2. Depth to compete at wide receiver
The Carolina Panthers fixed an issue this offseason that was missing last season: Depth at the wide receiver position. Through the free agency period (Jarius Wright, Torrey Smith) and the draft (D.J. Moore, Ian Thomas), it appears they finally got the horses to compete with the rest of the division.
Let’s face it: The NFC South is stacked with wide receivers. The Atlanta Falcons have a deep group led by Julio Jones. Even in what was considered a “down year” by some (especially in the red zone,) Jones caught 88 passes for 1,444 yards and three touchdowns. Mohammad Sanu did his part as well, and picked up the slack while Jones was struggling, specifically in early part of the season. He finished the year with 67 catches for 703 yards and five touchdowns.
New Orleans has weapons of their own, led by Michael Thomas, who had a tremendous year last year. He snagged 104 catches for 1.045 yards and five touchdowns last year. Ted Ginn Jr. played his part as well. He caught 53 passes for 787 yards and four touchdowns in what was a bounce back year of sorts for him. This dynamic duo has enough to carry the load for the Saints over the next couple years. Couple that with the addition of Cameron Meredith and the Saints could have an even more lethal passing attack than last year.
Tampa Bay was a bit underwhelming last year, as many thought they had assembled enough talent to make noise in the division. Coming into the 2017 season, they had the two-headed monster of DeSean Jackson and Mike Evans. Both of them did not have their best campaigns. Jackson finished with 58 catches, 668 yards, and three touchdowns while Evans had 71 catches for 1,001 yards and five touchdowns. On the surface, those may not seem like bad numbers at all. However, coming into the season more production out of Jackson was expected.
The NFC South has deep receiving corps all around, and that was one thing Carolina was missing last year. Now that they have that, they could very easily sit at the top of the division.