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MWCConnection 2023 Preseason Best Position Units

Kickoff Week continues with our team talking about the best positions in the Mountain West

Wyoming v New Mexico Photo by Sam Wasson/Getty Images

Continuing with the week’s theme, today’s post will detail which teams have the best position units in the Mountain West. Voted on by our team, the results can be seen below. In addition to the traditional positions, there is also a “pass rush” category to better signify the difference between pass rushers and interior defensive linemen.

In case you missed the first two days, you can see the All-Mountain West team and Awards and Predictions from Monday and Tuesday, respectively.


Boise State

In a closely contested battle, Boise State sits atop this position, mainly due to their emerging star, Taylen Green. He burst on the scene last year when the Bronco’s season seemed dire and transformed their offense from terrible to terrific. His potential and athleticism is off the charts but he is also still learning the position and developing as a thrower. With a full offseason to prepare as the starter, it seems likely he can continue to ascend and build on his Mountain West Freshman of the Year campaign. While Boise State doesn’t have a ton of depth, neither do most other teams in the conference.

Running Back

Boise State

In one of the easiest positions to name a team, the Broncos ran away with this spot. They boast two of the best running backs in the entire conference in George Holani and Ashton Jeanty. Either could eclipse 1,000 yards rushing in 2023 and there’s a slight chance both could accomplish that feat. They are even deeper at running back when considered prize recruit Jambres Dubar, who could either get some carries or redshirt (or both) this season. While Air Force or Wyoming could finish with more rushing yards due to their systems, the Broncos have the most talent.

Wide Receiver

Colorado State

Tight End

San Diego State

For the second year in a row, the Mountain doesn’t contain much depth or star power at the tight end position. However, San Diego State emerged as the clear favorite. Starter Mark Redman didn’t put up eye-popping numbers in 2022, but he should play a key role in the Aztec system as a blocker in the run-game and a reliable target in the passing game in 2023.

Offensive Line

Air Force

The Falcons have seemingly had a stranglehold on this position for a few years now. It’s a group with a heavy emphasis on veteran experience, with all the projected starters and many backups having started at least one game in their careers. The group is spearheaded by Thor Paglialong, Wesley Ndago, and Adam Karas, who should keep the rushing attack dynamic once again. Look for them to be a great unit that excels in run-blocking, as usual. Also, keep in mind they lost their best offensive lineman, Everett Smalley (who was maybe the best in the entire conference), in the offseason, who would have made the unit even stronger.

Defensive Line


Pass Rush


On a similar note, the Cowboys were the runaway favorites on the edge as well. Their front four is as strong as the Mountain West has seen in quite some time and they look loaded on paper. Leading the charge will be DeVonne Harris and Braden Siders, who combined for 26.5 tackles for loss and 15 sacks. There is no reason to think the unit will not succeed in 2023.



The Cowboys have held this position most of the time for years and this year is no different. They are lead by Easton Gibbs, who is one of the best players in the entire conference and is one of the favorites for Defensive Player of the Year. He is flanked by Shae Suiaunoa, who would be the best linebacker on many Mountain West teams, but gets overlooked due to Gibbs’ talent. Wyoming has a long resume of developing linebackers, so it’s easy to see why they should be successful at this position once again.

Defensive Back

Colorado State

Special Teams

San Diego State

A few teams in the conference should have strong special teams units, but the Aztecs may have the edge. They have the best punter in the conference in Jack Browing who also doubles as one of the best kickers in the Mountain West. Although they lose returner Jordan Byrd from last year’s team, San Diego State should be able to develop another one to rise up to become a formidable difference-maker. Special teams are often about consistency as much as they are highlights and the Aztecs can definitely rely on a consistent kicker and putner.

Team Totals:

  • Wyoming: 3
  • Boise State: 2
  • Colorado State: 2
  • San Diego State: 2
  • Air Force: 1


  • The unanimous position votes were running back, and pass rush.
  • Other positions were within a vote or two of being unanimous. Those spots were quarterback, wide receiver, tight end, offensive line, defensive line, and special teams.
  • The tightest races were linebacker and defensive back.
  • Defensive back had four difference teams receiving votes. They were the only position where there were more than two different teams considered.
  • Only two teams held their ground from the postseason voting at the end of 2022 (OL, Special Teams).
  • Looking at the team totals, Wyoming led the way, followed by the Broncos, Rams, and Aztecs. Five teams were featured among the ten positions and three of them are likely to finish in the top four or five spots in the conference this season. It certainly displays the separation between the top and bottom of the conference as things currently stand.

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.

Coming tomorrow: Our Kickoff Week continues as we debut the 2023 Preseason All Coach Team.