Clark Phillips III looks to lead another dominant defense at Utah and solidify his 1st Round Draft Stock.
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Article by WestCoastCFB
1. Clark Phillips III (Utah)
Clark Phillips III came to Utah as an acclaimed recruit ranked 51st in the country by the 247 Composite. He has more than lived up to the hype while starting all 19 games at cornerback since he enrolled. His performance last season resulted in him being named All-Pac-12 2nd Team and he has been mentioned as a likely first round pick for 2023.
2. Noah Sewell (Oregon)
The Oregon Ducks have had six Top 10 picks since 2013 and Noah Sewell is looking to become the 7th. Sewell is a former 5 star recruit and he has played like it. During his Duck career, the linebacker has racked up 162 tackles, 15 TFL and 6 sacks. 2022 should be his last season in Eugene and he will look to go out with a bang.
3. Zion Tupuola-Fetui (UW)
Edge rushers are highly desirable in the NFL and that will make ZTF extremely valuable in next year's draft. ZTF burst on the scene in 2020 when he had 7 sacks in 4 games while being named 1st Team All-Pac-12 and AP All-America 3rd Team. Injuries derailed his season in 2021 and his NFL Draft hopes could depend on whether or not he can get healthy enough to perform at the same level that he did in the past.
4. Jaxson Kirkland (UW)
Jaxson Kirkland possesses elite Left Tackle size at 6-7 and 310 pounds. He was expected to be a potential first or second round pick last season before he had to withdraw from the draft due to injuries. He will now return to the Huskies where he will try to become a three time 1st Team All-Pac-12 selection.
5. Tuli Tuipulotu (USC)
Tuipulotu was one of the best young defensive lineman in the country last season racking up 48 tackles and 7.5 for a loss. PFF graded the 6-4 290 pound force as the 3rd best edge defender in the conference. That ranking put him ahead of his teammate, Drake Jackson, who went in the 2nd round of the 2022 NFL Draft to the San Francisco 49ers.
6. Justin Flowe (Oregon)
Justin Flowe might be the biggest wildcard on this list. Injuries have hampered his opportunities but the former 5 star recruit is loaded with talent. If he can stay healthy, he may have a chance at being a first or second round pick.
7. Kyu Blu Kelly (Stanford)
Kyu Blu Kelly has now been a 3 year starter for the Cardinal at cornerback. Through the years he has steadily improved and Pac-12 coaches took notice in 2021 when they named him 2nd Team All-Pac-12. With another year of improvement, Kelly should find himself as a potential 2nd or 3rd round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.
8. Andrew Vorhees (USC)
Andrew Vorhees was the Pac-12's top guard according to PFF last season with a 90 grade. Standing at an impressive 6-6 325, Vorhees is a five year starter and should be a lock to go in the first three rounds.
9. Zach Charbonnet (UCLA)
Charbonnet may be the most impactful best player in the conference next season. The only reason we have him this low is due to running backs not being highly sought after in the NFL Draft. After transferring from Michigan to the Bruins, the 220 pound runner totaled 1,334 yards and was named to the 1st Team All-Pac-12 by PFF.
10. Brandon Dorlus (Oregon)
Dorlus was often overshadowed by Kayvon Thibodeaux last season but put together a great season in his own right. The 285 pound defensive end had 25 stops and 7 tackles for loss and joined Thibodeaux on the All-Pac-12 1st Team. With Thibodeaux off to the NFL, Dorlus should shine and garner attention for the 2023 NFL Draft.
11. Jermayne Lole (TBD)
Lole has entered the transfer portal so there is a chance he won't be on a Pac-12 roster next season. For now, we will include him as he has been listed as a USC target and also could return to the Sun Devils. During his productive ASU career, the 305 pound defensive tackle has totaled 122 tackles, 20 TFL and 11 sacks.
12. Tanner McKee (Stanford)
Tanner Mckee has begun to receive draft hype for 2023 after putting together a great season in his first year starting. McKee tossed 15 touchdowns and just 7 interceptions despite limited weapons around him. His best game came in a massive upset of Oregon when he threw 3 touchdowns and no interceptions.
13. Dalton Kincaid (Utah)
Kincaid is part of Utah's elite Tight End room. Standing at 6-4, Kincaid has the typical size that NFL scouts look for and finished 2021 as PFF's top graded Pac-12 player at his position. His 2021 campaign resulted in 510 yards and 14.2 yards per catch.
14. Brant Kuithe (Utah)
At 6-2 and 222 pounds, Kuithe does not have typical NFL size. That lack of size will mean he needs to post a blazing 40 time at the NFL combine to have a hope at getting drafted. With that said, Kuithe has had an amazing career with the Utes while being named to the All Pac-12 team three times.
15. Tavion Thomas (Utah)
Tavion Thomas had a roundabout path to success at Utah. The 238 pound runner played his first two seasons at Cincinnati before playing 2020 at a JUCO. He then joined the Utes for 2021 and became the star of their offense with 1,111 yards and 21 touchdowns. That success led to him being named 1st Team All-Pac-12.
Other Names to Watch:
Cameron Ward (WSU)
Benjamin Yurosek (Stanford)
Brett Neilon (USC)
Walter Rouse (Stanford)
Joshua Gray (OSU)
TJ Bass (Oregon)
Alex Forsyth (Oregon)
Mekhi Blackmon (USC)
Ron Stone Jr. (WSU)
Alex Cook (UW)
Daniel Scott (Cal)
Shane Lee (USC)
Kyon Barrs (Arizona)
Dorian Thompson-Robinson (UCLA)
Braeden Daniels (Utah)
Cam Rising (Utah)