The 2009 NFL Draft is in the books, here is a look at the NFC South's Draft Summaries, by team.
The Falcons went straight defense in the first three rounds of this year’s draft. However after picking up future HOF TE Tony Gonzales on trade this week, they didn’t have many needs on that side of the ball.
Summary: Tony Gonzales’ fantasy value drops some in Atlanta where he won’t be the undisputed receiving option but his presence helps QB Matt Ryan, RB Michael Turner & WR Roddy White as he draws defensive coverage his direction.
The Panthers spent all three early picks on defensive players, and even traded away another future 1st rounder (they dealt last year’s to Philly for OT Jeff Otah) to the SF 49’ers for DE Everette Brown (2nd round).
Summary: The Panthers offense has lots of young talent, the key is whether veteran QB Jake Delhomme still has enough left in the tank.
New Orleans Saints
With only one pick in the first three rounds, the Saints didn’t have much firepower – and once they used that pick on a CB (Malcolm Jenkins, #14 overall) – their offense was set to stick to together.
Summary: Pierre Thomas now looks like safe bet to enter ’09 as the featured runner with Reggie Bush playing a slot / change of pace role. Bush’ fantasy value won’t take much of a hit (he’ll be a RB2/3) while Thomas likely will ascend into a RB3 spot with upside in the Saints offense.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Bucs made an investment on their quarterback position when they took Josh Freeman in the 1st round (#19 overall). Freeman played under current HC Raheem Morris at Kansas State, so there is familiarity here and you can expect he’ll be groomed to start as soon as ’10 if not sooner.
Summary: Luke McCown & Byron Leftwich have the upper hand to start in ’09 but HC Morris has already stated that Freeman will compete for the role immediately. Given the coach’s history with Freeman, don’t discount the chance that they take a Joe Flacco type approach with him in ’09 by cranking the ball on the ground & grinding out games this year while Freeman develops.