Pac-12 top 25 for 2012: No. 16

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.

16. John Boyett, S, Oregon

2011 numbers: Boyett recorded 108 tackles, including 3.5 for a loss and a sack. He also had an interception, seven pass defenses and two blocked kicks.

2011 postseason ranking: Unranked

Making the case for Boyett: Boyett, second team All-Pac-12 in 2011, is heading into his fourth year as a starter for the Ducks and is a top All-American candidate. The 5-foot-11, 202-pound senior was Oregon's leading tackler for the second time in three seasons in 2011 and has piled up 276 tackles during an outstanding career. His 8.3 tackles per game last year ranked fourth in the conference and first among defensive backs. The Ducks ranked third in the Pac-12 in pass efficiency defense in 2011, despite being young at cornerback, and Boyett's brains and leadership deserve some credit for that. Want to start an argument in Eugene -- or with Boyett? Say USC's T.J. McDonald is the best safety in the Pac-12. Both have been named to watch lists for Bednarik Award (defense), Bronko Nagurski Trophy (defense) and Jim Thorpe Award (defensive back).

No. 17. Jordan Poyer, CB, Oregon State

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