NFC South: return men

Ranking the NFC South return men

June, 17, 2009
6/17/09
10:15
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas

It's time for the last player group in our series of NFC South position rankings. We still have coaches and front offices to cover, but the return men will be our next stop.

This category is a little vague because some guys return punts, some return kickoffs and some of the best only do one or the other on a part-time basis. But the criteria I used here basically was to ask myself, "Who would you want making a return with the game on the line?''

1. Clifton Smith, Tampa Bay. The guy made the Pro Bowl as a rookie and didn't even take over the role until around midseason. He's only going to get better.

2. Reggie Bush, New Orleans. The most explosive return man in the division. Is a threat to score any time he touches the ball.

3. Jerious Norwood, Atlanta. Still trying to carve a bigger niche at running back, but he's guaranteed some touches as a return man.

4. Ryne Robinson, Carolina. Robinson's coming back after missing last year with an injury. Carolina has some other decent options in the return game. But Robinson was solid handling punts and kickoffs before the injury.

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