How I See It: NFC South Stock Watch

March, 18, 2010
3/18/10
1:07
PM ET
NFC Stock Watch: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

Falling

Sabby Piscitelli, safety, Buccaneers. Last season, the Bucs went out of their way to clear the way for Piscitelli to move into a starting role. After a year-long view of that, they’ve got Piscitelli on the move again. This time, he’s headed for a backup role and a job as a regular on special teams. The recent signing of veteran Sean Jones pretty much guaranteed that. Jones has been a dependable and productive starter elsewhere and the Bucs didn’t bring him in to be a backup. Piscitelli will be fine, running down kicks and punts. The guy has great raw athletic skills and that’s why the Bucs got the idea last year he could play. Problem is, the athletic skills were overshadowed by the fact Piscitelli has virtually no football instincts and that’s why he was beaten repeatedly as a safety.

Rising

Tyler Brayton, defensive end, Panthers. Carolina let Brayton hang out there in free agency for nearly two weeks. He got a few nibbles, but Wednesday he re-signed with the Panthers in a move that made a lot of sense for the player and the team. With Julius Peppers gone, the Panthers are counting on young defensive ends Everette Brown and Charles Johnson to step. Each has the potential to do that, but there are likely to be some bumps along the road. That’s where Brayton comes in. He’s never been a dominant player, but he’s solid and doesn’t make a lot of mistakes. He can help mentor Brown and Johnson. In a best-case scenario, they both play well and Brayton is used as the third end in the rotation. In a worst-case scenario, one of them stumbles and Brayton has to start. Brayton’s as good as a lot of starters out there.

Pat Yasinskas | email

ESPN Tampa Bay Buccaneers reporter

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