Pac-12 top 25 for 2012: No. 17

Our countdown of the Pac-12's top 25 players in 2012 continues.

Most of this looks back, but, of course, there also is a good dose of projecting forward. A lot of good players, as it happens every year, won't make the preseason list. It is in their hands to make the postseason list.

You can review our 2011 postseason top 25 here.

17. Jordan Poyer, CB, Oregon State

2011 numbers: Posted 57 tackles, grabbed four interceptions and broke up a conference-leading 12 passes.

2011 postseason ranking: Unranked

Making the case for Poyer: At 6-foot and 190-pounds, Poyer looks the part of an NFL cornerback, and he projects to be one of the top five taken in the 2013 draft. He anchors an Oregon State secondary that could be sneaky good this year, but his contributions extend far beyond just defense. He's an outstanding kick and punt returner and even set the Reser Stadium record with an 85-yard punt return for a touchdown against UCLA last season. Coach Mike Riley has talked about finding some offensive packages for him just to get him on the field more. But where he truly thrives is on defense -- which was reflected by his selection to the Pac-12 second-team defense last season by the conference coaches. He's on virtually every defensive back preseason watch list and is Oregon State's best all-around player. There are only a couple of true, lockdown cornerbacks in the conference, and Poyer is one of them. Should Riley & Co. find a way to work him into the offense, he could be an impact player in all three phases of the game for the Beavers.

No. 18. Khaled Holmes, C, USC

No. 19. Cameron Marshall, RB, ASU

No. 20: Dion Bailey, LB, USC

No. 21: Shayne Skov, LB, Stanford

No. 22: Curtis McNeal, RB, USC

No. 23: Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TE, Washington

No. 24: Isi Sofele, RB, California

No. 25: Jeff Tuel, QB, Washington State