2018 NFL Draft in Review, NFC South

Atlanta Falcons

Draft picks: Alabama WR Calvin Ridley (No. 26 overall), Colorado CB Isaiah Oliver (No. 58 overall), South Florida DT Deadrin Senat (No. 90 overall), Southern Mississippi RB Ito Smith (No. 126 overall), LSU WR Russell Gage (No. 194 overall), Yale LB Foyesade Oluokun (No. 200 overall)

The Falcons nabbed the best receiver in the class at pick 26. Ridley joins a super talented WR room and will probably see most of his targets come from the slot early. Oliver was another nice value at pick 58 and is a corner that should develop into a starter. Senat went a bit higher than expected but is a good prospect that checks off a team need. Ito Smith can do a bit of everything although there seemed to be some other options at RB worth looking at instead. Gage and Oluokun are two late round prospects that will have the opportunity to make the team.

 

Carolina Panthers

Draft picks: Maryland WR DJ Moore (No. 24 overall), LSU CB Donte Jackson (No. 55 overall), Tennessee DB Rashaan Gaulden (No. 85 overall), Indiana TE Ian Thomas (No. 101 overall), Mississippi LB Marquis Haynes(No. 136 overall), Maryland LB Jermaine Carter (No. 161 overall), North Carolina LB Andre Smith (No. 234 overall), Miami DT Kendrick Norton (No. 242 overall). 
 

DJ Moore raced up draft boards as he can wear a lot of different hats at the receiver position. Donte Jackson has track speed but plays even faster than he times on the track. Gaulden is a sticky defender than can play nickel, corner, and safety. Ian Thomas is an underrated TE who broke out during his senior season despite inconsistent QB play at Indiana. Haynes can rush the passer from sub-packages although he has a very slim frame. Carter and Smith will compete for snaps at linebacker while Norton is a good value at pick 242 at DT.

 

New Orleans Saints

Draft picks: UTSA edge rusher Marcus Davenport (No. 14 overall), UCF WR Tre’Quan Smith (No. 91 overall), Florida State OT Rick Leonard (No. 127 overall), Wisconsin S Natrell Jamerson (No. 164 overall), Boston College DB Kamrin Moore (No. 189 overall), Louisiana Tech RB Boston Scott (No. 201 overall), LSU C Will Clapp (No. 245). 

In one of the more shocking moves of the draft the Saints used two first round picks on Marcus Davenport to bolster the pass rush. Davenport is talented but a little raw. The Saints were without a second round pick this season as they used it to move up to take Kamara last year. Smith was picked in the third round to give Brees another WR to work with as he develops. Leonard by all estimates was a reach as he is switching sides of the ball to the offensive line. Jamerson and Moore provide depth in the secondary while Clapp will compete for an interior offensive line roster spot.

 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Draft picks: Washington DT Vita Vea (No. 12 overall), USC RB Ronald Jones (No. 38 overall), North Carolina DB MJ Stewart(No. 53 overall), Auburn CB Carlton Davis (No. 63 overall), Humboldt State OG Alex Cappa (No. 94 overall), Pittsburgh S Jordan Whitehead (No. 117 overall), Pennsylvania WR Justin Watson (No. 144 overall), Wisconsin LB Jack Cichy (No. 202 overall).

The Buccs were able to move down the board and still select the player they coveted in Vea. If Vea can keep his wait under control and tap into his potential he can be a difference maker in the front seven. Ronald Jones is a threat to score every time he touches the ball and gives the team another playmaker on offense. Stewart is an impressive prospect at CB. Davis is a good press corner who will compete for one of the outside CB positions. The team added Whitehead who is a versatile safety that will provide depth. Cappa is a good prospect who might compete for time at guard this season. Cichy missed his senior season with an injury but will provide depth at linebacker.

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