There’s no question New Orleans’ Drew Brees is the king of NFC South quarterbacks right now and that’s not likely to change for some time.
But who’s the heir apparent? Well, it’s all hypothetical at this point, but we’re rolling out the ballot for the Dream Team of Tomorrow. We’re starting with offensive players Monday and the defensive ballot will come Tuesday. We’re asking you to vote on who will be the top players in 2014 through 2016 and the other three NFC South quarterbacks show up on the ballot.
Brees is 31 and still could be going strong in that time frame. But Tampa Bay’s Josh Freeman and Atlanta’s Matt Ryan have gotten their careers off to nice starts and could be just hitting their prime in a few years. Carolina’s Cam Newton also is one eight quarterbacks on the ballot. I don’t think we can really get a feel for Newton until he’s at least played in the NFL, but the potential is there for him to challenge Ryan and Freeman in a few years.
As part of this project, I’ll also have a column Thursday in which I project the division’s four dominant players from 2014 through 2016. On Friday, I’ll have another post on who I think the division’s top over-30 player will be in that time frame.
Beyond the quarterbacks, the NFC South has some pretty strong representation on the offensive ballot. Tampa Bay’s LeGarrette Blount and New Orleans’ Mark Ingram are on there at running back. Atlanta’s Julio Jones and Tampa Bay’s Mike Williams are among the wide receivers and New Orleans’ Jimmy Graham is the division’s lone representative at tight end.