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Three-Point Stance: Pac-12 players, prospects to watch, Top 25

Three-Point Stance is here with some Pac-12 players who really needed a football season for draft status, a look at some 2023 standouts early and his preseason Top 25 if the Big Ten and Pac-12 hadn't pushed their season back to the spring.

FACT OR FICTION: Jalen Milroe will be next Jalen Hurts at Alabama

CLASS OF 2021 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Position | Team | State

CLASS OF 2022: Top 100

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Tyler Vaughns
Tyler Vaughns (AP Images)

Tuesday I listed 10 Big Ten players I felt could have really used a fall season to their draft status and today I’ll name my 10 for the Pac-12. While we know players like Penei Sewell and Paulson Adebo have solidified their stock, these guys haven’t.

WR Tyler Vaughns, USC — The wide receiver group is deep in the 2021 NFL Draft and teammate Amon-Ra St. Brown already grades out high, so Vaughns needed a big year to jump into the first round discussion.

OL Walker Little, Stanford — I still think Little will be a first-rounder, but it would have been helpful to see how healthy is he coming off an injured season.

QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson, UCLA — He showed some promising signs last year and has the NFL intrigued a bit, so now what does he do?

LB Hamilcar Rashed, Oregon State — Everyone wanted to see if last year was a fluke and how one of the best pass-rushers in the draft would look.

LB Kuony Deng, Cal — The Last Chance U star had everyone intrigued by his ability and a huge year could have catapulted him into top round discussions.

QB Jake Bentley, Utah — Bentley was expected to lead a strong Utah team this season and perhaps boost some very average draft stock.

RB CJ Verdell, Oregon — Verdell is overlooked a bit when it comes to national running backs, but he put together back-to-back 1,000 yard seasons and needed another.

RB Max Borghi, Washington State — Borghi has been trying to prove he’s an NFL caliber back and had a lot to show this season under a new offense.

LB Nate Landman, Colorado — Landman is a great player and, in an average linebacker draft, he could have raised his stock quite a bit.

LB Joe Tryon, Washington — The Pac-12 is loaded with linebackers and Tyron is an excellent edge rusher who could have pushed Rashed and others for sack numbers.


Brandon Inniss
Brandon Inniss (Nick Lucero/Rivals.com)

With our first numerical release of the Rivals250 for the class of 2022 this week, its way too early to rank the 2023 class based on freshman film and a very limited off season. However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t elite players to watch. Here are a few I like a lot.

1. WR Brandon Inniss — It’s rare when a wide receiver dominates the conversation for the No. 1 prospect in the country, but Inniss could be that special.

2. QB Arch Manning — Put the name aside, there is a lot to like here from release to accuracy to smarts. OK, and let’s add the name. Mannings turn out OK.

3. QB Malachi Nelson — Nelson will push Manning for the top quarterback in this class and we could have a Justin Fields/Trevor Lawrence-like battle coming up.

4. DE Brenan Vernon — The Ohio State lean is an elite pass rusher already. It’s early, especially for defensive linemen, but he sure looks good.

5. OT Francis Mauigoa — California hasn’t produced elite tackles in recent years but this kid could change all of that.

6. DE Jason Moore — The Chase Young comparisons will be made for the young rush end from Dematha and he has the ceiling for it.

7. RB Reuben Owens — The 2022 class isn’t elite when it comes to running backs but Owens leads a strong group in 2023. He should be a star wherever he lands.

8. ATH Treyaun Webb — He could be an elite wide receiver or defensive back for Georgia.

9. DE Peter WoodsAlabama doesn’t go on too many prospects so early but Woods is worth it as a physical pass rusher.

10. DE Lebbeus Overton — The early hype is there and he’s a great looking prospect who simply dominates already.


Dabo Swinney
Dabo Swinney (AP Images)

Let me to pretend for a moment, OK? Let me pretend that the Big Ten and Pac-12 didn’t throw in the towel so early on a fall football season. Let me pretend that I’m doing a real college football Top 25 as I always am around this time of year. Here’s what it would have looked like:

1. Clemson

2. Ohio State

3. Alabama

4. Oregon

5. LSU

6. Georgia

7. Oklahoma

8. Florida

9. Penn State

10. Notre Dame

11. Wisconsin

12. Auburn

13. Texas

14. Texas A&M

15. USC

16. North Carolina

17. Oklahoma State

18. Minnesota

19. Michigan

20. Cincinnati

21. Utah

22. Iowa

23. Miami

24. Arizona State

25. Iowa State

OK, now I'm sad.