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Ranking the Pac-12 DB's for 2021

Trent McDuffie leads another dominant UW secondary

Photo: AP Photo/Elaine Thompson

Article by WestCoastCFB

1. Trent McDuffie (UW)

Trent McDuffie is a spectacular corner who has dominated since stepping on campus at Washington. PFF graded the Husky star as the top corner in the Pac-12 last season and McDuffie also earned 2nd Team All-Pac-12 honors. Another big season for the 5-11 corner should loft him into 1st round consideration for the 2022 Draft.

2. Mykael Wright (Oregon)

Wright came to Oregon as the #1 corner prospect in the nation according to the ESPN300 and quickly impressed with both his coverage and return skills. During his Freshman season, Wright returned 2 kickoffs for touchdowns and graded out as the 25th best corner in the country according to PFF. In 2020, Wright was once again dominant and led the Pac-12 with 9 PBU's and earned 1st Team All-Pac-12 honors.

3. Chase Lucas (ASU)

Chase Lucas returning to the Sun Devils was a slight surprise. Not often does a player return for a 6th season after a dominant performance like Lucas had in 2020. Lucas was an AP 1st Team All-Pac-12 selection last season and was graded by PFF as the 2nd best corner in the conference behind Trent McDuffie.

4. Chris Steele (USC)

Chris Steele is one of the rising stars in the Pac-12 after an excellent Sophomore season that saw him earn 2nd Team All-Pac-12 in 2020. The California product was ranked 42nd nationally out of high school and transferred to USC from Florida in 2019.

5. Jaylen Watson (WSU)

Jaylen Watson tends to fly under the radar but the former USC signee is extremely talented. Watson possesses elite size at 6-3 and had the best coverage grade among all Pac-12 corners last Fall.

6. Mekhi Blackmon (Colorado)

Mekhi Blackmon is a joy to watch and one of the most underrated players in the conference. The 6-0 corner consistently dominates opponents and has outstanding ball skills evidenced by his 7 passes defended in 2020 which ranked 2nd in the conference. Blackmon was PFF's 4th highest graded corner in the Pac-12 last season.

7. Evan Fields (ASU)

Arizona State caught another break when Safety Evan Fields announced he would return for one more season. Fields covers a lot of ground and is stellar in both the run and pass games. The Oklahoma product earned AP All-Pac-12 2nd Team in 2020 and is PFF's top graded returning safety in the Pac-12.

8. Clark Phillips (Utah)

Clark Phillips was one of the biggest recruiting gets ever for Utah when he chose the Utes over Ohio State as the 51st ranked recruit in the country. The 5-10 corner started all 5 games as a Freshman and impressively was the 12th highest graded corner in the conference. Athlon projects Phillips as a 2nd Team All-Pac-12 selection in 2021.

9. Brendan Radley-Hiles (UW)

Radley-Hiles comes to the Huskies after starting 32 games for Oklahoma. With the Sooners, the 5-9 NB was one of the hardest hitting DB's in the country and a big time playmaker. The former US Army All-American has 115 career tackles and 9 for loss.

10. Kyler Gordon (UW)

Kyler Gordon will step into a prominent role with the Huskies now that Elijah Molden and Keith Taylor are off to NFL. Gordon is a former 4 star recruit from the Seattle area and is one of the most athletic players in the country. The budding star was excellent last season while grading as the 5th best corner in the Pac-12 according to PFF.

11. Quentin Lake (UCLA)

Quentin Lake has played a lot of football at UCLA and has the best coverage grade among returning Pac-12 safeties. For his career he has 126 tackles and 3 interceptions.

12. Isaiah Pola-Mao (USC)

Pola-Mao has intriguing size at 6-4 205 and has delivered 121 tackles during his career with the Trojans. Last season, the former 4 star recruit was named to the AP All-Pac-12 2nd Team.


13. Qwuantrezz Knight (UCLA)

Qwuantrezz Knight came to the Bruins through the Transfer Portal after starring at Kent State where he won Defensive MVP of the Frisco Bowl in 2019 after a big game against Arizona State. Knight started all 7 games for UCLA in 2020 and had 40 tackles and 4.5 for loss.

14. Isaiah Lewis (Colorado)

Isaiah Lewis broke out in 2020 and was tied with Evan Fields as the top returning safety in the Pac-12 according to PFF. Athlon projects Lewis to land on their 4th Team All-Pac-12 squad.

15. Jack Jones (ASU)

Jack Jones is another Senior that decided to return to ASU. The former 5 star recruit was one of the best corners in the Pac-12 in 2019 after transferring from USC but a suspension limited his play in 2020. Expect Jones to get back to being one of the top CB's.

16. Christian Roland-Wallace (Arizona)

Roland-Wallace came to Tucson and made an immediate impact as a Freshman while starting 8 games. The Arizona CB was the 7th highest graded player at his position last year according to PFF and is projected as a 2nd Team All-Pac-12 selection in 2021 by Athlon.

17. Jamal Hill (Oregon)

The Ducks have been loaded in the secondary in recent years and 2021 should be no different with Hill and Mykael Wright manning the fort at Corner. Hill was the 5th highest graded CB in the conference last season in coverage according to PFF.

18. Verone McKinley (Oregon)

Verone McKinley was a standout as a Freshman in 2019 while leading the conference in interceptions and had another great season in 2020 with 41 tackles in just 7 games. McKinley is projected as a 3rd Team All-Pac-12 selection in 2021 by Athlon.

19. Elijah Hicks (Cal)

Elijah Hicks moved to safety in 2020 after playing corner the previous 3 seasons. In 34 career starts, Hicks has 141 tackles and 9 for loss. Athlon projects Hicks as a 3rd team All-Pac-12 selection in 2021

20. Josh Drayden (Cal)

Josh Drayden had a breakout season in 2020 with the 8th best returning coverage grade in the conference according to PFF.

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