Grading the Rest of the NFC South’s Draft


I’m sure here at Bucs Report you’re getting plenty of wonderful analysis of the Bucs’ draft picks, their UDFA, etc. so I’m going to do something different (but still Bucs-related). 

It’s time to look at the other teams around the division and assess their draft hauls! 

Let’s start with the most fun team (because they’re also the worst), the Falcons…

Atlanta Falcons: F-

Another year, another draft disaster for the Falcons. 

I mean my goodness did they make a mess of their first 2 picks. We’ll start with the obvious one; Michael Penix Jr. is not a bad choice at 8 overall. Let’s just start from that assumption, because if a team likes a QB enough they should go get him. 

But not if that team literally just signed a QB to a multi-year, very expensive contract while being in a very winnable division with a half-decent team. 

So that’s a disaster. Unless Penix, Jr. turns out to be a really quality starter who signs a 2nd contract (and ideally a 3rd, since Cousins might be around long enough to force ATL to sign MPJ to a 2nd contract just to see what they have), this will remain an awful choice, and even then it’s only because of hindsight. 

The Jordan Love conversation is mute to bring up as well because A) that was still a questionable at best pick and B) the Packers were picking at the end of the 1st round, not at number 8. 

If the Falcons go literally any other position, it’s an OK draft, but they didn’t, so here we are, which leads to the 2nd selection, where they traded up in the 2nd round to pick a massive reach that likely would’ve been there with their original selection. 

I won’t even get into the rest of their draft because it was that bad. 

New Orleans Saints: B

There’s not much to quable about with the Saints’ draft class. They desperately needed a tackle and a corner, they got 2 solid ones in the first 2 rounds. 

Spencer Rattler should provide some fun competition for Derek Carr, and getting another wideout and a linebacker in the middle rounds was necessary. 

Probably not a needle-moving class, but also not a setback, as there’s plenty of boom potential. 

Carolina Panthers: C

The Panthers traded away their best pass rusher in Brian Burnes, and whether or not they should’ve extended him is an entirely different conversation. 

The reality is he’s gone, and they did nothing to replace him, going so far to draft a running back (yuck) in the 2nd round in a spot where an edge rusher or corner would’ve made far more sense. 

Trevin Wallace out of UK should be fine at the linebacker spot, and it’s always tough to judge late round selections, but the beginning left me scratching my head. 

Xavier Legette could be great, and I love trying to support 2nd year QB Bryce Young even while being hamstrung by not having a 1st rounder entering Thursday night, but my goodness was the running back pick a downer. 

Luckily for the Bucs, they probably had the best draft out of all the teams in the division despite winning it last year. 

So that’s nice. 

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