Sports

Stanford in the draft: How Cardinal football prospects compare to the rest of the Pac-12

Jan. 6, 2022, 6:39 p.m.

Despite head coach David Shaw’s ’95 worst season at Stanford, going 3-9 on the season and 2-8 in the Pac-12, the Cardinal signed a recruiting class that ranked No. 1 in the Pac-12 and No. 16 in the nation. Stanford’s incoming class is led by Mater Dei outside linebacker David Bailey, a consensus 4-star recruit who is ranked No. 39 nationally. Bailey, wide receiver Mudia Reuben and tight end Sam Roush will be Stanford football’s first-ever winter enrollees. 

The Cardinal may need all the help they can get from their recruits, as team members begin to declare for the 2022 NFL Draft. In this article, The Daily compared five other Pac-12 North Division members — the University of Oregon, Washington State University, Oregon State University, the University of California, Berkeley and the University of Washington — to see how they measure up against the Cardinal in the NFL Draft.

Stanford University

Thomas Booker, DE

Senior defensive end Thomas Booker officially declared for the 2022 NFL draft in a Dec. 22 statement, making him the first Stanford player to enter the 2022 draft. Born in Baltimore, Md., the four-star recruit is graduating with a bachelor’s degree in economics and a minor in communication. During his Stanford career, Booker accumulated 89 solo tackles, 70 assisted tackles, 20.5 tackles for a loss, 9.5 sacks and an interception. As a first-year and second-year, Booker played in every game and started three and nine games respectively. In both the 2020 and 2021 seasons, Booker started all 18 games and earned second-team Pac-12 selections.

Dalyn Wade-Perry, DT

Fifth-year defensive tackle Dalyn Wade-Perry is leaving Stanford as well. Wade-Perry announced in a Dec. 21 statement that he was invited to participate in the Tropical Bowl. The outgoing senior announced today that he will enter the 2022 NFL draft.

Booker could end up leading a draft class that will follow up one of Stanford’s strongest in years. In the 2021 NFL draft, five former Cardinals were drafted, and another five were signed as undrafted free agents. Offensive tackle Walker Little ’20 was drafted by the Jacksonville Jaguars in round two. Quarterback Davis Mills ’20 and wide receiver Paulson Adebo ’20 were drafted in the third round by the Houston Texans and New Orleans Saints, respectively. Center Drew Dalman ’20 was drafted by the Atlanta Falcons in round four. Dallas Cowboys fifth-round pick Simi Fehoko was the final Stanford alum drafted.

University of Oregon

Kayvon Thibodeaux, DE

Sophomore defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux has been touted by scouts as one of the 2022 draft class’s top prospects. An explosive edge rusher, Thibodeaux caused nightmares for opposing Pac-12 quarterbacks all season, recording 35 solo tackles, 14 assisted tackles, seven sacks and two forced fumbles. He is the fourth unanimous All-American in Oregon’s history. Thibodeaux publicized his decision to enter the draft in a Dec. 6 statement.

Compared to Booker, Thibodeaux is a better prospect. Thibodeaux is widely rated as a top prospect and is projected by many mock drafts to be a first round pick and potential No. 1 pick. Thibodeaux is also ranked as the third best college football player for 2021 by ESPN.

Mykael Wright, CB

Cornerback Mykael Wright announced his decision in a statement on Dec. 18. During the 2021 season, the sophomore totaled 46 solo tackles, 19 assisted tackles, a forced fumble and an interception. In 2020, Wright led the Pac-12 with nine pass breakups. He also made the AP, Coaches and Phil-Steele Pac-12 All-Conference first team. In 2021, Wright made the PFF All-Pac-12 first team as a kick returner. Wright is projected to be a day-two pick.

Devon Williams, WR

Wide receiver Devon Williams declared for the 2022 NFL draft in a statement. In his last season with the Ducks, Williams’ recorded 35 receptions, 557 yards and four touchdowns. In 2019, Williams transferred to Oregon from USC; as a freshman at USC in 2018, he played in all twelve games for the Trojans. During the 2020 season, Williams was second in the Pac-12 with 19.1 yards per catch. Williams is predicted to be a late day two or early day three pick.

Like Stanford, five former Oregon football players were drafted in the 2021 NFL draft, and four also signed as undrafted free agents. Detroit Lions first-round pick offensive tackle Penei Sewell was the first former Duck to be drafted. Safety Jevon Holland was drafted in round two by the Miami Dolphins, and cornerback Deommodore Lenoir was drafted in round five by the San Francisco 49ers. Safety Brady Breeze and cornerback Thomas Graham Jr. were sixth-round picks by the Tennessee Titans and the Chicago Bears, respectively.

