PPF All-Pac-12 Listing: Just 2 UW First-Teamers
Pro Football Focus unveiled the first 2019 All-Pac-12 football team, and while it comes with some puzzling selections, the listing at least offers a general barometer into why Washington experienced a 7-5 falloff this season--just two Huskies were named to the first team.
PPF singled out senior center Nick Harris and junior cornerback Elijah Molden as the best in the league at their respective positions.
The league's own All-Pac-12 team, considered the standard bearer for its players, will be released next Tuesday, Dec. 10.
PPF also recognized six Huskies as second-team selections, five as third-teamers and three more as honorable-mention picks.
In choosing Harris, who is shown in the accompanying Apple Cup video clip, the website said this, "The Huskies offensive-line leader posted the highest run-blocking and pass-blocking grades among all centers in the conference, utterly dominating up the middle. He conceded just five quarterback pressures on the season on 361 snaps in pass protection. He thwarted everything defenses threw at him, allowing a pressure percentage of 1.4 percent, tied for the third-lowest among all offensive linemen in the Pac-12. Harris will hear his name called next April and will be snapping the ball in the NFL come the 2020 season."
PPF was just as glowing in its praise of Molden, shown in the photo, saying, "The Washington product was absolutely stellar in coverage for the Huskies this season, finishing with the highest coverage grade in the Pac-12. He posted 27 defensive stops--the most among cornerbacks in the conference--as well as two forced fumbles, both of which occurred in coverage. On top of this, he netted three more interceptions and a position-leading 11 pass breakups, showcasing his ballhawking ability."
The second-teamers from Washington were junior tight end Hunter Bryant, sophomore offensive guard Jaxson Kirkland, junior interior defender Levi Onwuzurike, freshman cornerback Trent McDuffie, senior safety Myles Bryant and senior punt returner Aaron Fuller.
No problems with any of those selections. Kirkland, in fact, was named the Huskies' offensive lineman of the year by the coaching staff.
Third-teamers on the PPF list from the UW were junior running back Salvon Ahmed, senior offensive tackle Jared Hilbers, junior edge defender Ryan Bowman, sophomore placekicker Peyton Henry and Fuller at wide receiver.
Honorable-mention choices counted sophomore edge defender Joe Tryon, senior interior defender Benning Potoa'e and freshman safety Cam Williams.
PPF possibly didn't notice that Potoa'e lost his starting job in fall camp and was relegated to a backup role for all but two games this season, and Williams started just six of 12 games for UW, getting replaced at midseason.
Conspicuously absent from this generous listing was senior offensive tackle Trey Adams, an All-Pac-12 choice as a sophomore by the league. Draft analysts suggest he had a comeback season following two years of injury and will be a high NFL draft pick.
Honoring Hilbers over Adams at tackle was a head-scratcher, considering the former got beat more on the edge.