NFC South Draft Review

Atlanta Falcons:  After considering the possibility of picking Glenn Dorsey with the third overall selection in 2008 and amid rumors that they might trade for Dorsey, who might not fit within the Chiefs’ new 3-4 attack, the Falcons got their potentially dominant defensive tackle in Peria Jerry with the 24th overall pick..
The Falcons wisely continued to focus on the defensive side of the ball with the next four selections, including safety Michael William Moore, who likely would have been a first-rounder if he’d come out a year early.
So just as it was a new-look offense in 2008, led by quarterback Matt Ryan and running back Michael Turner, the defense will take on a new dynamic in 2009.  Though the division features plenty of competition, the Falcons look to be on the right track to remain in the hunt for the postseason.
Carolina Panthers:  The Panthers finally have figured out how to avoid the possibility of having to pay huge contracts to top-ten first-round draft picks — for the second straight year, they traded away the next year’s first-rounder. 
This time around, they used it to get defensive end Everette Brown in round two, a guy who could end replacing Julius Peppers, either this year or next year.  Brown unexpectedly slid out of round one; it remains to be seen whether the slide was justified. 
Like the Falcons, Carolina focused early on defense.  Unlike the Falcons, the Panthers’ defense could be moving in the wrong direction, especially if Peppers ends up leaving.
New Orleans Saints:  Thanks to last year’s win-now trading splurge that brought Jonathan Vilma and Jeremy Shockey to town, the Saints had only four draft picks.  They used three of them on defensive players, two of which will (for the Saints’ sake) hopefully shore up a pathetic secondary. 
We’re generally opposed to using draft picks on punters and kickers; when a team has only four picks, using a fifth-rounder on a punter seems like a waste.
Which likely means that Thomas Morstead will become a perennial Pro Bowler.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers:  Coach Jon Gruden is gone, but the team’s penchant for quarterbacks remains.  That said, Josh Freeman is a major risk for a franchise that hasn’t had a truly high-end signal-caller since the days of Doug Williams.
The Bucs didn’t have a second-rounder due to the Kellen Winslow trade.  If/when the bubble gum and Scotch tape holding his knee together come apart, they might wish they’d kept the pick.
But this draft all comes down to Freeman.  An already restless fan base is skeptical at best, and if Freeman tanks it could be a return to the pre-Dungy days of losing records on a year-in, year-out basis. 

33 responses to “NFC South Draft Review

  1. Freeman is a risk, just as Stafford/Sanchez is (and all 1st round QB’s are). I don’t really understand why everyone is freaking out about this, Freeman had a better TD to INT ratio than the other 2 QB’s & has the ability to keep plays alive, and lets face it, the Bucs will be handing off the ball a lot this year anyways so them winning isn’t just on Freeman (if he even plays). Saying the Bucs will somehow go back in time 10 years for actually trying to pick up a QB is just idiotic, if he doesn’t work out they’ll stick with Leftwich or McCown (probably Lefty). Settle down a bit & let the kid at least throw the ball once in the NFL before getting out your pitchforks

  2. The Falcons wisely continued to focus on the defensive side of the ball with the next four selections, including safety Michael Moore, who likely would have been a first-rounder if he wasn’t a grossly over-weight film maker. Atlanta would’ve been wiser going with William Moore.

  3. Wow, no Happy Ending for my Bucs?
    Guess the entire draft rests solely on your first pick, the rest of the rounds have no weight. You could have written something about positions needing to be drafted and which positions the Bucs drafted.

