As of this writing, most Dawgpound readers voted to add Su'a Cravens to the Huskies' roster. A good choice. He'd be an instant impact player, and would go a long way toward shoring up the least proven unit on the defense.
Now, we take a look at the north. As with the south, there's a multitude of talented players to choose from. It seems, though, that in more cases than with the south, the talent in the north aligns more closely with the talent the Huskies already have. Still, there are players that could step in and immediately upgrade the Huskies' lineup. Here are my top three choices.
Option #1: LT Andrus Peat, Stanford
Stanford's offensive line probably won't live up the head coach David Shaw's preseason hype, but one member of it that almost certainly will is left tackle Andrus Peat. Peat is a massive athlete at 6' 7" and 316 pounds, and his technique is near-flawless. He moves extremely well for a man his size. Against UCLA in 2013, the then-true sophomore was tasked with blocking All-American Anthony Barr without any help from a back or tight end the entire game, and relegated Barr to mostly being an afterthought. Peat is a pre-season All-American, and is on the watch list for the Outland Trophy. If he continues on the trajectory he's currently on, Peat could very well take the awards he'll win to the NFL with him in the 2015 draft, where he's likely to be a top 5 pick. Maybe even #1 overall.
Reasons for: Might be the best offensive lineman in college football, immediately upgrades the only concern - pass protection - the Huskies have on the line
Reasons against: Not necessarily the biggest need on the team
Option #2: CB Ifo Ekpre-Olomu
I'm excited to see redshirt freshman Jermaine Kelly on the field for the Huskies in a couple of days, but adding a two-time All-American cornerback to your defensive backfield is always a good thing. It's debatable whether Ekpre-Olomu's rather pedestrian interception total (3 in 2013) is due to teams choosing to not throw at him, or him not necessarily being the biggest playmaker at the position, but he's most definitely able to cover his man with virtually no help due to his speed and outstanding technique. At 5' 10" and 195 pounds, Ekpre-Olomu is built almost exactly like Washington's Marcus Peters. He's a sure tackler, and with each passing season, has become and increasingly valuable asset in run support. Ekpre-Olomu finished the 2013 as the Oregon Ducks' second-leading tackler, and was fifth in tackles for losses. New for 2014, he's adding punt return duties. Besides being a pre-season All-American, Ekpre-Olomu is on the preseason watch lists for several major awards, including the Jim Thorpe Award, the Lott Impact Player, and the Walter Camp Award.
Reasons for: Immediately improves the talent and depth in the secondary, adds veteran leadership to a mostly young group
Reasons against: He's a Duck, and some of you would just never accept him
Option #3: QB Marcus Mariota, Oregon
Mariota is in the discussion for the best player in all of college football. Not exactly news, no? As a sophomore, Mariota completed 63.5% of his passes for 3,665 yards. He averaged an astounding 9.5 yards per attempt, and threw 31 touchdowns. It seemed that he was going to go the entire season without throwing an interception, but his conference record streak of 353 passes over 12 games was finally snapped by this phenomenal play against Arizona. As good as Mariota has become throwing the ball, he might actually be a bigger threat as a runner. He added 96 carries for 715 yards and another nine TD's. The most amazing thing about that 7.4 yard per carry average is that it includes the 18 times he was sacked. Removing those "carries" and the 116 yards lost, Mariota averaged over 10.5 yards each time he ran. When Mariota sprained his knee midseason and was limited in his ability to run, the Ducks offense - though still formidable - suffered. If he can stay healthy, he could run and pass his way to a Heisman Trophy in 2014 and a spot at or near the top of the 2015 NFL draft.
Reasons for: Instant upgrade at QB
Reasons against: He's a Duck, and some of you would never accept him
Tough call. Any of the three would be great additions. Strictly going by need, Ekpre-Olomu fills the biggest one. Not just because he's an upgrade, but the depth is dramatically improved as well. With Peat, whomever played QB would be able to rest easy knowing his bind side was well-covered. But while I'm ultimately fine with any of the three guys the UW has battling it out to be that QB, you just can't pass up a talent as unique as Mariota. What he does translates to any offensive system. He's a game-changer at the quarterback position, and one of the very few players that can take over a game or entire stretches of a season. Since the Huskies can't have him, I'm glad he's only at Oregon one more year.
Vote, and let us know what you think in the comments below.