The latest installment of #NFLRank is out and it includes Nos. 71-80. The NFC South has one offensive player and one defensive player in these groups.
71. Carolina receiver Steve Smith
Stats & Info: Smith has 11,452 career receiving yards, all with the Panthers. Only five players in NFL history have more career receiving yards while playing for only one team.
Yasinskas comment: Smith is at an age where receivers tend to slow down. But he has shown no signs of decline. He still is the No. 1 receiver in this offense and he and quarterback Cam Newton seem to have good chemistry.
80. Atlanta cornerback Asante Samuel
Stats & Info: Since the start of the 2006 season, Samuel has 44 interceptions, five more than the next-closest player (Ed Reed).
Yasinskas comment: Samuel isn’t what he was a few years ago when he arguably was one of the best cornerbacks in the league. Age is catching up to Samuel. But he still is an impact player, mainly because he compensates for declining physical skills with savvy.
NFC South showing to date:
86. New Orleans guard Ben Grubbs
87. Atlanta running back Steven Jackson
98. Carolina offensive tackle Jordan Gross
100. Carolina quarterback Cam Newton
86. Atlanta linebacker Sean Weatherspoon
93. Atlanta safety William Moore
96. Atlanta defensive end Osi Umenyiora
97. Tampa Bay safety Mark Barron
98. Tampa Bay linebacker Lavonte David