  4. I can’t believe you would even call that crap a ‘review’. I hope you’re not paying Ted for that.

  5. Ease-Up!……..he likes the name Michael………..I’d like to see you guys do what Florio does.

  6. Freeman’s the real deal. Give him 2 years and he’ll be the next Byron leftwitch

  7. Great draft review.
    I completely missed the draft and had no idea that the Bucs only drafted 1 player.
    What other great tid-bits of info do you have for us? Next you’re going to tell me they cut D. Brooks

  8. Bucs did a great job assessing needs in the other rounds. Miller is going to be a stud at DT. He’ll be a vocal leader for the team and fits perfectly for their new D scheme. In round 4, Moore will be able to contribute on the DL. He’ll be outside on running plays and can switch inside on passing plays. The tackle selected in round 5 is a project, he’s still new to the position, however they have a solid OL already. He’ll learn and develop and should be able to contribute as a backup. With their 7th round pick, Biggers should be able to make an impact on special teams. He’s fast 4.3 40 and has decent size at 6′ 180lbs. Sammie the WR out of OSU is a very good player. He should develop into a strong option in the slot for them.
    Regardless, all players drafted have potential. If they put in the time and effort in the weight room, film room, and on the field, they all have the chance to develop into decent players. That’s universal for all teams and all players regardless of where they were drafted. So, now let’s see who gets to work, we’ll know who because they’ll be playing on Sundays

  9. That was a horrible review. The worst uniformed review I may have ever seen. How in the hell does the Buccaneers future have everything to do with one first round pick???? Makes absolutley no sence. It was the 17 pick for gods sake. Its not like they have to pay him like Matt Ryan or Sanchez, Stafford etc… Your not even a fan of the Bucs fan and your a doom and gloomer. What a crock of shite

  10. Now all Florio has to do is copy the item above from Bigflem55 into his article and voila, something worth reading about the BUCS draft.

  11. Please Link Up the other divisions you have done….
    Not everyone in America logs on here every 30 minutes, but most do.

  12. Terrible article Florio — this is even worse then your mock drafts — why bother even writing this if you’re going to put in such a half-ass effort?

  13. That was a crappy article for Buc fans. Good article for the Dirty Birds. Guess old Mikey feels bad for crapping all over the Vick lovers.
    If as stated previously, the Bucs shift to a power run offense, then Freeman could start right away. Handing off the ball and not being tackled are something the big boy could handle right away. The one thing I like about him is the size. Will definitely be harder to tackle and more durable than Garcia (I was at the Seattle game a couple years back and saw him get crunched. And saw Luke McCown not look like anything long term!). He will give us a chance.
    I would have loved to see something good come to the Bucs on the DLine side but I didn’t see anything beyond BJ Raji.
    P.S. Keep giving it the Vick lovers, Mike. They need to know how much he really does suck. Buc fans know it.

  14. this article blowwws, kellens knee has not caused him to miss any games the past 2 seasons. his knee is healed.
    freeman wasnt a top 5 talent, and already hes a write off. let him play, maybe he’ll be great, or mayb he’ll flop, just let him play. big ben, drew brees, flacco, brady ect. all come into the nfl with lots of skepticism around there talent , but they all turned out great.
    and the draft consist of more then the first 2 rounds
    florio you suck!

  15. I agree what a horrible written article. So i guess the Lions and the Jets do not take risk in also drafting QB’s, just the bucs huh? I think all three have the potentional to make there respective teams winners, and no it won’t happen overnight, but anything good takes time, everyone knows that. The bucs have a good reciever in bryant, have a good core of tight ends in kellen and stevens, have a great and yes great O-Line, and there backfeild will be solid with Ernest and Ward. So my point being stop putting the bucs and freeman down until he gets a chance, most likely the outcome will be all the negative people eat there words whe Freeman dominates.

  16. “High end” signal callers are hard to come by.
    Mostly there’s just one way of getting one.
    Takin a chance in the draft, yup.
    Freeman has that “it” thing….seems moreso than that of the two taken above him.
    First post btw. Daily reader. Thanks a bunch for your tireless effort.
    So…when’s the rest of the Bucs draft review gonna be posted?? Thnaks.

  17. Agree with the other south fans that this column shows a pathetic lack of discussion beyond the first picks. And good luck finding rationale for this hump’s opinions. They’re just opinions pulled straight from his anal orifice. So what happens to the Panthers defense, then, if both Peppers stays and Brown becomes a stud? Are they still moving in the wrong direction?

