We have finished half of the NFC. Today, we continue on to take a look at the NFC South. This division has produced the NFC Champion the last 2 years and will most likely be front and center again. Once again, I reiterate that in this article, I’ll be talking about the need of immediate starters. And again, I’ll be giving my recommendation on who they should pick in the 1st 3 rounds of the draft. So, without further ado, let’s jump right the NFC South team needs.
Atlanta Falcons (picks in the 1st 3 rounds) – 31st, 63rd, 95th.
- Guard – The defending NFC champions don’t have many needs. As a matter of fact, the only hole I see I at G. They should be trying to find a run blocker so they can run the ball more when they are up 28-3.
31st – Tim Williams, DE, Alabama
63rd – Dorian Johnson, G, Pittsburgh
95th – Damontae Kazee, CB, San Diego State
Carolina Panthers (picks in the 1st 3 rounds) – 8th, 40th, 64th, 98th.
- Right Tackle – The Panthers are still saying they expect Michael Oher to be their starting RT when the season starts. However, the fact of the matter is, Oher has been in the concussion protocol for 6 months and he may not play football again. They will realize this soon.
- Safety – The Panthers signed Mike Adams this offseason. He may still be productive, but he is 36 years old. Kurt Coleman was 1 of the worst performing Safeties in the league last year. The technically could use 2 picks here.
- Wide Receiver – Everyone knows Kelvin Benjamin is a beast when he’s healthy. Devin Funchess has a lot of talent and potential. The missing piece is 1 of the quick slot WRs. That’s the missing safety valve, to go with Greg Olsen, that QB Cam Newton needs.
- Running Back – There is a lot of noise that Carolina will go RB very early, even as soon as the 8th overall pick. Starting RB James Stewart himself even said that they should take an RB. Stewart has many injury concerns. The Panthers are in need of a big time running game to be an effective team.
8th – Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford
40th – Josh Jones, S, NC State
64th – Zay Jones, WR, East Carolina
98th – Roderick Johnson, OT, Florida State
New Orleans Saints (picks in the 1st 3 rounds) – 11th, 32nd, 42nd, 76th, 103rd.
- Defensive End – The best way to find out what a priority is for a team is to listen to their head coach after the season but before the draft season. Coach Sean Payton said that pass rush is a must priority. That tells me they will address that early, possibly with 1 of their 2 1st round picks.
- Cornerback – Delvin Breaux and PJ Williams are solid guys. However, the Saints need more talent in their secondary. With 5 picks in the 1st 3 rounds, the Saints have more than enough ammunition to load up on multiple positions, including adding some talent at CB.
- Guard – Max Unger is 1 of the best Centers in the league. However, there is more of a need on the interior line. Over the past few years, the Saints have switched their philosophy to more of a balanced offensive attack. Another G can help RB Mark Ingram and the running game.
- Quarterback – I know I said that I was not going to give Team Needs that had to do with depth, but this is a special case. Future Hall of Famer, Drew Brees, has absolute control of the team, but he’s 38 and just like the Patriots do with Brady, getting “The Next One is now a must.
11th – Taco Charlton, DE, Michigan
32nd – Tre’Davious White, CB, LSU
42nd – Dion Dawkins, G, Temple
76th – Jake Butt, TE, Michigan
103rd – Davis Webb, QB, California
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (picks in the 1st 3 rounds) – 19th, 50th, 84th.
- Left Tackle – Current LT Donovan Smith should be at RT. Their interior line is fine, but if you don’t have 2 good tackles in today’s NFL, you are asking for trouble. This year may be tough to get one outside of round 1, but eventually, something must be done.
- Cornerback – Brent Grimes had a good bounce back year. Rookie CB Vernon Hargreaves, who I really am high on, had a bad year, but the team is encouraging him to be aggressive, which was his style in college. What’s needed is a slot CB, so a pick will be used, just not a high one.
- Safety – The Bucs had a good signing in JJ Wilcox, but Keith Tandy is not the answer at FS. What they need is a true centerfielder to prevent all the deep passes that are being allowed over the top. With the depth at DB this draft, getting 2 good ones could turn their secondary around.
- Linebacker – There is a need at strongside LB. Lavonte David is one of the best LB in the entire league. Kwon Alexander is a talented guy who is holding down the MLB spot. Even though a 3rd isn’t a huge deal, it could be that last piece after getting 2 DBs.
- Running Back – One position is for certain for the Bucs, RB. Starter Doug Martin has been injured or ineffective a lot over the past 2 years. Currently, besides all of that, he is checked into a rehab center. When he comes back, he is facing a 3 game suspension for PEDs.
19th – Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State
50th – Justin Evans, S, Texas A&M
84th – Jourdan Lewis, CB, Michigan
For a division that is weak by most standards, they sure do have a knack for going far in the playoffs. Carolina and Atlanta have been to the last 2 Superbowls, New Orleans has a bunch of picks to go with Drew Brees, and Tampa Bay has a lot of talented players and clearly have a bright future. Furthermore, we are almost done with the entire NFC team needs. There is just one more division to go. Next up, we go West young man, to check out the NFC West. Enjoy the draft.