2014 NFL Draft: Top 10 Pac-12 Prospects

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Top 10 Pac-12 Prospects for the 2014 NFL Draft

NFL Draft
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

This is a continuing series that will outline the top 10 NFL draft prospects for each of the major conferences. The start of the college football season is almost upon us, and whether or not you are a college football fan, or simply an NFL guy, knowing the potential prospects for your team in 2014 will help you better when April rolls around and your team is on the clock. Understand that these rankings are preseason are fluid, and will change as the season going on. But nonetheless, this is a great jumping off point for the season.

The Pac-12 is historically known among college football circles as producing some of the most athletic players in the country. Traditionally, the conference was known for its high-powered passing offenses that rack up gobs of points.

This year, as I scout prospects for the 2014 NFL draft, I continue to be impressed with the number of playmakers the Pac-12 has produced. But it doesn’t stop on offense. This year the Pac-12 also boasts some of the most exciting and electrifying defensive players in the country as well.

The list breaks down about as expected, but I will add this. The level of talent in the Pac-12 this year is exceptional In fact as I put together my final 10, there were four or five other players who could have easily found their way into one of those final four spots.

In terms of draft grades, of this list, my top five all carry first-round grades, and the rest all have second-round grades. This is indeed a loaded group. Is your favorite Pac-12 team represented? Who did I miss on? Be sure to leave your thoughts below.

Curt covers the NFL Draft for Rant sports. Connect with Curt on Twitter @nfldraftboard or join my network on Google.

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10. David Yankey, OL Stanford

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Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Yankey is a smart, experienced player. He comes from a pro-style offense, and has shown he can play guard or tackle at a high level. Yankey will be the key to the Stanford run game in 2013.

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9. Colt Lyerla, TE Oregon

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Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports

Lyerla epitomizes the type of physical and athletic marvel the Pac-12 is known for. He's been under-utilized during his time at Oregon to this point. If the Ducks can get him more involved in the passing game this season, he could find himself in the first round.

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8. De'Anthony Thomas, WR/RB Oregon

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Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports

Thomas is easily one of the most explosive offensive weapons in the country. Whether he's lined up in the backfield, split out wide or returning kicks, he is just steps away from taking every touch to the house. Thomas is another player who looks to be featured more in the offense in 2013, and has a shot to really boost his draft stock.

De'Anthony Thomas scouting report

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7. Scott Crichton, DE Oregon State

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Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

The more I watch Crichton, the more I like him. He's strong at the point of attack, does a great job stuffing the run and is underrated as a pass rusher. 2013 could be the year he puts himself among the elite pass rushers in the country.

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6. Ka'Deem Carey, RB Arizona

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Carey is the closest thing to a feature back in the draft this year. He can work hard for extra yards or break off long runs in the open field. He is a solid receiver out of the backfield and has shown he can be a workhorse back 2013 is likely to be another big year for Carey in that Arizona offense.

Ka'Deem Carey scouting report

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5. Will Sutton, DT Arizona State

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Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Sutton is one of the most exciting defensive players in the country. He is a rare player who can stuff the run, but also get great pressure up the middle of the field. He goes into 2013 heavier with the hopes that he can play stronger at the point of attack, and keep his explosion to lock down a first-round pick.

Will Sutton scouting report

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4. Brett Hundley, QB UCLA

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Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Hundley is one of several talented young quarterbacks in the Pac-12. Hundley has tremendous size and athletic ability and is developing as a thrower. He needs to improve his accuracy and be more consistent in his decision making to be considered a top prospect.

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3. Marcus Mariota, QB Oregon

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Mariota is another of the really bright future of quarterbacks in the Pac-12 conference. Mariota is one of the most athletic quarterbacks I have ever seen, and is deadly in the open field. This year, we will see if he can sharpen up those edges to his passing game, as the offense is going to fall on him more often.

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2. Anthony Barr, LB UCLA

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Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Barr is far and away one of the best pass rushers in all of college football. He's got an explosive first step, exceptional closing speed and a motor that never stops. Barr has all but locked up a first-round grade, but could move himself into a top five spot with a big 2013 season.

Anthony Barr scouting report

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1. Marqise Lee, WR USC

NFL Draft
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Lee is the top wide receiver in the country, but might not be able to build on his 2012 season with questions at quarterback for USC. Lee is uber talented, and a pure No. 1 wide receiver prospect, but could be in for a slide in production in 2013.

Marqise Lee scouting report