NFC South Saints 11-5 (3): Rookie Brandin Cooks adds new layer of mayhem to offense, but undervalued D could also take Saints a long way. Falcons 10-6: Their problems in pits have been addressed, but Julio Jones' health could determine playoff prospects. Panthers 7-9: They lost a lot of key bodies in free agency, which probably means a lot of lost ground in standings. Buccaneers 3-13: Big gamble that 2013 Josh McCown is real deal, and journeyman QB of previous 11 years is gone for good.
How the hell are the Falcons gonna go 10-6 with that defense?
Atlanta Falcons: Ra'Shede Hageman, DE/DT, Minnesota: C Grade
How many defensive linemen do the Falcons need? They signed so many this offseason, and they had so many other needs. There's decent value with Ra'Shede Hageman, so this pick isn't terrible, but Hageman is blocked with all of the talent ahead of him on the depth chart. He's also basically a height-weight-speed guy, so he has a high bust rate. I feel like Atlanta panicked a bit because all of the players it was considering went off the board (Deone Bucannon, Dee Ford).
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TE, Washington: B+ Grade
There are some character issues with Austin Seferian-Jenkins, so he's not a slam-dunk pick or anything, but this is a solid choice for the Buccaneers, who add yet another weapon for Josh McCown. They had to find an upgrade at the tight end position, and Seferian-Jenkins is one of three who fit this range. 3. New Orleans Saints: Stanley Jean-Baptiste, CB, Nebraska: C+ Grade
Stanley Jean-Baptiste has a ton of potential, given his massive 6-foot-3 frame. Tall corners are all the range now, so it's easy to understand why a team would take Jean-Baptiste in the second round. The problem is that the Nebraska product is a fourth-round talent. He struggled at times at Nebraska. He may fill a need, however.
4. Carolina Panthers: Kony Ealy, DE, Missouri: A Grade What tremendous value. Kony Ealy could have gone as high as No. 16 to Dallas, and I wouldn't have complained too much. It's insane that he dropped all the way to No. 60, and the Panthers obviously recognize that they got a steal because they're not filling a need - at least not an immediate one. Greg Hardy will be hitting free agency next year, and it will be difficult to retain him. Ealy can learn behind him and Charles Johnson and eventually start in 2015.