Sports Out West

NFL Draft 2013: Pac-12 impact players

Outside of the Oregon Ducks, the Pac-12 was felt to be down some as a conference this past season.  That does not mean the conference does not have its share of NFL draft day hopefuls. 

Former USC Trojan quarterback Matt Barkley, was invited to the draft proceedings in New York City but he respectfully declined.  Barkley had a down season at USC and he is projected to be a late first round pick according to cbssports.com.

Another big name wondering where he will fall on draft day is former Cal Bears wide receiver Keenan Allen.  Allen recently ran his 40 yard dash and was clocked at Manti Te’O type times of 4.71 and 4.75.  He is still recovering from a knee injury and was said to only be 75%.  He was hoping to go in the first round but those times may drop him in to the second round. 

Possibly the biggest riser on draft boards out of the Pac-12 is former Oregon Duck defensive end Dion Jordan.  Jordan can play end in a 4-3 scheme or outside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme.  He is seen as a top 10 prospect in the upcoming draft. 

Utah Utes playmaker Star Lotulelei was also invited to the draft and declined.  Early on in the draft process he was thought to be a top five pick.  He encountered a heart problem which put his career in peril before it even got started.  He was recently cleared by cardiologist to return to working out after it was determined his heart condition was not permanent.     

These former Pac-12 stars hope to have the impact on their teams that other Pac-12 stars have had.  Stars like former Stanford Cardinal Andrew Luck, former Oregon Duck Haloti Ngata, former Arizona State Sun Devil Terrell Suggs, or former Cal Bear Desean Jackson

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Keenan Actkins

Keenan Actkins is an Arizona resident living in the Phoenix metropolitan area. He brings a wealth of sports knowledge and passion to the team with his unique insight and strong voice and opinion. He also contributes to Yahoo! Voices and has written for WoodyPaige.com.