Pac-12 vs SEC NFL Draft Prospects: Edge Rushers

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Nov 9, 2013; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Arizona State Sun Devils quarterback Taylor Kelly (10) tries to get away from Utah Utes defensive end Nate Orchard (8) during the second quarter at Rice-Eccles Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports

The Pac-12 has more 1st-round picks, Pro Bowlers, and Hall of Famers than any other conference in the history of the NFL. Yet all we hear about is the overrated, overhyped SEC players and you wonder why so many busts come from the SEC. Seeing SEC edge rushing prospect Shane Ray get overhyped made me start a Pac-12 vs SEC NFL Draft prospect series starting with edge rushers.

Last year, UCLA Bruins edge rusher Anthony Barr was bypassed in favor of South Carolina Gamecock Jadeveon Clowney. Barr had 13.5 sacks to Clowey’s 13 in 2012 then had 10 to Clowey’s three in 2013 to trump his production in college. They both sustained injuries this year but Barr was an NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year candidate with four sacks to Clowney’s none before going down.

This year, after Nebraska Cornhuskers edge rusher Randy Gregory, the scouting world has Missouri Tiger Shane Ray right behind him and projected to go early in the first round. So despite his 17.5 sacks this year, they disrespect Utah Utes edge rusher Nate Orchard with a No. 8 prospect rating but No. 1 from Pac 12, projected to go 2-3. So I took the two top prospects from their respective conferences compare their production and the eye tests.

Turn the page to see how it came out.