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Top-10 player spring update: Oklahoma State

Quarterback Mason Rudolph, coming off a sophomore season with 3,770 yards passing, is Oklahoma State's best player. AP Photo/Jonathan Bachman

Over the next two weeks, we will be unveiling the 10 best players on every Big 12 roster at the moment.

We won't be including junior college or freshman signees who have yet to arrive on campus, as we are only looking at players currently with their teams this spring.

These lists are sure to change, but this is our best assessment for the moment.

We continue the series with the Oklahoma State Cowboys:

1. QB Mason Rudolph: If Oklahoma State makes another run at a Big 12 title, Rudolph will likely be the reason. He finished second in the Big 12 with 3,770 passing yards while completing 62.3 percent of his passes as a sophomore. His exceptional performance against TCU (352 passing yards, five touchdowns, zero interceptions, 97.1 adjusted QBR) showed Rudolph’s ability to perform in big moments, but he will need to avoid performances like he had against West Virginia (three interceptions) and Texas (one touchdown, two interceptions).

2. WR James Washington: The only returning Big 12 receiver who had a 1,000-yard season in 2015, Washington’s breakout sophomore season included 53 receptions for 1,087 yards and 10 touchdowns. His ball skills and athleticism help him separate from defenders and should make the Rudolph-Washington connection one of the most feared in the conference.

3. S Jordan Sterns: The senior has been a stalwart in Oklahoma State’s defense for the past two seasons, recording 211 combined tackles as one of the Big 12’s most productive defenders. Sterns should impact games as a run-stopper or pass-defender while providing experience and leadership. He recorded at least five tackles in 12 of 13 games in 2015.

4. LB Chad Whitener: The Cal transfer stepped into the lineup after Ryan Simmons was lost for the season and became one of Oklahoma State’s most important defenders. He recorded double-digit tackles in three of the Cowboys’ final five games, including a 19-tackle performance against Baylor and a 12-tackle, two-interception showing against TCU.

5. LB Jordan Burton: The junior college transfer was an impact newcomer in 2015, finishing with 98 tackles (63 solo), including nine tackles for loss, and 3.5 sacks. Burton is quick and aggressive, making him the ideal player to put on the perimeter of the Cowboys' defense to attack offensive backfields from the outside.

6. WR Marcell Ateman: The light finally turned on for the senior as Ateman started to fulfill his unique potential during his junior season (45 receptions, 766 yards, five touchdowns). At 6-foot-4, 215 pounds, Ateman gives Rudolph a big target to aim toward while still having enough speed to challenge defenses as a deep threat.

7. DT Vincent Taylor: The junior needs to follow up his stellar sophomore campaign with a strong junior season despite the increased attention he’s likely to see with Emmanuel Ogbah no longer on the outside. Taylor had 8.5 tackles and five sacks while providing a disruptive force in the interior a year ago.

8. OT Zachary Crabtree: The Cowboys offensive line is a much-maligned unit but Crabtree is a solid player and one of the leaders on the entire squad. Crabtree has started 21 games during the past two seasons and provides a solid foundation to build upon.

9. CB Ashton Lampkin: An experienced and talented defender, Lampkin has seen injuries keep him from fulfilling his potential in a Cowboys uniform. He should step into the role as No. 1 cornerback with Kevin Peterson leaving Stillwater after starting eight games alongside Peterson a year ago.

10. P Zach Sinor: A secret weapon for the Cowboys, Sinor led the Big 12 with 31 punts inside the 20 and tied for the lead with 12 punts inside the 10 in 2015. On average, opponents started on their own 23-yard line following Sinor punts, according to ESPN Stats & Information, which ranked No. 1 in the Big 12.