Only three Pac-12 players were taken in the first round of the NFL draft on Thursday, but eight Pac-12 players came off the board Friday in rounds two and three.
Stanford had three of those second-day picks, including the only Pac-12 quarterback to come off the board so far -- Davis Mills, taken early in the third round by the Houston Texans. ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay said Mills has starting potential, and Houston's quarterback situation is a little dicey.
The biggest Pac-12 surprise was the Cowboys' selection of Oregon State cornerback Nahshon Wright in the third round.
Here are the eight Pac-12 players taken Friday, plus one asterisk pick.
No. 4 pick of second round (No. 36 overall) – Jevon Holland, Oregon, safety, selected by the Miami Dolphins
Holland was the first safety taken in this year draft. He opted out of the 2020 season, but he had nine interceptions in 2018 and 2019 combined. He also averaged 15.3 yards per punt return in 2019. Holland attended Oakland’s Bishop O’Dowd High School.
No. 9 pick of second round (No. 41 overall) – Levi Onwuzurike, Washington, defensive tackle, selected by the Detroit Lions
Onwuzurike was a first-team all-Pac-12 selection in 2019 and opted out of the 2020 season. He was the second defensive tackle taken in the draft. Onwuzurike played his best against the best Pac-12 teams, but consistency is a concern.
No. 14 pick of second round (No. 45 overall) – Walker Little, Stanford, offensive tackle, selected by Jacksonville Jaguars
Two years ago Little was projected as an early first-round pick, but he missed nearly all of the 2019 season after suffering a season-ending injury in the opener, then opted out of the 2020 season. He was the seventh offensive tackle to come off the board and will be asked to protect quarterback Trevor Lawrence.
No. 3 pick in third round (No. 67 overall) – Davis Mills, Stanford quarterback, selected by the Houston Texans
The nation’s No. 1-ranked quarterback coming out of high school, Mills was hampered by injuries and started only 11 college games, including five in 2020. He did not become a starter until midway through the 2019 season, when K.J. Costello got hurt. Mills was the eighth quarterback taken in this draft and the first QB drafted from the Pac-12. The Texans have quarterback questions with Deshaun Watson’s uncertain status, although they also have Tyrod Taylor.
No. 11 pick in third round (No. 75 overall) -- Osa Odighizuwa, UCLA, defensive tackle, selected by the Dallas Cowboys
There was a wide range of draft projections for Odighizuwa, who was spectacular some games and average in others. He was a first-team all-Pac-12 selection in 2020 and is a good interior pass-rusher, which the Cowboys need. Odighizuwa had four sacks in UCLA’s seven games in 2020.
No. 12 pick in third round (No. 76 overall) – Paulson Adebo, Stanford, cornerback, selected by the New Orleans Saints
A first-team all-Pac-12 selection in 2018 and 2019 as a redshirt freshman and sophomore, Adebo might have been a first-round pick in last year’s draft. But he decided to return to Stanford, only to opt out of the 2020 season when the pandemic delayed the Pac-12’s fall season.
No. 36 pick in third round (No. 99 overall, compensatory pick) – Nahshon Wright, Oregon State, cornerback, selected by Dallas Cowboys
This pick was a surprise, as many experts expected him to be taken in the sixth or seventh round, if he was drafted at all. Fast and tall for a cornerback at 6-foot-4, Wright did not receive first- or second-team all-Pac-12 honors in either of his two seasons at Oregon State after attending Laney College in Oakland.
No. 37 pick in third round (No. 100 overall, compensatory pick) – Elijah Molden, Washington, cornerback, selected by Tennessee Titans
Molden dropped a little lower in the draft than expected, probably because he does not have outstanding measurables. But he is productive in a football game, earning first-team all-Pac-12 honors in both 2019 and 2020.
*No. 41 pick in third round (No. 104 overall, compensatory pick) -- Brandon Stephens, SMU, cornerback, selected by the Baltimore Ravens
This pick gets an asterisk because he played his first two college seasons at UCLA as a running back before transferring to SMU and being moved to cornerback for two seasons with the Mustangs.
Cover photo of Davis Mills by Kyle Terada, USA TODAY Sports
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