News & Analysis

NCAA Midseason All-American Team

By Steve Palazzolo
Oct 15, 2018

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Oct 13, 2018; Tuscaloosa, AL, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (13) drops back to pass against the Missouri Tigers during the first quarter at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

The 2018 NCAA football season is quickly passing before our eyes as we’ve already reached the midway point of the year. With some impressive performances in hand, before we dive into the second half of the 2018 college season, we utilize PFF grades and data to look at which athletes have given us the top performances, week in and week out, at each position.

This Midseason All-American Team is brought to you by Eckrich, the Official Smoked Sausage of the College Football Playoff.

As always, our team of over 500 analysts has dissected and graded every snap of every game to bring you the most detailed and valid set of Midseason All-Americans that you can find anywhere.

Offense

Quarterback

Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama

2018 Grade: 92.8

The gaudy stats and on-field performance match up well as Tagovailoa has shown incredible accuracy and performed well from a clean pocket (158.1 passer rating) and when pressured (112.5 passer rating).

Honorable Mention: Kyler Murray, Oklahoma

Running Back

Darrell Henderson, Memphis

2018 Grade: 90.3

With a ridiculous 10.3 yards per carry and a nation-leading 6.7 yards after contact per rush, Henderson is off to one of the better statistical starts in history.

Honorable Mention: David Montgomery, Iowa State

Running Back

Travis Etienne, Clemson

2018 Grade: 86.4

Etienne has the top grade among Power-5 running backs with at least 70 carries. He’s forced 25 missed tackles on only 83 rush attempts, good for an outstanding elusive rating of 120.7.

Honorable Mention: Jonathan Taylor, Wisconsin

Wide Receiver

Laviska Shenault Jr., Colorado

2018 Grade: 91.2

The nation’s top playmaker, Shenault has caught 83.6% of his targets and his 535 yards after the catch lead the nation by over 100 yards.

Honorable Mention: J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, Stanford

Wide Receiver

K.J. Hill, Ohio State

2018 Grade: 90.9

Hill has been incredibly efficient as well, catching 85.1% of his targets while averaging 8.2 yards after the catch per reception.

Honorable Mention: Marquise Brown, Oklahoma

Wide Receiver

Andy Isabella, UMass

2018 Grade: 90.8

Isabella ranks second in the nation with 837 receiving yards including 7.3 YAC/reception and 11 avoided tackles on his 53 catches.

Honorable Mention: Jaylen Waddle, Alabama

Tight End

Jace Sternberger, Texas A&M

2018 Grade: 90.0

Sternberger has emerged as the nation’s best receiving tight end in recent weeks, leading the way with a 91.9 receiving grade and 496 yards. He’s averaged 8.8 YAC/reception while forcing eight missed tackles and posting a solid 67.4 grade as a run-blocker.

Honorable Mention: Keenen Brown, Texas State

Offensive Tackle

Jonah Williams, Alabama

2018 Grade: 86.2

Williams and his counterpart have backed up preseason expectations as Williams has allowed only four pressures on 192 pass-blocking attempts this season. Williams has the edge as a run-blocker, ranking fourth in the nation with an 82.0 grade.

Honorable Mention: Andre Dillard, Washington State

Offensive Guard

Terronne Prescod, NC State

2018 Grade: 89.5

Prescod has been outstanding in NC State’s zone-blocking scheme, posting the nation’s top grade at 90.6 while allowing only two pressures on 142 pass-blocking attempts.

Honorable Mention: Shane Lemieux, Oregon

Center

Garrett Bradbury, NC State

2018 Grade: 86.0

Bradbury has the best all-around performance among the nation’s centers, posting the top pass-blocking grade at 89.5 while ranking second as a run-blocker at 81.7.

Honorable Mention: James O’Hagan, Buffalo

Offensive Guard

Beau Benzschawel, Wisconsin

2018 Grade: 83.0

Benzschawel is close behind Prescod, grading at 81.1 as a run-blocker, good for sixth among guards while allowing only three pressures on 151 snaps in pass protection.

