The ESPN.com Power Rankings for safeties are out and there’s not an NFC South player in the top 10.
Not a big surprise there because safety might be one of the division’s weakest positions (where have you gone John Lynch and Mike Minter?). There is a guy who I think has enormous potential and could end up being a top-five safety in a year or two. That’s New Orleans’ Malcolm Jenkins.
He finished in a tie for 15th place in the voting. I put him on my ballot (at No. 9) and would have had him much higher, but Jenkins has only one full season as a starter and he needs to go out and do it for another season or two before he really can jump to the top of the list. Jenkins wasn’t completely ignored by the other voters. John Clayton and Tim Graham also had him near the bottom of their top-10 lists.
Apparently, Graham and Clayton also are members of the Roman Harper fan club. He’s the other New Orleans safety and Graham and Clayton actually ranked him ahead of Jenkins. I didn’t put Harper on my ballot. Although I think he’s a quality safety and better than a lot of New Orleans fans give him credit for, I just don’t see him as a top-10 safety.
I didn’t see any others as I looked around the division. If Tampa Bay’s Tanard Jackson had played a full season last year, I suspect he might have been on my ballot. But Jackson drew a one-year suspension last September. Until he gets back on the field, in Tampa Bay or anywhere else, and shows he still can play, he’s not getting near my ballot.