswireAndrew Luck is the fourth Stanford quarterback to be selected No. 1 overall in the NFL draft.
He got big hugs from head coach David Shaw and teammate Coby Fleener as he made his way to center stage.

"It was everything I thought it would be," Luck told ESPN's Suzy Kolber about the experience of being picked No. 1 overall. "I feel so blessed, so fortunate to be in this situation. I can't wait to start with the Colts."

And what can Indianapolis fans expect from Luck following a 2-14 season?

"Hope for the best," Luck said. "We'll come in and work hard. I know there are a lot of great guys in the locker room already. I feel so honored and so grateful to be able to represent this city now and be part of a team."

Luck becomes the fourth Stanford quarterback selected No. 1 overall, joining Bobby Garrett (1954), Jim Plunkett (1971) and John Elway (1983). Stanford is the only school that has produced four quarterbacks taken No. 1 overall.

Other Pac-12 players:

  • Despite a trade, the Minnesota Vikings still got the man they were targeting all along, USC offensive tackle Matt Kalil. Cleveland traded up to the No. 3 spot where the Browns took Alabama running back Trent Richardson. The 6-foot-6, 306-pound Kalil went to the Vikings with the No. 4 pick. He becomes the 76th first round draft pick in USC history and the 22nd USC Trojan offensive lineman drafted in the first round. He's the highest drafted USC lineman since Tony Boselli (1995, second overall).
  • Then, there was a long, somewhat surprising lull for the conference. Stanford guard David DeCastro, whom most mock drafts had going in the teens, slipped down to No. 24 where the Pittsburgh Steelers got some pretty good value with the No. 1 guard in the draft. DeCastro was the third offensive lineman taken after Kalil and Iowa offensive tackle Riley Reiff, who went one pick earlier at No. 23 to the Detroit Lions.
  • Between the picks of Kalil and DeCastro, there were 13 defensive players taken to just six offensive. That run on defense benefited USC defensive end Nick Perry, who was drafted by the Green Bay Packers at No. 28. He'll join former Trojan Clay Matthews in the Packers' 3-4 scheme. Perry was considered a first/second-round tweener but lands in a pretty good spot.
  • With just those four being taken, Fleener and Stanford offensive tackle Jonathan Martin are still on the board. Both were considered potential first round picks -- but Martin's stock had been sliding over the last few weeks while Fleener's star was on the rise. Once thought to be a pipe dream a couple of weeks ago, might we see the Luck-to-Fleener connection in Indianapolis after all?

Projecting Pac-12 NFL draft destinations

April, 18, 2012
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Hot new bracelet for NFL GMs: WWMKD?

What Would Mel Kiper Do?

Glad you asked. Kiper has projected how he would pick in the first three rounds if he were the GM of every NFL team.

Here are his picks for the NFC Insider and here are the AFC picks. Insider

You can also see Kiper's Big Board here. Insider And Todd McShay's top-32 prospects here. Insider

Before we give you his Pac-12 picks, here's what he says about the exercise:

For this, I was asked, "What would you do if you were picking?" So I gave it a shot. I've listed what I see as the top needs for each team, and I've gone ahead and made the picks that fill needs based on where I have players ranked. A few ground rules:
1. At each spot, I'm making the pick best for that team at that spot. I won't pass on an ideal pick for the Bills at No. 10 just because that player would be a great fit at No. 11.

2. There are no duplicates anywhere.

3. I will suggest good spots to trade down, but I won't rearrange the board.

4. This is for fun! One pick can derail a whole draft, so in no way do I think this is how it might look.

So here's what he thinks about Pac-12 players.

New York Giants: Rd 1 (32) TE Coby Fleener, Stanford

Comments: I've liked Fleener to the Giants for a while. I think he just provides something that passing game doesn't have. Remember, Fleener won't just line up off tackle; you can split him out and utilize his size and speed to work matchups with smaller corners or slower linebackers. Teams will spend a lot of time looking at how to slow the momentum the Giants should carry over with their passing attack, and Fleener adds something new to account for.

