2013 Pac-12 Pre-Season Positional Rankings: Defensive Backs

Ed Szczepanski-US PRESSWIRE

Ed Reynolds and Ifo Ekpre-Olomu headline Pac-12 defensive backs.

1. Ed Reynolds Sr. Stanford

Reynolds exploded in 2012 and is now considered one of the best safeties in the country as he grabbed six interceptions and returned three of them for touchdowns. Along with being a serious player in the secondary for quarterbacks to fear, Reynolds is solid in run support and would have more tackles if it not for a front seven that pretty much never lets anything get past it.

2. Ifo Ekpre-Olomu Jr. Oregon

Ekpre-Olomu is a straight up playmaker that can jump routes for interceptions, strip ball carriers and tackles very well for a cornerback. He had four interceptions in 2012, one of which he returned for a touchdown, and teams stopped throwing against him later in the season. He also caused six fumbles and had more than 60 tackles, a huge number for a cornerback.

3. Dion Bailey Jr. USC

Bailey is back to where he started his college career, at safety and if he can play safety as well as he did linebacker, he should be first team All-Pac-12. The transition should be smooth though, as Bailey was excellent in pass defense with four interceptions last season and he will also now have ideal size as a safety after being a bit of an undersized linebacker.

4. Alden Darby Sr. Arizona State

Darby quietly earned second team All-Pac-12 honors in 2012 and should get some more attention in 2013. He is a balanced safety that had 80 tackles and three interceptions in 2012 and amassed nearly 200 yards in his returns of those interceptions, showing just how athletic he is.

5. Deone Bucannon Sr. Washington State

One of the rare bright spots on the Cougars defense in recent seasons, Bucannon made second team All-Pac-12 in 2012 and is a big hitter that is great against the run and the pass. Bucannon produced some very balanced stats in 2012 as he had 80 tackles and three interceptions.

6. Terrance Mitchell Jr. Oregon

Mitchell is a superb cover corner that teams with Ekpre-Olomu to form the conference's best corner duo. Mitchell arguably had a better statistical season as a freshman, but should see a lot more action in 2013 with teams trying to stay away from Ekpre-Olomu.

7. Jordan Richards Jr. Stanford

Richards is a big, strong safety that teams with Reynolds to form a devastating safety duo at the back of Stanford's defense. A versatile athlete, Richards finished 2012 with 69 tackles, seven tackles-for-loss and three interceptions.

8. Rashaad Reynold Sr. Oregon State

Reynolds was a bit overshadowed by Jordan Poyer last season, but will become the Beavers' shut-down cornerback in 2013 and looks poised to fill Poyer's shoes. Reynolds had a big year in 2012 though, with 75 tackles and three interceptions.

9. Osahon Irabor Sr. Arizona State

The Sun Devils‘ lock-down corner, Irabor was a key part of Arizona State's fantastic pass defense in 2012 and broke up 13 passes.

10. Jared Tevis Jr. Arizona

The Wildcats' defense is pretty maligned, but Tevis is a good player in the back for them that though undersized, is a fantastic playmaker. Tevis finished 2012 with more than 80 tackles, two interceptions and forced four fumbles.

11. Sean Parker Sr. Washington

Parker is undersized but a savvy player that always seems to be near the ball. He racks up tackles and will make plays on the ball in the passing game.

12. Eric Rowe Jr. Utah

Rowe made honorable mention All-Pac-12 last season and is the lone standout in the Utes' defensive backfield. He is a sure tackler that is also solid in the passing game and a steady presence in the back of Utah's defense.

Others considered

Alex Carter So. Stanford

Avery Patterson Jr. Oregon

Jonathan McKnight Jr. Arizona

Brian Jackson Sr. Oregon

Shaquille Richardson Jr. Arizona

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