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A mid-May NFC South standings projection

How will the NFC South shake out? An educated guess in late spring.

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

We've seen the draft, and it's time to take a closer look at the NFC South and see if we can suss out where each team will land in 2015.

We'll do this one more time right before the season begins, once we've seen how these teams look in training camp, preseason and what kind of roster changes they make. For right now, though, this is my personal best guess at how the notoriously unpredictable NFC South will shake out.

2015 NFC South Standings

Carolina Panthers: 10-6
Atlanta Falcons: 9-7
New Orleans Saints: 7-9
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 5-11

At this point, we've bet against the Panthers two years in a row and haven't been rewarded for doing so. Even with their gaping holes along the offensive line and (to a lesser extent) in the secondary, they're a good football team who still have a good shot to be the class of the division. Hopefully I'm wrong about this one.

The Falcons should rebound nicely under Dan Quinn, especially with a strong offseason under their belts. I expect them to return to a winning record, but they're not going to be dominant on defense just yet and still have some questions along the offensive line and especially in the tight end corps. They'll squeak their way above .500.

The Saints are transitioning from one of the league's premier aerial attacks to a ground-first assault with Brees passing to Brandin Cooks and a bunch of guys who may or may not be good, and they're overhauling their defense at the same time. This might be a one-year turnaround, but I'm guessing it's a year of growing pains before they go back to being a scarily effective football team at the very twilight of Drew Brees' career in 2016 and perhaps 2017.

The Buccaneers will be better, for certain, but they're trotting out a rookie quarterback and still have a mediocre run game and questionable defense. They'll spend one more season in the basement, I'm guessing.

What's your projection?