Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
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.
The NFC South has some top-notch receivers, these are the guys tasked to slow them down. The second cornerbacks.
#1 – Keenan Lewis – New Orleans Saints – 4 points
I wouldn’t be ready to crown Lewis as the leader of too many cornerback groups, but in this one, his experience pretty much makes him the clear leader. He wasn’t any sort of superstar in Pittsburgh, but he wasn’t a liability either. He’ll have a much tougher task this year in New Orleans because the overall quality of the defense is much worse than while he was with the Steelers.
Tie #2 – Leonard Johnson – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – 2.5 points
Johnson will have to battle Johnthan Banks among others to win this job but he seems like the early front-runner. Johnson was solid during the absence of Aqib Talib and/or Eric Wright last year. He still has a lot to prove as many believe being even a minor part of the leagues worst pass defense is damning to him. But I like this guy and think on the other side of Darrelle Revis, he’ll have success.
Tie #2 – Desmond Trufant – Atlanta Falcons – 2.5 points
The Falcons spent a first round pick on this guy because they expect him to really sure up their secondary. He was a Buccaneers target at #13 before the Revis trade, but ended up falling to #22. This is an awfully tough division to be a rookie cornerback in, we’ll have to wait and see how he fares. I think he’s a hell of a player, and likely should be a solid second, but the inexperience was the factor that drew the tie.
#4 – Josh Norman – Carolina Panthers – 1 point
There’s no telling who will actually win this spot, but Norman is currently listed in the spot, so we’re going with him. He went in the third round and is said to be a bit of a gambler which will likely find him staring at big plays happening behind him against elite QB’s like Drew Brees and Matt Ryan. I have no idea if he’s really going to start, but no matter who wins the spot, this is an area of weakness in which teams will look to exploit.
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.