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NFC South Top 25 Players in 2013


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#1 MasterAwesome

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Posted 23 June 2013 - 09:31 PM

Pat Yasinskas is doing his annual "Top 25 players" segment for the NFC South on ESPN.com (well I'm not sure if it's really an "annual" thing, but I know he did it last year).  It started on June 17th but we haven't had our first Panther until Friday - Steve Smith at #21.

 

http://espn.go.com/b...-top-25-no-21-2

 

We continue my NFC South Top 25 with No. 21:

Steve Smith, wide receiver, Carolina Panthers

What he did in 2012: He caught 73 passes for 1,174 yards and four touchdowns.

Why he’s No. 21 in 2013: Smith is 34 now and logic says he should be slowing down. But I’m not buying into that because Smith has been defying logic his entire career. The Panthers won six of their final nine games last year and it’s no coincidence that Smith’s four touchdowns all came in that span. The other thing that happened in that span was that the coaching staff went back to a more conventional style of offense and let quarterback Cam Newton be a quarterback while letting the running backs do the running. I’m expecting even more of that this season and that should only benefit Smith because he is Newton’s go-to receiver.

 

Fair assessment?  I don't necessarily hate the ranking as it is, but I'll have to wait and see who he ranks above Steve in the coming weeks.  It'll be hard to really make a compelling case as to who should be where though, since you're working with every position which can make things tricky.  If it was a positions' ranking then players would be a lot easier to rank.

 

If anyone is curious as to who has made the list thus far, here's a link:

http://search.espn.g...c-south-top-25/

The actual link to the blog doesn't seem to be getting updated (it's only populated #s 24 and 25), so I just linked to the search results; they're at the very top.

 

My only concern though is if Steve Smith is the FIRST Panther on the list, we may not have too many on there...I'm optimistic Hardy/CJ will get some love (assuming freaking Da'Quan Bowers made the list), Cam and Kuechly of course, then the only other possibilities I can think of would be Kalil and possibly Olsen.  Well that's likely anywhere from 5-7 Panthers so I guess that's not too bad....roughly a quarter.  I think Star should be on this list - if it's about PROJECTIONS - but I wouldn't be surprised if he leaves off all rookies.



#2 OnlyPantherFaninMaine

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Posted 23 June 2013 - 09:51 PM

I think Smith, Olsen, Luke, Cam, CJ, Hardy, Kalil and maybe Gross and Star will make the list. 

 

If he comes back healthy, and seeing that it is a 2013 projections list, Beason could very well be on there as well. 



#3 tiger7_88

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Posted 23 June 2013 - 10:13 PM

Smith, CJ, Luke, Kalil, and Cam.

 

Hardy and Olsen on the fence.

 

No Gross or Star.



#4 OnlyPantherFaninMaine

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Posted 23 June 2013 - 10:14 PM

If Bowers cracks the list at 25 and Greg Hardy is absent that is just pathetic on Yas' part. 



#5 CarolinaNCSU

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Posted 23 June 2013 - 10:15 PM

Smith, Cam, Luke, CJ, maybe Hardy.  Doubt Kalil makes it since he's coming off the injury. 



#6 lovelett

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Posted 24 June 2013 - 06:41 AM

Smith, CJ, Luke, Kalil, and Cam.

Hardy and Olsen on the fence.

No Gross or Star.



I think this but maybe kalil is on the fence as well there are a bunch of players and not many spots left.

#7 lovelett

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Posted 24 June 2013 - 09:15 AM

I think Smith, Olsen, Luke, Cam, CJ, Hardy, Kalil and maybe Gross and Star will make the list. 

 

If he comes back healthy, and seeing that it is a 2013 projections list, Beason could very well be on there as well. 

 

It seems like hardly anyone outside of Carolina even remember who Beason is he has been off the field so much.



#8 Peppers90 NC

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Posted 24 June 2013 - 09:56 AM

Smith, CJ, Luke, Kalil, and Cam.

 

Hardy and Olsen on the fence.

 

No Gross or Star.

This is more likely, and I would go as far to omit Kalil since he didnt really play last year



#9 Peppers90 NC

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Posted 24 June 2013 - 09:58 AM

Smith would be ranked way higher in all rankings if he could have scored on about 15 receptions the last 2 years where he was down inside the 2 yard line.



#10 dpm0409

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Posted 24 June 2013 - 09:30 PM

This is more likely, and I would go as far to omit Kalil since he didnt really play last year


Agreed as far as Kalil goes. Pat also said he wasn't taking "lifetime achievements" into account (strictly 2013 best guys) and went on to specifically say Gross did not make the list as an example. He also said rookies were omitted from the list, which makes sense imo.

#11 MasterAwesome

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Posted 24 June 2013 - 09:51 PM

Agreed as far as Kalil goes. Pat also said he wasn't taking "lifetime achievements" into account (strictly 2013 best guys) and went on to specifically say Gross did not make the list as an example. He also said rookies were omitted from the list, which makes sense imo.


Good catch, I missed that part!! Lavonte David is #20 (just revealed today), so I'm hoping Luke is top 5!

#12 Cyberjag

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Posted 01 July 2013 - 09:58 AM

To date, the list is as follows:

 

15 - Gerald McCoy, defensive tackle, Buccaneers
16 - Vincent Jackson, wide receiver, Buccaneers
17 - Tony Gonzalez, tight end, Falcons
18 - Dashon Goldson, safety, Buccaneers
19 - Sean Weatherspoon, linebacker, Falcons
20 - Lavonte David, linebacker, Buccaneers
21 - Steve Smith, wide receiver, Carolina Panthers
22 - Steven Jackson, running back, Atlanta Falcons
23 - Josh Freeman, quarterback, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
24 - Marques Colston, wide receiver, New Orleans Saints
25 - Da'Quan Bowers, defensive end, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
 

Who wants to bet that he also puts Carl Nicks, Doug Martin and Darrelle Revis on the list?  The only question mark there is whether or not he tries to justify Mark Barron too.  It's crazy how much of a Bucs homer he is, and how the team with the most members of his top 25 is probably the worst in the division.

 

He has 14 spots left, which will probably be distributed among the following players:

 

Locks:

Matt Ryan, quarterback, Falcons
Roddy White, wide receiver, Falcons
Julio Jones, wide receiver, Falcons
Drew Brees, quarterback, Saints
Jimmy Graham, tight end, Saints
Cam Newton, quarterback, Panthers
Luke Keuchly, linebacker, Panthers
Charles Johnson, defensive end, Panthers
Doug Martin, running back, Buccaneers

Darrelle Revis, cornerback, Buccaneers

 

That leaves four spots for the following players who may be on his bubble. 

Jahri Evans, offensive guard, Saints
Darren Sproles, running back, Saints

Greg Hardy, defensive end, Panthers

Ryan Kalil, center, Panthers
Jon Beason, linebacker, Panthers

Carl Nicks, offensive guard, Buccaneers



#13 KSpan

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Posted 01 July 2013 - 11:52 AM

Smith would be ranked way higher in all rankings if he could have scored on about 15 receptions the last 2 years where he was down inside the 2 yard line.


Not necessarily relevant for these rankings. but how many times has the guy been down inside the 5 throughout his caree? He would probably have at least 7 more TDs, if not 10.

#14 OneBadCat

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Posted 01 July 2013 - 01:13 PM

How the hell is Josh Freeman on this list at all?



#15 lovelett

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Posted 01 July 2013 - 01:32 PM

How the hell is Josh Freeman on this list at all?


I was just about to post that. The guy has had one good season and been pretty much a disaster the rest of the time.


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