Minnesota Vikings: Rd 1 (3) OT Matt Kalil, USC (attempt to move down)

Comment: Corner is a big need for me if I'm Minnesota, which is why I can see them very tempted on Morris Claiborne, but left tackle is equally important. If they don't protect Christian Ponder, they really won't be able to effectively audit his progress. I put trading down as an option because I do it if it's clear a team will give up a ton of value to get into that No. 3 slot, so the Vikings should be entertaining offers all the way. But if that can't happen, they should be plenty happy to add Kalil, a rare tackle ready to come in and start right away on the left side.

Carolina Panthers: Rd 2 (40) DE Nick Perry, USC

Comment: Perry is just major value in Round 2. It honestly wouldn't shock me if some team took him in the mid-first round, so getting a pass-rusher like him here is a huge get.

Buffalo Bills: Rd 2 (41) OT Jonathan Martin, Stanford; Rd 3 (71) LB Mychal Kendricks, California

Comment: Martin is a guy who once carried a solid first-round grade and could be a total steal at No. 41. ... Kendricks has immense physical talent and could be plugged in immediately, something the team did with Kelvin Sheppard last year.

Cincinnati Bengals: Rd 1 (21) G David DeCastro, Stanford; Rd 3 (83) G Tony Bergstrom, Utah

Comment: DeCastro is a big-time prospect at guard, and the Bengals can draft him and assume improvement in the run game, where they really struggled in 2011. He may be the best guard prospect since Steve Hutchinson, and guard is a big need for them. ... Bergstrom can play early if needed, but is good insurance.

Indianapolis Colts: Rd 1 (1) QB Andrew Luck, Stanford

Comment: I'm a pretty savvy GM, taking this Luck kid, huh? Really out in front of the pack! Needless to say, I think Luck is a lock on my board and Indy's as well. That's your Week 1 starter.

Denver Broncos: Rd 2 (57) RB LaMichael James, Oregon

Comment: I love the idea of James keeping linebackers' eyes in the backfield on play-action fakes or swinging out into the flat for Peyton Manning. He's not quite Darren Sproles in terms of elusiveness, but he's in that category. He'll provide a change of pace the offense needs.

Kansas City Chiefs: Rd 3 (74) NT Alameda Ta'amu, Washington

Comment: Ta'amu is a wide body and good insurance piece for the Chiefs at NT. In fact, I can see Dontari Poe and him on the field at the same time.

McShay ranks Pac-12 by 'tiers'

April, 10, 2012
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ESPN NFL draft guru Todd McShay has broken down his list of top-100 draft prospects by seven tiers in order of draft grade Insider.

He writes: "The tiers show which portions of the class are deep and which are lean. There are some lean tiers near the top of the board, but the class is solid in Tiers 3 and 4."

His list includes 15 Pac-12 players. Here's how things stack up as well as his explanation for each tier.

Tier 1: These are the elite prospects, those who have the potential to come off the board in the top five overall picks.
1. Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford (Luck's 99 grade is the best in the draft, two points higher than Baylor QB Robert Griffin III)
3. Matt Kalil, OT, USC

Tier 2: This tier is composed of players who are a notch below elite but are still top-10 quality.
None

Tier 3: The prospects will offer good value between picks 10 and 20.
14. David DeCastro, OG, Stanford

Tier 4: These prospects have the tools to be good value picks in the late-first round.
26. Jonathan Martin, OT, Stanford
30. Nick Perry, DE, USC

Tier 5: These are the players teams will begin targeting as value picks early in Round 2 should they fall out of Round 1.
34. Coby Fleener, TE, Stanford
39. Nick Foles, QB, Arizona
50. Brock Osweiler, QB, Arizona State
52. Mychal Kendricks, LB, California

Tier 6: This tier contains prospects who are worthy of mid-to-late-second-round consideration.
62. Mitchell Schwartz, OT, California
63. Alameda Ta'amu, DT, Washington
67. LaMichael James, RB, Oregon

Tier 7: These players rank as solid third-round prospects.
87. Tony Bergstrom, OT, Utah
96. Chris Polk, RB, Washington
100. Trevor Guyton, DE, California
The current number is six. That is six Pac-12 players projected to go in the first round of the NFL draft, according to Mel Kiper's latest mock draft Insider.

