Rob Malara

Fifteen in Conference Join Strong Declaring Early for Draft


Today marked the final day college players could officially make themselves available for the 2015 NFL Draft this upcoming May.  Sixteen players from the Pac-12 Conference joined the likes of notable national players like of Florida State’s quarterback Jameis Winston and Wisconsin’s running back Melvin Gordon.  Wide receiver Jaelen Strong, was the only Sun Devil among a handful of potential candidates to decide to give a run at Sunday glory.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, you can count on Pac-12 Media Day this summer involving a lot of Sun Devils running back D.J. Foster and Trojans quarterback Cody Kessler, with both players having the opportunity to declare, but deciding to stay for their senior seasons.  Foster who decided just before the end of 2014 he would be returning for a fourth season with the Sun Devils heads into the 2015 off-season as one of the conferences best all-around players, let alone the Sun Devils most experienced both in terms of games played and total yardage.

Had these two players decided to forgo their senior season, they would have joined the likes of the sixteen players listed below:

  1. Nelson Agholor, WR, Junior, USC (story)
  2. Javorius “Buck” Allen, RB, Junior, USC (story)
  3. Arik Armstead, DL, Junior, Oregon (story)
  4. Alex Carter, CB, Junior, Stanford (story)
  5. Xavier Cooper, DT, Junior, Washington State (story)
  6. George Farmer, WR, Junior, USC (story)
  7. Chris Harper, WR, Junior, California (story)
  8. Brett Hundley, QB Junior, UCLA (story)
  9. Marcus Mariota, QB, Junior, Oregon (story)
  10. Ellis McCarthy, DL, Junior, UCLA (story)
  11. Andrus Peat, OT, Junior, Stanford (story)
  12. Marcus Peters, CB, Junior, Washington (story)
  13. Jeremiah Poutasi, OT, Junior, Utah (story)
  14. Jaelen Strong, WR, Junior, Arizona State (story)
  15. Shaq Thompson, LB, Junior, Washington (story)
  16. Leonard Williams, DL, Junior, USC (story)

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By this point last year 23 players calling Pac-12 teams home had already declared for a chance at early admission to play in the NFL.  It was part of the biggest group of underclassmen to ever declare for the NFL Draft, not to mention an alarming amount of juniors and sophomores (throughout the conferences) that would never hear their names called during the three days in May 2014.  Many of those players bought a ticket in the proverbial raffle when they probably should have stayed one more year.

This year’s class of Pac-12 juniors is a smaller class with a much larger chance of success during the draft from top to bottom with only a few questionable players among the lot of 16.  According to NFL Draft experts anywhere from three to six of the players listed above could have their name called by the first night of the event.


About Rob Malara

Rob Malara

Rob Malara is a 2002 Sun Devil grad having spent the majority of his time in Tempe as a football, basketball, and baseball season ticket holder and front row inhabitant. A member of the Football Writers Association of America, he hosted the ASU Devils podcast and was its sub-optimal technical producer through its lifespan. Currently the president of the ASU Alumni Association's Northern Colorado Club, he is part of a family of maroon and gold residing in Fort Collins with his Sun Devil wife and nearby Sun Devil sister.

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  1. Pingback: ASU Devils Den Football Podcast » 2015 – A Year of Change for Pac-12

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