Which NFC South sophomores are set to establish themselves this upcoming season?
In our latest NFC South roundtable discussion with River Wells of Bucs Wire, Anthony Rizzuti of Panthers Wire and John Sigler of Saints Wire, we examine the division’s second-year breakout candidates.
Bucs Wire: DT Logan Hall
The Bucs will be waiting to see if DT Logan Hall can show some big progress in year two. Hall has gained playing weight and will likely serve as the 3-4 DE across from new Bucs rookie Calijah Kancey, and Todd Bowles and his defensive staff will hope to see him take a jump in 2023 and be a big contributor on the defensive side of the ball. — River Wells, Bucs Wire
Panthers Wire: LT Ikem Ekwonu
Left tackle Ikem Ekwonu was solid in his rookie campaign. He played in every single one of Carolina’s 1,016 offensive snaps and allowed just six sacks. He should be even better with that year of experience under his belt. — Anthony Rizzuti, Panthers Wire
Falcons Wire: QB Desmond Ridder
Ridder wasn’t great last season when he stepped in for Marcus Mariota, however, he kept his head above water and improved during each of his four starts. Playing in a QB-friendly system with a dominant running game to lean on, Ridder could surprise a lot of people this season. The former Cincinnati standout showed good chemistry with rookie WR Drake London, and let’s not sleep on the return of TE Kyle Pitts. — Matt Urben, Falcons Wire
We saw some good things out of CB Alontae Taylor in a part-time role last year, but he’s gearing up to win a starting job from CB Paulson Adebo and develop into one of the game’s better defensive backs. He broke up 8 passes without allowing a touchdown pass last year and should only improve with more experience. — John Sigler, Saints Wire