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Friday, April 5, 2013
Around the NFC South

By Pat Yasinskas

Time for a quick run through some headlines from around the division:

ATLANTA FALCONS

The offseason program doesn’t start for a few more weeks. But running back Steven Jackson already is working out on his own and this is the first time we’ve seen him wearing the Falcons’ logo.

CAROLINA PANTHERS

Mel Kiper Jr. thinks the Panthers should take a defensive tackle in the first round and a safety in the second. We already have talked plenty about Carolina’s needs at defensive tackle, but the need at safety is almost as great. The Panthers should take a safety fairly early.

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS

Mike Triplett put the Saints at No. 5 in his rankings of the NFC teams. That may seem a little high for a team that went 7-9. But the Saints are in a unique situation with coach Sean Payton returning from suspension. That alone should provide a boost. If the Saints can just play a little defense, they should be a playoff team.

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS

SMU defensive end Margus Hunt, Oregon defensive end Dion Jordan and Alabama offensive tackle D.J. Fluker are among the players scheduled to make pre-draft visits to the Bucs. The team also had former LSU cornerback Tyrann Matheiu in for a visit Thursday. Matheiu comes with some baggage, but the Bucs have a big need at cornerback and could consider him in the middle rounds.