2018 NFL Draft: Eight from Pac-12 drafted in rounds 2-3

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Washington Athletics / Eric Evans Photography / John McGillen / StanfordPhoto.com

Eight players from the Pac-12 were selected on the second night of the 2018 NFL Draft, with four taken in the second round and four going in the third round. The Pac-12 now has a total of 12 draft selections through the first three rounds after having four from the Conference of Champions go in the first round on Thursday.

[Related: Sam Darnold picked No. 3 overall; 4 Pac-12ers go in top 15]

USC

The Pac-12 saw its first pick of the second round at No. 38 overall with USC star running back Ronald Jones II going to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Jones II amassed 1,550 rushing yards and a team-leading 19 touchdowns this past season, making him an easy 2017 first-team All-Pac-12 selection. He tallied a total of 3,619 rushing yards and 39 rushing touchdowns over his three years with the Trojans. The NFL Network broadcast team even called him a dark horse candidate for NFL rookie of the year. 

Ten picks later, Trojan teammate Uchenna Nwosu went No. 48 overall to the Los Angeles Chargers. He contributed 168 tackles and 12.5 sacks in his college career, including 11.5 tackles for loss in 2017. How’s this for a hometown player? Nwosu grew up in Carson, California, which happens to be the site of the StubHub Center, the Chargers’ temporary home until construction on the Los Angeles Rams Stadium is complete. 

But that wasn’t it for the Trojans Friday night. The Seattle Seahawks took USC defensive end Rasheem Green at No. 79 overall. Green was the team’s sack leader the past two seasons and now heads to Seattle to play for former USC head coach Pete Carroll. 

Washington

Sticking with Seattle, the Washington Huskies say goodbye to wide receiver Dante Pettis, who was taken 44th overall by the San Francisco 49ers. The receiver is best known for his unstoppable punt returns, setting the FBS record for career punt returns for touchdowns at nine. (Add a little extra swag for breaking the record in a game against rival Oregon last November.) Here’s a behind-the-scenes glimpse of Pettis’ selection by the Niners:

Colorado

We know Washington likes to call itself the new DB U, but Colorado is starting to gain traction in that arena, too. Isaiah Oliver, who went No. 58 overall to the Atlanta Falcons, is the fourth defensive back from Colorado to be drafted in the last two years, joining Chidobe Awuzie, Cedric Thompson and Ahkello Witherspoon in the league. Oliver used his noted speed and long arms to make 27 tackles and two interceptions last season. Check out the moment Oliver’s selection was made:

Stanford

Stanford sent two defensive players to the NFL Friday night. Safety Justin Reid, who was projected by many to go in the first round, was selected at the top of the third round at No. 68 overall by the Houston Texans. The 2017 All-Pac-12 first-teamer, second-team All-American and Jim Thorpe Award semifinalist is known for his blitz speed along with his versatility, which seems to be of high interest to his new squad:

Harrison Phillips, who straight-up wrecks havoc on the field as a defensive tackle, joins the Buffalo Bills as their No. 96 overall pick. Harrison led the Cardinal last season in tackles for loss (17.0) and sacks (7.5), collecting a total of 16 career sacks and 103 career tackles. Harrison’s numbers made him a first-team All-Pac-12 pick and a third-team AP All-American last season.

Oregon

Last but certainly not least, we have the Rolls Royce of running backs, Oregon’s Royce Freeman, heading to the Denver Broncos with the 71st overall pick. I could list the two-team All-Pac-12 second-teamer’s astonishing stats here, but the brains behind @Pac12Network already did it so well in the below tweet. Check out some head-turning highlights of his while you’re at it:

Pac-12.com will have continued coverage of the 2018 NFL Draft with rounds 4-7 on Saturday.

Player Position Pac-12 School NFL Team Round / Pick
Sam Darnold QB 1st / 3rd
Josh Rosen QB 1st / 10th
Vita Vea DT 1st / 12th
Kolton Miller OT 1st / 15th
Ronald Jones II RB 2nd / 6th
Dante Pettis WR 2nd / 12th
Uchenna Nwosu LB 2nd / 16th
Isaiah Oliver CB 2nd / 16th
Justin Reid S 3rd / 4th
Royce Freeman RB 3rd / 7th
Rasheem Green DE 3rd / 15th
Harrison Phillips DT 3rd / 32nd
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