We’re now on the third division of handing out 2020 NFL Draft Grades. This time we head to the NFC South to take a look at the Falcons, Bucs, Saints, and Panthers. It has the makings to be a competitive division in 2020. Could the 2020 NFL Draft be the turning point? Let’s hand out draft grades!
Atlanta Falcons: Grade D
- Round 1, Pick No. 16: A.J. Terrell, CB, Clemson
- Round 2, Pick No. 47: Marlon Davidson, DL, Auburn
- Round 3, Pick No. 78: Matt Hennessy, C, Temple
- Round 4, Pick No. 119: Mykal Walker, LB, Fresno State
- Round 4, Pick No. 134: Jaylinn Hawkins, S, California
- Round 7, Pick No. 228: Sterling Hofrichter, P, Syracuse
Talk about a stinker. Go rewatch the National Championship game. AJ Terrell is not the 16th best player in any draft. I’ll take that bet with any loser Falcon fans that want to bet. No chance he’s the 16th best player from the draft. I’d maybe take him in the 3rd round. A disgusting reach.
Let’s also go over the decision to trade for Hayden Hurst. That pick turned into JK Dobbins. The Falcons traded a tight end that can’t play a lick for a star running back. That will go down as a horrendous decision.
Those two decisions would have given the Falcons an F. They rebounded nicely with Marlon Davidson and Matt Hennessy. Davidson slipped more than he should have playing out of position at Auburn. That was a really good snag. SO was the Temple center. He will be a plug and play starter eventually.
Carolina Panthers: Grade B
- Round 1, Pick No. 7: Derrick Brown, DT, Auburn
- Round 2, Pick No. 38: Yetor Gross-Matos, DE, Penn State
- Round 2, Pick No. 64: Jeremy Chinn, S, Southern Illinois
- Round 4, Pick No. 113: Troy Pride, CB, Notre Dame
- Round 5, Pick No. 152: Kenny Robinson, S, West Virginia
- Round 6, Pick No. 184: Bravvion Roy, DT, Baylor
- Round 7, Pick No. 221: Stantley Thomas-Oliver, CB, Florida International
I thought it was a very solid draft for the Panthers. Did it change their fortunes overnight? No, but they drastically made their defense better. All 7 picks went to the defensive side of the ball.
Derrick Brown kills people. You’re adding a monster to that defensive front who is can’t miss because of his power. Yetur Gross-Matos has some boom or bust to him but I like the swing in round 2. If he hits, talk about a one-two punch to build upon. Carolina went about this the right way. How can we beat Tampa? Let’s terrorize that old bum, Tom Brady. Let’s see how those weapons play then.
Matt Rhule had to get one Baylor guy. It probably would have been the one I picked. The secondary moves aren’t sure things but they tried their damn best. Jeremy Chinn is interesting. Might end up being a linebacker but has some athletic traits. Troy Pride had a nice Senior Bowl week. Kenny Robinson is the XFL guy. I’m not going to guess how that translates but he was really good in that league.
New Orleans Saints: Grade F
- Round 1, Pick No. 24: Cesar Ruiz, C/G, Michigan
- Round 3, Pick No. 74: Zack Baun, LB, Wisconsin
- Round 3, Pick No. 105: Adam Trautman, TE, Dayton
- Round 7, Pick No. 240: Tommy Stevens, QB, Mississippi State
The Saints came out of the draft with 4 picks. I’m not sure any of them ever contribute. I like Cesar Ruiz but the fit feels weird. They just took Erik McCoy two years ago and has been a really good player. So Ruiz is the right guard now? Remains to be seen how good he is there. I like Ruiz better as a center so the fit is odd.
Zack Baun stinks. What are you doing with that guy? I like it better in the third round but he doesn’t have a position. 225-pound edge rusher. Have fun with Uchenna Nwosu. Adam Trautman may turn into something but that’s a total dice roll. How many players from Dayton make an impact?
The best pick may have been Tommy Stevens. Realistically, Stevens is the best prospect to become that Taysom Hill type of player. I don’t get why New Orleans constantly gives away all of their picks to trade up. It’s not sustainable.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Grade A+
- Round 1, Pick No. 13: Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa
- Round 2, Pick No. 45: Antoine Winfield Jr., S, Minnesota
- Round 3, Pick No. 76: Ke’Shawn Vaughn, RB, Vanderbilt
- Round 5, Pick No. 161: Tyler Johnson, WR, Minnesota
- Round 6, Pick No. 194: Khalil Davis, DT, Nebraska
- Round 7, Pick No. 241: Chapelle Russell, OLB, Temple
- Round 7, Pick No. 245: Raymond Calais, RB, Louisiana-Lafayette
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are officially a quarterback away from being a dangerous team. I still think Brady at this stage of his career is a downgrade from Jameis Winston. However, the Bucs have a shot now after this draft.
I said it multiple times. If Tampa gets a left tackle, running back, and one more chess piece on defense, hey this puppy just might work. Check, check, and check again. Hey, this puppy just might work.
How the hell did the Bucs come out of this draft with Tristan Wirfs? Unbelievable. What more can you say? They land a plug and play high end tackle in the teens.
Next Antoine Winfield Jr at 45?!? Where do I sign? This is a young and up incoming defense that just got a ball-hawking safety to cap things off. Just incredible.
Then, the cherry on top. Ke’Shawn Vaughn to provide a stable running back to lean on. What a fucking draft by Tampa.
They weren’t even done. Tyler Johnson is a great pick. The Bucs really didn’t have a stable slot to go with Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. They have one now. I like the Khalil Davis gamble. Really plus speed and athleticism. Give me that dart throw. Chapelle Russell too! Yes, some of that.
The Bucs didn’t just hit a home run. They hit a grand slam. Hey… this puppy just might work.