Huskies face elite programs, future NFL stars

May 5, 2012 

A number of publications, including Athlon, see the University of Washington as a preseason Top 25 program for the 2012 season.

That might be overly optimistic, considering ESPN football analyst Todd McShay's recent Insider look at the 2013 NFL draft.

The Huskies will play at LSU in Week 2, and their conference schedule includes a string of Stanford, @Oregon, USC in weeks 4, 5 and 6. Later, it is @Cal in Week 9, Utah in Week 11 and in Pullman on Friday, Nov. 23 for the Apple Cup.

That means Steve Sarkisian and his staff must gameplan for 10 projected first-round picks, according to McShay.

Here's the list:

Utah defensive tackle Star Lotulelei (McShay pegged him No. 1 overall)
USC receiver Robert Brooks (No. 4)
USC quarterback Matt Barkley (No. 6)
Cal receiver Keenan Allen (No. 7)
LSU defensive end Barkevious Mingo (No. 9)
LSU defensive end Sam Montgomery (No. 10)
USC safety T.J. McDonald (No. 20)
LSU safety Eric Reid (No. 22)
Stanford linebacker Shayne Skov (No. 31)
WSU receiver Marquess Wilson (No. 32)

That list doesn't include Oregon defensive lineman Dion Jordan. Ted Miller, ESPN's Pac-12 correspondent, noted that Bucky Brooks of NFL.com has Jordon at No. 19 overall.

True, there's Keith Price returning at quarterback for Washington, but the offensive line is a major concern.

In the meantime, Cody Bruns, the senior from Prosser, is projected as one of three starting wide receivers by News Tribune beat writer Ryan Divish.

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