They are the usual six you'd expect; Andrew Luck, David DeCastro, Jonathan Martin and Coby Fleener from Stanford along with Matt Kalil and Nick Perry from USC. The last time a school from the conference had four players taken in the first round was USC in 2008 (see list below).

Oregon's LaMichael James is the lone Pac-12 player projected for the second round (this is Kiper's first swing at a two-round mock this season).

So is six for the first round good? Bad? Par for the course? As Ted Miller is so fond of saying, glad you asked.

Since 2000, the Pac-10 (since we're not including Colorado or Utah from previous drafts) has only had six or more players taken in the first round twice. There was the monster draft in 2003 where eight Pac-10 players were taken in the first round. And then in 2008, six players were taken.

Here's a look at the conference's first round picks since 2000:
  • 2011 (3): Jake Locker (Washington, No. 8 overall); Tyron Smith (USC, No. 9); Cameron Jordan (Cal, No. 24)
  • 2010 (2): Tyson Alualu (Cal, No. 10); Jahvid Best (Cal, No. 30)
  • 2009 (4): Mark Sanchez (USC, No. 5); Brian Cushing (USC, No. 15); Alex Mack (Cal, No. 21); Clay Matthews (USC, No. 26)
  • 2008 (6): Sedrick Ellis (USC, No. 7); Keith Rivers (USC, No. 9); Jonathan Stewart (Oregon, No. 13); Sam Baker (USC, No. 21); Antoine Cason (Arizona, No. 27); Lawrence Jackson (USC, No. 28)
  • 2007 (1): Marshawn Lynch (Cal, No. 12)
  • 2006 (4): Reggie Bush (USC, No. 2); Matt Leinart (USC, No. 10); Haloti Ngata (Oregon, No. 12); Marcedes Lewis (UCLA, No. 28)
  • 2005 (3): Mike Williams (USC, No. 10); Aaron Rodgers (Cal, No. 24); Mike Patterson (USC, No. 31)
  • 2004 (3): Reggie Williams (Washington, No. 9); Kenechi Udeze (USC, No. 20); Steven Jackson (Oregon State, No. 24)
  • 2003 (8): Carson Palmer (USC, No. 1); Terrell Suggs (Arizona State, No. 10); Marcus Trufant (Washington State, No. 11); Troy Polamalu (USC, No. 16); Kyle Boller (Cal, No. 19); Kwame Harris (Stanford, No. 26); Nick Barnett (Oregon State, No. 29); Nnamdi Asomugha (Cal, No. 31)
  • 2002 (4, also the first year with 32 picks): Joey Harrington (Oregon, No. 3); Levi Jones (Arizona State, No. 10); Jerramy Stevens (Washington, No. 28); Robert Thomas (UCLA, No. 31)
  • 2001 (4): Andre Carter (Cal, No. 7); Adam Archuleta (Arizona State, No. 20); Freddie Mitchell (UCLA, No. 25); Todd Heap (Arizona State, No. 31)
  • 2000 (4): Deltha O'Neal (Cal, No. 15); Erik Flowers (Arizona State, No. 26); R.Jay Soward (USC, No. 29); Trung Canidate (Arizona, No. 31).

So to answer the question, yes, six would be an impressive haul. Here's Kiper's latest Big Board Insider and his updated top 5 at each position Insider.

Todd McShay also offers his latest top 32 Insider, which doesn't include Fleener.

