The 2020 NFL Draft is over 250 days away, but it’s never too early to begin preparing. This summer to prepare you for both the NFL Draft and college football season, the Armchair Scout column will be putting out 2020 NFL Draft preseason all-conference teams. These teams are purely from an NFL Draft aspect and will only include draft-eligible players. On top of that, they’ll be running alongside Armchair’s NFL Draft podcast, Seven Rounds in Heaven, and their “Summer Scouting Series” episodes. Those episodes are going conference by conference and looking at the top 2020 NFL Draft prospects.
This is the second edition of the 2020 NFL Draft preseason teams in the Armchair Scout series. You can read the first edition here, it covers the non-Power 5. This is the first Power 5 conference in the series and the most disrespected, the Pac-12. A conference that rarely receives the national attention of the other conferences in the Power 5, but is consistently littered with top-end NFL talent. Some of the most talented quarterbacks, interior offensive linemen, and cornerbacks in the country can be found in the Pac-12. So get ready for the Pac-12 season and pay attention to these names!
QB- Justin Herbert, Oregon, Sr (6-6, 233)
- At this time last year, Justin Herbert was widely considered the top QB prospect in the 2019 NFL Draft. He would have been the second QB off the board had he declared. Now, he’s back for his senior season and the top QB prospect in the 2020 NFL Draft. Herbert has everything the NFL wants in a franchise QB. The size, the arm talent, the mechanics, the accuracy on every level, and the athleticism. Herbert has a chance to be one of the best QB prospects of this century if he can put it all together and improve his consistency this season in Eugene.
It’s rare to see this kind of ball placement from a QB prospect. Justin Herbert has all the arm talent in the world. To put it over one DB like that while putting it on the outside to keep it away from the other is just bonkers. QB1 in the 2020 NFL Draft. pic.twitter.com/Q82bo5EoFq
— Rob Paul (@RobPaulNFL) July 22, 2019
Second Team: Jacob Eason, Washington
Third Team: KJ Costello, Stanford
RB- Eno Benjamin, Arizona State, Jr (5-9, 201)
- Get ready for a deeply talented RB class in the 2020 NFL Draft. Eno Benjamin is one of those talented RBs and could be a top 50 pick. Benjamin has a dynamic combination of contact balance, open-field elusiveness, quickness in the hole, and instincts as a runner. The tools are there for Benjamin to be one of the biggest playmakers in the country this season for the Sun Devils. He would benefit from adding some strength to help him in pass protection and to run with more power. Benjamin also needs to be more secure with the ball.
Love watching Arizona State RB Eno Benjamin run. He’s got great contact balance and big time instincts at the position. One of the top RBs in the 2020 NFL Draft. pic.twitter.com/dWtzi8fCKi
— Rob Paul (@RobPaulNFL) July 23, 2019
Second Team: Stephen Carr, USC
Third Team: Joshua Kelley, UCLA
RB- Zack Moss, Utah, Sr (5-9, 222)
- The two top RBs in the Pac-12 are the real deal. Benjamin and Zack Moss have the tools to be lead backs in the NFL. Had Moss not gotten injured last season and declared for the 2019 NFL Draft he could have been a Day 2 pick. Assuming he’s healthy, Moss should be the key player for the Utes success this season. Moss is a powerful runner, but he brings twitchiness and home run hitting ability to the field for a bigger back. The ability to break between the tackle runs for massive gains will have defenses keyed in on him. Moss will need to show improvements in the passing game this season.
Second Team: CJ Verdell, Oregon
Third Team: JJ Taylor, Arizona
AP- Laviska Shenault Jr., Colorado, Jr (6-2, 225)
- There’s no player in the Pac-12 with more hype than Colorado WR Laviska Shenault Jr. He’s a versatile weapon and was taking the country by storm in 2018 before an injury cut his season short. Shenault is one of the best WRs in the 2020 NFL Draft, a draft that could be legendary for the talent at the position. Nobody is moved all over formations like Shenault, but he’s at his best playing a jumbo slot role. When the ball is in his hands there are few better YAC players in the country. His combo of power, explosiveness, and elusiveness make him a threat on every touch. Seeing him improve as a route runner this year will be massive for his draft stock.
