An overview of which draft-eligible Pac-12 underclassmen are likely considering skipping their senior years and declaring for the NFL Draft.
Each year once the regular season is over, the names of players declaring early for the NFL Draft starts to trickle out. While this there isn't an overflowing crop of underclassmen in the Pac-12 this season who may declare, there is definitely a handful that will have coaches and fanbases wondering whether or not they will be coming back next fall.
Keenan Allen (Jr.), WR - Cal - 6'3, 210 - Will Go
Pretty much everyone assumed that 2012 would be Allen's last season in Berkeley, but a less than productive year that ended in late-October with a knee injury that led to him missing the last three games may have dropped his stock a bit. Still, Allen's size, speed and skills make him one of the top receivers available in the draft in the draft if he declares and it will be a big surprise if he returns, especially with the recent firing of Jeff Tedford. I actually think Allen might only be delaying his declaration to give whoever they hire a chance to talk to him about the decision and to not overshadow the announcement.
Anthony Barr (Jr.), OLB - UCLA - 6'4, 235 - Will Stay
Barr's stock has skyrocketed as the season has went on in just his first year as a linebacker after spending his first three years at UCLA at running back. Barr brings the athleticism that made him a running back to the linebacker position which makes him a very intriguing prospect at the next level given his ideal size and physicality (ask Matt Barkley). Barr is quickly becoming a hot commodity in the mold of Von Miller, but might benefit from another year in college mastering the linebacker position. However, if Barr's stock gets hot enough to get him into the first round, don't be surprised if he leaves early.
Silas Redd (Jr.), RB - USC - 5'10, 210 - Will Stay
The Penn State transfer was a huge addition to the Trojans backfield right before the season, and while he was a standout runner for the Trojans in 2012, his production tapered off towards the end of the year due to injury and he wasn't able to match the output he had as a Nittany Lion in 2011. Redd wouldn't be one of the top backs available, but he is a bigger back that fits into the NFL style and like many college running backs before him, he might be worried about adding too many carries to his body in college and limiting his longevity in the league. It's unlikely that Redd declares, but if he does, he could jump into the third or fourth rounds if he has a good combine.
Nickell Robey (Jr.), CB - USC - 5'8, 165 - Will Go
Robey only grabbed 1 interception in 2012, but that is mainly because opponents simply didn't even try to test him. Despite his smaller size, Robey is one of the tougher cornerbacks and not afraid of contact or making a tackle, but his true calling card is his blazing speed as he is also a standout on the USC track team. Robey's size will likely prevent him from ever making it into the first round of the draft, so there is a good chance that all another year at USC could do is potentially lower his stock if he doesn't match his 2012 performance or gets hurt. Because of that, it may be wise for him to declare. If he does don't look for him to fall further than the second or third round.
Will Sutton (Jr.), DT/DE - Arizona State - 6'1, 270 - Will Stay
Sutton would be a sure fire Top 10 draft pick is he was just a little bit taller and about 30 pounds heavier, but his 6'1 270 frame makes him a bit of tweener as his body doesn't fit the ideal mold of either a defensive tackle or defensive end at the next level. None the less, it's impossible to ignore the intense and instinctual defensive lineman who was just named the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year as a junior and Sutton could be a monster in a 3-4 system at the next level. I think Sutton's size will keep his stock low enough to where he will return for another season, but it is possible he could declare if a team or two finds him a fit for their system and promises to take him early enough.
Robert Woods (Jr. ), WR - USC - 6'1, 190 - Will Go
It's hard to think of 73 receptions for 813 yards and 11 touchdowns as a down year, but Woods didn't quite live up to the monstrous year he had in 2011, partially due to the explosion of teammate Marqise Lee and nagging injuries. Still, Woods' speed and soft hands make him one of the most attractive receivers in the draft should he declare and will assuredly go in the first round. Also, it's not likely that Woods will want to come back for another year and adjust to having a new quarterback under center for the Trojans.