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2016 Pac-12 underclassmen with NFL Draft early entry potential

NCAA Football: Colorado at Washington State James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

Watching Pac-12 players’ NFL Draft stock rise and fall is one of my favorite parts of every season. Another one of my favorite parts is trying to figure which underclassmen might declare.

Heading into 2016, here are the Pac-12 underclassmen eligible to declare who you should keep an eye to see if your favorite team might have to start looking for their replacement sooner rather than late

Arizona Jacob Alsadek Jr. G - The Wildcats haven’t had NFL offensive linemen much in recent history, but that is exactly what Alsadek might be. The 6’7 320-pound guard has the rare size and athleticism to get drafted. He could leave early if he has another really good year. (Current stock: 6-7th round)

Nick Wilson Jr. RB - The 5’10 215 Wilson looked like he could be the next Ka’Deem Carey as a freshman, but was slowed by injuries as a sophomore. He should have a great shot at 1,500 yards and a selection in the top half of the draft in 2017 if he stays healthy, so watch out for this to be Wilson’s last year in Tucson. (Current stock: 5-6th round)

Arizona State

Demario Richard Jr. RB - Richard is a very good running back overshadowed in a running back deep Pac-12. He is 225 and should crack the 1,000-yard mark in 2016, which should be enough to get him to jump to the NFL at the end of the season. (Current stock: 4-5th round)


Vic Enwere Jr. RB - Enwere isn’t a household name, but as you can see above, running backs with NFL size don’t spend too much time in college anymore. At 6’1 235, Enwere is built for the NFL and could declare if he is productive enough in 2016. (Current stock: 7th round-UFA)


Shay Fields Jr. WR - Fields had a bit of a breakout season in 2015 and now with Nelson Spruce off to the NFL, he has a chance to have an even bigger year in 2016. One of the best pure athletes to sign with Colorado in recent years and it gives him serious NFL potential. (Current stock: UFA)


Darren Carrington Jr. WR - Carrington could have headed to the NFL after 2015 and been a nice draft pick, but I think he wants to show what he can do in a full season. If he can do that, I think he has first-round pick potential. (Current stock: 2nd-3rd round)

Tyrell Crosby Jr. T - He had a bit of a sophomore slump after looking like a future star as a freshman, but the table is set for Crosby to take over as the leader of the Duck line and become a star again. He has the potential to be a high draft pick if he puts it all together. (Current stock: UFA)

Royce Freeman Jr. RB - He has been an NFL player since his first game as a Duck. Would be a huge shock if he comes back. (Current stock: Late-1st-2nd round)

Oregon State

Jordan Villamin Jr. WR - The only major NFL prospect on the Beavers is a 6’5 235 receiver with tight end size. He would be a major contender for declaring early if he has another strong year in 2015. (Current stock: 6-7th round)


Christian McCaffrey Jr. RB - McCaffrey’s size and hybrid status lowers his NFL stock, but he should still declare after his junior season barring something strange. (Current stock: Late-1st-Early-2nd round)

Solomon Thomas Jr. DE - The best player in Stanford’s front seven is a versatile combo defensive lineman. He could play just about anywhere on the line in the NFL and it could lead to him jumping a year early. (Current stock: 6-7th round)

Casey Tucker Jr. T - Tucker is just as talented as any Stanford lineman in the past 10 years and that’s saying a lot. If he can progress another season, the sky is the limit for him and he will think a lot about declaring early. (Current stock: 5-6th round)


Eddie Vanderdoes Jr. DE - I think he would already be gone if he hadn’t gone down in the first week of 2015. As long as he can stay healthy, I think Vanderdoes will have every reason to declare at the end of 2016. (Current stock: 2nd-3rd round)

Kenny Young Jr. LB - NFL caliber linebackers are growing on trees in Westwood and Young is just another talented one who might head to the NFL a year early. He has the size at 6’1 235 and the skills to play at the next level. (Current stock: 7th round-UFA)


Adoree Jackson Jr. CB - One of the best athletes in the country, Jackson should be gone after 2016. (Current stock: 1st round)

JuJu Smith-Schuster Jr. WR - Another slam dunk early entry. Something major would have to happen for him not to declare. (Current stock: Top 10-15)


Lowell Lotulelei Jr. DT - Maybe the best pure defensive tackle prospect who could declare for 2017. He already has the skills and size for the next level, so he is probably gone after this year. (Current stock: 2nd-3rd round)

Marcus Williams Jr. S - He broke out with a lot of picks and an All-Pac-12 season in 2015. He will have to think about declaring if he can follow it up with another. (Current stock: 6-7th round)


Budda Baker Jr. S - Baker’s 5’10 185 size limits his draft stock, but it far from kills it. He will be a high draft pick if he has the massive year which is expected of him as a junior and he will have to think hard about declaring early. (Current stock: 3rd-4th round)

Sidney Jones Jr. CB - The other star in Washington’s secondary has the range the NFL loves from corners now as a 6’0 185 athlete. Maybe best pure cover corner in the conference, he has a good shot at declaring and the first round if he has a big enough season. (Current stock: 2nd-3rd round)

Elijah Qualls Jr. DE - A 6’2 320 athlete who could play defensive end, Qualls is an NFL sleeper who got banged up late last season. A full season at end with his skills could make him a very attractive NFL prospect come post-season. (Current stock: 6-7th round)

John Ross Jr. WR - Ross is another who might already be gone if it weren’t for injuries in 2015. He is one of the fastest players in the country who would be a major NFL prospect if he shows enough production in 2016. (Current stock: 7th round-UFA)

Azeem Victor Jr. LB - It has been a very long time before the Huskies have had underclassmen candidate like this. Victor is one of the best inside linebackers in the nation and has the physicallity to make himself an instant impact player in the NFL. (Current stock: 4-5th round)

Washington State

Luke Falk Jr. QB - Falk will continue his assault on record books in 2016 and has the chance to be the best quarterback Mike Leach has ever coached. He is probably the best NFL prospect at QB Leach has ever had and with a history of head injuries, I think he might have to head to the NFL sooner rather than later after 2016. (Current stock: Late-1st-3rd round)