Colorado saw a mismatch for Laviska Shenault Jr. pre-snap and he easily creates separation on the out-and-up route. An explosive game breaking talent. pic.twitter.com/hOiQNzfdCP
— Rob Paul (@RobPaulNFL) July 18, 2019
Second Team: Salvon Ahmed, Washington
Third Team: Britain Covey, Utah
WR- Aaron Fuller, Washington, Sr (5-11, 183)
- Laviska Shenault Jr. will receive the bulk of the attention among WRs in the Pac-12, but Aaron Fuller isn’t too shabby. Fuller could be a top 10 WR in the 2020 NFL Draft. He’s finally got a real QB in Jacob Eason which should help his consistency in 2019. Despite lacking some size Fuller is great in contested catch situations. His body control makes him a threat anytime the ball is put in his catch radius. Fuller has the tools to be a plug-and-play slot in the NFL. Seeing a more diverse route tree and more targets this year will be big for his development.
Second Team: Michael Pittman Jr., USC
Third Team: Dezmon Patmon, Washington State
WR- Juwan Johnson, Oregon, RS Sr (6-3, 230)
- This time last year Juwan Johnson was being touted as the next NFL-level WR from Penn State. A poor season led to him transferring to Oregon. This is a great opportunity for Johnson. Oregon lacks proven talent at WR and has the potential number one pick at QB. If Johnson can cleanup his drop issues, then he’s poised to breakout for the Ducks. With his size and ability after the catch, Johnson will be a scary site for Pac-12 DBs. For him to regain the hype he had as a sophomore, Johnson will need to prove he has strong hands, can run the full route tree, and has the athleticism to separate.
Hard to find a better catch than this last season from former Penn State WR Juwan Johnson. Excited to see what he does at Oregon with Justin Herbert. pic.twitter.com/LPB1nBXhCn
— Rob Paul (@RobPaulNFL) May 18, 2019
Second Team: Tyler Vaughns, USC
Third Team: Theo Howard, UCLA
TE- Colby Parkinson, Stanford, Jr (6-6, 240)
- It’s going to be a fun battle to see who’s the best TE in the Pac-12 in 2019. It’s between Stanford’s Colby Parkinson or Washington’s Hunter Bryant. Bryant is an undersized and freaky athlete at the position and should help himself a ton with Eason at QB this season. Parkinson gets the nod over Bryant for his rare contested catch ability. Parkinson makes some of the best circus catches in the country look easy thanks to his massive catch radius. He’s going to be the go-to guy for the Stanford passing attack this season and should dominate the red zone with his size. He’ll need to prove himself as a route runner and blocker this year.
Stanford has another TE prospect, somethings never change. Colby Parkinson has impressive size that allows him to win contested catches thanks to a massive catch radius. One of the top TEs in the 2020 NFL Draft. pic.twitter.com/55d84Yd8Rp
— Rob Paul (@RobPaulNFL) July 24, 2019
Second Team: Hunter Bryant, Washington
Third Team: Jacob Breeland, Oregon
OT- Trey Adams, Washington, RS Sr (6-8, 306)
We’ve heard the draft buzz around Trey Adams name for years now. He elected to return to Washington after tearing his ACL during the 2017 season and was considered a top OT prospect heading into the 2018 season, but a back injury ended his year and he took a redshirt. Now, Adams is heading into the 2019 season with big health concerns, but still carrying the NFL Draft hype. Adams has a scary injury history, but the talent is clear. He’s a massive mauler who finishes run plays like an animal. Adams isn’t a great athlete and fits the mold of a classic right tackle than a nimble left tackle, but he’s competent in pass protection. He knows how to use his length and has great balance when in pass pro. If Adams can stay healthy he could once again be a top OT prospect.
