If you haven’t been able to see the rest of our Kickoff Week coverage from this week, be sure to catch up on the content we rolled out Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.
There are many ways to measure the strength of a team or conference. During this week, we’ve tried to capture that from as many angles as possible. Today’s post is a simple list of who we view as the top ten players in the Mountain West Conference. Yes, it’s hard to compare different positions and sides of the ball, but it’s also hard not to make a top 10 list of best players when doing internet blogs.
Without further ado, here are the top ten players in the Mountain West heading into 2022, voted on by the MWCConnection team of writers.
1) QB Jake Haener (Fresno State)
- 2021 stats: 3810 passing yards, 67.5%, 32 TDs, 8.5 yards per attempt
2) DB JL Skinner (Boise State)
- 2021 stats: 92 tackles (66 solo), 7 tackles for loss, 2 INTs, 2 FF, 3 passes defended
3) DL Jonah Tavai (San Diego State)
- 2021 stats: 47 tackles (23 solo) 14 tackles for loss, 8.5 sacks, 1 pass defended
4) LB Caden McDonald (San Diego State)
- 2021 stats: 49 tackles (21 solo), 7 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks, 2 passes defended
5) WR Jalen Cropper (Fresno State)
- 2021 stats: 85 receptions, 899 yards (10.6 yards per catch), 11 TDs, 76 rushing yards, 2 TDs
6) DL Scott Matlock (Boise State)
- 2021 stats: 41 tackles (29 solo), 8.5 tackles for loss, 7 sacks, 1 FF, 1 pass defended
7) RB Brad Roberts (Air Force)
- 2021 stats: 1356 rushing yards (4.5 yards per attempt), 13 touchdowns
8) LB Kyle Harmon (San Jose State)
- 2021 stats: 132 tackles (72 solo), 7.5 tackles for loss, 1 sack, 2 passes defended
9) DL Dom Peterson (Nevada)
- 2021 stats: 39 tackles (29 solo), 9 tackles for loss, 5.5 sacks, 1 pass defended
10) OL Aaron Frost (Nevada)
- 2021 stats: No stats could be found (per usual for an offensive lineman). Bio from the Nevada site.
- Boise State: 2
- Fresno State: 2
- Nevada: 2
- San Diego State: 2
- Air Force: 1
- San Jose State: 1
- 16 total players received votes. Those who did not crack the top 10 were: Haaziq Daniels, Logan Bonner, Titus Swen, Tyreque Jones, Evan Williams, and Jonah Dalmas.
- There are four players on the offensive side of the ball, which means the other six players play defense. Position-wise, there is 1 quarterback, 1 running back, 1 wide receiver, 1 offensive lineman, 3 defensive linemen, 2 linebackers, and 1 defensive back.
- For the first time since we have been doing this, no players from the December list are on this preseason list. 8 were drafted by the NFL or otherwise ended their eligibility. 1 player transferred and the last player did not receive any votes.
- Haener was the consensus top player. The next three spots mostly had a consensus but the order of the players varied.
- There was a fairly big divide between the 5th and 6th players in terms of votes, then again between the 8th and 9th players.
- As previously mentioned, Cade Hall went from 3rd in December to no votes here. Harmon received some votes in December and jumped to 8th on this list. No other player listed received votes in the last version.
There it is. So let’s hear it. Who did we snub? Who did we put on here that shouldn’t be? Let’s hear your feedback in the comments section.