Best players at every position from bowl season
Gordon McGuinness uses our Team of the Week format to review the top bowl game performers.
Best players at every position from bowl season
There were some big performances throughout bowl season, with plenty of player impressing in the box scores and beyond. With that in mind, we’re using the PFF Team of the Week format to highlight the Team of the Bowl Season. Who made the cut? Let’s find out.
Quarterback: Jared Goff, California (+8.9)
Goff put on a show against Air Force in his final game with the Golden Bears, tossing five touchdowns and close to 500 yards. Air Force registered pressure on 11 drop-backs but it had little impact, with Goff completing 70 percent of his passes and finishing the game with a +5.0 grade on throws under pressure.
Running back: Christian McCaffrey, Stanford (+7.3)
Putting a stamp on a ridiculous season where he broke the single season all purpose yardage mark, McCaffrey took the first pass of the game for a touchdown and didn’t look back, forcing four missed tackles on runs in the big win over Iowa.
Fullback: Dakota Gordon, San Diego State (+8.3)
The best blocking full back in college football saved his best for last with this one. Delivering crushing blocks in the running game, he also impressed as a receiver, and scored on the ground too.
Tight end: Jeremy Sprinkle, Arkansas (+4.8)
The most well rounded performance of any tight end this bowl season, Sprinkle had a +4.9 grade as a run blocker, and added 81 yards and a touchdown as a receiver.
Wide receivers: Josh Reynolds, Texas A&M (+3.8) and Michael Thomas, Southern Miss (+3.9)
Reynolds dropped just one of the 12 catchable passes thrown his way, racking up 177 yards for the Aggies. Southern Miss’ Thomas forced seven missed tackles on his way to a 190 yard day against the Washington Huskies.
Tackles: Joe Dahl, Washington State (+7.0) and Germain Ifedi, Texas A&M (+4.9)
Dahl didn’t allow a single pressure once again, adding some impressive work as a run blocker to boost his grade. Ifedi allowed a sack and a hit, but that was all, and like Dahl, followed up with a nice game as a run blocker.
Guards: Wyatt Teller, Virginia Tech (+7.6) and Jarell Broxton, Baylor (+7.6)
Two huge performances as run blockers see Wyatt and Broxton claim their spots here, and it helps that they didn’t allow any pressure in pass protection either.
Center: Andy Kwon, Georgia Southern (+5.8)
Big game as a run blocker against Bowling Green, with the Eagles averaging 9.1 yards on runs between him and left guard.
On defense we put forward a hybrid defense that features two edge rushers (4-3 defensive ends or 3-4 outside linebackers), three players on the “interior” of the defensive line (3-4 defensive ends or defensive tackles), and two linebackers (all inside linebackers and 4-3 outside linebackers).
Defensive interior – ends: Bronson Kaufusi, BYU (+13.0) and and Delvon Simmons, USC (+9.8)
Two huge performances here, with both finishing their bowl games with eight tackles resulting in a defensive stop. All of Simmons grade came against the run, while Kaufusi did damage as a pass rusher too, racking up a sack, two hits and three hurries.
Defensive interior – nose: David Moala, Utah State (+11.1)
A big time showing, and one that was well rounded too. A sack, a hit and four hurries is an incredible pass rushing output from a nose tackle.
Edge rushers: Ian Seau, Nevada (+12.2) and Leonard Floyd, Georgia (+6.7)
Seau capped a tremendous second half of the season with his highest graded game of the year against Colorado State. A sack, two hits and four hurries saw him finish the day with a +9.0 pass rushing grade. Floyd couldn’t register a sack, but he did rack up a hit and six hurries.
Linebackers: Azeem Victor, Washington (+5.3) and Tyler Gray, Boise State (+5.2)
Victor did it all for the Huskies, grading positively against the run, in coverage and as a pass rusher, while the bulk of Gray’s grade came against the run. Both performances stood out though, with three defensive stops each.
Cornerbacks: Aaron Davis, Georgia (+5.4) and William Jackson III, Houston (+4.8)
Davis allowed just 28 yards from four receptions against Penn State. Jackson allowed 80 yards, but picked off two passes and broken up two more.
Safeties: Trevon Stewart, Houston (+4.9) and Brian Randolph, Tennessee (+4.3)
Stewart had two interceptions and a pass breakup, while Randolph had an interception of his own, with both having solid games against the run.
Kicker: Ross Martin, Duke (+1.7)
3-for-3 on the day, including one from 50+.
Punter: Trevor Daniel, Tennessee (+1.3)
Good hang-time, good distance, and two of his four punts were downed inside the 20 yard line.
Returner: Greg Stroman, Virginia Tech (+2.0)
A lot of good candidates to choose from. Stroman averaged 57.5 yards per punt return and scored a touchdown.
Gordon McGuinness | Analyst, Lead Special Teams Analyst
Gordon has worked at PFF since 2011, and now heads up the company’s special teams analysis processes. His work in-season focuses on college football, while he is also heavily involved in PFF’s NFL draft coverage.