NFL: Remaining NFC South Team Needs

The NFC South by all accounts was the worst division in football last year. Their inconsistency was maddening to their fans. This was on full display last year that despite having solid talent on three of the four teams, none finished with a record of .500 or better, even though one of the teams not only won a playoff game, but was one pick six from being down one score to the defending Superbowl Champions, on the road. For the Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, New Orleans Saints, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, this offseason was just as much about developing chemistry as it was about filling holes. However, filling your team needs isn’t a bad thing, so the following are the remaining NFC South Team Needs.


Atlanta Falcons – The Falcons got a lot of good talent in the draft. Overall they had one of the better drafts in the league. They filled a big need at RB by draft Tevin Coleman in the 3rd round. Vic Beasley will be an integral part of the defense as a needed pass rusher as they transition from a 4-3 to a 3-4. Even though CB Jalen Collins and WR Justin Hardy were both good solid picks, I still feel they need to address the following positions:

Safety – This is probably their biggest team need. William Moore is fine as the SS, but with Charles Godfrey currently slated to start at FS, it’s like a flashing sign that says, “Throw this direction”.

Guard – They cut Justin Blalock this offseason and never replaced him. They must be hoping they can fill the need internally.


Carolina Panthers – The Panthers had about 5-6 holes going into the draft, with the lowest priority being LB, so of course with only five picks in the draft, that is the spot they take in the 1st round. With their biggest needs being at OT and Safety, they skipped on taking either position in the draft. They did get Shaq Thompson, as I said, to fill their LB need and they also got Devin Funchess as another weapon for star QB Cam Newton, but they still have may holes to fill including:

Offensive Tackle – With Michael Oher and Johnathan Martin fighting for the LT spot that alone should tell you how big of a need this was. Cam Newton will once again have to keep his head on a swivel.

Safety – Roman Harper can’t cover well, which was shown in the playoffs, but he is a solid SS. Tre Boston is a 4th round pick from a year ago that did not stand out at all. That’s taking a big chance not bringing in anyone to challenge.

Defensive End – Charles Johnson is great, but with Greg hardy leaving, it makes for a big hole on the other side, which means Johnson will be in line for a boatload of double teams this year.

NFL Draft

New Orleans Saints – The Saints had a weird draft, taking three LBs and a QB in their 1st six picks, with five of those picks coming in the 1st three rounds. Taking OT Andrus Peat in the 1st round will allow them to move Terron Armstead to RT and then move Zach Strief to OG. The LBs will really help their depth as 2nd round pick Stephone Anthony should start at ILB and Hau’oli Kikaha should be an immediate situational pass rusher. I feel they have one hole to fill, but it isn’t a high priority right now:

Wide Receiver – Currently the Saints have an aging Marques Colston, a 2nd year player in Brandon Cooks, who I look at as more of a slot WR, and Nick Toon. They seem to be going towards more of a rushing philosophy, which is why I don’t think it’s as high of a priority as it initially looks.


Tampa Bay Buccaneers – The Bucs had the #1 pick overall in the 2015 NFL Draft. They also probably had the most team needs in the NFL so hopefully their top pick, Jameis Winston can help to cover up some of those holes. The most important part of draft a QB is getting him weapons and an offensive line. They have good weapons in WRs Vincent Jackson and Mike Evans, but they had big needs at OG and OT and they filled those need with both of their 2nd round picks in OT Donovan Smith and OF Ali Marpet. There is one remaining positions to fill, but they may need two of them:

Defensive Ends – Neither Jacquies Smith or George Johnson topped 6.5 sacks last year. The Bucs got to the QB less than any other team in the league. Neither of those 2 players are bad for a #2 DE, but they still need someone to attract the offensive lines attention to open it up for the rest of the defense.

All in all I think the NFC South teams made some good improvements and will have a bounce back year next year. Any team with Drew Brees must be respected, the Falcons have a great receiving crew, the Panthers are the defending division champs and have been at the top of the division for the past couple years and the Bucs have a promising offense, especially if RB Doug Martin returns to form. These teams will have some gaps in their lineups, but they definitely should be more of a threat in the 2015 season.

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