  18. yeah, i dont think this article was that great either. freeman was not the only gut the bucs picked up in the draft. aren’t you the guy who is always saying you cant grade the draft until a couple seasons later and here you go grading the draft but you dont have the balls to come out and say what you really think.

  19. So, your review of the Saints is summed up with a lame-ass line about the punter? Jeez man.
    The Saints draft essentially was this: 1st round, Malcolm Jenkins; 2nd round, Jeremy Shockey (and pretend the Saints threw in a 5th rounder to move up in the draft to get him); 3rd Round, Jonathan Vilma (and they pick up a 4th rounder in addition); 4th rounder number 1, Chip Vaughn; 4th rounder number 2 Stanley Arnoux (these two Wake Forest guys made Aaron Curry the 4th over all pick in the draft by the way); 5th round number 1 (gave it up for Shockey); 5th round number two, used it on Punter Morstead (considered the number 1 punter in the draft by most, never had a punt blocked, never); 6th rounder, got WR Adrian Arrington (considered by most to be a future starter for the Saints a la Marques Colston); 7th rounder, gave up for Morstead…big whoop.
    So, the Saints got the best DB in the draft, a pro-bowl TE, a Pro-Bowl LB, and 3 other defensive players that can legitimately contend for a starting spot.
    Grade: A
    that’s a review you dork.

  20. vtopa says:
    “So, the Saints got the best DB in the draft, a pro-bowl TE, a Pro-Bowl LB, and 3 other defensive players that can legitimately contend for a starting spot.”
    I think the hand grenades and muffalattas are going to your head vtopa
    1) Michael Jenkins wasn’t considered the best corner in the draft. His combine 40 was so slow that most teams dropped him on draft boards and considered him a safety.
    2) 50 catches for less than 500 yards and ZERO TD’s doesn’t get Shockey to the Pro Bowl
    3) I can’t believe you would try to send anyone off that Horrible D to the pro bowl especially Vilma’s 1 int, 1 sack, and 98 solo tackles
    4) Just cause the saints struck gold in the 6th round a couple of years ago, doesn’t mean it’s gonna happen every draft….
    typical moron nfl fan

  21. The reason he only wrote a tiny blurb about the Bucs, is because…well…they were headed in the right direction, and ousted the best head coach in their brief history. Now, they officially suck. Raheem Morris may be youthful and appear to invigorate the fan base, but Mike Tomlin, he is not. That being said, I think Josh Freeman will be hands-down, the best QB in this class.
    Bucs fans: prepare yourselves for a very depressing season. The other teams in your division have gotten much better, and you have only gotten worse. The Glazers will be your worst nightmare for years to come.
    Oh yeah, and screw Manchester United, they are the gayest (not that there’s anything wrong with that). Cristiano Ronaldo is fairy that acts hurt like 10 times a game. Lionel Messi, now THAT’S a man.

  22. Vtopa:
    You gave a very unbiased review of your Saints. Keep up the objective work. Your mom makes a mean grilled cheese snadwich. I usually like a little tomato soup to go with it, but Rome wasn’t built in a day, y’know? We’ll work on it. You should head upstairs and grab one. I know this sounds weird, but I’m gonna be your new dad…ok, champ?

  23. Gregjennings85-
    Your moronic take on the Bucs is way off-
    How is a team that dropped their last 4 games (final 2 at home) going in the right direction? That is a team imploding!!!
    For “the best head coach in their brief history”, Gruden could barely get 3 offensive TDs a game. He also wasted just about every draft pick he ever made by constantly signing 100 year old FAs. He was clearly not the “Offensive Genius” people said he was
    You claim – “Now, they officially suck” How can this be when they haven’t even had a full team practice yet?
    I agree, it looks like it’ll be a rough season for the Bucs, but I’m still holding my opinion until they actually play a game. Who knows, maybe they’ll be this years Falcons or Dolphins
    And why the F are you talking about soccer? The only thing gayer than that is listing soccer player’s names.
    This is a FOOTBALL site not a FUTBALL site.
    Are you Vtopa’s brother? Because you guys seem to be on the same wave length. I think Anthony Mix my have fathered both you idiots.

