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Pac 12 Week: Five best position groups

Jaxson Kirkland
Jaxson Kirkland (Getty Images)

It’s Pac-12 preview week. Here is a look at the top five position groups in the conference heading into the season.


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PAC-12 WEEK: Top five MVP candidates

BIG 12 WEEK: Top five MVP candidates | Coaches report | Five best position groups | Top freshmen | Players in need of bounceback seasons | Sleepers | Predictions for each team | Impact transfers | NFL Draft prospects

ACC WEEK: Top five MVP candidates | Five best position groups | Coach report | Players in need of bounceback seasons | Freshmen to watch | Sleepers | Predictions for each team | Impact transfers | NFL Draft prospects

SEC WEEK: Top five MVP candidates | Coach report | Five best position groups | Players needing bounceback seasons | Top true freshmen | Sleepers | Predictions for each team | Impact transfers | NFL Draft prospects

BIG TEN WEEK: Five MVP candidates in the Big Ten | Five best position groups | Coach report | Five players needing bounceback seasons | Freshmen to watch | Sleepers | Predictions for each team | Impact transfers | NFL Draft prospects

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1. WASHINGTON OFFENSIVE LINE

Left tackle Jaxson Kirkland has a great shot at being the first lineman taken in the 2022 draft, but he's not the only one with NFL potential. Victor Curne is a really solid right tackle, and Henry Bainvalu has shown flashes of excellence at guard. With senior Luke Wattenberg at center and junior Ulumoo Ale at guard, this is a unit that has no holes and really high potential at the top end.

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2. USC WIDE RECEIVERS

Even without the suspended Bru McCoy, the Trojans still have a bevy of options at receiver, beginning with Drake London, who's 6-foot-5 frame gives him the ability to catch any ball thrown near him. Transfers K.D. Nixon (Colorado) and Tahj Washington (Memphis) are both playmakers, especially Nixon out of the slot, who has also proven that he can do big things in the return game as well. Sophomores Kyle Ford and Gary Bryant Jr. also have big potential, and should have plenty of opportunities in Graham Harrell's air raid offense.

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3. ARIZONA STATE RUNNING BACKS

Rachaad White emerged from the JUCO ranks to be one of the most explosive players in the country last season, where he averaged ten yards per carry and over 100 yards per game in the Sun Devils' abbreviated season. His backfield mate Chip Trayanum averaged six yards per carry, and with an additional year under their belt, they could be one of the top running back duos in the country.

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4. UTAH WIDE RECEIVERS/TIGHT ENDS

I'm lumping tight ends and wide receivers together for the Utes because Brant Kuithe is such a crucial part to their passing attack, and while nominally listed as a TE, he lines up all over the field. Britain Covey, when healthy, is a weapon in the open field, as is Jaylen Dixon, who flirted with the transfer portal in the offseason before re-committing to the Utes. Grad transfer Theo Howard and junior Solomon Enis round out a unit that has a lot of versatile pieces.

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5. UCLA RUNNING BACKS

Zach Charbonnet comes over from Michigan and is the perfect compliment to Brittain Brown, has his physical presence works perfectly in tandem with Brown's speed. We all know that Chip Kelly will run the ball a lot using tempo, and is not afraid to play with two backs on the field in addition to a mobile QB (in this case, Dorian Thompson-Robinson), so don't be surprised if Brown and Charbonnet both put up big numbers.

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