Recapping moves around the NFC South from Day 1 of the 2021 draft

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John Sigler
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The New Orleans Saints got better on Day 1 of the 2021 NFL draft, but so did their NFC South rivals: the Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. While we’ve got a good handle on the Saints’ first-round selection, Houston defensive end Payton Turner, there’s plenty to learn about the other new arrivals. Here are the first round picks Saints fans will be seeing twice a year from each opponent:

Atlanta Falcons: TE Kyle Pitts, Florida

Apr 29, 2021; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Kyle Pitts (Florida) is selected by Atlanta Falcons as the number four overall pick in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft at First Energy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The best non-quarterback in the draft lands in Atlanta, where he'll be joining an already-strong receiving corps featuring Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley, and tight end Hunter Henry. Pitts figures to be a big-play threat every time he steps on the field, but Saints captain Cameron Jordan is confident his All-Pro teammate Demario Davis can slow Pitts down.

Carolina Panthers: CB Jaycee Horn, South Carolina

South Carolina defensive back Jaycee Horn (1) celebrates a stop during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Vanderbilt, Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019, in Columbia, S.C. (AP Photo/Sean Rayford)

And the best cornerback in the draft is in Carolina, so that's annoying. To make it worse, Horn was a trade-up target for the Saints and the son of one of the best receivers in team history. He'll be teaming up with some young playmakers on the Panthers defense like Jeremy Chinn, Donte Jackson, and Brian Burns, led by linebacker Shaq Thompson.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: DE Joe Tryon, Washington

Colorado tight end Brady Russell (38) and Washington linebacker Joe Tryon (9) in the second half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 23, 2019, in Boulder, Colo. Colorado won 20-14. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

For now, Tryon is in a similar spot to his Saints counterpart in that both rookies are slotted in behind veteran starters. Tryon was a disruptive pass rusher for the Huskies and he'll look to push for snaps on the second string, while Shaquil Barrett and Jason Pierre-Paul anchor the edge rush rotation.

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