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NFC South 2017 Draft Summary

The 2017 draft is over and we examined the 2017 NFC North picks previously. There are 28 other teams so we can take a look at a few more teams since it is a long offseason. Let’s take a look at the NFC South since they play the NFC North this season.

New Orleans Saints
Round 1 Pick 11: Marshon Lattimore (CB) Ohio State
The Saints needed secondary help badly and added the top corner back in the draft. Lattimore has the size and speed plus plenty of experience at Ohio State. He should instantly be the Saints top corner for 2017.

Round 1 Pick 32: Ryan Ramczyk (OT) Wisconsin
The Saints traded Brandin Cooks for the Patriots first round pick. They turned that pick into their future right tackle by drafting Ryan Ramcyzk. Ryan only played on season with the Badgers but was a very good player against the run and pass. Zach Strief is up there in age and Ramcyzk will be the future on the right side protecting the Saints QB.

Round 2 Pick 42: Marcus Williams (Safety) Utah
The Saints cut Jarius Byrd this offseason for cap relief and needed to add to their safety group. Vaccaro will play strong safety and the Saints have Vonn Bell from the second round in 2016 as a potential starter. Williams needs to add some bulk but is a play maker as a deep center field free safety. The Saints needed back-end help and they got more with this pick.

Round 3 Pick 67: Alvin Kamara (RB) Tennessee
Kamara is a shifty back that can be a solid receiver. Ingram’s contract is winding down and the Saints added Adrian Peterson. Kamara is a nice change of pace option in the third round.

Round Pick 76: Alex Anzalone (LB) Florida
The Saints needed help at LB and added a solid player in Anazalone. Anzalone can cover but must shed blocks better. Anzalone has an extensive injury history but can be a solid player if healthy. Anzalone may be a backup as the Saints have Stephone Anthony, Daniel Ellerbe, Hau’oli Kihaha, AJ Klein and Manti Te’o in the fold now at LB.

Round 3 Pick 103: Trey Hendrickson (DE/OLB)
Hendrickson is undersized but was productive for Florida Atlantic. The Saints finally added to their pass rush but Hendrickson may only be a situational pass rusher for New Orleans.

Round 6 Pick 196: Al-Qudin Mohammed (DE) Miami
The Saints only had one pick on day 3 and took a flier on a defensive end.

Carolina Panthers
Round 1 Pick 8: Christian McCaffery (RB) Stanford
Jonathan Stewart is still the Panthers starter but is getting up there in age. McCaffery was highly productive for Stanford and a Heisman candidate. McCaffery has decent speed, power and elusiveness. He can also return kicks. The Panthers got a legit weapon at pick 8 with McCaffery (son of Ed McCaffery from the Broncos).

Round 2 Pick 40: Curtis Samuel (RB/WR) Ohio State
Samuel can do it all. He is a running threat and can play the slot. He was productive everywhere for the Buckeyes and can be a very shifty and elusive player. The Panthers really added to their weapons with the first two picks of the draft.

Round 2 Pick 64: Taylor Moton (OT) Western Michigan
Carolina added Matt Kalil in free agency but lost Mike Remmers (Vikings) in free agency. Michael Oher has some off field trouble but should still be a starting tackle on the downside of his career. Moton was added at the end for Round 2 after the Panthers moved up by trading Kony Ealy to the Patriots. Moton can be groomed to be a starting right tackle or guard for the Panthers.

Round 3 Pick 77: Daeshon Hall (DE) Texas A&M
The Panthers traded Kony Ealy, re-signed Mario Addison and added Julius Peppers. They went back to the well again at defensive end by drafting Daeshon Hall in Round 3. Hall was opposite first overall pick Myles Garrett but Hall has good size and speed. He wasn’t always consistent but the Panthers hope they can develop Hall into a solid end.

Round 5 Pick 152: Corn Elder (CB) Miami
Elder is only 5’10 and 183 pounds but should compete at the nickel spot. Elder is physical with a quick twitch and should be able to play man and zone coverage. He will never play outside but he can have a future at nickel.

Round 6 Pick 192: Alex Armah (FB) West Georgia
Armah has some receiving ability but can be an effective lead blocker for Stewart and McCaffery.

Round 7 Pick 233: Harrison Butker (K) Georgia Tech
Graham Gano gets some competition at kicker this offseason.

Atlanta Falcons
Round 1 Pick 26: Takkarist McKinley (DE) UCLA
Now this guy loves his grandmother. McKinley is a tweener OLB/DE but should help bolster the Falcons pass rush to paid with Vic Beasley. McKinley had some shoulder injuries but should be a good situational rusher as a rookie for the Falcons.

Round 3 Pick 75: Duke Riley (LB) LSU
The Falcons added Deion Jones last offseason with success. They went back to the LSU well this draft by adding Duke Riley. Riley will be used in nickel packages for coverage and is a very good special teamer.

Round 4 Pick 136: Sean Harlow (G) Oregon State
Harlow is 6’4 and 303 pounds out of Oregon State. The Falcons needed a guard to replace Chris Chester and Harlow will get a chance to start early. He gives good effort with some strength but needs better footwork and athleticism.

Round 5 Pick 149: Damonte Kazee (CB) San Diego State
Kazee is only 5’10 and 184 pounds but is a ball hawk with solid athleticism. He will battle for the nickel job as a rookie which was an area of need for the Falcons.

Round 5 Pick 156: Brian Hill (RB) Wyoming
The Falcons have two studs with Freeman and Coleman but Hill will round out the depth. Hill is 6’1 and 219 pounds and can be a power back for short yardage.

Round 5 Pick 174: Eric Saubert (TE) Drake
Call me on cell phone. Saubert is a small school prospect that should be raw out of a spread offense. He is athletic and the Falcons add TE depth with this fifth round pick.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Round 1 Pick 19: OJ Howard (TE) Alabama
Cameron Brate was a productive tight end but wasn’t much of a blocker. Howard can block and be a productive receiver. Tampa Bay should have some potent two tight end sets now by adding Howard in Round 1. Mike Evans is still a monster and Desean Jackson was added for speed. Watch out for Tampa Bay’s weapons now.

Round 2 Pick 50: Justin Evans (Safety) Texas A&M
Tampa Bay needed safety help badly and they added one in Round 2. Evans is an aggressive in the box strong safety with some coverage skills. He must work on his missed tackles but should bolster Tampa Bay on the back-end.

Round 3 Pick 84: Chris Godwin (WR) Penn State
Godwin was a flat out playmaker for Penn State the last two seasons. He can track the deep ball or make plays in the intermediate. He’s got some solid speed and runs good routes. He was inconsistent at times but he has big time potential. Tampa Bay is now loaded with weapons.

Round 3 Pick 107: Kendell Beckwith (ILB) LSU
Beckwith is coming off a torn ACL but is a solid run defender. He can play special teams but might take some time to see the field for Tampa.

Round 5 Pick 162: Jeremy McNichols (RB) Boise State
McNichols is only 5’9 but is 214 pounds. He is a little bowling ball with some shiftiness. Tampa Bay still has Doug Martin and Charles Sims but McNichols could see some touches in a committee running back system.

Round 7 Pick 223: Stevie Tu’ikolvaut (NT) USC
Stevie is a massive nose tackle. Tampa Bay lost Akeem Spence in free agency and needed more DT depth. He has some potential to be a run stuffer for the Buccaneers next to Gerald McCoy.

Summary
The NFC South improved well in the draft. Carolina and Tampa Bay added some serious weapons. The Saints bolster their secondary and added a running back and offensive tackle. The Falcons added to their pass rush and nabbed a coverage linebacker. The NFC South is stronger after this draft.