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2024 NFL Draft

2024 NFL Draft Review: NFC South

NFC South

The 2024 NFL Draft is over and now it is time to look back. Draft Countdown is doing a division-by-division review series. Today, we look at the NFC South.

Did the Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, New Orleans Saints, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers improve themselves? Let’s find out.

2024 NFL Draft Review: NFC South

ATLANTA FALCONS

1 8 QB Michael Penix Jr. Washington
2 35 DL Ruke Orhorhoro Clemson
3 74 EDGE Bralen Trice Washington
4 109 DL Brandon Dorlus Oregon
5 143 LB JD Bertrand Notre Dame
6 186 RB Jase McClellan Alabama
6 187 WR Casey Washington Illinois
6 197 DL Zion Logue Georgia

BEST OVERALL PICK: Bralen Trice, EDGE, Washington

BEST VALUE: Brandon Dorlus, DL, Oregon

BIGGEST REACH: Michael Penix Jr, QB, Washington

FAVORITE UDFA: Isaiah Wooden, WR, Southern Utah

DRAFT CLASS RECAP

Selecting Michael Penix with the 8th overall pick a mere seven weeks after giving Kirk Cousins over $ 100 million bucks is certainly a choice. I think Penix is a good passer but the number 8 pick was a little too rich.

They did spend the next three picks revamping their defensive line. That is commendable. Adding Ruke Orhorhoro, Bralen Trice, and Brandon Dorlus will help the cause. The rest of the draft was underwhelming. 

But if Michael Penix eventually leads them to a Super Bowl, the rest is irrelevant.

CAROLINA PANTHERS

1 32 WR Xavier Legette South Carolina
2 46 RB Jonathon Brooks Texas
3 72 LB Trevin Wallace Kentucky
4 101 TE Ja’Tavion Sanders Texas
5 157 CB Chau Smith-Wade Washington State
6 200 DL Jaden Crumedy Mississippi State
7 240 LB Mike Barrett”}”>Mike Barrett Michigan

BEST OVERALL PICK: Xavier Legette, WR, South Carolina

BEST VALUE: Ja’Tavion Sanders, TE, Texas

BIGGEST REACH: None

FAVORITE UDFA: Andrew Raym, IOL, Oklahoma (#236 on Final Big Board)

DRAFT CLASS RECAP

The Panthers needed to build around Bryce Young this offseason. They bulked up the interior of the offensive line in free agency and then added skill players in the draft. Xavier Legette is a height-weight-speed prospect at WR. He will need to continue his momentum from his final season in Columbia.

Adding Jonathon Brooks in the 2nd (via trade-up) and Ja’Tavion Sanders in the fourth could give them their potential RB1 and TE1.

Trevin Wallace is a raw and athletic linebacker with starter upside. I like Chau Smith-Wade and Mike Barrett as special teams additions and Jaden Crumedy as a reserve iDL.

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS

1 14 OT Taliese Fuaga Oregon State
2 41 CB Kool-Aid McKinstry Alabama
5 150 QB Spencer Rattler South Carolina
5 170 WR Bub Means Pittsburgh
5 175 LB Jaylan Ford Texas
6 199 DL Khristian Boyd Northern Iowa
7 239 OT Josiah Ezirim Eastern Kentucky

BEST OVERALL PICK: Taliese Fuaga, OT, Oregon State

BEST VALUE: Spencer Rattler, QB, South Carolina

BIGGEST REACH: Bub Means, WR, Pittsburgh

FAVORITE UDFA: Dallin Holker, TE, Colorado State (#181 on Final Big Board)

DRAFT CLASS RECAP

With the future of Ryan Ramcyzk in question, New Orleans needed to address the right tackle position. They did that with a mauler in Taliese Fuaga.

Trading up to get Kool-Aid McKinstry was a great move to fill a need. GM Mickey Loomis always trades up. This was one of his better decisions.

They didn’t pick again until the 5th round when they selected South Carolina QB Spencer Rattler. Rattler is an immediate upgrade over current backup Jake Haener. I believe he will push Derek Carr as a starter before year’s end.

The rest of the draft offered intriguing backups with upside.

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS

1 26 IOL Graham Barton Duke
2 57 EDGE Chris Braswell Alabama
3 89 S Tykee Smith Georgia
3 92 WR Jalen McMillan Washington
4 125 RB Bucky Irving Oregon
6 220 IOL Elijah Klein UTEP
7 246 TE Devin Culp Washington

BEST OVERALL PICK: Chris Braswell, EDGE, Alabama

BEST VALUE: Braswell

BIGGEST REACH: Tykee Smith, S, Georgia

FAVORITE UDFA: Kalen DeLoach, LB, Florida State (#239 on Final Board)

DRAFT CLASS RECAP

I loved getting Graham Barton in the first round. He can start at either guard spot or center as a rookie. Chris Braswell gives them a nice rotational piece off the edge. Tykee Smith is a thumper but may have been overdrafted.

I think Jalen McMillan can be a good WR2-3 in Tampa

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