With the college football season underway, we set our eyes on the next group of NFL hopefuls that could be available next April in the 2022 NFL Draft in Las Vegas. As such, in this edition of my annual Preseason Summer Scouting series, we’ll take a look at the draft prospects and scouting reports from the Pac-12.
All of my Pac-12 previews are below. To view my grades and projected draft rounds for Pac-12 draft-eligible prospects, scroll to the end of the article.
2022 Pac-12 Preseason Summer Scouting | Draft prospects to know
Who are the 2022 NFL Draft prospects to watch from each team in the Pac-12?
Arizona Wildcats Draft Prospects
The Arizona football program is in dire straits and is in the midst of a new head coach taking over — again. The last time the program had a top-100 selection? That would be 2012 when the Eagles drafted Nick Foles. Things in the war room won’t change anytime soon, as not a single Wildcat possesses a draftable grade.
Josh McCauley, C | Grade: 3.02 | Projected Round: FA
Josh McCauley is a tall, hard-working center with growth potential. McCauley shows great awareness, but he’s an average athlete who is best in a small area.
Treshaun Hayward, ILB | Grade: 2.96 | Projected Round: FA
The on-again, off-again relationship at Arizona with Western Michigan transfer Treshaun Hayward is on again. The super senior is an athletic linebacker who displays great upside but a lot of inconsistency in his game.
Trevon Mason, DT | Grade: 2.93 | Projected Round: FA
Trevon Mason is another tall lineman with growth potential, though he lines up on the other side of the ball. Mason gets the most from his ability but is more of a gap occupier than a playmaker.
Arizona State Sun Devils Draft Prospects
Herm Edwards was building something good at Arizona State, but an investigation into possible recruiting violations resulted in several coaches being put on administrative leave the past month — not good. The program has had a player selected in the first round in two of the past three years, and though the current roster has no guaranteed early pick, it is stocked with next-level talent, including a dozen players who hold draftable grades.
Jayden Daniels, QB | Grade: 3.76 | Projected Round: 3rd
Jayden Daniels is an exciting quarterback prospect with a great arm, terrific athleticism, and outstanding upside. He easily makes all the throws with a flick of the wrist and drives the deep ball with speed. Daniels is also a lethal threat carrying the ball.
To his credit, he doesn’t make bad passes or errant throws, but Daniels needs a lot of work on his accuracy and pass placement. He presently carries a third-round grade on my board, but I expect upward movement if he improves this season.
Chase Lucas, CB | Grade: 3.45 | Projected Round: 5th
Cornerback Chase Lucas is vastly underrated, in my opinion. I grade him as a fifth-rounder, two rounds higher than scouts. Lucas is a feisty cover corner with terrific ball skills and a steady game. Forty times before the draft are critical for Lucas, who offers potential in nickel packages at the next level.
Rachaad White, RB | Grade: 3.42 | Projected Round: 5th
Rachaad White is a playmaking skill player who is graded by some scouts as a running back, while others have the senior on their receiver board. White is a fifth-round ball carrier on my board. He’s elusive, quick, and plays fast football.
Jack Jones, CB | Grade: 3.39 | Projected Round: 5-6
Fellow corner Jack Jones is graded higher than Lucas by some scouts, but his play is too inconsistent for my liking. Early in his career, Jones showed tremendous ability at USC before being dismissed from the program. He’s an aggressive corner with the tools and ball skills to play in the NFL. However, Jones has several red flags that must be cleared.
California Golden Bears Draft Prospects
In recent years, Cal’s drafts have primarily been defensive affairs, and two returning seniors will keep that trend going. But a junior quarterback sits atop my Cal board for the third year in a row.
Chase Garbers, QB | Grade: 3.54 | Projected Round: 4th
Since he was a redshirt freshman, I’ve liked the next-level ability of Chase Garbers. The smallish quarterback is a terrific field general who makes good decisions, moves the offense, and leads by example. Garbers accurately places throws and doesn’t make receivers work hard to make receptions. As stated, he’s not big, and his vertical arm is suspect, but I love his potential in a timing offense.
