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Pac-12 Confidential

Bud Withers offers an inside look at the Pac-12 Conference and the national college scene.

May 10, 2014 at 6:18 PM

34 Pac-12 players taken, but wait ’til next year

Some 34 Pac-12 players were drafted by the National Football League over three days. That number is up from 28 the past two years, but slightly off on the high-end numbers. This time, there were three first-round picks — UCLA’s Anthony Barr; Oregon State’s Brandin Cooks and Washington State’s Deone Bucannon — while last year the league had five first-round picks and in 2012, four.

Next year should be quite the bumper class of top-shelf talent, headed by quarterbacks Brett Hundley of UCLA and Marcus Mariota of Oregon, who could be top-10 choices. There’s also Sean Mannion of Oregon State, who figures to become the Pac-12’s career-leading passer.

A couple of thoughts, before the complete list:

* For the eighth straight year, Washington had no more than two players taken.

* The fact WSU had a player taken before USC, Oregon or Stanford is one more sign the Cougars are creeping back to respectability after their long national football nightmare. Still, the breadth of their woes in the last decade is pretty staggering. Bucannon is only WSU’s eighth player taken in the last nine drafts, and the Cougars joined Colorado as the only schools in the conference with one player taken.

* Make of all that whatever you will, but remember that the University of Texas, which most people consider the rock-solid, no-questions-asked No. 1 plum coaching job in the country, didn’t have a player drafted this year for the first time since 1938. Somebody get Mack Brown on the horn. Meanwhile, the old rival, Texas A&M, had three of the top 22 picks.

* Chip Kelly, the Eagles coach, likes him some Pac-12 players. This year, he took Oregon standouts Josh Huff and Taylor Hart, then Ed Reynolds of Stanford. Last year, Kelly’s first draft included Zach Ertz of Stanford, Jordan Poyer of Oregon State, Matt Barkley of USC and Joe Kruger of Utah.

* Arizona State had three players taken, but none last year, which doesn’t seem like a resounding two-year yield for the recruiters on Dennis Erickson’s old staff.

* The SEC led all conferences with 49 picks (11 in the first round), while the ACC was second with 42.

The program-by-program list, most to fewest, with the round taken:

Stanford (6): LB Trent Murphy (2), OL Cameron Fleming (4), OL David Yankey (5), S Ed Reynolds (5), RB Tyler Gaffney (6), DE Ben Gardner (7).

UCLA (5): LB Anthony Barr (1), OL Xavier Su’a-Filo (2), DE Cassius Marsh (4), WR Shaq Evans (4), LB Jordan Zumwalt (6).

Oregon (4): WR Josh Huff (3), WR-KR De’Anthony Thomas (4), DE Taylor Hart (5), CB Terrance Mitchell (7).

USC (3): WR Marqise Lee (2), OL Marcus Martin (3), LB Devon Kennard (5).

Arizona State (3): DT Will Sutton (3), LB Carl Bradford (4), RB Marion Grice (6).

Arizona (3): RB Ka’Deem Carey (4), CB Shaquille Richardson (5), LB Marquis Flowers (6).

Oregon State (2): WR Brandin Cooks (1), DE Scott Crichton (3).

Washington (2): TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins (2), RB Bishop Sankey (2).

California (2): TE Richard Rodgers (3), LB Khairi Fortt (4).

Utah (2): CB Keith McGill (4), DE Trevor Reilly (7).

WSU (1): S Deone Bucannon (1).

Colorado (1): Paul Richardson (1).

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