Most Arizona State fans are pretty satisfied with what their team has been able to accomplish thus far but a Sun Devil can still dream.
With that theme in mind, we asked our writers the following question: what one player from the Pac-12 conference do you think could help the Sun Devils the most if he wore an Arizona State jersey?
Our answers are below:
Kerry Crowley: While adding Oregon's Marcus Mariota or Colorado's Paul Richardson to the Sun Devils would have the potential to make this offense unstoppable, I think UCLA linebacker Anthony Barr would have the biggest impact on Arizona State of any Pac-12 player. Imagine a defense that feature Carl Bradford, Will Sutton, Chris Young AND Barr. Opposing team's rushing attacks would never have the ability to get going against the Arizona State front seven.
Barr only has four sacks on the season, but like Sutton and Bradford, his impact goes way beyond the stat sheet. If given the chance to play for the Sun Devils, Barr would turn this team into the undoubted favorites in the Pac-12 South. At 6-foot-4, 248 pounds, the Sun Devil coaching staff could play him anywhere at the linebacker level and even adjust to a 3-4 and insert both Bradford and Barr at the outside linebacker spot. When you're offense is scoring more than 45 points per game, I see no reason to argue against taking one of the Pac-12's best defenders. How nice it is to dream!
Ryan Bafaloukos: While I do like Kerry's selection of Anthony Barr, I am going to say Oregon ATH De'Anthony Thomas. Never mind that his Twitter escapades would keep Arizona State media entertained for day; Thomas is one of the most explosive players in the country. I put his position as athlete, because anytime he gets the ball, whether as a back or a receiver, he is dangerous. Thomas has been slowed by injuries this year, but before he got hurt he was averaging 8.0 yards per rush and 19.3 yards per reception.
Imaging if Arizona State ran out Thomas in the slot next to D.J. Foster and Jaelen Strong. Mike Norvell would have a lot of fun drawing up plays for the "Black Mamba." Alas it is only a fantasy as Thomas is at home in Eugene.
Ben Haber: Interesting question. I think ASU can use improvements in numerous areas, especially on defense. Anthony Barr makes sense but adding another shut down corner opposite Osahon Irabor would be ideal. Bringing Oregon corner Ifo Ekpre-Olomu out to Sun Devil territory may be the answer on defense. Between Irabor and Ekpre-Olomu it'd very difficult for opposing quarterbacks to thrive through the air.
Featuring two corners who cover their men step-for-step combined along with the talented ASU defensive line would make this unit a top 15 defense in the country. Even when Will Sutton struggles and Carl Bradford gets chipped, Ekpre-Olomu would give the big guys up front extra time to get to the quarterback. Ekpre-Olomu ranks among the top candidates in the nation for the Benderik award, which is given out to the best cornerback in the nation. From tackling to marking his man, few can claim to be better than Ekpre-Olomu. The 5'10", 185-pound junior has accumulated 41 tackles and two interceptions so far. The combination of him and Irabor would easily combine for the best tandem in the nation.
Cody Ulm: My first, second and third choice when asked this question would be Anthony Barr. There's not a football team in all the land that would turn down an opportunity to add Barr, both on the collegiate and professional level. But since that sneaky Kerry Crowley decided to steal him first, I'll have to get creative here.
Corner would be my next selection and Ben wisely has that covered. So in this instance, I'm going to go with Stanford WR Ty Montgomery. Arizona State fans know Montgomery well after he burned the Sun Devils for two touchdowns back in September. Besides those scores, the junior big-play threat also chipped in a 50-yard kick return, which is where Montgomery's impact is felt the most.
Montgomery is averaging a nation-high 35.2 yards on his 18 returns this season and has brought two all the way to the house. Having Montgomery in the maroon and gold would not only ensure the Sun Devils prime starting field position but it would also allow Marion Grice to focus solely on being a running back. On top of that, Montgomery also has 564 yards and five touchdowns as a receiver in 2013. A consistent No. 2 receiver and the best kick returner in all the land? Sounds like just what the doctor ordered for the Sun Devils.