Unafraidshow’s Best Pac-12 Players: Week 3
Another great NFL week is over. Week 3 is in the books and there are plenty of excellent Pac-12 NFL performances. Here are the best, broken down by college.
Reggie Gilbert – Tennessee Titans
Finally! We can take Will Parks off this list. Granted, it’s still a stretch to name Reggie Gilbert a top performer. He only got eight defensive snaps in Week 3. But, the Arizona list of Pac-12 NFL players is quite small.
It’s important to put his eight snaps in context. This was Gilbert’s first active game for the Titans. Also, in just 8 snaps, Gilbert managed to make two solo tackles. Not a bad debut.
Lawrence Guy – New England Patriots
Everyone saw it coming, but the New England Patriots still put in a solid performance against the New York Jets. Part of that win was Lawrence Guy. Guy continued to block the gaps, make tackles and take on double teams. He made Le’Veon Bell bounce the ball outside and didn’t let the offensive line get any push.
Keenan Allen – Los Angeles Chargers
Against the Houston Texans, Keenan Allen had himself a game!
- 17 Targets
- 13 Receptions
- 183 Receiving Yards
- 2 Touchdowns
Allen did everything possible to secure a win for his team. And even though the LA Chargers los the game, Allen had the best performance of his career. 183 yards was also a career best. The Cal product shed his injury-tag last season and continue to be one of the best Pac-12 NFL players.
Ahkello Witherspoon – San Francisco 49ers
Yet again, Ahkello Witherspoon kept doing his thing. He made it quite difficult for Mason Crosby.
Unfortunately for fans of the 49ers or defense, Ahkello Witherspoon is likely to miss a month. That’s a massive hit for the 49ers. Through three games, Witherspoon only allowed 13 targets, 5 receptions and 57 yards. His Passer Rating Allowed is only 32.9 (No. 5). Most of all, his plus-114.2 Coverage Rating is the league-best.
Witherspoon is the most important piece of the 49ers defense (or team) right now. Missing him is a big deal.
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DeForest Buckner – San Francisco 49ers
While his teammate and fellow Oregon-alum Arik Armstead was a top Pac-12 NFL player last week, DeForest Buckner got the glory in Week 4. He made defensive play after defensive play in a tight win over the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Buckner led his team with 8 tackles and also added a quarterback hit, a forced fumble and a clutch fumble recovery.
Jordan Poyer – Buffalo Bills
As good as Steven Nelson played in Week 3, Jordan Poyer gets to sit above him on the best Pac-12 NFL players list once more. He’s just too dominant to leave out.
Against the Cincinnati Bengals, he racked up 11 tackles, 1 forced fumble and 1 fumble recovery. It was an unbelievable game for him. Poyer is a big reason why the Bills continue to win.
Christian McCaffrey – Carolina Panthers
- 24 Carries
- 153 Rushing Yards
- 1 Rushing Touchdown
- 4 Targets
- 3 Receptions
- 35 Receiving Yards
Stanford fans! Look away from the college games and pay attention to Christian McCaffrey instead. His elite, NFL career continues to shine a bright spotlight on the Stanford name. Ignore the Stanford program freefall and watch the rise of Christian McCaffrey. He’s one of the greatest Pac-12 NFL players to step onto the field.
Kenny Clark – Green Bay Packers
Let’s keep Kenny Clark on the list. He’s one of the better Pac-12 NFL players and the best nose-tackle to come out of the Pac-12 in years. Against NFL centers, he continues to be a mismatch.
Clark is too strong and continues to overpower offensive linemen. Interior pressure is a huge advantage in NFL games. Clark brings that.
Tyron Smith – Dallas Cowboys
This will be obvious. But, the Dallas Cowboys obliterated the Miami Dolphins. The tanking Dolphins were no match for the Cowboys. Nonetheless, Tyron Smith showed well and displayed why he’s an NFL great.
Against Miami, the Cowboys racked up 235 rushing yards on 34 carries. It was a piece of cake for the stellar offensive line. Leading the way, as usual, was Tyron Smith. It’s been another good year for him. On 206 snaps this season, he’s allowed zero sacks and only has one penalty.
Marcus Williams – New Orleans Saints
Not only is Marcus Williams getting his second spot on Unafraidshow’s Best Pac-12 NFL Players list, but he was the Saints best defender in Week 3. On 83 defensive snaps. Wow. Marcus Williams glued himself to the field and helped the New Orleans Saints beat the Seattle Seahawks. Even though they had Teddy Bridgewater as their quarterback, the Saints made too many plays.
In the secondary, Williams continues to cover well and make tackles. It’s turning out to be a career year for Williams and he’s making a name for himself.
Vita Vea – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Although the Giants ultimately won the game, due to Daniel Jones’ heroics, Vita Vea played well. On just 65% of defensive snaps, he consistently gave the Giants offensive line trouble. In addition to accidentally stepping on Daniel Jones’ helmet, he totaled two quarterback hits.
After getting hit twice from the 350-pound Vea, Jones must be feeling it.
Washington State University
Gardner Minshew – Jacksonville Jaguars
If you haven’t already fallen in love with Gardner Minshew, better start now. Minshew must be in all Pac-12 hearts.
Against Tennessee in Week 3, Minshew put in a stellar game for his first NFL win. Buy in now to the Minshew hype because he’s going to be one of the great Pac-12 NFL players from WSU.
Missed the Best Pac-12 NFL Players List from Week 1?
If you somehow missed last week’s edition of this, check it out here: