The NFC South was terrible defensively a year ago as a whole. That showed this past April when all teams draft heavy on defensive players. Lets take a look at how they did.
Atlanta came into the draft very light at the cornerback position. They took Desmond Trufant from Washington late in round one. A speedy versatile corner will start day one and should be a solid contributor early in a pass heavy division.
In round two the Falcons went back to the cornerback position. They selected Robert Alford from Southeastern Lousiana. Another speedy defensive back who has a chance to start as the nickel corner.
In the fourth atlanta had two picks. Malliciah Goodman a defensive end from Clemson is the type of player who does a lot of the unnoticable things well. He’ll get his chance to compete for a starting role and should be a good player in the upcoming years. Levine Toilolo was the next pick in the fourth. The big tight end from Stanford could make an impact early in the red zone. Don’t look for much this year. But down the road he could be targeted a lot down by the goal.
The rest of the draft picks were spent on defensive players except the final pick. Duke’s Sean Renfree will try and make the roster this year.
Star Lotuleli was thought of as a top three pick early in the draft process. A heart condidition that turned out to be nothing caused him to slide. He’s a massive body who helps against the run which Carolina was terrible against last season. He wont make an impact in the sack catagory. He should help against the pass by moving the pockey and tracking down screens.
Purdue’s Kawaan Short went in the second. He’s a defensive tackle who had a great season chasing down quarterbacks last year. The two tackles drafted should help complement each other.
In the fourth, Carolina went offensive line by taking Edmund Kugbila. The guard from Valdosta State has an NFL size body and was recruited by major programs but couldn’t make it academically. He could be a future starter at guard but has played tackle also.
A.J. Klien was selected in the fifth. He’s an undersized but very productive linebacker. Klein contribute on special teams and get his chance to play on defense.
Kenjon Barner was the final selection for the Panthers. Barner has decent speed but not the size to be an every down back. He will be used in passing situation and mixed into the running game. Dont draft Barner unless he shows big flashes in the preseason. even then, draft late.
New Orleans Saints
The Saints defense couldn’t stop anyone last year. Kenny Vaccaro was their first pick. The safty from Texas is a big hitter with good coverage ability. Sometimes goes for the big hit and misses. He’s a big upgrade and helps right away.
Terron Armstead was the Saints second overall choice in the third round. Coming from Arkansas Pine-Bluff he fell to the third. many thought he could slide into late round one eary two. The Saints got a steal here. He will need time to develop but could pass Charles Brown on the depth chart. The other pick in the third was Jonathan Jenkins from georgia. He gives them a huge body in the middle of the defensive line. May not start but he should be on the field in short yardage situations.
Kenny Stills went in the fifth. The receiver from Oklahoma state can run. His hands are a red flag at times. I don’t think he’ll be a star. But a receiver with Drew Brees at quarterback is always a name worth knowing.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Bucs were statiscally great against the rush. While the were good against the run. Their inability to stop the pass may have helped in the run catagory.
The Bucs first round pick was spent on a trade for Superstar cornerback Darrelle Revis.
Tampa Bays first pick was Jonathan Banks in the second. Banks is a tall defensive back who is best suited for zone coverage or a free safety spot. He’s very good against the run and timing blitzes.
Mike Glennon was taken in the third. The NC State quarterback will sit and get his chance to hone his skills and learn. Glennon has some accuracy issues. Glennon has a very tall frame that needs to fill out.
Akeem Spence was selected in the fourth. Spence was a very durable player at Illinois. He’s undersized but very strong. He’ll get his chance to crack the line up next to Gerald McCoy.
With their second pick in the forst and one in the fifth, the Bucs grabbed two raw pass rushers. William Gholston from Michigan State and Steven Mean out of Buffalo. Both will batlle for roster spots.
Mike James from Miami was the Bucs final pick. He’s a bigger runningback who will have no fantasy value unless something happens to Doug Martin. You don’t need to handcuff him as martin can do it all.