Honorable Mention: Dustin Woodard, Memphis

Offensive Tackle

Dalton Risner, Kansas State

2018 Grade: 84.4

Living up to the preseason billing, Risner has allowed just two pressures on 227 snaps in pass protection.

Honorable Mention: Lucas Niang, TCU

Defense

Edge Defender

Josh Allen, Kentucky

2018 Grade: 90.0

With Ohio State’s Nick Bosa injured, the door is open for two ‘Allens’ to shine. Josh Allen has the top pass-rushing grade at 91.7, picking up six sacks, seven QB hits and 20 hurries on only 138 pass-rushes. He’s also been outstanding against the run (83.3 grade) and in coverage where he’s dropped back 83 times in Kentucky’s scheme.

Honorable Mention: Mike Danna, Central Michigan

Edge Defender

Zach Allen, Boston College

2018 Grade: 89.8

As for Zach Allen, he was a top-notch run stuffer last season, but he now has the No. 6 pass-rushing grade among edge defenders at 89.9 while tying for eighth in the nation with 32 pressures.

Honorable Mention: Jachai Polite, Florida

Defensive Interior

Quinnen Williams, Alabama

2018 Grade: 95.0

No player has dominated quite like Williams this fall, posting the top grade among all defensive players due to his disruptive nature against both the run and the pass. His 96.1 grade against the run tops all interior defensive linemen and he’s tied for second with a 90.4 pass-rush grade.

Honorable Mention: Dre’Mont Jones, Ohio State

Defensive Interior

Ed Oliver, Houston

2018 Grade: 93.3

Oliver is doing his usual fine work in the run game, raking second in the country with a 93.4 grade, but he’s taken his pass-rushing to the next level with an 88.0 grade, good for fourth.

Honorable Mention: Christian Wilkins, Clemson

Linebacker

Te’von Coney, Notre Dame

2018 Grade: 90.7

Coney has elevated his game in coverage this season, grading at 90.6 while allowing a paltry passer rating of only 30.5 on throws into his coverage.

Honorable Mention: David Woodward, Utah State

Linebacker

Ben Burr-Kirven, Washington

2018 Grade: 89.3

Burr-Kirven has been a tackling machine, leading the nation with 69 solo tackles by PFF numbers, but his 34 stops and 90.2 coverage grade are the more impressive numbers.

Honorable Mention: Josiah Tauaefa, UTSA

Linebacker

Nate Landman, Colorado

2018 Grade: 88.4

As for Landman, he’s done his best work in the run game with a 90.2 grade that ranks sixth, but he also has two interceptions and a pass breakup while allowing just three receptions in coverage.

Honorable Mention: Chris Woolbright, UAB

Cornerback

Deandre Baker, Georgia

2018 Grade: 91.3

Baker maintains his preseason top spot among cornerbacks, leading the nation with a 91.5 coverage grade as he’s allowed just 117 yards on 30 targets to go with two interceptions, eight pass breakups and a 32.2 passer rating against.

Honorable Mention: Julian Love, Notre Dame

Cornerback

Hamp Cheevers, Boston College

2018 Grade: 88.5

Cheevers has similar numbers as he’s allowed just 16-of-40 targets to be completed into his coverage, breaking up four and intercepting another four, good for a passer rating against of only 20.3.

Honorable Mention: Kindle Vildor, Georgia Southern

Safety

Deionte Thompson, Alabama

2018 Grade: 91.9

While he’s cooled off from his hot start, Thompson is still the top playmaking safety in the nation as he leads the way with a 91.0 coverage grade while picking off two passes and breaking up five passes.

Honorable Mention: Malik Gant, Marshall

Safety

Brad Stewart Jr., Florida

2018 Grade: 90.1

Stewart is grading at 90.4 in coverage as he’s broken up two passes and interception two more, including a critical pick-6 against LSU.

Honorable Mention: Bryce Torneden, Kansas

 

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