Saints Take Charge of Pat Y's NFC South Top 25 List

Darren Sproles can hardly BELIEVE he's the #1 running back in the NFC South. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

Yesterday, ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas completed the month-long odyssey of presenting his "projected top 25 players in the NFC South for the 2012 season", and as you may have guessed without really even having to think about it, Drew Brees came out on top and the New Orleans Saints were well represented on The List his complete list.

Make the jump for the full list of Saints players on it, as well as my other observations.

I gave you his explanatory quote from the first post above, and then found this important nugget about the selection process in the final one:

That choice [of Brees as No. 1] was obvious, but the rest were open for debate and I'm sure there are lots of varying opinions out there. That's fine because debate is healthy and it's the reason we have the comments section below. With that in mind, let's quickly review my top 25 NFC South players (and keep in mind I left off notables, such as Jordan Gross, Tony Gonzalez and Ronde Barber, because they're approaching the end of their careers and may not be what they once were.

Wait, you left players off the list, just because they're old? That makes little sense to me. Just because they "may not be what they once were" doesn't mean they still can't be in the Top 25. I wonder what other arbitrary confounding details Pat revealed about his criteria along the way...

As I reported above, Brees is numero uno, and the Saints placed seven more players on the list (including five of the top 10!), to lead all teams with eight. Here the rest of the Saints are (the links take you to the individual player ranking posts):

3. Jimmy Graham*

5. Darren Sproles*

7. Jahri Evans

10. Jabari Greer*

14. Curtis Lofton*

20. Malcolm Jenkins*

25. Marques Colston

(asterisks denote highest ranked player by position)

I have to admit that I was a bit surprised to see Lofton (higher than Jon Beason?), Jenkins (ahead of...?), and Sproles (ahead of DeAngelo Williams?) as tops at their respective positions in the division. OK, so maybe I'm actually not as surprised as I thought I'd be.

The Panthers put seven players on the list for second place, followed by the Falcons with six, and then the Buccaneers with four.

* * *

Hang in there, folks. Training camp's almost here and then all these silly offseason lists will be done for a while. But since I went to all the trouble of putting this post together, why don't you just go ahead and humor me by at least attempting some clever, witty analysis or funny image/video-posting and snarky back-and-forth in the comment section? I'll even take pound notes, loose change, bad checks, anything! Thanks!

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