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Wednesday, August 21, 2013
#NFLRank Nos. 71-80

By Pat Yasinskas

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.

Offense

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.

Defense

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:

Offense

71. Smith

86. New Orleans guard Ben Grubbs

87. Atlanta running back Steven Jackson

98. Carolina offensive tackle Jordan Gross

100. Carolina quarterback Cam Newton

Defense

80. Samuel

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