NFC South top 25: No. 16

We continue our series on my projected top 25 players in the NFC South for the 2012 season with No. 16:

Vincent Jackson, wide receiver, Tampa Bay

What he did in 2011: Playing for the San Diego Chargers, Jackson caught 60 passes for 1,106 yards and nine touchdowns. His most impressive statistic might have been that he averaged 18.6 yards per catch. The Chargers wanted to keep Jackson, but they had some salary-cap limitations. The Buccaneers didn’t and they broke the bank to get him to Tampa Bay.

Why he’s No. 16 in 2012: Jackson instantly gives quarterback Josh Freeman a much-needed true No. 1 wide receiver. He’s a proven commodity and he allows Mike Williams and Arrelious Benn to step into supporting roles. Jackson’s a big target (6-foot-5) and he has shown the ability to get open downfield and to break tackles after shorter catches. He and Freeman seem like a perfect fit. New coach Greg Schiano has said his offense will run the ball a lot and take some shots downfield. There aren’t many receivers more worth taking deep shots to than Jackson.