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Pac-12 2019 underclassmen watch: Justin Herbert and other conference underclassmen will think about NFL decisions

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Here are the Pac-12 underclassmen to watch as the 2019 NFL Draft declaration deadline approaches.

Oregon v Washington State Photo by William Mancebo/Getty Images

The regular season just wrapped up and one of the biggest things to start watching for is which Pac-12 underclassmen will end up declaring for the 2019 NFL Draft and which will head back to school.

Here’s a breakdown of the most-likely to declare Pac-12 players, whether or not I think they declare, and their draft stock.

Khalil Tate Jr. QB Arizona - Tate’s not a slam dunk NFL prospect, but he’s virtually unstoppable when hes on as a poor man’s Lamar Jackson so he would get a good NFL look if he declared. I think he stays and sets up for a big senior year playing for Kevin Sumlin.

Draft range: 6th-7th round

J.J. Taylor So. RB Arizona - Taylor is emerging as one of the conference’s best running backs and any RB as productive as he is will get a good NFL look, even if he is very, very small. I think he stays as his NFL stock will still be very limited.

Draft range: 7th round-UDFA

N’Keal Harry Jr. WR Arizona State - Harry might be the best NFL prospect in the conference and will likely be a first round pick. He almost assuredly will declare.

Draft range: Mid-to-late-first

Troy Dye Jr. LB Oregon - He hasn’t had the best junior season, but he still has an NFL body, skills and past production so he’ll have to think about the 2019 Draft. I think he stays in the end though.

Draft range: 5th-6th round

Jake Hanson Jr. C Oregon - Centers with the size, skill and athleticism of Hanson are hot NFL commodities. I think he resists the urge to go and stays for his senior year, but watch for him to go if he maybe gets evaluated as a potential second rounder.

Draft range: 3rd-4th round

Justin Herbert Jr. QB Oregon - Herbert’s decision will without a doubt be the closest-watched in the Pac-12 this year as his choice will greatly effect Oregon’s preseason expectations in 2019. I think he has to declare even if there are good reasons to stay.

Draft range: Early-to-mid-first round

Dillon Mitchell Jr. WR Oregon - Herbert might be Oregon’s best NFL prospect, but Mitchell is their best player and a receiver with his production has to look at the NFL. He’s not a red hot NFL prospect, but I think he is the kind of player who will have to strike while the iron is hot and declare.

Draft range: 3rd-4th round

J.J. Arcega-Whiteside Sr. WR Stanford - The 6’3 220 receiver is listed as a Stanford senior, but he’s a redshirt junior with first round potential. I think he’ll declare and test the edge of the first round.

Draft range: Late-first to early-second

Nate Herbig Jr. G Stanford - He’s been injured and isn’t having a great season, but he’s massive and proven as a freshman and sophomore so he’ll have to think about the NFL. I think he stays in hopes of putting things back together as a senior.

Draft range: 5th-6th round

Kaden Smith Jr. TE Stanford - A redshirt sophomore in non-Stanford listings, Smith is already the best tight end in the Pac-12 as a major NFL prospect. I think he stays to at least get a true junior season.

Draft range: Late-2nd-early-3rd

Joshua Kelley Jr. RB UCLA - The UC Davis transfer exploded in Chip Kelly’s first season and now looks like a serious NFL prospect. I think he stays and comes back to prove himself as a senior.

Draft range: 5th-6th round

Caleb Wilson Jr. TE UCLA - Wilson’s emerging as one of the nation’s best tight ends in Chip Kelly’s offense. I think he declares as he could rise as high as the end of the first round.

Draft range: Mid-to-late-2nd round

Christian Rector Jr. DE USC - He hasn’t has as good of a junior year as his sophomore year, but he still has proven production and an NFL body. I think he stays hoping to boost his stock with a strong senior season.

Draft range: 6th-7th round

Tyler Vaughns So. WR USC - Vaughns has NFL size and skills, but just hasn’t quite put it all together and will think about the NFL after Clay Helton is fired. I think he stays because he has a lot to prove, but will probably give the draft a look.

Draft range: 6th-7th round.

Bradlee Anae Jr. DE Utah - The talented edge defender is having a breakout season and is poised for All-Pac-12 honors. He has NFL potential, but I think he stays for his senior season.

Draft range: 4th-5th round

Julian Blackmon Jr. CB Utah - The 6’1 corner is one of the best in the Pac-12 and exactly the kind of athlete the NFL is looking for at the position. He could jump up in the Combine, but I still think he stays as a huge senior season could push him into the first or second round.

Draft range: 3rd-4th round

Leki Fotu Jr. DT Utah - The 6’5 325 monster has emerged as one of the conference’s better defensive tackles and will get NFL attention with his strength and size. I think he stays also knowing that a big senior year can push him up towards day one in the Draft.

Draft range: 5th-6th round

Zack Moss Jr. RB Utah - Moss’ breakout junior season ended with an unfortunate injury just as he was taking off. He’s one of the hardest to predict in my opinion. I always think running backs jump as soon as possible, but I think Moss stays since he hasn’t had a true full season to prove himself yet.

Draft range: 4th-5th round

Trey Adams Sr. T Washington - The former projected top five pick has been injured for the past season and a half, but is just coming back and can redshirt this year, and come back as a senior again in 2019, if he wants to. I think he stays, knowing that he can really move back up the draft with a full healthy second senior season.

Draft range: 6th-7th round

Jacob Eason Jr. QB Washington - The Georgia transfer could go to the Draft and get selected without really playing after his freshman season in the SEC, his physical tools are that good, potentially better than Herbert’s good. I think he stays and goes at least one season with Washington as one good season will land him in the first round.

Draft range: 6th-7th round

Byron Murphy So. CB Washington - Scary athletic and physical at the same time, Murphy’s one of highest-rated cornerbacks in the country as just a sophomore and can head to the NFL since he redshirted. I think Murphy thinks about coming back, but declares once it’s confirmed he could be a first round pick.

Draft range: Late-first-to-early-second round

Taylor Rapp Jr. S Washington - The conference’s top safety is great against the pass and run and poised to potentially be a first round pick. He seems like the kind of player who might come back even though he doesn’t need to, but I still think he declares.

Draft range: Late-first-to-early-second round

Jalen Thompson Jr. S Washington State - Thompson is an All-Pac-12 lock and a solid NFL prospect. He’ll definitely at least look at the draft, but I think he will stay.

Draft range: 4th-5th round