Wednesday, April 17, 2013

NFC South Draft Preview

With a week until the NFL Draft, we're taking a look at what to expect from all 32 teams come Draft Day, including some recommended blogs to read and folks to follow on Twitter.

2012 Record: 11-4-1
NFC South Champion, Lost NFC Championship Game to San Francisco

Draft Picks: 30, 60, 92, 127, (133), 162, 198, 236, (243), (244), (249)

Recommended Blogs/Twitter: Scott Carasik, The Falcoholic

Draft Preview: The Falcons came up just short last season and have added weapons to an already dangerous offense in RB Steven Jackson and with the return of Tony Gonzalez. On defense, they signed DE Osi Umenyiora from the Giants who should improve their 26th-ranked pass rush. The Falcons need can use improvement on the defensive side of the ball, particularly at linebacker and cornerback. However, their offense is good enough (and in this division who really needs defense) that they have the luxury of being able to draft for depth rather than for immediate needs. Atlanta has been aggressive in the first round in the past, and with 11 picks it would not be surprising to see them make a move up the board.

2012 Record: 7-9

Draft Picks: 15, 75, 109, 144, 183

Recommended Blogs/Twitter: Saints Nation (Twitter / Blog)

Draft Preview: New Orleans is still feeling the effects of the bounty scandal as it will cost them their second round pick this year. The Saints have only five picks in the draft, most of which will likely be spent on defense as they transition to a 3-4 defense under new defensive coordinator Rob Ryan. The Saints had the worst defense in the league last season and the switch to a 3-4 leaves them in need of pass rushers. The Saints did sign Keenan Lewis to help their secondary, but the defense still needs a lot more.

2012 Record: 7-9

Draft Picks: 13, 43, 73, 112, 126, 147, 181, 196

Recommended Blogs/Twitter: Ryan Terrana

Draft Preview: Tampa finished 2012 with the league's worst pass defense, and brought in the best safety on the market, Dashon Goldson, to pair with last year's first round pick Mark Barron. The Bucs still need help on the outside at corner, and they have been rumored to be connected to the Jets in trade talks for Darrelle Revis. The Bucs could also use a defensive end to generate some pressure on opposing quarterbacks after finishing 27th in the league in sacks last season. Their offense was not as bad as everyone made it out to be, and while Josh Freeman struggled, rookie RB Doug Martin was a bona fide star and the Bucs have weapons for Freeman on the outside.

2012 Record: 7-9

Draft Picks: 14, 44, 108, 148, 182

Recommended Blogs/Twitter: Cat Scratch Reader, Cat Crave

Draft Preview: Cam Newton regressed a bit after his stellar rookie season, but that was primarily due to poor offensive line play and having a maddeningly inconsistent running game. The Panthers have only five picks in the draft, and need help on their offensive line and at wide receiver opposite Steve Smith. On defense, the Panthers have a great linebacking corps, but need help on the interior of the defensive line and across the board in the secondary.

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