2021 NFL Draft prospects to watch in the PAC-12 conference
The 2020 NFL Draft saw 32 players selected from the PAC-12 Conference, the third-most behind the SEC‘s 63 selections and the Big Ten‘s 48. The 2021 NFL Draft could see a similar number for the conference, but hopefully, they will be more evenly spread out compared to this past draft.
The PAC-12 saw three players selected in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft, those players being Justin Herbert to the Chargers, Austin Jackson to the Dolphins, and Brandon Aiyuk to the 49ers. The second round saw another three PAC-12 selections with the Colts taking Michael Pittman Jr., the Jaguars going with Laviska Shenault and the Bears choosing Jaylon Johnson.
Although the first six PAC-12 selections came from five different schools, seeing only USC with multiple selections, the overall spread from the class as a whole was a bit more exclusive to a few select schools.
Utah by far had the most selections, having seven players hear their name called despite the first not coming until the 50th pick of the draft.
After a gap to the next school, Oregon logged the second-most selections with four. A slew of teams had three selections, including Cal, Colorado, Oregon State, and UCLA. The same story was told for teams with two picks, those being Arizona State, Stanford, USC, and Washington.
Washington State was the lone team with a single pick, coming at selection 212, and Arizona was the only team in the conference without a draft pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.
Heading into the 2021 NFL Draft, the PAC-12 is panning out to be a defensive dominant conference, at least in terms of draft prospects. This shouldn’t be too shocking, considering the 2020 NFL Draft was predominantly offensive picks, seeing just 12 defensive players selected compared to the 20 offensive players, leaving behind a strong defensive class for the 2021 NFL Draft.