How I See It: NFC South Stock Watch

October, 6, 2009
10/06/09
11:00
AM ET

NFC Stock Watch: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

Posted by Scouts Inc.’s Matt Williamson


Rising

 Thomas
Pierre Thomas, RB, Saints -- Thomas might not yet be completely healthy, but he is running very aggressively and was a major difference-maker against an extremely stout Jets defense. There has been speculation as to who will be New Orleans' lead back. Thomas should have put that discussion to rest.

Aqib Talib, CB, Bucs -- Talib, a first-round draft pick last year, was victimized for a long touchdown by Santana Moss, but made up for it with a whopping three interceptions. That was an encouraging sign for a secondary that has really struggled.

 Sharper
Darren Sharper, S, Saints -- How can a potential Hall of Famer's stock be going up? He is making huge plays at an incredible rate. Equally important, Sharper is a perfect fit in this defense. His back-end presence and anticipatory skills allows the Saints to be very aggressive with their blitz calls, and his veteran presence and leadership is invaluable to New Orleans' talented young secondary.

Falling

 Colston
Marques Colston, WR, Saints -- As he is making a habit of doing, the Jets’ Darrelle Revis more or less shut down another big-time wide receiver. This time, it was Colston. Drew Brees spread the ball around so well, it didn't cripple the offense, but Revis surely got the better of the individual matchup Sunday.

Mike Nugent, K, Bucs -- Missing long kicks happens, but in a tight game against Washington, the Bucs needed every point they could muster. Nugent just hasn't delivered as expected since coming to Tampa Bay.

 Ward
Derrick Ward, RB, Bucs -- It appears as though Cadillac Williams has grabbed a hold of the Buccaneers’ starting running back spot. Meanwhile, Ward was inactive with a knee problem. Tampa needs all the firepower it can get and Ward just isn't helping the cause.

Pat Yasinskas | email

ESPN Tampa Bay Buccaneers reporter

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