The Pac-12 has been a popular inclusion in headlines this offseason. To some extent, it is known that the conference is going to look a lot different moving forward with. It is unknown just how much more change lies ahead. In a preseason breakdown of the conference's top prospects, the Bruins -- despite my affinity for do-it-all front seven talent Gabriel Murphy -- were not represented:
10. T.J. Bass, OL, Oregon
Bass has played left tackle for the Ducks, but his best professional future likely entails moving inside to either offensive guard or center. The Virginia native has good independent hand usage, good upper body strength and is able to create displacement in the run game. Bass would be the latest Oregon offensive lineman to head to the NFL.
9. Christian Gonzalez, CB, Oregon
Gonzalez has tremendous size for the position. The Colorado transfer was a state qualifier for the 200-meter dash in high school, so speed is hardly an issue. One issue with being a taller cornerback is sinking hips into a break and carrying a route across the horizon. He has yet to record his first collegiate interception, so that will be another box to check this season.
8. Jaxson Kirkland, OT, Washington
Kirkland has experience playing inside and outside for the Huskies, but it is difficult to create leverage as an interior offensive lineman at 6-foot-7. The son of a former Husky team captain is athletic in nature but has a lot of room for improvement with his technique. Talent evaluators will be watching to see how he performs this season against a watered down slate of opposing edge rushers.
7. Luke Musgrave, TE, Oregon State
The tight ends were not heavily utilized in the pass game last season, and Musgrave was splitting opportunities with eventual fifth-round pick Teagan Quitoriano. Although there was not ample exposure in the pass game, Musgrave showed soft hands, good range and an ability to get up to speed quickly. The Oregon native is not a one-trick pony, however; he's an effective blocker both in space and inline.
6. Clark Phillips III, CB, Utah
Phillips has displayed good ball skills during his first two seasons, and two of his three interceptions were returned for touchdowns. The highly regarded high school recruit drives hard on the ball and shows good awareness in zone coverage. Phillips is known to gamble in coverage, so there are opportunities for opponents to capitalize downfield.
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5. Jacob Cowing, WR, Arizona
The UTEP transfer found a new home with the Wildcats in Tuscon. The Arizona native has great body control down the field, builds up speed quickly and is elusive with the ball in space. Although slight in frame, he does a good job of tracking the football and creates leverage with quick footwork.
Cowing finished sixth in yards per reception (19.81) among wide receptions with at least 40 receptions, according to TruMedia.
4. Courtland Ford, OT, USC
The Texas native has only appeared in 10 games to this point in his career, so the sample size is rather small. There is a lot of room for improvement, but the raw talent and size is there. Head coach Lincoln Riley should have a good offensive line with Brett Neilon, Andrew Vorhees, Jonah Monheim and Ford.
3. Jordan Morgan, OT, Arizona
Morgan exercises patience each snap. He shows a good understanding of how to play with leverage and balance. The Arizona native does a good job of moving his hands and feet once engaged. Lack of top-end speed could ultimately force him to move inside at the next level, but there are enough traits to excite coaches.
2. Zion Tupuola-Fetui, EDGE, Washington
The Hawaii native had burst onto the scene in 2020 with seven sacks and three forced fumbles before electing to return to school. Unfortunately, a torn Achilles cost Tupuola-Fetui all but two games during the 2021 campaign. Tupuola-Fetui uses active hands to swipe the opponent's outside hand high side. In general, he does a good job of getting off blocks and is able to turn speed to power. Joe Tryon-Shoyinka set the recent standard for Husky edge rushers to be drafted into the NFL at No. 32 overall in 2021.
1. Noah Sewell, LB, Oregon
The younger brother of Penei Sewell is entering his third season as part of the Ducks' program. Natural athleticism oozes from his 6-foot-3 frame. Sewell shows good awareness and anticipation along with the closing speed to finish plays. In addition to recording 114 tackles last season, he stuffed the stat sheet with four sacks, two forced fumbles and one interception.
Other prospects to watch:
Stanford wide receiver Elijah Higgins, California defensive tackle Brett Johnson and Oregon linebacker Justin Flowe are a few players who have the potential to make the list by season's end. Johnson has been on the receiving end of some early buzz from, most notably, Reese's Senior Bowl Executive Director Matt Nagy. Over the past two years, he has played in just four games. The entire 2021 season was lost when he sustained a broken hip in an automobile accident. A season earlier, he started all four games of the team's COVID-19 season. Flowe was the top-rated high school inside linebacker two years ago. Over those two seasons, he has appeared in just two games.