Washington State University

Max Borghi, RB

As of Dec. 28, running back Max Borghi ’21 is the only player from WSU that has declared for the 2022 NFL draft. Borghi disclosed his decision in a Dec. 13 statement. During his four-year career at Washington State, Borghi carried the ball 369 times for 2158 yards and recorded 156 receptions for 1134 yards. Borghi, along with right tackle Abraham Lucas and cornerback Jaylen Watson, opted out of the Alamo Bowl, purportedly to prepare for the 2022 NFL draft. Lucas and Watson have yet to formally declare for the draft.

No Cougars were selected in the 2021 NFL draft. However, punter Oscar Draguicevich III signed with the Carolina Panthers as an undrafted free agent. Draguicevich, a two-star recruit from Hutto, Texas who transferred to WSU from the University of the Incarnate Word, opted out of his last year of college eligibility to enter the draft. In his three-year collegiate career, Draguicevich punted 95 times, averaging 45.7 yards. 

Oregon State University

Avery Roberts, LB

Junior Linebacker Avery Roberts announced that he would be opting out of his final season of college eligibility in a Dec. 18 statement. Roberts concluded his 2021 season with 123 tackles, 2.5 sacks, a forced fumble and an interception. 

Teagan Quitoriano, TE

Junior Tight end Teagan Quitoriano announced his decision in a Dec. 19 statement. During the 2021 season, Quitoriano recorded a career-high 19 receptions, 214 yards and three touchdowns. 

In the 2021 NFL draft, two former Beavers were drafted, and two signed as undrafted free agents. Cornerback Nahshon Wright, the Dallas Cowboys third-round pick, was the first former OSU player to be drafted. Running back Jermar Jefferson was drafted in round seven by the Detroit Lions. Another two former Beavers, linebacker Hamilcar Rashed Jr. and cornerback Isaiah Dunn were signed to the New York Jets as undrafted free agents. 

University of California, Berkeley

Trevon Clark, WR

Senior wide receiver Trevon Clark was the first to declare for the 2022 NFL draft out of Berkeley. In his final season at Cal, Clark had 33 receptions for 658 yards and scored four touchdowns. 

Chase Garbers, QB

Senior Chase Garbers, Cal’s starting quarterback for the past four seasons, announced in a Dec. 14 statement that he would be opting out of his last year of college eligibility to enter the draft. Over the 2021 season, Garbers totaled 223 completions for 2531 yards and 16 touchdowns. 

Kuony Deng, OLB

Outside linebacker Kuony Deng is the final Cal player to declare for the draft thus far. Deng was sidelined from the 2021 season with a leg injury. Since 2019, Deng has recorded career totals of 154 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks, eight passes deflected, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery.

In the 2021 NFL draft, one former Cal player was drafted while two were undrafted free agents. Cornerback Camryn Bynum was drafted by the Minnesota Vikings in round four. Defensive end Zeandae Johnson signed with the Minnesota Vikings as an undrafted free agent, and offensive lineman Jake Curhan signed with the Seattle Seahawks as an undrafted free agent.

University of Washington

Trent McDuffie, CB

Sophomore cornerback Trent McDuffie is the first and only former Washington football player to declare for the 2022 draft. McDuffie announced his decision in a Dec. 27 statement. He started 24 games over three seasons and ended the 2021 season with 25 solo tackles, 10 assisted tackles, a sack and six pass deflections. 

Two former Washington football players, Cade Otton and Jaxson Kirkland have announced their departure from the University of Washington in statements. Both are presumed to enter the draft but haven’t specified their decision yet.

In the 2021 draft, four former Washington football players were drafted, and one signed as an undrafted free agent. Linebacker Joe Tyron was drafted in the first round by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and defensive end Levi Onwuzurike was drafted in the second round by the Detroit Lions. Cornerback Elijah Molden was drafted in round three by the Tennessee Titans. Carolina Panthers fifth-round pick, cornerback Keith Taylor, was the final Washington alum to be drafted. Defensive tackle Josiah Bronson signed with the New Orleans Saints as an undrafted free agent. 

Comparing the classes

The Cardinal traditionally have produced strong draft classes compared to Pac-12 opponents, despite a recent string of lackluster seasons. Five members of the 2020 Stanford football team were drafted into the NFL during the 2021 draft, tying with Oregon and ranking eleventh nationally for the most alumni selected. Since 2012, Stanford has had the most players drafted into the NFL in the Pac-12 with a total of 42.

This year, however, the Cardinal suffered its worst record since going 1-11 in 2006, and the draft output looks slimmer than in years past. In the 2021 season, Stanford was hit hard by injuries, losing two defensive backs, a quarterback, two running backs, four receivers and two tight ends. Despite the Cardinal’s struggles throughout the season, however, Stanford’s leading prospect Booker ended his Stanford career with 157 tackles and 10 sacks.

This article has been corrected to reflect that Kuony Deng’s position is OLB, not OL. The Daily regrets this error.

Isabella Bian is a high schooler writing as part of The Daily’s Winter Journalism Workshop.

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