Arizona - Cedric Peterson Sr. WR - The Wildcats lost their three top receivers from 2018 and will need someone to step up. Peterson, who caught four touchdowns last year is the best candidate to step into the number one spot for Khalil Tate and expand his production.
Arizona State - Darien Butler So. LB - Thought about having Merlin Robertson or Aashari Crosswell here, but I think they were both so good in 2018 that they’re already “stars.” Butler isn’t far behind Robertson as an impressive linebacker who was great as a freshman. I think he’ll make more of a name for himself in 2019.
Cal - Aaron Maldonado So. DT - The Bears had about 10 players break out on defense in 2018 and should have quite an iron curtain on that side of the ball in 2019 with how much experience they have coming back. They have a couple defensive tackles graduating so Maldonado, who was really impressive in spot duty in 2018, should step up as a starter.
Colorado - Will Sherman So. T - Sherman made honorable mention All-Pac-12 in 2018, but I don’t think enough people are aware of him yet. He was truly one of the best freshmen linemen in the conference and should compete for first or second team all-conference in 2019.
Oregon - Bryan Addison Fr. WR - The Ducks and Justin Herbert really need a young receiver to step up with Dillon Mitchell heading early to the NFL and Addison has the most potential of any WR on their roster. He’s 6’5 180 with first round NFL skills and is likely just about him putting it together since he has already signed with UCLA and transferred to Oregon and been suspended in less than a year.
Oregon State - Andrzej Hughes-Murray Sr. LB - I think I might have put AHM on this list last year and he’s going to be a senior, but I really just think he’s one of the most-talented players on Oregon State’s roster and is ready to have a statement senior season in Corvallis.
Stanford - Cameron Scarlett Sr. RB - The Cardinal have a lot of candidates and I’m going to go with their next starting running back given their string of starting running backs right now is Bryce Love, Christian McCaffrey, Stepfan Taylor, Tyler Gaffney, Toby Gerhart (wow). Scarlett falls right in line with these guys as a 6’1 215 power back who has run for eight TDs in each of the last two seasons.
UCLA - Chris Murray So. C - Murray is a lot like the offensive linemen that would turn into All-Americans under Chip Kelly at Oregon. He’s big, polished and deadly in the run game. He could be the Pac-12’s best center real soon.
USC - Palaie Gaoteote So. LB - Gaoteote was one of the top recruits in the Class of 2018 and already looks like an NFL player. I think he makes a massive leap as a full-time starter and starts to turn into a first round draft pick in 2021.
Utah - Francis Bernard Sr. LB - The BYU transfer started to come into his own at the end of 2018 and he will probably be counted on a lot more with Chase Hansen graduated. I think he’ll have a big senior season just the way Hansen did on Utah’s stellar defensive unit.
Washington - Keith Taylor Jr. CB - It’s next up for All-Pac-12 defensive backs at Washington and the 6’2 Taylor looks like he could be their next Kevin King. He was excellent in relief duty the past two seasons and should turn into a star as a starter.
Washington State - Willie Rodgers III Jr. DT - The Cougars have quietly been producing stud defensive linemen for a while now. Rodgers looks to be the next in line as a versatile talent up front who can make plays in the backfield.