NFL NFC South: Who Will Struggle to Meet Expectations?

The NFC South fell short of expectations last season, with not a single team finishing with a winning record. Despite offseason improvements and elevated optimism, doubts still linger regarding certain roster choices. Let’s dive into the analysis of potential disappointments that will affect NFL Lines within each of the four teams in the soon-to-be competitive NFC South.

Calijah Kancey’s NFL Caliber Remains Uncertain

When it comes to potential busts, the attention often gravitates towards prominent names like Baker Mayfield. Although Mayfield has faced criticism, he has proven himself in the League. In contrast, first-round pick Calijah Kancey raises questions about his readiness for the League. Standing at a diminutive 6’1″ and 281 pounds, he falls short of NFL defensive tackle standards. The concerns primarily revolve around his ability to defend the run effectively. With the Tampa Bay Buccaneers prioritizing solid run defense, Kancey might face challenges earning playing time if he cannot overcome his size limitations.


Miles Sanders: Managing Expectations

The Carolina Panthers have made a substantial bet on Miles Sanders, signing him to a four-year, $25.4 million contract. While head coach Frank Reich praises Sanders’ skill set and envisions him as a three-down back, it’s essential to temper expectations. Sanders thrived last season due to favorable game scripts and the presence of one of the league’s best offensive lines. Metrics reflecting his actual running ability, such as juke rate and breakaway run rate, ranked lower compared to his game script-driven success. While Sanders is a reliable back with solid blocking, setting him up as a superstar after witnessing Christian McCaffrey’s prime may lead to inevitable disappointment.

Bryan Bresee: A Risky Proposition for the Saints

NFL Player Bryan BreseeThe New Orleans Saints selected Trevor Penning, a boom-or-bust prospect, in the first round of the 2022 draft, hoping for an immediate impact. Unfortunately, injuries limited Penning’s playing time and disrupted his development. History seems to be repeating itself with the Saints’ selection of Bryan Bresee. With notable departures on the defensive line, the Saints require Bresee’s assistance in generating a pass rush while compensating for the lost snaps. While Bresee possesses undeniable long-term potential, concerns arise regarding his injury history and lack of refined technique. Asking him to stay healthy throughout an NFL season while rapidly adapting to the intricacies of playing defensive line poses a significant challenge.

Bud Dupree and the Falcons: A Potential Mismatch

Anticipating Bud Dupree to be the savior of the Atlanta Falcons pass rush may be misguided. The Falcons, who ranked last in pressure percentage last season, have made numerous attempts to address their pass rush woes without significant success. Dupree arrives with a modest one-year, $3 million contract, aiming to recapture his form from his Pittsburgh Steelers days. However, his best performances came within a blitz-heavy scheme alongside T.J. Watt, making production more attainable. Without the luxury of consistent blitzing in the Titans’ scheme, Dupree struggled to generate sacks. Injuries further limited his impact, appearing in only 22 games over the past two seasons. The development of Lorenzo Carter and a potential breakout season from Arnold Ebikitie are more likely to bolster the Falcons’ pass-rushing efforts.

While predicting busts remains speculative, these players face challenges that may hinder their ability to meet expectations. The NFC South is poised for fierce competition, and these potential disappointments may need to overcome obstacles to prove their worth in the coming season. The NFL Odds are ever changing so general managers shouldn’t be too patient with some of these choices as the teams have a realistic shot of making the playoffs.