Second Team: Austin Jackson, USC
Third Team: Brady Aiello, Oregon
OT- Walker Little, Stanford, Jr (6-6, 313)
- At this point, with Walker Little, the name is bigger than the game. There’s been some top 10 pick hype around him this offseason, but he’s far from that on tape. Little was a big prospect and started at left tackle for Stanford last season, but he has a lot to work on. He’s raw as can be in pass protection and often plays too high and lungey. The positives with Little come in the run game. He’s strong at the point of attack and does a good job working to the second level. The size, athleticism, and strength are there for Little, but his technique needs to improve this season.
Second Team: Drew Richmond, USC
Third Team: Abraham Lucas, Washington State
OG- Shane Lemieux, Oregon, RS Sr (6-4, 317)
- Oregon has arguably the best offensive line in the country and Shane Lemieux is the best of the bunch. He hasn’t had the same buzz around his name as some of the other Ducks up front, but he’s the most NFL-ready. Lemieux is a dominating run blocker at left guard who plays through the whistle and makes you work every snap. He’s perfect for a power scheme at the next level with his strength at the point of attack and heavy hands. For him to reach his potential he’ll need to improve his footwork and bend in pass protection. Lemieux could be a Day 2 pick.
Second Team: Devery Hamilton, Stanford
Third Team: Gus Lavaka, Oregon State
OG- Calvin Throckmorton, Oregon, RS Sr (6-5, 318)
- This is a little bit of cheating; Calvin Throckmorton plays right tackle for Oregon. In the NFL Throckmorton projects as a guard and that’s where his skill set best fits. He doesn’t have the athleticism required to play tackle in the NFL, but he can be a damn good guard. Throckmorton is a finisher. He plays hard and wants to put every defender in the dirt in the run game. His strength and length make him an impressive power run blocker. Pass protection is a question, his feet are heavy and his anchor must improve. On the plus side, the length and hand strength show up in pass pro.
Second Team: Blake Brandel, Oregon State
Third Team: Zach Robertson, Arizona State
C- Jake Hanson, Oregon, RS Sr (6-4, 297)
Yes, another Oregon offensive lineman. Mario Cristobal is clearly one of the best offensive line coaches in the country. Jake Hanson is similar to both Lemieux and Throckmorton in terms of what he does well and what needs work. He’s a strong run blocker who wins with power, length, and vice-grip hands. Like the other Oregon linemen, he’s not a great athlete and needs to clean up his footwork in pass protection to make up for it. Overall Hanson, like Lemieux and Throckmorton, has the tools to be a Day 2 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.
Second Team: Nick Harris, Washington
Third Team: Frederick Mauigoa, Washington State
EDGE- Bradlee Anae, Utah, Sr (6-2, 255)
There’s a clear lack of proven defensive line talent in the Pac-12. One of the few guys who does have draft buzz heading into the season is Bradlee Anae. Anae isn’t going to wow NFL scouts with explosiveness or bend, but he’s a productive high-motor pass rusher. Anae wins with violent hands and a collection of pass rush moves. He’s a solid run defender who consistently sets the edge and has enough strength to hold up at the point of attack. Anae’s lack of athleticism hinders his potential.
Second Team: Will Rodgers III, Washington State
Third Team: Gus Cumberlander, Oregon
IDL- Jordon Scott, Oregon, Jr (6-1, 330)
- The most intriguing defensive lineman in the Pac-12 plays nose tackle for the Oregon Ducks. Jordon Scott was a Freshman All-American in 2017 and one of the best run defenders in the country in 2018. Scott has a rare combination of size, strength, and quickness for a nose tackle. Although the position isn’t as valuable as it used to be, Scott could become a Day 2 pick if he develops more as a pass rusher. He needs to learn to use his hands more on passing downs instead of going with a straight bull rush. At the very least Scott has the tools to start at nose or 1-Tech in the NFL.
