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Monday, August 22, 2011
Madden 12: Surprises at top

By Pat Yasinskas
ESPN.com

Real quick, name the top two players in the NFC South?

Off the top of my head, I’d say Drew Brees and Roddy White and you could flip a coin on the order. Well, the folks at Madden NFL 12, who are pretty good at what they do, came up with two different players when they did their annual rankings for the video game.

According to them, the best player in the division is New Orleans guard Jahri Evans, who ended up with a 98 overall grade. Carolina linebacker Jon Beason is next with a 97. I wouldn’t argue too much with either of those rankings. Evans and Beason are very good, but play positions where they sometimes don’t get the recognition they deserve. White and Brees came in right behind them, each with a 96 grade. That ties them with New Orleans guard Carl Nicks, who some scouts say may be better than Evans.

After those five, here’s the list of NFC South players with grades of 90 or better.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers didn’t have a player crack the 90 mark, but they came close. Tight end Kellen Winslow is at 89, guard Davin Joseph is at 88 and quarterback Josh Freeman and tackle Donald Penn each graded out at 87. Since I know there’s big interest, Carolina rookie quarterback Cam Newton had an overall grade of 77.

To see complete team rankings, click the Saints, Falcons, Panthers and Buccaneers.