NFL.com's Mike Mayock rates his 32 top players available in the April NFL draft, and he ranks seven Pac-12 players between No. 13 and No. 31.
He emphasizes that this isn't a "mock draft": "This is a list of the best 32 players in the 2011 NFL Draft."
Here's his list.
13. Tyron Smith, OT, USC
15. Cameron Jordan, DE, California
20. Jake Locker, QB, Washington
24. Akeem Ayers, LB, UCLA
25. Nate Solder, OT, Colorado
30. Jimmy Smith, CB, Colorado
31. Stephen Paea, DT, Oregon State
It's interesting that he ranks Locker one spot ahead of Auburn QB Cam Newton, the 2010 Heisman Trophy winner. Here's what Maycock writes about Locker:
He's got top-10 ability but he's got a hole in his game -- poor pocket awareness and accuracy within the pocket. He's as accurate on the edges as any quarterback I've seen on tape. I've talked to a lot of NFL quarterback coaches that believe over time, a one-year period, that his pocket awareness can be corrected. He's a little bit of a project.
It seems that after most of the momentum that seemed to be working against Locker during the Huskies season has reversed. While that momentum doesn't appear strong enough to push him back into the draft's top-10, most projections are now placing him back in the first round.