Second Team: Leki Fotu, Utah
Third Team: Jay Tufele, USC
IDL- Levi Onwuzurike, Washington, RS Jr (6-3, 287)
- The majority of teams in the Pac-12 run some sort of 3-4 defense, meaning there’s a lot of nose tackles in the conference. Looking for a non-nose tackle on the interior? Levi Onwuzurike is the guy to watch. In 2018 his role increased as the season went on and by the end of the year he was a consistent contributor. He should have a major increase in playing time in 2019 and it should pay off for the Huskies. Onwuzurike is a versatile 5-Tech who’s got a nice first step for his size and the quickness to shoot gaps. He needs to improve at holding up at the point of attack, but he can be a disruptive run defender when he wins with his initial move.
Intrigued by the power and leverage Washington IDL Levi Onwuzurike (#95) brings to the field. Excited to see him in an expanded role for the Huskies this season. pic.twitter.com/PIRr5xME00
— Rob Paul (@RobPaulNFL) June 28, 2019
Second Team: Mustafa Johnson, Colorado
Third Team: Marlon Tuipulotu, USC
EDGE- Christian Rector, USC, RS Sr (6-3, 275)
There tends to always be a USC defensive lineman whose tape doesn’t live up to the hype. Christian Rector falls into that category this year. He’s got some production and he’s well built, but his tape leaves a lot to be desired. Rector isn’t an explosive athlete and doesn’t add much consistent pass rush. He’s got decent handwork and plays with solid leverage, but he has a long way to go in terms of a pass rush. With his size, he brings solid strength and sets the edge well, a move to 5-Tech in the NFL is his best path.
Second Team: Jovan Swann, Stanford
Third Team: Keisean Lucier-South, UCLA
LB- Troy Dye, Oregon, Sr (6-3, 224)
- Just like Justin Herbert, Troy Dye was expected to declare for the 2019 NFL Draft. His and Herbert’s return to Oregon is a big part of why many have them winning the Pac-12. Dye might be the best senior LB in the country. His game is perfect for today’s NFL. He’s a long rangy cover linebacker with the explosiveness to make big plays in the run game. The lack of weight does hurt him at times in the run game and he needs to get stronger to get off blocks more consistently. Dye’s athleticism and aggressiveness are what make him look like a potential Day 2 pick.
Second Team: John Houston Jr., USC
Third Team: Krys Barnes, UCLA
LB- Evan Weaver, Cal, Sr (6-2, 245)
- If football were the same sport now as it was 20 years ago then Evan Weaver might be considered the best defender in the Pac-12. He’s an old school thumper at middle linebacker who’s actively involved in the run game. Weaver has solid instincts and rarely misses a tackle. The issue for him is athleticism. He struggles in coverage and doesn’t have the range to consistently make plays in zone. If Weaver can drop some weight to help his speed it would go a long way for him this season.
Second Team: Nate Landman, Colorado
Third Team: Colin Schooler, Arizona
LB- Jordan Fox, Stanford, RS Jr (6-2, 227)
- There are some interesting linebackers in the Pac-12, but the final starting spot was clearly between Jordan Fox and Nate Landman. Fox gets the call due to his versatility being the key to Stanford’s defense. Few players in the country are asked to play off-ball linebacker, edge rusher, and nickel. Fox does all three consistently and at a high-level. His athleticism and violent hands are why he’s able to succeed at all three despite his size not always making sense. This could be the breakout season for Fox as he’s asking to play all over. He needs to improve his instincts and gain more confidence in coverage, but the tools are mouth-watering.
