clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Top 50 2016 Pac-12 players 1-10: Who is the best player in the Pac-12?

We finish our countdown of the best Pac-12 players going into 2016.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports





10. Salamo Fiso Sr. LB Arizona State - I don't know why Fiso doesn't get more love. He is the conference's best player at making violent plays behind the line returning to the conference as he had 20 tackles for-loss in 2015. He's also a steady defensive leader who had 99 tackles last season.

9. Sidney Jones Jr. CB Washington - Maybe the best pure cover corner in the conference, Jones is a lanky athlete whose reach makes it very hard to throw against him. He had four interceptions and broke up 14 passes in 2015.

8. Zach Banner Sr. T USC - The 6'9 360-pound monster is one of the most physically impressive players to ever play in the Pac-12 and the best offensive lineman in the conference this year. He is already a first-team All-Pac-12 selection in 2015, but the sky is the limit in 2016.

7. Lowell Lotulelei Jr. DT Utah - Following his broth Star's footsteps, Lotulelei has quickly become the best defensive lineman in the conference. He is an immovable object who gets the chaos started for the nasty Utah defense up front and the best run defender in the conference.

6. Gabe Marks Sr. WR Washington State - One of the reasons Falk passed for so many yards in 2015 was he got the route-running, pass-catching specialist Marks back off a redshirt season and he blew up for more than 100 catches, 1,100 yards and 15 touchdowns. He is one of the smoothest receivers in the nation with the softest hands and best route running abilities.

5. Adoree Jackson Jr. CB USC - It would be impressive enough if Jackson was simply the conference's best overall cornerback and a defensive star, but he is also one of the best receivers in the conference when he lines up on that side of the ball and one of the nation's best  return specialists who took two punts back for scores in 2015. He could make a legitimate Heisman run.

4. Luke Falk Jr. QB Washington State - Mike Leach found the quarterback who can fully replicate the prolific abilities of his offense and the success he had at Texas Tech. Falk might be the nation's best passer and that's not just because of Leach's system. He's a deadly-accurate signal caller who keys one of the nation's best offensive attacks.

3. JuJu Smith-Schuster Jr. WR USC - Smith-Schuster had nearly 1,500 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2015 and it felt like he is still only developing as a player. He has the size of a possession receiver with the speed of a burner and he should torch more defenses in 2016.

2. Royce Freeman Jr. RB Oregon - Freeman would usually be the slam dunk best player and best running back in the conference in any year, but he just happens to be in the same class as Christian McCaffrey. Freeman is probably actually a better pure running back than the Stanford Heisman favorite though.

1. Christian McCaffrey Jr. RB Stanford - The guy who should have won the Heisman last year should win the Heisman this year and continue to be Stanford's version of Reggie Bush 10 years later.