Monday, April 27, 2009

Saints Nation: Grading the NFC South's Draft

So now that the draft is over, let's look at how our closest competition fared in the exercise:

Atlanta Falcons:

See their draft choices HERE

My take: I'll give the Falcome an A. A pretty solid draft for them. Peria Jerry isn't a can't miss prospect, but he should be a pretty good player almost immediately. He's not going to make them a better run defense overnight, though he will be scary teaming up with John Abraham in pass rushing situations. The William Moore pick is all about potential. The guy has tremendous ability and lots of promise, but he hasn't put it all together yet or proven that he's got the high football IQ to play consistently. Some people said he was the best safety prospect in the draft. As you can see from the rest of their picks: The Falcons went almost EXCLUSIVELY with defense, which makes it pretty clear what they intend on improving. Add to that the Tony Gonzalez pickup for their offense and they look pretty good on paper. They are very young and very talented, so that makes them a huge threat to the Saints.

Carolina Panthers:

See their draft choices HERE.

My take: I'm going to give them a C+. Intriguing draft by the Panthers. With the Julius Peppers situation anything but figured out and the head scratching Jake Delhomme extension, you sensed they needed a good draft to rebound. Without a 1st round pick, they traded their 2010 1st round draft pick to select Everette Brown in the 2nd round. While Brown was graded as a 1st round talent by almost everyone, he'll never come close to becoming an improvement on Julius Peppers. While he's a good player that will help them and it's clear they needed an end, it came at a price. Imagine if Delhomme goes down this year, and let's say they lose someone else valuable to their team via injury... all of a sudden they are 5-11 with a terrific pick in the 2010 draft, except they gave it away for Everette Brown. Pretty risky move if you ask me. They also get a RB and FB as if their rushing attack needed more help. Call me confused but shouldn't they be focused on finding someone who can catch the ball other than Steve Smith?

Tampa Bay Buccaneers:

See their draft choices HERE.

My take: Also giving them a C+. Josh Freeman 17th overall?!?! LOL. How many QB's do they need anyway? Add Freeman to the Griese vs. Leftwich vs. Josh Johnson vs. Luke McCown sweepstakes. None of these guys strike any fear into me whatsoever... well, that is no more than any other starting/backup quarterback who torched the Saints defensive backfield the last few years. But now we've got Sharper, Jenkins, Greer, Porter etc. It's a very high place to draft a very undeveloped player. We'll see how he pans out but I don't forsee him making the Pro Bowl anytime soon. They did help out their defensive line a little bit, which was sorely in need.