In part two of our look at the top draft-eligible prospects from each conference, the National Football Post looks at the Pac-10.
The NFP’s 2009 Pac-10 All-Prospect Team.
QB Jake Locker, Washington
APWashington QB Jake Locker
Locker tied for the Pac-10 lead in touchdown passes this season with 21 and threw for 2,800 yards behind a very poor Washington offensive line. However, his future looks bright as he possesses all the tools to warrant the top overall pick in the NFL draft whenever he decides to come out.
RB Toby Gerhart, Stanford
It isn’t always pretty, but Gerhart is an absolute load to bring down in the open field and possesses impressive instincts between the tackles. He isn’t going to be a star at the next level, but he has the ability to be effective wearing down opposing front sevens working in a two-back rotation.
FB Stanley Havili, USC
A do-it-all type of fullback who knows how to fill up a stat sheet and can really enhance an offense both in the run and pass game.
WR Damian Williams, USC
A long-armed, polished wideout who does a great job plucking the football away from his frame and runs some of the cleanest routes in the nation. He isn’t the most gifted size/speed prospect, but he possesses the body control to separate as a No. 1-type wideout at the next level.
WR James Rodgers, Oregon State
Led the Pac-10 in receiving yards with 1,004 and exhibits the short-area quickness to separate from the slot and create after the catch at the next level.
TE Anthony McCoy, USC
APUSC TE Anthony McCoy
McCoy gets the slight nod over Oregon’s Ed Dickson because of his ability to consistently control opposing defenders at the point of attack and be a major factor in both the run and pass game.
OL Kenny Alfred, Washington State
One of the nation’s most underrated center prospects who possesses the athleticism to mirror in space and should eventually mature into an NFL-caliber starting lineman.
OL Charles Brown, USC
Possesses the footwork and athleticism to not only consistently reach the corner in pass protection but is extremely fluid in space and does a great job sealing blocks in the run game. Looks like a potential starting left tackle in the NFL.
OL Chris Marinelli, Stanford
It’s never pretty, but the guy possesses a long set of arms and is the definition of a Velcro player on contact. Simply finds a way to get the job done and has the ability to become a swing lineman for an NFL offense.
OL Shawn Lauvao, Arizona State
Another underrated Pac-10 interior lineman who showcases good pop for his size and has the ability to make an NFL roster and eventually fight for a starting job.
OL Colin Baxter, Arizona
A versatile interior lineman who displays natural lateral mobility in space and has the makings of a future starting pivot in the NFL.
DL Tyson Alualu, California
A versatile defensive lineman who does a great job using his lateral agility and hands to quickly shed blocks and make his way up the field. Looks like an ideal one-gap lineman at the next level.
DL Stephen Paea, Oregon State
APOregon State DL Stephen Paea
Delivers one of the most powerful initial punches of any defensive tackle in the nation and consistently is able to work his way into the backfield and close on the football.
DL Brian Price, UCLA
Has simply been a one-man wrecking crew all season and possesses the skill set to penetrate inside and consistently create havoc behind the line of scrimmage.
DL Earl Mitchell, Arizona
Doesn’t come with quite the attention or fanfare of the other three defensive linemen listed above him, but he’s an athletic tackle who can beat blocks inside and make plays vs. the pass game.
LB Casey Matthews, Oregon
An instinctive middle linebacker with good bloodlines and a nose for the football. Looks like a guy who will be playing in the NFL for the next 10-12 years.
LB Mike Mohamed, California
Led the Pac-10 in tackles with 105 and has done nothing but make plays in his first year as a full-time starter.
DB Taylor Mays, USC
APUSC DB Taylor Mays
I still think his reputation speaks louder than his game, but you can’t ignore a safety with his type of size/speed numbers on draft day.
DB Devin Ross, Arizona
Is still a bit raw and has a tendency to give up some plays in the pass game, but showcases impressive closing speed and displays a willingness to tackle. Needs some time but has the upside to develop into a real player.
DB T.J. Ward, Oregon
Lacks ideal size/speed numbers, but he plays with reckless abandon, possesses great instincts, and showcases the ability to cleanly change directions. Looks like a guy who could carve out a niche as a starting strong safety early in his career.
DB Josh Pinkard, USC
Played cornerback this year at 6' 2", 215 pounds, but he looks like a guy who can certainly make the transition to safety and handle the pressures of holding up vs. the NFL pass game.
DB Walter Thurmond III, Oregon
Coming into the year I thought Thurmond had the potential to become the draft’s top senior corner. However, even after seeing his season derailed by injuries, I still think he has the ability to mature into a very capable starting cornerback in the NFL, better than fellow Pac-10 corners Syd’Quan Thompson and Alterraun Verner.
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