  24. New Orleans has the inside track to win this division. I say this because they added two rookie PLAYMAKERS (the 2nd most pro-ready corner in the draft behind Alphonso Smith, Michael Jenkins; Greg Williams probably thinks he’s first because Mickie Loomis didn’t trade down to get a 3rd Wake Forest defender; safety Chip Vaughn who packs a friggin’ wallop) to the secondary and two veteran ballhawks (Greer and Sharper) who, in games where New Orleans is behind may not help them get back in but in any game where New Orleans gets up by 10, will be interesting to see.
    Atlanta is next. The offseason lacked pizzazz outside of Tony Gonzalez and the multi-talented Perry. Their defense beat up the bad offenses and struggled against the good ones last year, and might be better by shedding their older talent (Brooking, Milloy, Foxworth) but is thin at linebacker with Boley leaving in free agency. Executing in the red zone seems to be what got them into the playoffs. Solid, but not spectacular play by Ryan and Turner will get better as Ryan develops with the addition of the best tight end (production-wise) over the last 15 years, Gonzalez. The ceiling on a team with Malcolm Jenkins, Drew Brees, Jabari Greer, Marques Colston, Reggie Bush and Pierre Thomas is high because of how any of those guys could make a play that will open the game up. The ceiling on these other three teams hangs at identical levels.
    The Panthers are a small market team for a reason. There is nothing exciting about this team, as evidenced by them sticking with Jake Delhomme at QB. The smart move would’ve been to open up a competition with Josh McCown and a third guy. This is the most important position and your guy has blown the last two playoff runs and played mediocre last year despite a great run game? The economy might end up helping Panthers. The rest of the league’s frugality may mean that Everette Brown and Julius Peppers will be headed for the quarterback together.
    Tampa Bay is strangely in rebuilding mode. Before Monte Kiffin announced he was going to join Lane, the team looked like they were going for their second straight division title. They couldn’t stop the run down the stretch and it became their undoing but the youth movement in Tampa included letting go of Cato June, Derrick Brooks, Philip Buchanon, Ike Hilliard and Jeff Garcia. My guess is, they have problems with their tough schedule, chemistry and inexperienced head coach out of the gate but by the end of the year, they could be better than Atlanta.

  25. Nowathand-
    Pretty good synopsis ofthe NFC South. I diasgree with you on a few minor things but overall I’d say you’re right on

  26. Nowathand sounds like a NO fan due to his solid belief that unproven rookies and older vets will have a significant impact on the quality of the Saints’ D. But we heard the same thing last year. C’mon. They’re an average team with a great QB. That is all. If Brees gets hurt, the bottom falls out. And your characterization of both the Panthers and the TV market they’re located in isn’t highly accurate. FYI, New Orleans has the smallest TV market in the division, ranked 54th nationally. Charlotte is 26th. (Atlanta and Tampa are 9th and 12th respectively) And there is nothing exciting about the Panthers? Hmmm… but what about Steve Smith? Deangelo Williams? Julius Peppers? What about Jon Beason and Jonathan Stewart? And what if you’re right about Everette Brown? And though QB is the most important position, you base your rankings primarily on one game from one player. Before Jake started playing last year, Tommy John surgery was expected to require 2 years to heal. Mark Schlereth recently said that he expects Jake to be much improved this season for that very reason. The Panthers brass apparently are expecting similarly improved play – one of the reasons he was extended. (BTW, Jake was in a groove at their recent minicamp.)
    It will be a tough season for all the teams in the division, but I like the Panthers and Falcons to battle it out again for the top spot… and perhaps the only spot. New Orleans will be a tough out, won’t seriously be in the mix.

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