NFC South Top 25: No. 12

We continue my NFC South Top 25 with No. 12:

Carl Nicks, guard, Buccaneers

What he did in 2012: After being signed away from the New Orleans Saints as a free agent, Nicks appeared in seven games before going out for the rest of the season with a toe injury.

Why he’s No. 12 in 2013: Back in his New Orleans days, Nicks was viewed by many as the best guard in the league. Assuming he’s at full health, there’s no reason Nicks can’t get back to dominant form. The Bucs’ plan of teaming him and Davin Joseph as the starting guards went awry when Joseph suffered a season-ending injury in the preseason. But Joseph also is expected to be back at full strength. That could give Tampa Bay the best guard tandem in the NFL and running back Doug Martin could end up being even more productive than he was in a stellar rookie year.

For previous entries in the NFC South top 25, click here.