Pac-10 prospects may measure up in 2011 pro draft

2011-04-27T00:00:00Z 2014-07-08T16:19:39Z Pac-10 prospects may measure up in 2011 pro draftPatrick Finley Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
April 27, 2011 12:00 am  • 

Had Andrew Luck not stayed at Stanford, maybe the Pac-10 would be the talk of the NFL draft.

It hasn't been in a while.

Since 2007, one Pac-10 player has been chosen in the top five: USC quarterback Mark Sanchez, whom the New York Jets drafted fifth in 2009.

The league doesn't figure to top that slot Thursday.

At least four players, in addition to the UA's Brooks Reed, could be chosen in the top 32. Here's a primer:

Tyron Smith

Offensive tackle, USC

Height, weight: 6 feet 5 inches, 307 pounds

Question: Smith started 24 games over two years at right tackle, not left, where NFL teams usually put top tackles.

Combine factoid: In bench-pressing 29 times at 225 pounds, he fell two short of teammate and Tucsonan Kris O'Dowd.

What mock drafters say: No. 13 to Lions (Rob Rang, CBSSports.com), No. 9 to Cowboys (Peter King, Sports Illustrated), No. 9 to Cowboys (Todd McShay, ESPN.com)

Fun fact: Smith doesn't turn 21 until December. Last season, the Patriots' Aaron Hernandez, who turned 21 in November, was the NFL's youngest player.

Cameron Jordan

Defensive end, Cal

Height, weight: 6 feet 4 inches, 287 pounds

Question: Eight of his 10 1/2 sacks over the last two years came against subpar Maryland, UCLA, Washington State and Colorado.

What mock drafters say: No. 12 to Vikings (Rang), No. 18 to Chargers (King), No. 12 to Vikings (McShay).

Combine factoid: His 4.78-second 40-yard dash falls outside the top-five defensive linemen; the UA's Reed was fourth.

Fun fact: The Chandler High School product's father, Steve, made six Pro Bowls with the Vikings.

Jake Locker

Quarterback, Washington

Height, weight: 6 feet 3 inches, 231 pounds

Question: Washington went 16-34 in Locker's four years, though he did lead the Huskies to a bowl last year.

Combine factoid: Completed the three-cone drill in 6.77 seconds, faster than any other quarterback.

What mock drafters say: No. 10 to Redskins (Rang), No. 12 to Vikings (King), not in first round (McShay)

Fun fact: In 2009, Locker was drafted by and signed with the Los Angeles Angels, who control his baseball rights until 2015.

Akeem Ayers

Linebacker, UCLA

Height, weight: 6 feet 3 inches, 254 pounds

Question: He had fewer tackles-for-loss and sacks as a junior than as a sophomore.

Combine factoid: Ran the 40-yard dash in 4.88 seconds, .49 of a second slower than the top time for linebackers.

What mock drafters say: No. 21 to Chiefs (Rang), No. 32 to Packers (McShay), not in first round (King).

Fun fact: The athletic Ayers returned 20 kicks for 626 yards as a high school senior.

Others to watch

• UCLA free safety Rahim Moore could be a surprise first-rounder for a team with positional needs.

• USC defensive tackle Jurrell Casey could go in the second round.

• Oregon State defensive tackle Stephen Paea is the draft's strongest man, having bench-pressed 225 pounds a whopping 49 times, but he tore his meniscus at the Senior Bowl.

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