Pac-12 in latest mock drafts

March, 28, 2012
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ESPN NFL draft guru Todd McShay has published his latest mock draft Insider -- rounds one and two! -- and the Pac-12 is well-represented.

Here's how he projects things.

First round
1. Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford: Indianapolis Colts
3. Matt Kalil, OT, USC: Minnesota Vikings
17. David DeCastro, OG, Stanford: Cincinnati Bengals
19. Jonathan Martin, OT, Stanford: Chicago Bears

Second round
34. Coby Fleener, TE, Stanford: Colts
38. Nick Perry, DE, USC: Jacksonville Jaguars
41. Brock Osweiler, QB, Arizona State: Buffalo Bills
43. Mychal Kendricks, LB, California: Seattle Seahawks
49. Alameda Ta'amu, DT, Washington: San Diego Chargers
63. Mitchell Schwartz, OT, California: New York Giants

Here are McShay's top-32 players overall Insider.

As for Mel Kiper, here are the Pac-12 players on his 25-man "Big Board Insider."

1. Luck
3. Kalil
14. DeCastro
24. Fleener

And you can review his top-5 by position here Insider.

Little movement in draft rankings

March, 22, 2012
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The latest draft rankings are out from ESPN's Todd McShay and Mel Kiper and there isn't much change involving the Pac-12 players projected for the first round.

On McShay's top 32 Insider, Stanford offensive guard David DeCastro climbed closer to the top 10, moving up from No. 13 to 12.
McShay on DeCastro: DeCastro's physical, dominating style made him the top interior lineman in the country in 2011, and he is a plug-and-play prospect who will be a starter from the moment he sets foot in camp.

DeCastro's teammate, offensive tackle Jonathan Martin, fell from No. 22 to 24 while USC defensive end Nick Perry moved up one spot to No. 28. Andrew Luck and Matt Kalil held their No. 1 and No. 3 spots, respectively.

For those of you curious about what an NFL draft board looks like, McShay and the Scouts Inc. team put one together Insider.

On Mel Kiper's Big Board Insider, DeCastro moved up from No. 15 to 14. Luck and Kalil also remained at Nos. 1 and 3.
Kiper on Luck: His pro day has arrived. Last week, got good news with Reggie Wayne staying in Indy. Luck has worked hard during the draft process, confirming a lot of what evaluators felt about his mentality. Status quo remains in terms of profile. The total package: arm strength, size, smarts, demeanor. Ready to play.

Finally, Kiper also updated his top five draft prospects by position Insider. It's the usual suspects in their usual spots. Brock Osweiler sits as the No. 5 quarterback, LaMichael James is the No. 2 running back; Rhett Ellison, Coby Fleener, Mychal Kendricks, Vontaze Burfict and Bryan Anger all appear in the various rankings.

Top 32: Pac-12 players moving up

March, 15, 2012
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The see-saw analysis of the NFL draft continues. This week, Todd McShay was considerably generous when dealing with the Pac-12 in his Top 32.

Naturally, there was no movement at No. 1, where Stanford's Andrew Luck has and will continue to hold the top spot until draft day. USC offensive tackle Matt Kalil was the only Pac-12 player to drop in McShay's Top 32 -- though it wasn't too drastic of a fall. Kalil moved from No. 2 on McShay's board to No. 3, paving the way for Robert Griffin III to move into the No. 2 spot and presumably to the Washington Redskins, who paid a hefty price for the honor of drafting second.
McShay on Kalil: Kalil's showing in Indianapolis blew the rest of the offensive tackle class out of the water. He is a potential franchise left tackle with a combination of size, balance, light feet and finishing ability. It will be hard for the Vikings to avoid him with the third overall pick.

