NFL DRAFT PREVIEW: NFC SOUTH

April 27, 2016

 

ATLANTA FALCONS

TEAM NEEDS:

TE, WLB, RG, LEO, ILB, FS, SS, CB

 

PROSPECT TRACKER

Kevin HoganTrevone BoykinJosh WoodrumTyler Ervin, DeAndre Washington, Braxton Miller, Moritz Boehringer, Austin HooperStephen AndersonHakeem VallesJason Spriggs, Joe DahlJack Allen, Jake Brendel, Shaq Lawson, Bronson Kaufusi, Carl Nassib, Matt Ioannidis, Javon Hargrave, Myles Jack, Joshua Perry, Nick Vigil, Darron LeeDeion JonesDe'Vondre Campbell, Leonard Floyd, Victor Ochi, Su'a Cravens, Justin Simmons, Kevin Byard, KJ Dillon

 

VISIT

PRIVATE WORKOUT

 

PROJECTED DRAFT:

(29)   WLB DARRON LEE

(92)   FS JUSTIN SIMMONS

(128) TE AUSTIN HOOPER

(167) RG JOE DAHL

(170) ILB NICK VIGIL

 


The Falcons need some bullies on defense, but unfortunately don't have a lot of draft capital to accomplish that goal. There has been some chatter that the Falcons have cooled on Darron Lee and are hoping either Clemson defensive end Shaq Lawson or Kevin Dodd fall, but they are in desperate need of speed at the second level and Lee is a perfect fit. There has also been scuttlebutt that Dan Quinn has a draft crush on Florida safety Keanu Neal, but unless the Falcons trade down, selecting Neal at 17 would be a stretch. The Falcons can still address the safety position with a player like Justin Simmons, who could slot in at either SS or FS. Tight End is a position of dire need for the Falcons, and Austin Hooper is a player that took a pre-draft visit to Atlanta who could still be available in the third round. There could be another Dahl in town, with Joe Dahl a possibility to challenge Chris Chester for the RG position. Nick Vigil is likely not a long-term starter in the NFL and needs to get stronger, but he can be an asset on special teams and play some snaps in a pinch if Sean Weatherspoon cannot hold up.

 

 

CAROLINA PANTHERS

TEAM NEEDS:

S, CB, RDE, LT, TE, RT, WR, DT

 

PROSPECT TRACKER:

Brandon AllenTyler Ervin, Laquon Treadwell, Tyler Boyd, Moritz Boehringer, Shon Coleman, Spencer Drango, Willie Beavers,Germain Ifedi, Jack Allen, Kevin Dodd, Noah Spence, Bronson Kaufusi, Matt JudonA'Shawn Robinson, Jarran ReedVernon Butler, DJ Reader, BJ Goodson, Zack Sanchez, Cyrus JonesHarlan Miller, Sean Davis, Daryl WorleyRyan SmithDarian Thompson, Deon Bush, Jayron Kearse, Su'a Cravens, Kevin Byard

 

VISIT

PRIVATE WORKOUT

 

PROJECTED DRAFT:

(1)     DT VERNON BUTLER

(110) WR BRAXTON MILLER

(113) CB ZACK SANCHEZ

(177) RDE MATT JUDON

(190) LT WILLIE BEAVERS

(190) P DREW KASER

 

 

Defensive tackle may not be priority number one for the Panthers, but they are certainly looking at a lot of DT prospects in that 30th pick range to add to their interior rotation and give them flexibility if they cannot come to a long-term deal with Star Lotulelei or Kawann Short. If Braxton Miller is available at the bottom of the second round, he can be the twitchy speed WR who could take over Ted Ginn's role in the WR rotation. Oklahoma CB Zack Sanchez is one of my favorite players in the draft and his style of play is very similar to that of Josh Norman, so he would be a logical replacement if available. Grand Valley State pass rusher Matt Judon is the type of high-ceiling player who could realize his potential if he lands on a roster as young and prolific as Carolina's. Willie Beavers is a player who the Panthers were high on at the Senior Bowl and could provide some competition for either Michael Oher or Mike Remmers at either tackle position. Lastly, the Panthers need to replace Brad Nortman, and Texas A&M's Drew Kaser has a powerful leg who is strong at directional punting.

