The NFC South boasted five 1,000-yard receivers last season, led by Atlanta Falcons star Julio Jones with 1,409. The others were Mike Evans, Brandin Cooks, Michael Thomas and Greg Olsen. How many 1,000-yard receivers will there be in the division this season, and will anyone be able to end Jones' run of leading the NFC South in receiving yards for three straight seasons?
Jenna Laine, Tampa Bay Buccaneers reporter: Even with the loss of Cooks to the Patriots, the NFC South should be able to match that number, at the very least. Jones has led the division in receiving yards since 2014 and should do it again. The Bucs' Evans has eclipsed 1,000 every year since he entered the league three years ago; he's good for another, even with fewer targets going his way due to the addition of DeSean Jackson, who will also hit that number. If Thomas doesn't hit a sophomore slump, he should be fine as he develops even better chemistry with Drew Brees. Kelvin Benjamin's shape coming into the offseason gives reason for concern.
David Newton, Carolina Panthers reporter: First, barring an injury, nobody will touch Jones in total yards. He should be challenging for the league lead, not just the division. Evans (1,321) was the only South receiver who was close a year ago, but I see the Bucs becoming more balanced this year, and he also has Jackson on the other side now. As for how many 1,000-yard receivers the division will produce, I'll go with Jones, Evans, somebody from New Orleans (maybe Thomas, now that Cooks is gone) and Olsen as sure things. Olsen has topped 1,000 yards receiving three straight seasons, something no other NFL tight end has done. I also wouldn't be surprised if Benjamin got close to the 1,000-yard mark. He topped it as a rookie in 2014 and came close (941) last season despite a down year. Jackson, who had 1,005 yards for Washington last year, also should be a candidate. But Jones, hands down, will lead the division if he and quarterback Matt Ryan stay healthy.
Mike Triplett, New Orleans Saints reporter: Jones is the obvious answer here. I'm not betting against a guy who has averaged more than 1,600 yards over the past three seasons. But to mix it up, I'll say Evans leads the division in receptions and Thomas has the most TD catches. Thomas is a red-zone monster who has the chance to become New Orleans' first Pro Bowl receiver in the Sean Payton-Brees era now that Cooks has been traded. Panthers tight end Olsen should hit the 1,000-yard mark again. After that, this question gets tricky, since Jackson, Benjamin and Willie Snead should all be right on the border. I bet they all wind up between 950 and 1,050. But I'll say Jackson is the only one who gets there since he has done it in three of the past four years. Snead will play a bigger role in Cooks' absence, but the Saints will keep spreading it around after adding a good No. 3 receiver, Ted Ginn Jr. And Carolina will do more with its short passing game than we've seen in the past after drafting running back Christian McCaffrey.