The Stanford offensive line duo of David DeCastro (OG) and Jonathan Martin (OT) both saw upward movement -- DeCastro up three spots to No. 13 and Martin up from 24 to 22. USC defensive end Nick Perry, who was previously unranked, checks in at No. 29 this week.
McShay on Perry: Perry shows a good first step and active hands, is stout at the point of attack, flashes solid pass-rush skills and could even transition to a 3-4 outside linebacker.

McShay's frequent debate partner, Mel Kiper, has only three Pac-12 players on his latest Big Board. Insider Luck at No. 1 and he also slots Kalil in the No. 3 spot this week. DeCastro drops from 13 to 15 and again, Martin is nowhere to be found on Kiper's board.

Finally, Kiper also updated his top 5 draft prospects by position. Insider Luck and ASU's Brock Osweiler highlight the quarterbacks and LaMichael James is now the No. 2 running back prospect according to Kiper.

Stanford tight end Coby Fleener assumes the top spot among the tight ends in Kiper's eyes.
Kiper on Fleener: This is now Fleener's group to lead. He has come on, and I now have him as a guy who could crack the first round

Other ranked players include USC fullback Rhett Ellison, Kalil, Martin, DeCastro, Perry, Cal linebacker Mychal Kendricks, ASU linebacker Vontaze Burfict and Cal punter Bryan Anger.

A review of the Pac-12's top 25

March, 12, 2012
3/12/12
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Our postseason list of the Pac-12's top-25 players is complete.

You can review it here.

Here are some quick breakdowns for you to chew on (remember, because we had an, er, tie at No. 12, there are 26 players on the Pac-12's top-25).

By unit
Offense
: 19
Defense: 7

The Pac-12 is an offensive league. The SEC doesn't have to worry about leaving off a quarterback who might be a first-day NFL draft pick (Arizona State's Brock Osweiler).

Also, offensive players are easier to evaluate. A defensive tackle who clogs the middle but doesn't get many numbers is harder to measure than a quarterback, running back or wide receiver.

By team
USC ... 7
Stanford ... 6
Oregon ... 5
California, Utah, Washington ... 2
Arizona, Washington State ... 1
Arizona State, Colorado, Oregon State & UCLA ... 0

USC, Stanford and Oregon dominated. Makes sense: All three were top-10 teams, and no other Pac-12 squads were ranked.

As for the teams with no players: Arizona State's top candidates were Osweiler, running back Cameron Marshall and receiver Gerell Robinson. If the Sun Devils hadn't finished with a six-game losing streak, it's hard to imagine at least one of them wouldn't have made the list.

Colorado had only All-Pac-12 player: second-team offensive tackle David Bakhtiari. Oregon State cornerback Jordan Poyer, who earned second-team All-Pac-12 honors, was given consideration. He's almost certain to be on the preseason top-25.

UCLA didn't have any All-Conference players.

By position
QB ... 5
WR ... 5
RB ... 4
OL ... 3
TE... 2
LB ... 2
DE ... 2
DT... 1
CB ... 1
S ... 1

Every position group -- other than special teams -- got at least one player. That happens in large part because while making the list you think, "Who's the best guy in the conference at this position?"

Who's coming back?

2. Matt Barkley, QB, USC
5. Chase Thomas, LB, Stanford
7. Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah
8. Robert Woods, WR, USC
11. Keith Price, QB, Washington
12 De'Anthony Thomas, WR-RB, Oregon
13. Marquess Wilson, WR, Washington State
15. Keenan Allen, WR, California
16. Marqise Lee, WR, USC
19. T.J. McDonald, S, USC
20. Dion Jordan, DE, Oregon
21. John White, RB, Utah
23. Nickell Robey, CB, USC
24. Stepfan Taylor, RB, Stanford

With 14 guys from the list coming back in 2012, that means 11 spots open up for the preseason top-25.

Want a reason folks think so highly of USC: Five of the 14 guys coming back in 2012 are from USC. And it's a heck of a list.

And how tough is it going to be to earn first-team All-Pac-12 honors at receiver in 2012?

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