Reviewing NFC South's top 25

We’ve finished unveiling my list of the NFC South’s top 25 players for 2012. Was anyone at all surprised that New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees was No. 1?

That choice was obvious, but the rest were open for debate and I’m sure there are lots of varying opinions out there. That’s fine because debate is healthy and it’s the reason we have the comments section below. With that in mind, let’s quickly review my top 25 NFC South players (and keep in mind I left off notables, such as Jordan Gross, Tony Gonzalez and Ronde Barber, because they’re approaching the end of their careers and may not be what they once were.

  1. Brees

  2. Carl Nicks, guard, Tampa Bay

  3. Jimmy Graham, tight end, New Orleans

  4. Cam Newton, quarterback, Carolina

  5. Darren Sproles, running back, New Orleans

  6. Ryan Kalil, center, Carolina

  7. Jahri Evans, guard, New Orleans

  8. Steve Smith, receiver, Carolina

  9. Matt Ryan, quarterback, Atlanta

  10. Jabari Greer, cornerback, New Orleans

  11. Julio Jones, receiver, Atlanta

  12. Brent Grimes, cornerback, Atlanta

  13. DeAngelo Williams, running back, Carolina

  14. Curtis Lofton, linebacker, New Orleans

  15. Sean Weatherspoon, linebacker, Atlanta

  16. Vincent Jackson, receiver, Tampa Bay

  17. Jonathan Stewart, running back, Carolina

  18. Charles Johnson, defensive end, Carolina

  19. Roddy White, receiver, Atlanta

  20. Malcolm Jenkins, safety, New Orleans

  21. Jon Beason, linebacker, Carolina

  22. Josh Freeman, quarterback, Tampa Bay

  23. Michael Turner, running back, Atlanta

  24. Adrian Clayborn, defensive end, Tampa Bay

  25. Marques Colston, receiver, New Orleans