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2021 NFL Draft Grades: NFC South

2021 NFL Draft

(AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

2021 NFL Draft
Kyle Pitts is a monster giving the Atlanta Falcons a new toy. How did the rest of the NFC South fare during the 2021 NFL Draft? (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

2021 NFL Draft Grades: NFC South

Will anyone catch Tampa? The 2021 NFL Draft is the last chance to do so. In a division with the Buccaneers, Falcons, Panthers, and Saints will the draft turn to be a turning point for any of them? It’s time to hand out some 2021 NFL Draft grades. Who came out on top in the NFC South?

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Grade: F
  • R1 (32): EDGE Joe Tryon, Washington
  • R2 (64): QB Kyle Trask, Florida
  • R3 (95): IOL Robert Hainsey, Notre Dame
  • R4 (129): WR Jaelon Darden, North Texas
  • R5 (176): LB K.J. Britt, Auburn
  • R7 (251): CB Chris Wilcox, BYU
  • R7 (259) LB Grant Stuard, Houston

The Bucs really missed a chance to strike here. Joe Tryon ain’t it. This is a really bad edge rusher class and Tryon got int the first round cause of it. He has the ideal size but I don’t see a lot of high end play. I hated this pick.

Tom Brady is going to live forever. What are you doing taking Kyle Trask? Taking Trask on a win now team felt like a waste. Especially when you know Trask will never develop into an elite level franchise quarterback. The Bucs really missed a chance to pad an already elite roster.

Now I do like Jaelon Darden as a deep threat. In reality, he’s the 6th best receiver on the roster so I’m not sure he even helps them. KJ Britt is a big win. That guy can really play. A downhill thumper that will add to this linebacker unit.

Still, a really disappointing draft from Tampa.

Atlanta Falcons

Grade: A-

R1 (4): TE Kyle Pitts, Florida
R2 (40): S Richie Grant, UCF
R3 (68): OT Jalen Mayfield, Michigan
R4 (108): CB Darren Hall, San Diego State
R4 (114): C Drew Dalman, Stanford
R5 (148): DI Ta’Quon Graham, Texas
R5 (182): EDGE Adetokunbo Ogundeji, Notre Dame
R5 (183): CB Avery Williams, Boise State
R6 (187): WR Frank Darby, Arizona State

Kyle Pitts automatically gives the Falcons an A. The rest of the draft sort of left a sour taste in my mouth after the third round. Look, Atlanta did well the first three rounds. Then they really shit the bed.

Kyle Pitts is a monster. We’re all good there. Richie Grant had a hell of a Senior Bowl week. He showed enough to make me believe the Falcons got a starting safety at minimum there. Jalen Mayfield can probably become a starting right tackle. All good.

After that… WOW it was bad. Did they watch Ta’Quon Graham at the Senior Bowl? God he sucks. Frank Darby is horrendous too. I don’t like Hall nearly as much as I liked Damontae Kazee. The Stanford center is MEH. Daelin Hayes was the much better edge rusher at Notre Dame.

The personnel department in Atlanta needs an overhaul.

Carolina Panthers

Grade: A
  • R1 (8): CB Jaycee Horn, South Carolina
  • R2 (59): WR Terrace Marshall Jr., LSU
  • R3 (70): OT Brady Christensen, BYU
  • R3 (83): TE Tommy Tremble, Notre Dame
  • R4 (126): RB Chuba Hubbard, Oklahoma State
  • R5 (158): DI Daviyon Nixon, Iowa
  • R5 (166): CB Keith Taylor, Washington
  • R6 (193): G Deonte Brown, Alabama
  • R6 (204): WR Shi Smith, South Carolina
  • R6 (222): LS Thomas Fletcher, Alabama
  • R7 (232): DI Phil Hoskins, Kentucky

Take a bow, Matt Rhule. God, he’s smart. The Panthers were trade down machines collecting a ton of extra picks while winding up with gems at the same time.

I don’t think it was a perfect draft. I guess they have a plan for Tommy Tremble. I get why they picked him but he offers nothing in terms of pass catching. Chuba Hubbard stinks. The 4th round isn’t so egregious but I’m not fond of him at all.

Otherwise? Bravo Carolina. Where do I even start?

Jaycee Horn is awesome. I would have went Patrick Surtain, but I won’t argue. The Panthers have a legit number one corner again. To get Terrace Marshall at 59 while trading down numerous times is an enormous win. Marshall is awesome and a height, weight, speed demon. Another huge dub.

I was a fan of Brady Christensen. The BYU offensive line was really underrated and he was the anchor of that unit. Deonte Brown in round 6 to further beef this unit up? I’ll take it.

I don’t even know where to begin, man. There were just so many steals. I was up and down on Keith Taylor but my god. Round five? HELL YEAH. Same thing goes with Shi Smith. I couldn’t believe some of the names going ahead of him. I don’t even love him but round 6? Goodness. Daviyon Nixon was a beast at Iowa. Just a one year guy who played at a JUCO school. Best long snapper in the draft too.

Playoff team. Book it.

New Orleans Saints

Grade: F

R1 (28): EDGE Payton Turner, Houston
R2 (60): LB Pete Werner, Ohio State
R3 (76): CB Paulson Adebo, Stanford
R4 (133): QB Ian Book, Notre Dame
R6 (206): OT Landon Young, Kentucky
R7 (255): WR Kawaan Baker, South Alabama

What was the goal here? What’s the plan here? WHAT ARE YOU DOING?

Payton Turner? K. Stop. I’m not doing this. Pete Werner is fine but he’s really limited athletically. I didn’t see him being a 2nd round player. Why are you wasting picks on Ian Book? A 4th round pick no less.

I love Paulson Adebo but he’s not enough to save them from this travesty.

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