The NFC South safeties are not a particularly endearing group. It’s clear that Keanu Neal, Marcus Williams and Justin Evans are the future of this group, but ranking them was sort of a tough order, for the wrong reasons.
All things considered, I’ve got to give the Saints the top nod, which is of course hilarious given how their season ended. Marcus Williams and Vonn Bell are an exciting pair of young safeties who would stand out in any division. This now makes four times that the division winner Saints have walked away with the top positional group. Sorry, guys.
Atlanta finishes second, which they seem to be rather good at both in real life and these rankings. The Falcons finished second in quarterbacks, second in running backs, and now second in safeties. Keanu Neal is one of my favorite safeties in the league and a true, old school punisher. Ricardo Allen is somewhere around league average, but together with Neal the two get the job done well enough.
Your Tampa Bay Buccaneers come in at third, which probably isn’t much of a surprise to people. Justin Evans has tons of upside but has to put together a strong season in 2018 to be taken completely seriously. Tandy and Conte are both average players with potential to create the occasional play. There’s an argument that their overall depth could make them a better group than Atlanta, but I don’t want to make it.
Carolina is the clear cut last place team in this edition of the position rankings. Their starting pair of Adams and Searcy should be unacceptable to Panthers fans, and I expect to see them give up quite a few big plays in the passing game this season. This is going to be a problem considering they play against explosive offenses twice each in Atlanta, New Orleans and Tampa.
That’s it for our first defensive ranking within the NFC South, and sixth overall. What do you think, Buccaneer fans? Were the Bucs fairly placed? Did I take it too easy on Chris Conte? Sound off in the comments and be sure to check back next week for our analysis of the southern cornerbacks.