- Utah (CB Jaylon Johnson Jr. S Julian Blackmon Sr. CB Javelin Guidry Jr. S Terrell Burgess Sr. CB Tareke Lewis Jr.) - The Utes take over the top spot from Washington with a group that is beyond stacked. Johnson is my preseason pick for Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year and should be a first round pick and Blackmon (moving from CB to S) is right there with him. The depth is insane with three other players who could be All-Pac-12 standouts.
- Cal (CB Camryn Bynum Jr. CB Traveon Beck Sr. S Ashtyn Davis Sr. S Jaylinn Hawkins Sr. CB Elijah Hicks Jr.) The Bears are just about as stacked as Utah and maybe even deeper. They have five players who could be first or second-team All-Pac-12. Bynum is an underrated lockdown CB and Davis and Hawkins ballhawking studs in the back of the defense.
- Washington (CB Myles Bryant Sr. CB Keith Taylor Jr. S Elijah Molden Jr. S Brandon McKinney Jr. CB Dominique Hampton Fr.) The Huskies have become DBU on a national level and should still be around the top of the conference even though they have to replace four starters. Bryant is an underrated player who should step up into being a first-team All-Pac-12 talent and the rest of the new starters are just as talented as the players they are replacing, if not more.
- Oregon (CB Thomas Graham Jr. CB Demmodore Lenoir Jr. S Jevon Holland So. S Nick Pickett Jr. S Brady Breeze Jr.) The Ducks have used recruiting and development to turn their DB unit from a liability into a strength. The talented youngsters that have been growing as starters are ready to become one of the Pac-12’s best DB units.
- Stanford (CB Paulson Adebo Jr. S Malik Antoine Jr. S Noah Williams Jr. CB Obi Eboh Sr. S Stuart Head Jr.) The 6’1 Adebo blew up as a sophomore and is an All-American candidate and first round pick candidate now. The rest of the unit isn’t as solid or deep as Stanford has been during their run, but should at least be average at worst.
- Arizona (CB Lorenzo Burns Jr. S Jarius Wallace Jr. S Scottie Young Jr. Jr. CB Jace Whittaker Sr. S Tristan Cooper Sr.) These players have been in the mix for the Wildcats for a long time, and it shows. There’s a lot of experience here and a few players who could take the next step into being All-Pac-12.
- Arizona State (CB Chase Lucas Jr. S Aashari Crosswell So. CB Kobe Williams Sr. S Tyler Whiley Sr. S Cam Phillips Fr.) Lucas might have been better as a freshman, but still has star potential and Crosswell was one of the best freshmen DBs in the nation last year. Williams is a strong returning senior starter as well.
- UCLA (CB Darnay Holmes Jr. CB Elijah Gates So. S Stephen Blaylock So. S Quentin Lake Jr. S Morrell Osling III So.) There’s still talent here at UCLA, especially at corner where former blue chipper Holmes is coming into his own.
- USC (S Talanoa Hufanga So. CB Isaac Taylor-Stuart Fr. CB Olaijah Griffin So. CB Greg Johnson So. S CJ Pollard Jr.) The Trojans lose a lot in the back of their defense from 2018. There’s a lot of talent here, especially Hufanga, who is a former five-star recruit and potential star.
- Washington State (S Tyrese Ross Fr. CB Marcus Strong Sr. S Skyler Thomas Jr. S Bryce Beekman Jr.) The Cougars took a huge hit when they lost senior safety and All-Pac-12 talent Jalen Thompson to ineligibility and the NFL. The rest of the group is solid, but not noteworthy.
- Colorado (Dante Wigley Sr. CB Delrick Abrams Sr. S Derrion Rakestraw Jr. S Aaron Maddox Jr.) I like what the Buffs have in returning starts Wigley and Abrams and there is potential in the new starters at safety as well.
- Oregon State (S David Morris So. CB Kaleb Hayes So. CB Shawn Wilson Sr. S Jalen Moore Sr.) Getting Morris back from injury will be huge as he was a budding star as a freshman. There is more talent and experience here than you might expect.
Ranking the 2019 Pac-12 DB units: Utah and Cal’s secondaries are loaded
Ranking the Pac-12 DBs units going into the 2019 season.
By Jack Follman