While they may not be the most talented teams in the nation, both the Arizona State Sun Devils and University of Arizona Wildcats have a handful of players who will likely be playing on Sundays at some point in their careers.
According to the ESPN Pac-12 Blog, a combined 16 players — nine from Arizona, seven from Arizona State — rank among the best of the draft-eligible talent in college football at every position.
Not surprisingly, the Sun Devils’ strength is on the defensive side of the ball, where linebacker Vontaze Burfict is listed as the top inside linebacker, Omar Bolden the 28th-best cornerback, defensive end Jamaar Jarrett is 53rd for his position and Brandon McGee is 55th for outside linebackers.
Running back Cameron Marshall (58), center Garth Gerhart (10) and tackle Brice Schwab (49th) make up the rest of the Devils on the list.
Arizona, on the other hand, has three players ranked on the offensive side of the ball, as QB Nick Foles (4), receiver Juron Criner (7) and fullback Taimi Tutogi (18) all made the cut.
Defensively, while having nobody as good as ASU’s Burfict, the Wildcats have quality at defensive tackle with Justin Washington (41), inside linebacker with Derek Earls (48), outside linebacker with Paul Vassallo (48) and cornerback with Trevin Wade (27) and Robert Golden (45), respectively.
What does all this mean for the teams? Well, when they’re going up against schools like USC and Oregon, which have a combined 22 players listed, their chances of competing — and winning — are legitimate.