Scouting the PAC 10: Washington

The Huskies have been close under Rick Neuheisel but can't seem to get over the hump into the upper echelon of college football with any consistency. This program always puts solid talent into the NFL Draft in all the rounds and for the most part, it lives up to expectations. ‘03 though, maybe a downer for the Huskies come April.

Washington Huskies

Offensively, no Husky may get his named called in April. Chris Juergens is a nice sized wide out that makes the difficult catch but must be more involved in the action. Paul Arnold, highly recruited as a running back, displayed flashes at receiver last season after showing no durability whatsoever as a ball carrier. His speed and athleticism are quite evident when the ball is in his hands but like Juergens, Arnold must prove he is more than a part time offensive skill player. Rich Alexis is a future pick at running back if he can stay healthy and slowly but surely junior Cody Pickett is turning into a complete quarterback. The athletic thrower makes plays with his legs and arm, displaying a live arm and quick feet. Pickett must improve his fundamentals and reads in the pocket, but is making progress.

One prospect that could make a big move up charts on the other side of the ball is Kai Ellis. UW is known for its' "undersized rush linebackers" in the past and Ellis could have more upside potential than many of his predecessors. Ellis is athletic, deceptively strong and makes plays up the field or out to the flanks. Displaying the skills to defend the run or rush the passer, we were impressed the way Ellis holds his own against one-on-one blocking. Ellis may have the ability to play up over tackle in a three-four scheme, but he may also be able to hold more weight on his frame, which makes lining up in a three-point stance at the next level a very real possibility. A big senior campaign will push Ellis into the early-to-middle rounds. Linebacker Ben Mahdavi, nicely built for the three-four scheme UW plays, is just a smart football player constantly around the action. Mahdavi is not big, fast and lacks size potential. Limited in the number of schemes in which he will be effective, Mahdavi will be pushed into the later rounds.

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