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Sunday, May 8, 2011
Around the NFC South

By Pat Yasinskas
ESPN.com

Time for a quick trip through the Sunday headlines around the NFC South.

The addition of defensive ends Adrian Clayborn and Da'Quan Bowers and linebacker Mason Foster should do more than help Tampa Bay’s pass rush. Stephen Holder writes that each of the three rookies has the ability to play the run well.

James Varney has an in-depth profile of New Orleans rookie defensive end Cameron Jordan.

The Saints were convinced he’d be gone before they got to pick at No. 24, but he somehow made it that far.

D. Orlando Ledbetter has a projected depth chart for the Falcons. This one’s unique because Ledbetter went ahead and made a huge free-agent signing, defensive end Ray Edwards. We’ll see if general manager Thomas Dimitroff does the same thing whenever free agency opens, but I think it’s possible.

When the Panthers drafted Lee Ziemba in the seventh round, one of the first congratulatory text messages came from new Carolina quarterback Cam Newton. The two played together at Auburn, where Ziemba protected Newton’s blind side from left tackle. Although he had a very productive college career, Ziemba tumbled in the draft. Some said there were concerns about a surgically-repaired knee. Others said it was because Ziemba’s pre-draft workouts weren’t very impressive.

It’s been reported the San Diego Chargers are one team Carolina receiver Steve Smith would like to be traded to. Makes sense, because Smith is from the Los Angeles area. This might be more than wishful thinking on Smith’s part. Although nothing can happen while the lockout is in place, it sounds as if the Chargers might have some interest.