Brandon Banks: Banks lead the league in kick return yardage with nearly 1,200 yards. This can be looked at as deceiving since Banks is one of the few kick returners in the league that had the green light to take out from anywhere in the endzone. Banks also contributed 328 yards in the punt return game averaging nine yards per return. The sophomore failed to find the endzone this year.
Lorenzo Alexander: To describe LoAx's value to this team I'd like to present a Mike Shanahan quote:
"To be honest with you, I don’t know how he’s fourth because, anybody that really studies special teams, I don’t know how you don’t vote for him to be No. 1. I think if coaches voted, just coaches because they study the tapes, he’d be No. 1. That’s how dominating a player he is. I haven’t seen a guy consistently get double-teamed and go there and make tackles. That just doesn’t happen at this level. People aren’t that physical and he makes those plays every year, at least the last two years that I’ve been around him. It’s really a credit to his preparation and how hard he works and what type of football player he is."
Graham Gano: Gano finished the season strong this year. His field goal percentage improved by seven percentage points this year (76%), while four of his FGs were blocked. If those kicks were not blocked, but made by Gano then we'd be looking at a kicker that made 85% of his kicks, which would have ranked him near the top ten in the league. Gano also improved from 50+ by going four for six.
Niles Paul: I have to throw Paul in the mix for some of his crushing hits in gunner duty this year.
My Pick: I seriously considered picking Gano, I don't think you can pin the blocks on him and he greatly improved. But at the same time Gano kicked some important kickoffs out of bounds this year. I have to go with LoAx due to how much he means to this team. His value can't be measured.