- Paul Kuharsky, ESPN Staff Writer
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There is a strong AFC South presence on Gary Horton’s new list of conference candidates to break out in 2012.
Let’s have a look:
Horton: “He is a three-down player with excellent range, tackling skills and ball location, and even though his cover skills are only adequate, he is good enough to stay on the field on third down.”
Kuharsky: I’m optimistic about Angerer, but he is still somewhat raw. He looks to be the kind of player coach Chuck Pagano and his staff should be able to refine.
Horton: “With two new quality receivers outside, veteran Laurent Robinson from Dallas and rookie Justin Blackmon, Lewis will have a lot more room to work with and less defensive attention focused on him.”
Kuharsky: Defensive attention and a shaky quarterback were not Lewis’ only issues last year. He was distracted by family problems which he says will be cleared up by the time training camp starts.
Horton: “… Reed and his partner Connor Barwin combined for 17.5 sacks -- six of those by Reed. He is a very sound player with a great motor and he is strong at the point of attack. With rookie first-round pick OLB Whitney Mercilus lined up next to him in some sub packages, it will be very tough for an offensive line to handle this edge trio.”
Kuharsky: I feel Reed has already broken out, but perhaps he’s in line for even bigger things. He’s a perfect fit for his spot in Wade Phillips’ system.