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We’re still a few weeks from the NFL Draft, and a lot can happen between now and the start of the season. But it’s never too early for some NFC South prognostication.
This week we’d like to know which team you think will win the NFC South. We’re all working with incomplete info before the draft, but just give it your best guess based on what we’ve seen so far this offseason.
The Saints finished 7-10 last season and are rolling into 2023 with Derek Carr behind center. Alvin Kamara’s likely facing a suspension over off-the-field issues. Chris Olave is great, and Michael Thomas should be back, but will he be fully healthy and ready to contribute after missing so much time? If he’s not, it makes Olave’s job a lot more challenging. There are a ton of questions surrounding the Saints heading into this season, including what the defense will look like since Atlanta poached Kaden Eliss and David Onyemata in free agency.
The Buccaneers lost Tom Brady to retirement FINALLY, and for real this time. And the Bucs didn’t look all that great heading into the postseason with Brady anyway, what with that 31-14 Wild Card loss to the Cowboys. Despite being up against the salary cap, they were able to re-sign some key free agents, and they brought in Baker Mayfield, who’s not a great replacement for a first-ballot Hall of Famer, but honestly, there aren’t many guys who would be.
The Panthers have quietly had a really interesting offseason. They made a trade with the Bears to move up to the No. 1 pick in the 2023 draft, ostensibly to grab one of the top quarterbacks in the draft. They brought in Frank Reich and a whole host of new coaches to aid in that quarterback’s development. They landed D.J. Chark, who isn’t a perfect fix for trading away D.J. Moore to the Bears, but should give C.J. Stroud or Bryce Young a reliable target.
And we know where the Falcons stand. A majority of Falcons fans gave the team’s free agency efforts a B, and that was before they signed Calais Campbell. They made smart moves in extending Chris Lindstrom and re-signing Kaleb McGary to hopefully give Desmond Ridder a cohesive line to work with. The run game was a strength last year, and the team does already look objectively better on defense with free agency acquisitions like Campbell, Jessie Bates, and David Onyemata. There’s reason to be optimistic about what new defensive coordinator Ryan Nielsen can do with this unit in 2023.
It’s time to weigh in! Vote for the team you think has the best chance to win the division this season below, and tell us why you voted the way you did in the comment section.
As always, check back next week for the results!