Kuony Deng, OLB | Grade: 3.37 | Projected Round: 6th
Kuony Deng is a tall, athletic linebacker who makes plays in space but would be best standing over tackle in a 3-4 scheme.
Cameron Goode, OLB | Grade: 3.29 | Projected Round: 7th
Cameron Goode is a forceful defender who shows a lot of ability rushing the passer, but he comes with weakside linebacker size and must learn to make plays in space.
Colorado Buffaloes Draft Prospects
Colorado has had its moments in recent drafts, placing a number of players into Day 2. Their top prospect moving towards next April’s draft has a slight chance of moving into the top 100 and becoming a second-day selection.
Nate Landman, ILB | Grade: 3.56 | Projected Round: 4th
There’s so much to like about the game of linebacker Nate Landman. He’s instinctive, tough as nails, and makes plays all over the field. Landman shows great discipline and does a terrific job in zone coverage, as well as making tackles in space. Speed has always been a question for Landman, and he must now return from a ruptured Achilles that prematurely ended his 2020 season. Landman is a top-75 player but a middle-round athlete.
Dimitri Stanley, WR | Grade: 3.53 | Projected Round: 4th
Athleticism is not an issue for Dimitri Stanley, a speed receiver who is a legitimate downfield threat. Stanley made a lot of progress in his game last season. Hopefully, with better quarterback play in 2021, he’ll take the next step.
Oregon Ducks Draft Prospects
The Ducks have placed a player in the top 10 of the past two drafts — quarterback Justin Herbert (2020) and offensive tackle Penei Sewell (2021). They will again have a top-10 pick in 2022, although this time, it will come from the defensive side of the ball.
Kayvon Thibodeaux, DE | Grade: 4.15 | Projected Round: 1st
Kayvon Thibodeaux is all he’s cracked up to be and is a terrific defensive front-seven prospect. He’s incredibly athletic and explosive, but at the same time, Thibodeaux plays with great intensity and instincts. He possesses excellent balance, body control, and agility, and you rarely find Thibodeaux off his feet. He’s a terrific pass rusher who can bend off the edge and easily changes direction to catch ball handlers in backside pursuit.
If there’s one concern in his game, it’s lack of bulk, as Thibodeaux gets engulfed by larger blockers. Yet, considering his age, growth potential, and the fact that he’s shown consistent improvement in his game, there’s no reason to believe the issue won’t take care of itself in the near future.
Thibodeaux is truly the type of prospect that was once the most coveted in the NFL Draft before the league started reaching for quarterbacks; he’s an impact defensive player.
Devon Williams, WR | Grade: 3.62 | Projected Round: 3rd; Jaylon Redd, WR | Grade: 3.34 | Projected Round: 6th
Oregon has tremendous depth at the receiver position, and while Jaylon Redd (rated as a sixth-round prospect on my board) may be the team’s best receiver, it’s Devon Williams who’s the best NFL prospect. Williams comes with outstanding size and pass-catching hands and possesses sneaky speed. Williams has upside, but he’ll have to fight for playing time.
Alex Forsyth, C | Grade: 3.55 | Projected Round: 4th
Alex Forsyth is a terrific center who flies under the radar in the scouting community. He’s big, tough, strong, and plays smart football. Oregon often runs the ball up the gut and does so with good results, thanks to the lanes opened up by Forsyth.
Oregon State Beavers Draft Prospects
Oregon State occasionally places a player in the draft’s initial 100 selections, but it’s mostly Day 3 picks from the program. That’s the immediate outlook moving forward.
Teagan Quitoriano, TE | Grade: 3.39 | Projected Round: 5-6
Teagan Quitoriano is a well-rounded tight end who more than holds his own as a run blocker and is a terrific pass catcher. Quitoriano possesses pedestrian speed and is not a downfield threat at the position. As such, he’s a late-fifth or early-sixth-round prospect who could be a good third tight end at the next level.
Jaydon Grant, S | Grade: 3.31 | Projected Round: 6th
Jaydon Grant is an underrated safety that I’ve liked the past two seasons. He’s smart, tough, and more athletic than given credit for. Grant gives effort defending the run and does a good job working with cornerbacks in coverage. He comes with average size and speed, but Grant is a good football player.