After a brief hiatus, our good buddy Greg Cosell of NFL Films, ESPN's NFL Matchup, and Shutdown Corner is back to talk a little football. And with more than a month passed since the draft, we thought it would be interesting to review that selection process by division, now that teams have given a bit of insight into how their new players will be used. We've already covered the NFC West, AFC West, and AFC South. Now, we'll move to the NFC South to see how the Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, New Orleans Saints, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers did with their selections.
On the Atlanta Falcons' first-round pick, Washington CB Desmond Trufant: "I like him as a player. Now, Jamar Taylor from Boise State, who was a second-round pick [of the Miami Dolphins] I liked a bit more, but I liked Trufant as well. In the games I watched, I thought Trufant showed the ability to play press man. That doesn't mean that he doesn't play off coverage better, but I made a note that his ability to play press was an attribute that could get him drafted in the first round, and obviously he did. He's a versatile cornerback; he can play outside and in the slot. Overall, he plays fast and shows excellent range. One thing that stood out to me when I watched him against USC was that he easily ran with Marqise Lee from press man position. We know that Lee's likely to be a top ten pick, he's a big kid with great speed, and I didn't think Trufant struggled with him."
On the Carolina Panthers' first-round pick, Utah DT Star Lotulelei: "They really needed some defensive tackles, but their nickel front was really good, and they do have some underrated players. I think Lotulelei starts at defensive tackle, but he can play any defensive tackle position. He won't play end in a 4-3, but he can play multiple d-tackle positions, and he did that at Utah. He's somewhat nimble for a man his size. He's big, but I don't think he's as big as a lot of people initially think. When we started looking at him, we thought he was a really big guy, but he's about 310-315 pounds. What I liked best about him was how agile he is for someone who's built more like a big guy than a sleek athlete."
On the New Orleans Saints' first-round pick, Texas S Kenny Vacarro: "Some people were disappointed in his 40 time at the scouting combine, but if you watch the tape, you see a multi-dimensional safety. He played over the slot an awful lot, and the game that always stood out to me was when he went against Tavon Austin of West Virginia. He more than held his own. I really like Kenny Vacarro. I think he's a Day 1 starter, and the Saints can use him in a variety of ways, including playing man-to-man."
On the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' third-round pick, North Carolina State QB Mike Glennon: "Quite frankly, Josh Freeman is on the clock. Freeman needs to have a very good season, or Mike Glennon will get a very legitimate chance to be the starter, and could be the starter in 2014. Everybody seems to be concerned about quarterbacks who at times throw into coverage, and I'm obviously not suggesting that it's a good thing, but I like quarterbacks who are willing to pull the trigger on tight window throws. Sometimes when you do that, you don't get it in there. And you know what? That's okay. If you do it all the time, that's not good. But in the NFL, there are four or five throws in every game that are difficult throws, and you have to be willing to pull the trigger and throw balls when it appears that your receivers are covered. Mike Glennon is willing to do that, and he can sit on his back foot and throw the ball effectively."
As with everything involving Greg Cosell, this podcast is a must-listen for those fans of advanced tape analysis. Subscribe to the Shutdown Corner iTunes link. You can also use the link below to either left-click and listen, or right-click to save to your computer.
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