It’s never shocking when there is a new NFL star coming out of the NFC South. Players such as Alvin Kamara in New Orleans, Mike Evans in Tampa, and DJ Moore in Carolina, are just a few who’ve become household names over the years. But who may be that next potential star to come out the NFC South?
Here is one player from each NFC South team primed for a breakout season.
Bryan Edwards- WR Atlanta Falcons
Bryan Edwards was traded from the Raiders this offseason and will have a much bigger role in Atlanta.
Edwards had a solid 2021 campaign with quarterback Derek Carr. In 16 games Edwards had 34 catches, 571 and three touchdowns.
Edwards has a great opportunity make a name for himself in Atlanta. With the Raiders acquiring Davante Adams this offseason, he would of been the odd man out of a core that already has Darren Waller and Hunter Renfrow.
Luckily for Edwards, he gets the ball thrown to him by Marcus Mariota, who was his teammate on the Raiders for the last two seasons. So creating chemistry with his quarterback should not be a issue.
Derrick Brown- DT Carolina Panthers
Defensive end Brian Burns has been a stud in the NFL, and is need of a new running mate after Hasan Reddick signed with the Eagles in the offseason. Filling that void will be tough, but the Panthers may already have that guy in Derrick Brown.
Since his arrival in Carolina in 2020, Brown has gotten better, but the Panthers need more out of their 6’5 320lb defensive tackle.
Last year, Brown had 41 tackles, eight TFL(tackles-for-loss), and three sacks. Just like out of Auburn, Brown has generally been more of a block taker and a solid run stopper in his NFL career so far.
Panther staff and fans are anxious to see what the former number seven pick in the 2020 draft will do. Hopefully defensive coordinator Phil Snow will put him in position to take the next step, and take the defense to another level.
Marcus Maye- FS New Orleans Saints
After five seasons as a New York Jet, Marcus Maye signed a three-year $28.5 million dollar deal with the New Orleans Saints this past offseason.
Maye in New York has always been a underrated safety. In five seasons with the Jets Maye had six interceptions and 312 total tackles.
Maye has never made a pro bowl, but has an opportunity to do that playing in the NFC South, which has some of the best receivers in all of football.
Jamel Dean- CB Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Jamel Dean’s career is off to a great start. In 49 possible regular season games, Dean has played 42. Last season, Dean played the most games of his career, playing 15 games and started 11 of them.
At 6’1 206lbs Dean is a absolute freak of nature at corner. In his three year career, he has 111 tackles, five interceptions, and 33 pass deflections.
So far, Dean has looked like a steal from the 2019 draft as a third round selection. Lets see if he can take the next step into greatness and become the next elite corner in the NFL.