In this series, the Last Word on Sports NFL department will be selecting the best players in each division by position. On the radar here is the 2021 NFC South offense. Without further ado, let’s delve into which players made the cut.
2021 NFC South Offense: The All-Division Team
Quarterback: Tom Brady, Buccaneers
What can be said about Tom Brady that has not been said a million times already? Whether you love or hate him, it is hard to deny his greatness. Brady has accomplished more than any other player in the history of the NFL. Now with the retirement of Drew Brees, Brady’s path to the Super Bowl has only gotten easier. It is going to be smooth sailing for the Buccaneers in the NFC South this season.
Running Back: Christian McCaffrey, Panthers
Even despite being injured for most of the last season, Christian McCaffrey is the best running back in the NFC South. You can easily make a case for Alvin Kamara being in this spot instead. When healthy though, McCaffery is just a better version of Kamara. Both are dynamic talents, but McCaffrey slightly has the edge here.
Wide Receiver: Mike Evans, Buccaneers
Whether it is Jameis Winston or Tom Brady throwing to him, Mike Evans just produces. He has eclipsed 1,000 yards receiving in every single season. Mind you, his rookie season was back in 2014. That is going on seven seasons now of pure dominance at the position. Evans is in a class of his own in the NFC South.
Wide Receiver: D.J. Moore, Panthers
The future of this division, at wide receiver, is none other than D.J. Moore. Many were surprised when the Carolina Panthers took him in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft. He has since posted back-to-back 1000 yard seasons. When you consider how dreadful the Panthers have been the last few years, it only further elevates Moore’s accomplishments.
Slot Receiver: Chris Godwin, Buccaneers
As far as slot receivers go in the NFC South, Chris Godwin is the only real proven commodity. The rest of the division is mostly filled with unknowns at the position. Curtis Samuel was the best previously, but he moved to Washington in the offseason. Since Tom Brady arrived in Tampa Bay, him and Godwin have developed a strong connection on the field. Brady loves his slot receivers, and Godwin is no exception.
Tight End: Rob Gronkowski, Buccaneers
This will be the last time for the next decade that you do not see Kyle Pitts in this position. Because he has not played a down yet, Rob Gronkowski is the guy. Even despite being a shell of his former self, Gronkowski is still one of the best blocking tight ends in the league. He also excels in contested catches, and was a pivotal piece in the Buccaneers Super Bowl run last season. Even despite the limited snaps, Gronkowski is a menace on the field.
Left Tackle: Terron Armstead, Saints
You can make a case for Terron Armstead being a top-five tackle in the league. He has played over 800 snaps each of the last two seasons. Armstead has also surrendered a mere three sacks over the last two seasons combined. Jake Matthews can also make a strong case for this spot, but Armstead has dominated for a while now.
Left Guard: Ali Marpet, Buccaneers
Ali Marpet may be the best offensive lineman in the entire NFC South. Marpet allowed zero sacks last season, and was only called for three penalties on the year. The fact that more people do not know who he is shows how little attention guards get in the NFL. The lack of attention for these athletes is almost criminal at this point. Guess there is nothing “sexy” enough about playing offensive guard unless your name is Quentin Nelson.
Center: Erik McCoy, Saints
The center-play in the NFC South currently leaves a lot to be desired. None of the current starters are even close to Pro Bowl-caliber players. Erik McCoy just happens to be the best of the worst. Thankfully for the New Orleans Saints, McCoy is only entering this third year in the league. There is still plenty of time left for him to take his game to another level.
Right Guard: Chris Lindstrom, Falcons
Sadly, it has taken this long for the Atlanta Falcons to officially show up on this list. The team is in rebuild mode, but does not seem to realize it. On the plus side, they have guys like Chris Lindstrom who can lockdown the right guard position for years to come. Lindstrom is a young player that still has the potential to develop into a Pro Bowler.
Right Tackle: Tristan Wirfs, Buccaneers
Rounding out the list is second-year tackle Tristan Wirfs. It is impressive whenever an offensive lineman can go a whole season surrendering only one sack. It is even more impressive when a rookie does it. He preformed better than the four tackles selected before him, and well be Pro Bowl-bound with another repeat performance this season. Wirfs can elevate himself into the ‘best tackle in the league” conversation if he even slightly improves from last season.
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