The top CFB players of 2012

A position-focused ranking of this season's best college football players

Updated: January 9, 2013, 12:42 PM ET
By Mel Kiper & Todd McShay | ESPN Insider
Manziel/ClowneyUSA Today SportsTexas A&M QB Johnny Manziel and South Carolina DE Jadeveon Clowney had spectacular seasons.

With the 2012 college football season now completed, Mel Kiper and Todd McShay sat down to rank their top players by position, with McShay taking the offense and Kiper taking the defense. This takes into account overall talent and production at the collegiate level, and is not an evaluation of the players' NFL potential.

Todd McShay's offensive players

Quarterback

Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M Aggies

Johnny Football is young and still has a lot to learn about the position, and he also got a tremendous amount of help from his offensive line this season (he had two first-round tackles blocking for him up front). But it's obvious that Manziel is the reason the Aggies' offense was so successful this season. He's just a freestyler. His skill set is unique, from his open-field running ability to his accuracy as a passer, and his production was phenomenal (26 passing TDs, 21 rushing TDs, 68 percent completion rate).


For the rest of Todd McShay and Mel Kiper's full list of the nation's top college football players by position in 2012, you must be an ESPN Insider.