NFC South Top 25: No. 8

We continue my NFC South Top 25 with No. 8:

Jimmy Graham, tight end, Saints

What he did in 2012: Graham caught 85 passes for 982 yards and nine touchdowns. But Graham, who played much of the season with an injured wrist, also had a league-high 14 drops.

Why he’s No. 8 in 2013: I think Graham’s wrist impacted his play more than people realize. He was a sure-handed receiver in 2011 and I think the wrist explains the drops. I expect Graham to take a huge step forward this season. He’s a matchup problem for every defense he faces due to his rare combination of size and speed. The return of coach Sean Payton from suspension also should help Graham. New Orleans’ offense still put up big numbers last season, but things seemed just a little out of sync. With Payton back in the fold, I expect New Orleans’ offense to get back to being more precise.

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