NFC South Top 25: No. 22

June, 20, 2013
6/20/13
8:41
AM ET
We continue my NFC South top 25 with No. 22:

Steven Jackson, running back, Atlanta Falcons

What he did in 2012: In his ninth and final season with the St. Louis Rams, Jackson carried 257 times for 1,042 yards and four touchdowns while also catching 38 passes for 321 yards.

Why he’s No. 22 in 2013: Jackson probably isn’t going to run for 1,500 yards like he did back in 2006, but that may be only because the Falcons aren’t going to ask him to handle more than 300 carries. Atlanta has evolved into a pass-first offense, but last year was a reminder that you at least need some semblance of a running game. That was one of Atlanta’s only weaknesses last year as Michael Turner got old in front of our eyes. But Turner is gone and, in Jackson, the Falcons have a younger replacement. Jackson should have no problem giving the Falcons a 1,000-yard season and that should open things up in the play-action passing game.

For previous entries in the NFC South top 25, click here.

Pat Yasinskas | email

ESPN Tampa Bay Buccaneers reporter

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