Don’t ever say I’m not a hard worker. Post 7 out of 8 continues with 2019 NFL Draft grades. This edition focuses on the NFC South. The Saints are the clear class of the division. Atlanta and Carolina still remain obvious playoff contenders. Then there are the Bucs, but they are a team that is moving in the right direction. Let’s get right to it. How did each team perform during the 2019 NFL Draft?
Atlanta Falcons: Grade C
- Round 1, Pick 14 (No. 14 overall): Chris Lindstrom, OG, Boston College
- Round 1, Pick 31 (No. 31 overall): Kaleb McGary, OT, Washington
- Round 4, Pick 9 (No. 111 overall): Kendall Sheffield, CB, Ohio State
- Round 4, Pick 33 (No. 135 overall): John Cominsky, DE, Charleston University
- Round 5, Pick 14 (No. 152 overall): Qadree Ollison, RB, Pittsburgh
- Round 5, Pick 34 (No. 172 overall): Jordan Miller, CB, Washington
- Round 6, Pick 30 (No. 203 overall): Marcus Green, RB, Louisiana-Monroe
Reach city! You could argue that no team reached harder than the Falcons did. Chris Lindstrom, good player. There’s no chance he is the 14th best player in this draft. Lindstrom should have been a 2nd round pick at guard. Atlanta reached into the clouds to take him. It felt like a frustration pick after missing out on Christian Wilkins. I could say the same thing about Kaleb McGary. This is not a first round hall of fame potential player. To trade up for McGary and give up multiple picks is crazy. The reason why this draft gets a C instead of an F is because at least they were smart enough to go offensive line. Now if they were reaching for running backs, then we have a bigger problem.
It’s hard to like what the Falcons did outside of Kendall Sheffield. The Ohio State corner is very athletic and fits what Atlanta does. He can get a bit grabby but has potential. Outside of that, this draft was a total snooze fest.
Carolina Panthers: Grade B
- Round 1, Pick 16 (No. 16 overall): Brian Burns, EDGE, Florida State
- Round 2, Pick 5 (No. 37 overall): Greg Little, T, Mississippi
- Round 3, Pick 36 (No. 100 overall): Will Grier, QB, West Virginia
- Round 4, Pick 13 (No. 115 overall): Christian Miller, OLB, Alabama
- Round 5, Pick 16 (No. 154 overall): Jordan Scarlett, RB, Florida
- Round 6, Pick 40 (No. 212 overall): Dennis Daley, OT, South Carolina
- Round 7, Pick 23 (No. 237 overall): Terry Godwin, WR, Georgia
Solid draft. No other way to say it. This draft isn’t perfect but Panther fans should be happy about it. Brian Burns is a pass rusher with promise. Burns is a great athlete and super bendy around the edge. Carolina needed this type of player bad. Hard to hate the Panthers first round selection.
Round two was a bit riskier but it’s hard to critique the strategy. Greg Little is a really talented tackle. He’s also the size of a house. The Panthers needed a franchise left tackle. Little has the tools to be that type of guy. The issue with him is that he needs to get nastier and finish blocks. I’m not sure that’s correctable but it’s worth a shot.
The rest of the draft takes this down to a B. What’s the deal with Will Grier? he’s never going to play. Why take one in round 3 when you have other needs? Christian Miller from Bama is a good player but he’s always hurt. Why are the Panthers taking Jordan Scarlett? Elijah Holyfield is better than him and they signed him as an undrafted free agent.
New Orleans Saints: Grade F
- Round 2, Pick 16 (No. 48 overall): Erik McCoy, C, Texas A&M
- Round 4, Pick 3 (No. 105 overall): Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, S, Florida
- Round 6, Pick 4 (No.177 overall): Saquan Hampton, S, Rutgers
- Round 7, Pick 17, (No. 231 overall): Alize Mack, TE, Notre Dame
- Round 7, Pick 30 (No. 244 overall): Kaden
Elliss, LB, Idaho
It’s hard not to regret the Marcus Davenport trade for the Saints. The Saints overpaid to trade up for him and Davenport failed to deliver. It left New Orleans with no picks. The only positive to point to is that the Saints found a way to replace Max Unger. That’s not enough to overcome what is a draft that provides zero starters outside of McCoy.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Grade A
- Round 1, Pick 5 (No. 5 overall): Devin White, LB, LSU
- Round 2, Pick 7 (No. 39 overall): Sean Bunting, CB, Central Michigan
- Round 3, Pick 30 (No. 94 overall): Jamel Dean, CB, Auburn
- Round 3, Pick 35 (No. 99 overall): Mike Edwards, S, Kentucky
- Round 4, Pick 5 (No. 107 overall): Anthony Nelson, DE, Iowa
- Round 5, Pick 7 (No. 145 overall): Matt Gay, K, Utah
- Round 6, Pick 35 (No. 208 overall): Scott Miller, WR, Bowling Green
- Round 7, Pick 1 (No. 215 overall): Terry Beckner Jr., DT, Missouri
It’s hard not to love the Bucs draft. Devin White is just fantastic. White is a can’t miss player who becomes the leader of the defense day one. Tough to do better than that. This Tampa secondary has been a total mess in recent years. The Bucs are taking 3 swings at it. The only reason this draft isn’t an A+ is because I would have preferred a better option over Sean Bunting. Coming out with a Deandre Baker instead would have sealed a perfect draft. Mike Edwards is a player I like a ton.
Anthony Nelson is a high motor edge. Hopefully, Tampa found a reliable kicker. Terry Beckner in round 7 is a steal. Very good player to pick up at the end of the draft.