December 16, 2012; New Orleans, LA, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers strong safety Mark Barron (24) breaks up a pass to New Orleans Saints tight end Jimmy Graham (80) during the first half of a game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-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.
Now up, the strong safeties.
#1 – William Moore – Atlanta Falcons – 4 points
Willy Mo is a solid, reliable player. He’ll come up and make a big hit, he’ll pick off the occasional pass, and he’s rarely in the wrong place. And getting more and more experience with Thomas DeCoud, they are just going to keep getting better.
#2 – Mark Barron – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – 3 points
Barron didn’t have the best season as a rookie a year ago, but he showed signs of brilliance quite often. The highlight reel of big hits he puts on guys is really enjoyable to watch. He got the nod ahead of Godfrey because of his new partner, Dashon Goldson. Barron’s responsibilities will be more honed in on what he does best. I’m expecting a much improved season, and a possible Pro Bowl appearance, but couldn’t give him the top spot or even a tie based on last year’s results.
#3 – Charles Godfrey – Carolina Panthers – 2 points
Never been terribly impressed with Godfrey. He’s certainly not someone who you constantly attack when game planning against Carolina, but he’ll end up out of position from time to time and allow a big play. He should probably be last, but I gave him the benefit of the doubt based on experience.
#4 – Kenny Vaccaro – New Orleans Saints – 1 point
Rookie safety is a very tough job. Now add on the fact that the Saints are changing their base defense, and they don’t have many good players on the unit, and he’s in for some trouble. I thought Vaccaro was an excellent player at Texas, but he’s in a difficult situation, and I can’t see him having immediate success.
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.