NFC South: Draft Analysis and Grade

As I have stated in previous articles regarding this topic today we will be discussing the NFC South. For those of you who may not know, the NFC South consists of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Carolina Panthers, Atlanta Falcons, and the New Orleans Saints. If these happen to be one of the teams you root for please feel free to share your thoughts about the draft.

Atlanta Falcons

1. Calvin Ridley, Wide Receiver, Alabama with the 26th pick
2. Isaiah Oliver, Cornerback, Colorado with the 58th pick
3. Deadrin Senat, Defensive Tackle, South Florida with the 90th pick
4. Ito Smith, Running Back, Southern Miss with the 126th pick
6. Russell Gage, Wide Receiver, LSU with the 194th pick
6. Foresade Oluokun, Linebacker, Yale with the 200th pick

Draft Analysis:

 Atlanta add Ridley which allows Ryan to have another target deep down field. Although I am not a big fan of this pick because I thought the Falcons were going to focus on defense with the first pick. I had them going with Taven Bryan in the first round, Bryan would have added a lot of depth and talent to a defensive line with a lot of holes. Senat will be a very good defender for the Falcons against the run and while the Falcons drafted Oliver, even though it wasn’t a big need, will be able to add length and press coverage ability to the secondary. Smith will likely be the No. 3 back unless something changes with Tevin Coleman being a free agent in 2019. Both Gage and Oluokun are likely to be special teams member.

Grade: C+

Falcons .jpg

Carolina Panthers

1. D.J. Moore, Wide Receiver, Maryland with the 24th pick
2. Donte Jackson, Cornerback, LSU with the 55th pick
3. Rashaan Gaulden, Defensive Back, Tennessee with the 85th pick
4. Ian Thomas, Tight End, Indiana with the 101st pick
4. Marquis Haynes, Defensive End, Ole Miss with the 136th pick
5. Jermaine Carter, Linebacker, Maryland with the 161st pick
7. Andre Smith, Linebacker, North Carolina with the 234th pick
7. Kendrick Norton, Defensive Tackle, Miami with the 242nd pick

Draft Analysis:

I am still worried about this offense after they failed to address that giant gap left with the departure of Andrew Norwell. Even though the likes of Moore, Jackson and Gaulden address some issues all of those players have some flaws. Drafting Thomas raises a concern because he had very little production in college and Haynes is going to be 25 this year. Carter and Smith are likely to become special team contributors while Norton will have to find his way into the rotation.

Grade: C-

Moore Panthers.jpg
New Orleans Saints

1. Marcus Davenport, Defensive End, Texas-San Antonio with the 14th pick
3. Tre’Quan Smith, Wide Receiver, Central Florida with the 91st pick
4. Rick Leonard, Offensive Tackle, Florida State with the 127th pick
5. Natrell Jamerson, Safety, Wisconsin with the 164th pick
6. Kamrin Moore, Cornerback, Boston College with the 189th pick
6. Boston Scott, Running Back, Louisiana Tech with the 201st pick
7. Will Clapp, Center, LSU with the 245th pick

Draft Analysis:

I was VERY surprised with what the Saints gave up to move up with the Packers but they must have really seen Marcus Davenport who does indeed have talent even while coming from a small school. Smith was a tremendous receiver deep last season but joins a rather crowded group of receivers. Smith will struggle early to find snaps on offense to really exploit his skill set but given time I believe he will be a very nice pick. Leonard only has experience on the right side of the line and both Jamerson and Moore really didn’t excel in ball skills during college. Scott was another surprising pick with the Saints already with Kamara and Ingram but Scott has a lot of talent and could excel in the passing game.

Grade: C

Davenport.jpg

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

1. Vita Vea, Defensive Tackle, Washington with the 12th pick
2. Ronald Jones, Running Back, USC with the 38th pick
2. M.J. Stewart, Cornerback, North Carolina with the 53rd pick
2. Carlton Davis, Cornerback, Auburn with the 63rd pick
3. Alex Cappa, Tackle/Guard, Humboldt State with the 94th pick
4. Jordan Whitehead, Safety, Pittsburgh with the 117th pick
5. Justin Watson, Wide Receiver, Pennsylvania with the 144th pick
6. Jack Cichy, Linebacker, Wisconsin with the 202nd pick

Draft Analysis:

Overall I was very pleased with this draft because of the Vea pick. Vea helps bolster and already talented and deep defensive line. However, I was hoping the Buccaneers would have focused more on the secondary but both Stewart and Davis are highly talented cornerbacks who not only with make an impact but will also give the roster some much needed depth. Ronald Jones was also another nice pick up that will give Winston a very nice offensive weapon to an already talented roster.

Grade: B

Vea Buccaneers

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