 

 

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS

TEAM NEEDS:

EDGE RUSHER, LG, WR, OLB, CB, NT, K, TE

 

PROSPECT TRACKER:

Connor Cook, Paxton Lynch, Tyler Ervin, Josh Ferguson Pharoh Cooper, Demarcus Robinson, Daniel Braverman, Cody Core, Darius PoweTyler HigbeeStephen Anderson, Christian Westerman, Landon Turner, Rees Odhiambo, Kyle Murphy, Matt Judon, Shaq Lawson, Noah Spence, Jordan Jenkins, Kamalei Correa, Stephen Weatherly, Jarran Reed, Greg Milhouse, Myles JackSteven DanielsCyrus Jones, Justin SimmonsJayron Kearse, Su'a Cravens, Kevin Byard, Ross Martin

 

VISIT

PRIVATE WORKOUT

 

PROJECTED DRAFT:

(7)     WR LAQUON TREADWELL

(37)   LDE JONATHAN BULLARD

(68)   LG CHRISTIAN WESTERMAN

(105) WR PHAROH COOPER

(133) RG LANDON TURNER

(142) K ROSS MARTIN

 

 

Marques Colston was such an important player for Drew Brees and the Saints especially in the red zone, and as good as the former Hofstra pass-catcher was in his prime, Laquon Treadwell will be much, much better. Treadwell doesn't have blazing speed, but that's OK, because the Saints have up-and-coming burner in Brandin Cooks lining up on the other side. In the second round, Jonathan Bullard isn't the ideal edge rusher the Saints need, but his addition could help the Saints pair up with Nick Fairley on the inside and help collapse the pocket from the middle, especially on third and long situations. Christian Westerman is a strong guard who can step in and start at LG day one, and Pharoh Cooper gives them a player who could line up in the slot and provide mismatches over the field. Landon Turner is a Jahri Evans-type guard who adds another big body to the offensive line and Ross Martin is a kicker the Saints were hot on in Mobile.

 

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS

TEAM NEEDS:

FS, SS, RDE, CB, RDT, OLB, OT, WR

 

PROSPECT TRACKER:

Brandon Allen, Geronimo Allison, Cody CoreShon Coleman, Rees Odhiambo, Justin MurrayJoe Thuney, Zach SterupNoah SpenceEmmanuel Ogbah, Carl Nassib, Sheldon Rankins, Robert Nkemdiche, Andrew BillingsKenny Clark, Vernon Butler, Joel Heath, Nick KwiatkowskiAaron Wallace, Mackensie Alexander, Eli Apple, Artie Burns, Xavien Howard, Cyrus JonesTaveze Calhoun, James Bradberry, Sean Davis, Jeremy Cash, KJ Dillon, Miles KillebrewElijah Shumate

 

VISIT

PRIVATE WORKOUT

 

PROJECTED DRAFT:

(26)   RDE SHAQ LAWSON

(56)   RDT ANDREW BILLINGS

(90)   OT SHON COLEMAN

(97)   FS DEANDRE HOUSTON-CARSON

(124) CB JAMES BRADBERRY

(171) SS ELIJAH SHUMATE

(215) OLB AARON WALLACE

 

 

While the Buccaneers helped address edge rusher in free agency with Robert Ayers, they still need a twitchier player on the other side and Shaq Lawson fits the bill. OT Ronnie Stanley is a possibility if available to help protect Jameis Winston, and the team seems high on Vernon Hargreaves as well. Andrew Billings is a pass rushing defensive tackle stuck in a nose tackle's body and could help the run defense immensely if paired up with Gerald McCoy. If offensive tackle is not the pick at 9, Auburn's Shon Coleman is a player who could line up at right or left tackle, depending on where the Bucs view Donovan Smith. DeAndre Houston-Carson is a small-school player with a big-school game, and his play reminds me of former Bucs Super Bowl hero Dexter Jackson. James Bradberry of Samford is a big corner who adds size on the outside and could develop into a start over Johnthan Banks over time. SS Elijah Shumate isn't afraid to put his nose into the box but could also cover in a Tampa 2 system. UCLA Aaron Wallace is a name that is picking up steam recently with a lot of pre-draft visits and he can be the heir apparent to Daryl Smith, who may only have one or two years left in the tank.

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