The 2012 NFL Draft is nearly two months away, but the official list of early entrants is now available. Looking at the list of 65 players who are leaving school early for dreams of professional riches, one thing is clear: there is a lot of talent leaving the Pac-12 Conference.
Matt Barkley decided to return to the USC Trojans for his senior seasons, but that makes him a rarity. His fellow junior teammates Matt Kalil and Nick Perry are expected to be picked in the first round. The Stanford Cardinal is not only losing early entrant Andrew Luck, but also offensive linemen David DeCastro and Jonathan Martin, with all three expected to go in the first round.
Quarterback Darron Thomas leaving the Oregon Ducks was a surprise, though the Ducks will likely still be favored to win the Pac-12 North, and their November 3 matchup with USC in Los Angeles will still be the most highly anticipated game of the year in the conference.
Here is a list of all the Pac-12 early entrants in the 2012 NFL Draft:
Vontaze Burfict, LB
Brock Osweiler, QB
LaMichael James, RB
Darron Thomas, QB
Cliff Harris, DB
Andrew Luck, QB
David DeCastro, G
Jonathan Martin, T
Matt Kalil, T
Nick Perry, DE
That's 10 of the 65 early entrants coming from the Pac-12, with at least five expected to be picked in the first round. That's a lot of talent to replace in the conference.
For more news and information on USC football, be sure to read Conquest Chronicles.