Gearing up for draft week in NFC South

We’re counting down the hours to the start of Thursday’s NFL draft and it’s going to be a very busy week on the NFC South Blog. Let’s take a look ahead at some of the things we’ve got planned.

  • On Monday, we will roll out the mock draft done by the ESPN.com Blog Network. Each of our writers made the picks for each of the teams in their divisions. I had an easy time making Carolina’s pick at No. 1 because nobody was ahead of me. But picking for the Buccaneers, Saints and Falcons was much more challenging because so much depended on what happened in the picks before them.

  • On Tuesday, we’ll continue our Power Rankings series with the quarterbacks. I drew the assignment to write this story and I’m glad I did. The NFC South quarterbacks got solid respect from the other voters.

  • Sometime this week, I’m not sure of the exact day, we’ll have an extensive project on Auburn quarterback Cam Newton that I was a part of. That project will run on our main NFL page, but I’ll put something up on the NFC South Blog to point you to it, or maybe we can run an excerpt here.

  • I’ll also have a feature on the person who will be handing in Carolina’s card with the name of the player the Panthers will take with the first pick. He is a pretty smart guy and I think he already has been spotted the “C” and the “M’’ as letters to write on the card, so I don’t think it’s possible to mess this one up. But this is the same person who has been turning in draft cards for Carolina every year since the Panthers joined the league in 1995. He’s got some behind-the-scene stories to tell about past years when things have been a little more challenging. Nothing’s certain yet, but this story probably will run Wednesday.

  • Also on Wednesday, I’ll be traveling to Charlotte to get set up to cover the entire draft from Bank of America Stadium. The great Sal Paolantonio will join me from our television side and Sal has said he’d like to contribute some items to the NFC South Blog. We’ll gladly take whatever he sends along.

  • On draft night, we’ll be chatting live before and during the first round. Stay tuned for instructions and exact times. As soon as I get final details, I’ll post a note on the blog.

  • Obviously, the Panthers are the big story because they’re picking first. But I’ll have analysis on the Falcons, Saints and Buccaneers throughout the draft.