Stanford uses LB Jordan Fox everywhere. Can play overhang and even rush the passer from the edge. Here he uses the fork lift-swipe combo to beat the OT for the sack. pic.twitter.com/H5y5n53Kal
— Rob Paul (@RobPaulNFL) July 28, 2019
Second Team: Jordan Iosefa, USC
Third Team: Tyree Thompson, UCLA
CB- Paulson Adebo, Stanford, RS So (6-1, 189)
- Which Pac-12 defender is going to be the first one selected in the 2020 NFL Draft? It’s blatantly early, but you’d be a fool not to bet on Paulson Adebo. Adebo was one of the best CBs in the country last season and is ready to be the breakout national star Stanford needs this year. His length is exactly what the NFL wants in a CB these days and his ball skills are why he should be a first-round pick come April. Few players are better at breaking up balls at the catch point than the physical Adebo. His aggressiveness and size make him a man coverage monster.
Stanford CB Paulson Adebo (#11) has impressive instincts and ball skills to go with his length and physicality. Could be a top CB in the 2020 NFL Draft. pic.twitter.com/ZbVbe0Fj9b
— Rob Paul (@RobPaulNFL) June 9, 2019
Second Team: Camryn Bynum, Cal
Third Team: Jaylon Johnson, Utah
NB- Myles Bryant, Washington, Sr (5-8, 184)
- Ever since Chris Peterson and Jimmy Lake got to Washington, they’ve been a DB factory. This year’s star Huskie DB is nickel Myles Bryant. He’s playing a similar role to the one Budda Baker played at Washington. The former walk-on might lack size, but he’s one of the most physical DBs in the country and that’s what makes him perfect in the nickel role. Bryant is an aggressive run defender and talented blitzer who is more of a defensive weapon than a defensive back. His instincts in coverage are impressive, but he needs to work on his footwork and fluidity to truly reach his potential.
Second Team: Thomas Graham Jr., Oregon
Third Team: Elijah Molden, Washington
S- Ashtyn Davis, Cal, RS Sr (6-1, 195)
- Looking for a human bullet? Cal safety Ashtyn Davis is your guy. Davis is a hustler on the field always finishing around the football. He’s an explosive and aggressive run defender who’s generally looking to take someone’s head off. This can lead to over-aggressive plays which lead to missed tackles or blown coverages at times. If Davis can clean up these technical flaws he could become one of the best safeties in the country. He’s rangy but needs to work on his coverage instincts and ball skills. The athletic tools and desire are there; he just needs more coaching.
Cal S Ashtyn Davis is a bullet always flying down. Love his explosive athleticism. Excited to see what he does this year. Interesting SR in the 2020 NFL Draft. pic.twitter.com/ZmItyagWsL
— Rob Paul (@RobPaulNFL) July 25, 2019
Second Team: Julian Blackmon, Utah
Third Team: Malik Antoine, Stanford
S- Javelin Guidry, Utah, Jr (5-9, 188)
- Again, this is cheating. Javelin Guidry is technically a nickel, but Utah lists him at safety so he lands here. Guidry is one of the most underrated defenders in the Pac-12. He’s undersized but has the feistiness needed at nickel. Guidry is a willing run defender and loves to get into it with slot receivers. His footwork is sound and he has nice ball skills, but there are some athleticism questions with him. Does he have the speed to holdup down the field? He’ll need to prove he does this season.
Second Team: Jaylinn Hawkins, Cal
Third Team: Jalen Moore, Oregon State
CB- Darnay Holmes, UCLA, Jr (5-10, 198)
- If Paulson Adebo wasn’t in this conference, then Darnay Holmes name would have much more buzz. Holmes is one of the best CBs in the country. His sophomore tape looked like the tape of a future Day 2 pick. Holmes is technically sound with crisp footwork and a wonderfully clean backpedal. He isn’t massive, but he’s well built and strong in press. Bigger receivers don’t bully him and he has the twitchiness to keep up with more explosive pass catchers. As a man cover corner, Holmes fits almost any scheme and has the ability to play outside or inside at nickel. He’s clearly the best play on Chip Kelly’s team.
Second Team: Chase Lucas, Arizona State
Third Team: Jace Whittaker, Arizona
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