With the draft over and all wrapped up, we thought it would be a good idea to get back on the phone with our buddy Greg Cosell of NFL Films and ESPN's "NFL Matchup," and talk about the NFL by division. Who did themselves the most favors in the draft, and who came up short when addressing their roster deficits?
We started off with the NFC West two weeks ago, and then jumped to the hyper-competitive AFC North last week. Now, it's time to turn our attention to the NFC South. Appropriate, given Greg's recent post on the NFL Films Blog about division quarterbacks Matt Ryan, Cam Newton, and Josh Freeman. With that in mind, we asked Greg what he thought the Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, New Orleans Saints, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers did to bolster their teams.
On Atlanta Falcons second-round G/C Peter Konz: "I looked at him more as a athlete than as a strong, physical player. Not that he was a weakling -- I thought he had a nice combination of movement and strength -- but I certainly wouldn't call him a road-grader. But in tandem with his active feet, he was effective. He is an efficient player -- very assignment-disciplined. Do I think he could fit right in? Yes I could, and I did make a note that I thought he could play either guard or center.
On Carolina Panthers first-round linebacker Luke Kuechly: "I absolutely loved him, and the more I watched him, the more I loved him. I thought he played with his eyes as well as any linebacker I've ever evaluated. He beat blocks with play recognition. Now, the question is, will he do that in the NFL? I think he probably will, because I'm sure that comes from film study, and I don't think he'll be a slacker al lot a sudden. I thought he was the best linebacker in this draft without question, I think he's far more athletic than he's given credit for -- as I watched each game, I was actually more and more impressed with his athleticism."
On New Orleans Saints fourth-round receiver Nick Toon: "We won't time well, but he plays faster as a route-runner, because he's very fluid. And I think he'll get a real opportunity with that team, because of what they like to do -- Sean Payton won't be there this year, but it's the same concepts. They use receivers in many different ways, they find what their strengths are, and they utilize those players to their strengths. He's a physical receiver against press coverage -- he did that very well against Alfonzo Dennard from Nebraska. He was very effective getting off the line."
On Tampa Bay Buccaneers first-round running back Doug Martin: "After Trent Richardson, I thought Doug Martin was the only other true foundation back in this draft. He ran with the mentality of a feature back -- he ran hard inside, he moved the pile, and he ran with some wiggle. I wouldn't say that he was incredibly shifty, but he ran with enough wiggle where I wouldn't say he was just straight-line, either."
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