Friday, March 1, 2013
Around the NFC South
By Pat Yasinskas
Let's take a quick trip through the headlines from all four NFC South precincts:
Jeff Schultz writes that University of Georgia products Jarvis Jones and Alec Ogletree both seem to have their stock falling after the combine. Both could be available at No. 30 when the Falcons draft. Would Atlanta take either one of those guys? I’d say it’s a long shot. Ogletree has had some off-field problems and Jones comes with health issues.
Joseph Person writes that defensive tackle Dwan Edwards, a potential free agent, wants to return to the Panthers. I’m pretty sure the Panthers want to re-sign Edwards, who was a pleasant surprise last season. Carolina has cap issues, but the Panthers should be able to clear enough room to keep Edwards. If they can re-sign Edwards and draft a defensive tackle fairly early they should be able to stabilize the middle of their defensive front.
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
Bradley Handwerger has a summary of how the Saints have put themselves within striking distance of getting under the salary cap. But he brings up a good point when he mentions that the Saints also are likely to need room to make tenders to restricted free agents -- center Brian De La Puente, long-snapper Justin Drescher, defensive end Junior Galette and running back Chris Ivory. The Saints aren’t done with their cap moves yet and we’re still waiting to see if they restructure or release veterans Jonathan Vilma and Will Smith.
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS
In his latest mock draft, Scott Reynolds has the Bucs taking Oklahoma offensive tackle Lane Johnson in the first round. That runs counter to the popular belief that the Bucs will go with defense. But this scenario makes some sense. The Bucs might not be able to get a defensive player they really want in the middle of the first round. Johnson could come in and provide an instant upgrade over Demar Dotson at right tackle and could be the eventual successor to Donald Penn at left tackle.