2022 preseason All-NFC South Team: Tom Brady, Christian McCaffrey, Kyle Pitts headline division
We recently used this space to showcase our pre-season all-division team, as is our annual tradition at this time of year. As always, the list is primarily compiled by a small group, although CBSSports.com’s editorial and editorial staff provided significant input after my initial entry into the list myself.
We started working with the AFC last week. Below is the schedule for the AFC East, AFC North, AFC South, and AFC West. It’s on NFC this week. We started with NFC East on Tuesday, continued with NFC North on Wednesday, continued with NFC South today, and ended with NFC West on Friday. No more hassles…
Perhaps the easiest quarterback option throughout practice was Brady instead of Marcus Mariota, Jamey Winston, and Baker Mayfield. If CMC can stay on the field, he will be the most effective quarterback in the NFL. We know this from its history. The injuries he suffered are unlikely to change his career, so we bet he will be back in the end. With suspension less likely for him this season, we opted to go with him over Leonard Fournet, who has had a problem with his more threatening workload.
In Brady’s two seasons, Evans went 70-1,006-13 and 74-1,035-14. He’s never had less than 1,000 yards in a season and is in double digits 50% of the time. He will become a monster again. Prior to the injury, Godwin was Brady’s No. 1 target last year. He won’t be on the PUP roster to start the season, so he should be back earlier in the year.
Best offenses in the NFL
Even if it takes him a few weeks to fully recover, he will play an important role in one of the best offenses in the NFL. Although the quarterback was mediocre, Moore had a very good season. Even if Mayfield isn’t great, Moore should be a big deal. Pitts is our next big tight end. He showed it in The Flash last year and should become more consistent as the Falcons surround him with just about anyone else who can light up and get at least some attention.
There are plenty of good tackles to choose from in this department, including Jack Matthews, Donovan Smith, and Tyler Morton, but we ended up picking two guys who are among the best players on the right side of the league. Wilfs was injured in training camp, but initial reports after the injury seemed to indicate he would be back and playing for most of the season. When he is on the pitch, he is expected to perform at a very high level.
After losing Ali Marpet (retired) and Alex Cappa (free agent), the Bucs absolutely stole Mason from the Patriots as a very good running back. He’s been an above-average guard throughout his career, and that should continue even amid Tampa’s injuries. Lindstrom can still do some work in pass protection, but he’s been a great base runner so far and is improving in the most important parts of the job. Somehow, the Panthers gave Bozeman a big discount this offseason because he was a solid starter in Baltimore. With Ryan Jensen injured, Bozeman looks like the best center in the division.
A year ago, we pushed Burns’ breakout season very aggressively, and we did. His sack total in 2020 was nine, but he played more in the backcourt, upping his pressure rating and qualifying for the Pro Bowl. He is a promising player who should have another great year. Jordan is one of the most consistent fringe players in the league and should once again be the mainstay of a very good Saints defense. Every season Shaq Barrett played for Todd Powers, he was dynamite. Even with Bowers taking on more responsibility as head coach, that’s not expected to change.
Vea is a very good player, one of the few players who can hit the nose and punch deep enough into the pocket to make an impact in the passing game. Whenever he is on the field, he is the leader. Jarrett took a step back as a pass thrower last year, but he’s been terrific in previous years. And we’d bet on a rebound as the Falcons manage to get more talent to that end.
Devin White is getting a higher profile, but David remains the Buccaneers’ top linebacker. He’s in his late thirties and could slow down soon. But if he stays healthy, we have enough confidence in him to have him on this team. For three consecutive seasons, Davis has been solid on the defense of Dennis Allen. Like Barrett and Powers, Davis’ performance is unlikely to change, even with new coaching responsibilities.
Terrell high draft position
Terrell was one of the best corners in the NFL last season. Although it’s a bit of a surprise for him to have a high draft position. The future shouldn’t come as a surprise either. Lattimore will always give up a few yards because of his aggressive style of play. But he’s very good and he can really take on the best receivers a lot of them at this level. Horn is a bit of a shooter, but his physicality and coverage make him an ideal modern corner. And we’re betting he’s a step up from last year’s strong start cut short by injury.
Winfield and Chinn would actually be pretty good security partners. With Chinn doing the physical, painting, and covering. And Winfield doing everything else just like he did in Tampa. I’m not going to lie I asked our resident kicking expert (John Breech) who he thinks are the best kickers and punters in each division. And I copied and pasted those names into each division of a team from all divisions. Roberts has been a valid returning player for some time and should continue to be a Carolina player.