Pac-12 top 25 for 2011: No. 15

Our countdown of the Pac-12's top 25 players continues.

You can see the final post-2010 top 25 here. It doesn't, however, include players from Colorado or Utah.

15. Delano Howell, S, Stanford

2010 numbers: Howell had 60 tackles, one sack, five interceptions, 10 pass defenses, two fumble recoveries and a forced fumble.

2010 ranking: Unranked.

Making the case for Howell: Howell, a 5-foot-11, 197-pound senior, earned second-team All-Pac-10 honors from the coaches -- first-team from ESPN.com -- last season as the physical tone-setter in a dramatically improved Stanford secondary, perhaps the most underrated reason the Cardinal finished 12-1 and ranked fourth in the country. He was Stanford's fourth-leading tackler and was tied for second in the Pac-10 with five interceptions. Stanford ranked second in the conference in pass efficiency defense and surrendered just 16 TD passes in 2010. Howell was honorable mention All-Conference in 2009 when he was Stanford's second leading tackler. ESPN NFL draft guru Mel Kiper rated Howell the No. 3 overall senior safety.

16. Mychal Kendricks, LB, California

17. Rodney Stewart, RB, Colorado

18. Jermaine Kearse, WR, Washington

19. Chase Thomas, LB, Stanford

20. Jeff Tuel, QB, Washington State

21. Robert Woods, WR, USC

22. Johnathan Franklin, RB, UCLA

23. David Paulson, TE, Oregon

24. David DeCastro, OG, Stanford

25. Marquess Wilson, WR, Washington State