Draft Review – NFC South

Normally I write a lengthy review for each team’s draft.  This summer I had a couple of projects that really ate into my time and put me behind schedule.  I will instead just post some quick thoughts for each division.  My apologies for the lack of posts this summer.

Here is the NFC South … 

ATLANTA FALCONS

2 – C Peter Konz – Wisconsin – 6-5, 314
3 – OT Lamar Holmes – So Miss – 6-5, 323
5 – FB Bradie Ewing – Wisconsin – 6-0, 239
5 – DE Jonathan Massaquoi – Troy – 6-2, 264
6 – SS Charles Mitchell – Miss State – 5-11, 202
7 – DT Travian Robertson – South Carolina – 6-4, 302

The Falcons were without 1st and 4th round picks due to the Julio Jones trade.  They decided to spend their first couple of picks on OL.  I think that was wise.  Konz could be an outstanding C in the NFL.  Holmes went earlier than I expected, but he is a good prospect.  Massaquoi is the most interesting of the late round picks.  He had a good year in 2010, but then bulked up for 2011 and to impress NFL teams.  The extra weight slowed him down and affected his production.  The Falcons have had some success with light DL.  Massaquoi could be a good role player.

CAROLINA PANTHERS

1 – LB Luke Kuechly – Boston College – 6-3, 242
2 – OG Amini Silatolu – Midwestern State – 6-4, 311
4 – DE Frank Alexander – Oklahoma – 6-4, 270
4 – WR Joe Adams – Arkansas – 5-11, 179
5 – CB Josh Norman – Coastal Carolina – 6-0, 197
6 – P Brad Nortman – Wisconsin – 6-3, 213
7 – FS D.J. Campbell – Cal – 6-2, 201

Kuechly was my favorite player in the 2012 draft so I think the Panthers got a terrific prosopect.  Unfortunately I think they erred in going for a LB when they have such a pedestrian group of DTs.  If veteran Ron Edwards can stay healthy and play well or some other young guys emerge, they may be okay.  I just think that today’s NFL is all about the DL.  I don’t think the Panthers are good enough there.  Silatolu is a good fit for their offense.  He’s a terrific run blocker and the Panthers love to run the ball.  Joe Adams was a bargain in the 4th and Norman was great value in the 5th.  Alexander felt like a reach.  Good frame, but not a natural pass rusher.

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS

3 – DT Akiem Hicks – Regina (Canada) 6-5, 318
4 – WR Nick Toon – Wisconsin – 6-2, 215
5 – SS Corey White – Samford – 6-0, 206
6 – OG Andrew Tiller – Syracuse – 6-5, 334
7 – OT Marcel Jones – Nebraska – 6-5, 304

The Saints had no 1st rounder after a trade in 2011.  Their 2nd round pick was taken away in the Bountygate situation.  Hicks is a real interesting player.  Huge guy with the potential to be a force in the middle.  Steve Spagnuolo needs interior pass rushers.  Hicks could help in that role.  Toon is a big WR and the Saints are great with them.  The late round picks offer depth on the OL.  Tiller’s college coach is a former Saints assistant, Doug Marrone.  You can bet Sean Payton and Mickey Loomis talked to him a few times.

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS

1 – S Mark Barron – Alabama – 6-1, 213
1 – RB Doug Martin – Boise State – 5-9, 223
2 – LB Lavonte David – Nebraska – 6-1, 233
5 – ILB Najee Goode – West Va – 6-0, 244
6 – CB Keith Tandy – West Va – 5-10, 195
7 – RB Michael Smith – Utah State – 5-9, 207
7 – FB Drake Dunsmore – NW – 6-2, 241

I was shocked when the Bucs took Barron in the Top 10.  I’d heard the rumors, but just didn’t see Barron as being special enough for a pick that high.  New coach Greg Schiano felt differently.  The Bucs have had bad Safety play in recent years and that certainly had to affect the Bucs mentality.  Martin will be the team’s starting RB and has a chance to be an impact player.  He’s looked great all spring and summer.  David seems like a Schiano kind of player.  Good fit and value.  Smith is a real interesting late round pick.  Could be a good role player.  Not huge, but very good athlete.  Dunsmore has the challenge of going from TE in college to FB.

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