NFC South: Andre Branch

NFC South evening update

April, 11, 2012
4/11/12
5:30
PM ET
Let’s take a tour of some headlines around the NFC South.

I highly recommend you read Tom Sorensen’s column on Steve Smith. It gives a very accurate portrayal of the complicated wide receiver. I also urge you to read right through the very last line of the column. It should make you laugh.

You knew there would be some shots from the Atlanta media at Bobby Petrino after he was fired at the University of Arkansas. I’ll hold back comment of my own because we didn’t start the ESPN.com blog network until 2008, just after Petrino’s very brief era with the Falcons ended, so I’ve never met the man.

The Falcons sent a contingent that included coach Mike Smith and general manager Thomas Dimitroff to watch Clemson defensive tackle Brandon Thompson and defensive end Andre Branch work out. The Falcons don’t have a pick until the second round (No. 55 overall). Some projections have Thompson and Branch going in the top 50, but the Falcons have their homework done if either of them falls.

Here’s a minor bit of Saints’ news that’s not related to the bounty program. Defensive back Leigh Torrence has signed with the Redskins as a free agent. Torrence was a backup and special-teams guy and the Saints didn’t have the cap room to keep him.

Here’s a recent mock draft in which I made the pick for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. I’ve stayed consistent on this one, so far. I didn’t make the pick for the Panthers, but I definitely see a chance of it playing out like this.

Former Tampa Bay fullback Mike Alstott has accepted a job as a high school coach in St. Petersburg.

Around the NFC South

April, 10, 2012
4/10/12
9:12
AM ET
Time for a look at the Tuesday morning headlines from around the NFC South.
  • Free-agent defensive back Madieu Williams is expected to choose between offers from the Falcons and the Redskins. The Falcons could use some veteran depth in their secondary after letting James Sanders and Kelvin Hayden go in free agency.
  • California linebacker Mychal Kendricks is scheduled to have a pre-draft visit with the Falcons.
  • New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson reportedly has spoken with NBA commissioner David Stern about the possibility of buying the New Orleans Hornets.
  • Atlanta general manager Thomas Dimitroff and coach Mike Smith reportedly will be at Clemson on Tuesday to watch defensive end/linebacker Andre Branch and defensive tackle Brandon Thompson work out.
  • LSU wide receiver Rueben Randle said he had a pre-draft visit with the Panthers.
  • Gary Shelton writes about Warren Sapp and says he once could have owned Tampa Bay, but now has filed for bankruptcy.

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