NFC South mailbag

Patrick in Atlanta writes: Someone brought up a great question on Harry Douglas. If he is going to take over Michael Jenkin's #2 spot, he'd better be a good downfield blocker. Can you speak to that aspect of his game? How'd the surgery go?

Pat Yasinskas: Good question, because the blocking aspect is part of the equation here. Say what you want about Jenkins as a No. 2 receiver, but his blocking is very good and that’s part of the reason he’s on the field. With Roddy White and Tony Gonzalez on the field, the Falcons don’t need Jenkins to put up huge numbers as a receiver, but they value his blocking very much. Douglas did fine with his surgery and is coming along well with his recovery. General manager Thomas Dimitroff said Douglas will be ready for the season. But I think you’ll see him as the No. 3 receiver and he’ll get playing time in the slot. That might be the role Douglas is best suited for. His size doesn’t make him an ideal blocker.

John in Tampa writes: Has Byron Leftwich's value gone up for a Pittsburgh Steelers team that is reeling at QB? Sure they just signed Batch, but of Big Ben's backups, Leftwich was most successful for them. With the relationship between Mike Tomlin and Buc's coach Raheem Morris, is it possible one could scratch the other's back?

Pat Yasinskas: Yes, keep an eye on this one. We don’t know exactly what will happen with the Ben Roethlisberger situation in Pittsburgh, but Leftwich has history with the Steelers. The Bucs don’t have any plans for Leftwich. If they could add a draft pick for him, I’m sure they would do it. But I think we’re talking about a late-round pick at best.

Ned in Canada writes: I am almost certain the Falcons will take a defensive end in the draft. Look at the Pro Days they attended, TCU, Georgia, Flordia, all three have good linebackers with third-round value. Also after Dunlap, Pierre-Paul, Morga, and Graham there won't be any good ends left in the later rounds, what do you think?

Pat Yasinskas: I think defensive end definitely is Atlanta’s No. 1 need, and I think there’s a very good chance it’ll go that way with the No. 19 overall pick. Problem is, there might not be an end available at that point who brings that kind of value. The Falcons might have to go with a linebacker first. But I’d rather see them get a defensive end in the first round and come back with a linebacker in the third.

Cody in Alexandria, La., writes: Great stuff all year long. I just got into the blogs this year and you’re by far the best over any internet or newspapers I've read. When i first started reading your posts though you did a team by team mailbag. Any chance of that coming back?

Pat Yasinskas: Cody, yes, we do the team-by-team mailbags from time to time. I generally do it more in the regular season where there are more letters to work with. But I’ll also do it sometimes in the offseason when there are enough questions with enough variety to merit individual mailbags for all four teams. Keep the letters coming and maybe we’ll do some team-by-team mailbags as we get a little closer to the draft.