NFC South: Dion Jordan

Around the NFC South

April, 5, 2013
4/05/13
9:35
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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.

Around the NFC South

February, 20, 2013
2/20/13
10:28
AM ET
Time for a look at some news and notes from around the division:

ATLANTA FALCONS

D. Orlando Ledbetter throws out the possibility of the Falcons taking South Carolina running back Marcus Lattimore in the second round of the draft. Lattimore is a great talent. But he’s coming off a knee injury that might prevent him from being much of a factor in 2013. I don’t think the Falcons are in a position where they can afford to redshirt a running back. They need an immediate impact at that position and there should be other running backs available in the second or third round.

CAROLINA PANTHERS

The team took another step forward in its attempt to get financing for renovations at Bank of America Stadium. The Charlotte Chamber threw its support behind the plan and asked the North Carolina General Assembly to make a quick decision on if it will raise food and beverage taxes to pay for the upgrades. Charlotte City Council already has agreed to pitch in $144 million, but that’s contingent upon the state throwing in $62.5 million.

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS

Draft analyst Mike Mayock mentions LSU’s Barkevious Mingo and Oregon’s Dion Jordan as possibilities for the Saints with the No. 15 overall pick. They both are guys who could play outside linebacker in the 3-4 system that new defensive coordinator Rob Ryan will be running. I could also see the Saints going with a defensive tackle with that pick.

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS

An official at Tampa International Airport said authorities there would have tried to help defensive end Da’Quan Bowers properly transport his gun if notified. But Bowers was in New York’s LaGuardia Airport on Monday when he told airline officials he was carrying a gun and ended up getting arrested. New York has stringent gun laws and it’s a criminal offense to carry a registered weapon outside your home or place of business. All indications are that Bowers didn’t have any bad intentions, but it still is possible he could face prison time.

Looking ahead to the draft

December, 12, 2012
12/12/12
2:14
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With a postseason berth appearing unlikely for three of the four NFC South teams, it’s time to start looking ahead to the 2013 NFL draft.

Check out this Insider post in which Todd McShay rolls out his first mock draft. Obviously, the final draft order is a long way from being set, so McShay goes on current record.

At No. 5, he has the Carolina Panthers taking Ohio State defensive tackle Jonathan Hankins. I’m all for it. Defensive tackle has been Carolina’s biggest problem spot since Kris Jenkins departed after the 2007 season. It’s time for the Panthers to finally fix this area.

At No. 13, McShay has the New Orleans Saints taking Georgia linebacker Jarvis Jones. There’s no question the Saints could use more athleticism at linebacker and Jones can rush the passer and drop in coverage. He wouldn’t be a bad fit, but I’m thinking the Saints might help their pass rush more with a defensive end and Oregon’s Dion Jordan could be available. Heck, I’m thinking the guy McShay has going right after the Saints’ pick could be a perfect fit in New Orleans.

That’s LSU defensive end Sam Montgomery, who McShay has going to Tampa Bay at No. 14. Tampa Bay’s pass rush hasn’t been great, but the Bucs will get Adrian Clayborn back from injury and I’m sure they’ll make a strong attempt to keep Michael Bennett from entering free agency. I’d much rather see the Bucs get a cornerback like Mississippi’s Johnathan Banks.

At No. 31, McShay has the Falcons taking Stanford tight end Zach Ertz. There’s no doubt the Falcons need to get either an immediate or an eventual successor to Tony Gonzalez, but I’m not sure you need to use a first-round pick on a tight end. Let’s see what the Falcons do as far as keeping -- or not keeping -- Brent Grimes and Sam Baker. If they walk into free agency, cornerback and left tackle could become much bigger needs.

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