The Pac-12 has fallen behind the other Power-5 conferences in both wins and monetarily. They are still pumping out NFL prospects, however. The Pac-12 has especially been cranking out top quarterback prospects. 2019 should be no different with the top QB (potentially) residing in the conference.
KHALIL TATE, JR, QB
Khalil Tate is a tremendous athlete at the QB position. In eleven games in 2017, Tate ran 1400 yards while passing for 1500. Tate has the size and physical talent to play the position but I don’t know if his passing ability is up to snuff. Another two years at Arizona could help him develop. If his passing skills do not develop a position switch at the NFL level may be in order.
ARIZONA STATE SUN DEVILS
N’KEAL HARRY, JR, WR
N’Keal Harry is a 6’4” 215-pound specimen. His high point skills are ridiculous. Harry caught 82 balls for 1142 yards and eight touchdowns last season. Harry has the speed and ball skills to be a high draft pick next year.
CALIFORNIA GOLDEN BEARS
JORDAN KUNASZYK, SR, LB
Jordan Kunaszyk has the size to play the middle in the NFL. He finished last year with 74 tackles and 3.5 sacks. Kunaszyk also showed off cover skills with two picks. I need to study him more in 2018.
TRAVON MCMILLIAN, SR, RB
Travon McMillian popped onto my radar when he was at Virginia Tech. McMillian showed a burst and vision. Last year he got lost in the shuffle. He transferred to Colorado where he should step right into the lineup.
JUSTIN HERBERT, JR, QB
Herbert has the size and the build you crave. He has an accurate arm, makes good decisions, and has more than enough arm strength to make NFL throws. In his career thus far, Herbert has thrown for 3919 yards, completed 65% of his attempts, and has thrown 34 touchdowns to only 9 interceptions. He broke his collarbone midway through the Ducks campaign a year ago but came back to lead his team to the Las Vegas Bowl. He needs to show he can stay healthy for the entirety of 2018 and keep his accuracy and decision-making strong. He is my top rated QB for the 2019 draft going into the season.
OREGON STATE BEAVERS
JONATHAN WILLIS, SR, LB
The Beavers are not a very good team and their lack of pro prospects is the best inclination of this. Willis is a solid linebacker but is nothing special.
SOUTHERN CAL TROJANS
CAMERON SMITH, SR, LB
Smith burst onto the scene as a true freshman with three interceptions, including a pick-six. He has since settled more into a leadership role and recorded triple-digit tackles in 2017. Smith is not a tremendous athlete but he is a playmaker. His testing numbers after the season will be key for his draft position.
BRYCE LOVE, SR, RB
Love was in a running back-by-committee approach until last season. In 2017, Love ran for over 2100 yards (while missing a game with an injury). He had something like 8 or 9 straight games with a 50-yard TD run. Love is a home run hitter. He will mix it up between the tackles. I wish he was more of a factor in the passing game. That ultimately may lower his grade for me. With all that said, however, Love is still a phenomenal back and the top back in the Pac-12.
CALEB WILSON, JR, TE
Before an early-season injury, Wilson was on pace for a ridiculous season. He had 38 receptions for 490 yards in 4 ½ games. He was Josh Rosen’s go-to guy in those games. Wilson needs to put on some weight. I also need to study his blocking more. If everything checks out this season, Wilson could be a first-round pick in 2019.
CHASE HANSEN, SR, DS
Chase Hansen has the size teams love (6’3” 220). He is a former QB. Hansen has been oft-injured, missing portions of his freshman and junior seasons. During his sophomore season, he recorded 90 tackles and three interceptions. If Hansen can put together a full season this year like his 2016 campaign, he could earn a mid-round grade.
Adams has the size and long arms desired for the left tackle position. He has quick feet. Adams gets out of his stance quickly. He is athletic enough to pull and get downfield on screens. Adams needs to get stronger in his upper body. He gets beat too often after he engages. Adams needs to work on his hand placement. He struggles with the upper echelon edge rushers. Adams has the prototypical size to play left tackle in the NFL. Right now, he doesn’t have the technique to play it. I want to see how he develops this season. He is coming off of a knee injury that cost him 2017.
WASHINGTON STATE COUGARS
JALEN THOMPSON, JR, DS
Thompson has been a starter from day one at Washington State. His production has gone up both years. Thompson is a tad undersized but he can make plays all over the field. I am not sure if he will come out early or not.
That concludes our top prospect preview for the Pac-12. Next week we preview the top ten prospects from the Group of 5 and Independents.
Let us know in the comments about your favorite Pac-12 prospects!
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