NFC South top 25: No. 25

We begin our series on my projected top 25 players in the NFC South for the 2012 season with No. 25:

Marques Colston, wide receiver, New Orleans

What he did in 2011: He had 80 catches for 1,143 yards and eight touchdowns, despite missing two full games with an injury. That marked Colston’s third straight 1,000-yard season and the fifth of his six-year career and the yardage total was the second-highest of his career.

Why he’s No. 25 in 2012: Colston’s not the NFC South’s most glamorous receiver and his numbers have been held down a bit because New Orleans has so many other options in its offense. I sometimes wonder what kind of numbers Colston would put up if he played as a true No. 1 receiver in Atlanta, Tampa Bay or Carolina. But it’s really not worth wasting time worrying about hypotheticals. When it comes right down to it, Colston is perfectly suited to the role he plays in New Orleans. Plus, there’s no other NFC South receiver I’d pick to make a tough catch over the middle.