The NFL draft wrapped up Saturday with its final four rounds, and 28 Pac-12 Conference players were taken — sprinkled fairly evenly throughout the conference, if you didn’t count the state of Washington. Both the Huskies and Cougars had a single player taken, and more on that later.
Some random notions on the three-day proceedings:
— Before anybody around the Pac-12 gets too giddy about 28 draft picks, consider that the SEC had 32 guys taken — in the first three rounds. That’s 32 of 97, or one in every three picks.
— I just can’t envision Matt Barkley not being a successful NFL quarterback. He lasted until the third day, picked up early in the fourth round by the Philadelphia Eagles. Guys get analyzed and overanalyzed. I don’t care whether he has small hands or not, the guy’s a winner.
— Chip Kelly, the ex-Oregon coach, obviously figured he had an edge in having scouted Pac-12 players in his four years with the Ducks. The Eagles took Zach Ertz, the Stanford tight end; Barkley; Utah defensive lineman Joe Kruger; and in an odd twist, Oregon State cornerback Jordan Poyer.
— Nobody, including the Seahawks, who were figured as likely as anybody, took Matt Scott, the Arizona quarterback.
— What happened to the state of Arizona? Both teams won bowl games, albeit minor ones, and neither had a draftee. According to the Arizona Republic, it’s the first time since 1963 ASU has whiffed in the draft.
— Oregon’s league-leading five draft picks, including two in the first round, belies the theory that the Ducks are getting it done only with their hurry-up offensive system. In 2011, coming off their appearance in the national-title game against Auburn, Oregon had only one player taken (linebacker Casey Matthews, in the fourth round).
— USC’s total of four players taken is hardly overwhelming, given that program’s success in the new millennium.
— Washington had a single player go for the first time since the 2006 class. In the past seven drafts, the Huskies haven’t had more than two players taken, and you don’t need a CSI episode to tell you that’s been reflected on the field.
— It’s stunning how far Marquess Wilson (seventh round to the Bears) dropped after his falling-out, and abuse charges, against Washington State coach Mike Leach. Yes, he has deficiencies, including a slender frame and trouble getting off press coverage. But I’d guess he’d have been maybe a third-round pick if he’d simply played through his junior season without all the furor that he created. I contend that once he lodged the charges, he’d have been much better served to transfer to a high-major school that throws the ball (he was young for his class to begin with), redshirt and add maybe 15 good pounds, and prove that he had matured in a fifth season. He might have become a first-round pick in 2015.
— Cougar fans don’t need reminding how desperate the talent level has been in Pullman in recent years, but WSU has now had seven players taken in the last eight NFL drafts — and two players in the last four years, which certainly doesn’t speak very highly of the level of talent Paul Wulff imported. And the last time the Cougars had somebody taken higher than the sixth round was in 2007.
The Pac-12 roster of draftees, accompanied by their overall number:
3, Dion Jordan, OLB, Oregon, to Miami. 14, Star Lotulelei, NT, Utah, to Carolina. 20, Kyle Long, OG, Oregon, to Chicago. 22, Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington, to Atlanta. 26, Datone Jones, DE, UCLA, to Green Bay.
35, Zach Ertz, TE, Stanford, to Philadelphia. 41, Robert Woods, WR, USC, to Buffalo. 46, Kiko Alonso, LB, Oregon, to Buffalo.
71, T.J. McDonald, USC, S, to St. Louis. 76, Keenan Allen, WR, Cal, to San Diego. 79, Markus Wheaton, WR, Oregon State, to Pittsburgh.
98, Matt Barkley, QB, USC, to Philadelphia. 107, Brian Schwenke, OL, Cal, to Tennessee. 109, David Bakhtiari, OT, Colorado, to Green Bay. 121, Khaled Holmes, OL, USC, to Indianapolis. 125, Johnathan Franklin, RB, UCLA, to Green Bay. 133, Levine Toilolo, TE, Stanford, to Atlanta.
140, Stepfan Taylor, RB, Stanford, to Arizona. 145, Steve Williams, CB, Cal, to San Diego. 155, Jeff Locke, P, UCLA, to Minnesota.
172, Nick Kasa, TE, Colorado, to Oakland. 182, Kenjon Barner, RB, Oregon, to Carolina. 192, John Boyett, S, Oregon, to Indianapolis. 196, Jeff Baca, OL, UCLA, to Minnesota.
212, Joe Kruger, DL, Utah, to Philadelphia. 218, Jordan Poyer, CB, Oregon State, to Philadelphia. 236, Marquess Wilson, WR, Washington State, to Chicago. 247, Marc Anthony, CB, Cal, to Baltimore.