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NFC South Q&A: Do Tampa Bay Buccaneers have the best receivers?

6/17/2015
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Best receivers in the NFC South

Which team has the best receivers in the NFC South? ESPN NFL Insider Dan Graziano breaks it down.

Today's question: Mike Evans and Vincent Jackson both were 1,000-yard receivers last season. Do the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have the best receivers in the NFC South?

Vaughn McClure, Atlanta Falcons: I'd say they have the best tandem right now, yes, because of their height and ability to go up and get the ball, although Jackson does have his share of drops at times. Evans was tied for fourth in the NFL and he led the NFC South with 12 touchdown receptions a year ago. Jackson should have had even more yards, considering he was targeted 142 times and only had a catch percentage of 49.3 percent. Regardless, he still reached 1,000 receiving yards. Carolina's Kelvin Benjamin and Devin Funchess could be right up there with Evans and Jackson, if the rookie Funchess is as talented as the Panthers tout him to be. If this was a few years ago, I would say Julio Jones and Roddy White, hands down. They combined for 2,549 receiving yards in 2012. But the 33-year-old White isn't the receiver he used to be, although something tells me he could surprise us in 2015, if he remains healthy.

David Newton, Carolina Panthers: You can make a good case. Evans and Jackson are both big and fast. That they each had 1,000 yards receiving in that dreadful offense was impressive. The best receiver remains Jones, but White is past his prime. Had New Orleans not parted with Kenny Stills, I might have gone with the Saints for overall depth at receiver. Stills, Marques Colston and Brandin Cooks were a strong combination. Carolina has the potential to have an elite corps with Benjamin, rookie Funchess and a host of others led by Ted Ginn Jr. and Corey Brown. But that group, behind Benjamin, is basically unproven. So based on talent and production, it's hard to argue against Evans and Jackson being the best two on any one team.

Mike Triplett, New Orleans Saints: I'll say no, but only because I think Jones lifts the Falcons to another level. Evans and Jackson might rank No. 2 and No. 3 among individual receivers in the division, and it's a scary thought for NFC South defenses that Evans is still a 21-year-old kid just scratching the surface of his potential after a 1,051-yard, 12-touchdown season. The Saints only faced Evans once last season -- in Week 17 -- when he only played the first half and still managed five catches for 54 yards and a touchdown. Heading into that game, Saints coach Sean Payton and players talked about how impressed they were by Evans' catch-radius and ability to go up and win balls at the highest point. The 6-foot-5, 231-pounder is going to be a matchup nightmare for years to come for a Tampa team that already had one of those in the 6-5, 230-pound Jackson.