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30-Day Countdown, Day 29: Draft a Pac-12 Offensive Player

Which Pac-12 Offensive Player Gets The Call?

NCAA Football: Cotton Bowl-Tulane at Southern California Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to our second installment UWDP’s 30-day countdown which means we’re 29 days from the start of the season. Today, we’re looking at quite an interesting hypothetical! Our task is to draft a Pac-12 offensive player from the other 11 teams in the conference to play for the Huskies. I am limiting myself to players that were not named to the All Pac-12 teams last season, so no Caleb Williams from USC to compete with Penix at quarterback, nor will I include those named to the Preseason All-Pac-12 teams. I’m assuming this draft is including all offensive players as well, so the offensive line is in play here. Let’s get to it!

WR Brenden Rice, USC

2022 Stats: 39 Receptions, 611 yards, 4 TD

We start our draft with a position that’s not really an issue for the Dawgs, as the receivers benefitted from a revamped offense and a great quarterback. So why this pick? Simply because I want to replace the lost production from Taj Davis. “But”, I hear you say, “don’t we have receivers who have been waiting for the right time to step up?” Yes we do, and Giles Jackson, Ja’Lynn Polk, and Germie Bernard will make fine additions to the receiving corps. But, Brenden Rice shows size (standing 6 feet, 3 inches and weighing 205 pounds), and big play ability (averaging 15.7 yards per catch last season). Plus (and I say this with complete sincerity), do you know who his dad is?

OL Justin Dedich, USC, 6’2” 295 LBS

Deboer has made it plain that he doesn’t like pursuing offensive linemen in the portal, preferring instead to bring in freshmen to build continuity, but this also applies to guys like Jalen Klemm, the Kansas State transfer who has 3 years of eligibility left. The second USC addition, (and the last one, don’t worry) has versatility, having played 10 games at left guard, 6 games at right guard and 4 games at center. He is listed as a center in many scouting reports, and he has all the tools to mesh well in the Husky offense, chief among them being his proficiency in pass protection, which is something that the Huskies need after the departures of both Jaxson Kirkland and Henry Bainivalu. Dedich will play a large role in keeping Caleb Williams upright this season as USC looks to win the conference title this year, and he’s certain to be a key cog in USC’s offense, and a guy that Deboer and the Dawgs would be lucky to have.

RB Alton McCaskill IV, Colorado

Stats (2021): 189 Carries, 961 Yards, 16 TDs, 21 Catches, 113 Yards, 2 TDs

This is an interesting one and a bit of a shot in the dark, given that McCaskill didn’t suit up at all last year because of an injury to his ACL in Houston’s spring practice. How he’ll look in his first year in Coach Prime and Sean Lewis’ offense is anyone’s guess, but I chose McCaskill because of his experience in Dana Holgorson’s Air Raid offense, and his resulting similarity to Wayne Taulapapa and Dillon Johnson, because of that Air Raid connection. Deboer likes versatile backs, and McCaskill would give the Huskies another option in the passing game, something that Taulapapa was only okay at last year. I hope he fits in with Colorado like he did in Houston, as in his one season there, he proved himself to be a capable weapon in that offense.

OL Grant Starck, Oregon State, 6’4” 300 LBs, 77.6 PFF Grade

Closing this out, we have Grant Starck, a big offensive tackle from Oregon State, by way of Utah State. As with Justin Dedich earlier, this is a guy with high upside and bigtime versatility on the line, as his 247 Sports scouting report indicates, having both the strength to play inside and the athletic ability to play outside. That versatility would potentially serve the Huskies well, as their losses both at the tackle and center position leave perhaps the biggest offensive question for the Huskies going into the season. However, there is a question of scheme fit, as Oregon State runs more of a pro style offense, which leaves uncertainty as to how well he would fit in the offense run by Ryan Grubb.

Verdict: Of these four, I’m going with Justin Dedich. As fun to watch as Branden Rice’s big plays were in the Sugar Bowl, he probably won’t be a feature guy in that offense this year, especially given USC’s addition of Arizona’s Dorian Singer to an already loaded receiver room. Aside from that, he and McCaskill both are at positions the Huskies already went after in the portal (Johnson and Ngata at running back, and Germie Bernard at wide receiver). Of course, I could be wrong, and I could eat my words. But, looking at where the Dawgs are right now on offense, some more experience along with versatility up front is needed, and Dedich provides both of those.


Which PAC 12 player would you add to the offense?

This poll is closed

  • 3%
    WR Brenden Rice, USC
    (3 votes)
  • 37%
    OL Justin Dedich, USC
    (29 votes)
  • 8%
    RB Alton McCaskill IV, Colorado
    (7 votes)
  • 41%
    OL Grant Starck, Oregon State
    (32 votes)
  • 8%
    Other (answer in comments)
    (7 votes)
78 votes total Vote Now