Josh Freeman, Ron Jaworski, Predictions and the List Spoiler

Tom EdringtonSenior Writer IJune 27, 2012

Drew Brees WILL BE the top player in the NFC South.
Drew Brees WILL BE the top player in the NFC South.Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

What else do you do in the "dead time" before NFL training camps open?

You make up "lists."

ESPN's Ron Jaworski is counting down his top NFL quarterbacks. He's already ranked Josh Freeman of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at No. 17 and Carolina's Cam Newton at 15.

You'll also see ESPN's Top 25 players in the NFC South. Josh Freeman and Adrian Clayborn have made the list, and let's go ahead and spoil it right now:

Drew Brees will be the No. 1 player in the NFC South. No contest, undeniable, non-debatable.

Atlanta's Matt Ryan will be in the top five of that NFC South list. So will New Orleans tight end Jimmy Graham and all-around back Darren Sproles. Hate to spoil it, but that's a no-brainer.

Brees could end up as the No. 1 player in the NFL Network's Top 100 countdown. Warren Sapp thinks he should be No. 1 and said so Wednesday morning. "The little guy gets it done," Sapp said of the height-challenged Brees. Marshall Faulk countered with Tom Brady, and Sapp got bug-eyed over that.

So maybe, just maybe, Freeman will use his fourth-place ranking in the NFC South as a motivator this season. When you look at it, you would be hard-pressed to name any conference in either the NFC or AFC that has a better collection of quarterbacks than the NFC South.

You have Brees, Ryan, Newton—then Freeman. Right now, Freeman has the most to prove while Newton simply has to keep doing what he's done.

Lists, lists and more lists.

In 30 days we can ditch the lists and get down to some real football when Buccaneers training camp opens on July 27.


Read more Buccaneer news and views at