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Tuesday, March 8, 2011
White only NFC South WR among elite

By Pat Yasinskas

The ESPN.com rankings of the league’s top 10 wide receivers are out and Atlanta’s Roddy White is the only NFC South representative on the list.

White finished third overall, despite the fact that AFC West colleague Bill Williamson and I each voted White as the league’s top receiver. The rest of the voters didn’t see it that way, and Houston’s Andre Johnson finished No. 1 overall.

The rest of the NFC South receivers didn’t get much attention. New Orleans’ Marques Colston received just one vote and that came from me. I honestly believe Colston is underrated. His numbers aren’t spectacular because the Saints spread the ball around so much.

I considered voting for Tampa Bay’s Mike Williams and Carolina’s Steve Smith. But let’s see if Williams can follow up a strong rookie season with another big year before we go putting him among the league’s elite. Speaking of elite, there was a time when Smith belonged in any conversation about elite receivers. But that time is not now.

I don’t think Smith is slowing down due to age. I think he simply has been stuck in a bad offense with horrible quarterback play. If new Carolina coach Ron Rivera and Rob Chudzinski can just get some decent play at quarterback, Smith can jump back to an elite level.