In an effort to decide which team will win the NFC South in 2013, I’ve decided to rank the four players in the division at each of the 11 positions on offense, 11 on defense, punter, place kicker, and one specialist. Each team will have one representative at each position and will be given points based on where their player lands in relation to the others who play the same position in the division. The best player in the division will receive four points while the worst will receive just one. We will then tally the points up, and come up with the a ranking of the four teams in the NFC South.
To borrow a term from the Jaguars depth chart, we now look at the “offensive weapon” category.
#1 – Darren Sproles – New Orleans Saints – 4 points
Pain in the rear. That’s what Sproles is to every defense that has to see him on the field against them. He’s the kind of player that if you game plan for him, you’ll end up coming up short in other areas, but if you forget about him, he’ll burn you for a long TD. Sproles is the classic “offensive weapon,” because he shows up all over the field and has the capability of making a big play at any moment. As a Bucs fan, I wish he’d just go away, cause it’s never good when I hear them call his name.
#2 - Jacquizz Rodgers – Atlanta Falcons – 3 points
Rodgers is out of the same mold as Sproles, but isn’t nearly as accomplished. He’s currently more of a spell back, which served as a change of pace back for Michael Turner and will do so for Steven Jackson as well. He’ll score the occasional touchdown, he’ll knock off the occasional big play, but really, he’s a pest that bothers defensive coordinators.
#3 – Mike Tolbert – Carolina Panthers – 2 points
The fantasy football machine. Tolbert doesn’t do much but score touchdowns. The man has scored 26 touchdowns in the past three years. Last year alone he scored seven and rushed for just 172 yards, and with he and Cam Newton in the backfield, the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 1 situations are basically gimmes. Not the best player in the world, but he certainly racks it up in the most important category on the stat sheet.
#4 – Brian Leonard – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – 1 point
I chose to put Leonard here over Peyton Hillis or the more likely choice Erik Lorig. The reason is because Leonard has the chance to be a Mike Tolbert type guy. He’s probably not going to score seven TD’s this year, but he certainly can help the short yardage game. Lorig will see more downs on the field, but his impact will likely be minimal. Guess it doesn’t really matter though, the Buccaneers finish last no matter who we go with.
The rankings are now complete. Be sure to check out the NFC South Position Rankings roundup to see point totals and observations based on the rankings.