Around the NFC South

April, 16, 2012
4/16/12
10:22
AM ET
Time for a look at the top headlines around the division.
  • Chris Mortenson reports that the NFL Players Association had knowledge of the tapes of former New Orleans defensive coordinator Gregg Williams’ now-infamous speech to his players the night prior to a playoff game with San Francisco before the recordings became public April 4. Filmmaker Sean Pamphilon, who released the tapes to the media, reportedly has been contacted multiple times by NFL security about providing the league with copies of the tapes. Gee, just a thought here, but shouldn’t Pamphilon have given tapes to the league before -- or at least at the same time -- they were given to the media?
  • Some draft gurus are saying South Carolina cornerback Stephon Gilmore has emerged as a likely top-10 draft pick and that he’s the second-best cornerback in the draft. LSU’s Morris Claiborne likely will be the top cornerback in the draft and he could go at No. 5 to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. But it wouldn’t be that surprising if Gilmore goes No. 9 to the Carolina Panthers. They need depth at cornerback and Gilmore is from Rock Hill, S.C., which is located just over the border from Charlotte. Carolina owner Jerry Richardson traditionally has shown eagerness to bring in players from the Carolinas.
  • The Falcons have talked in a lot of general terms about what new offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter will bring to the offense. They’re not about to lay out specifics. But here’s some speculation that Atlanta could use the empty backfield more often, and it makes sense for a team that wants to have more of a downfield passing game.
  • D. Orlando Ledbetter has the Falcons taking California offensive tackle Mitchell Schwartz in his mock draft. Makes sense. The Falcons at least want someone to compete with Sam Baker for the starting job at left tackle. But I think a defensive end also is a possibility for the Falcons, who don't pick until the second round (No. 55 overall).
  • Carolina quarterback Cam Newton saw a statue of himself unveiled at Auburn University recently. Newton attended the ceremony and read a poem that he said he wrote for the occasion.
  • The Saints don’t have a pick in this year’s draft until the third round. General manager Mickey Loomis said there is virtually no chance the team will try to trade up to get a pick in the first two rounds.
  • Here’s an in-depth look, complete with legal analysis, at the bankruptcy filing by former Tampa Bay defensive tackle Warren Sapp.

Pat Yasinskas | email

ESPN Tampa Bay Buccaneers reporter

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