Mocking the NFC South with Todd McShay


Todd McShay’s latest Insider mock draftInsider is out and this one comes complete with three first-round scenarios for each team. Let’s take a look at what he’s picturing in the NFC South.

Although McShay acknowledges Tampa Bay could go with a cornerback at No. 13, he has the Bucs taking West Virginia wide receiver Tavon Austin. I’ve seen some other mock drafts with this same pick. But I’m not buying it. The Bucs already have big money tied up in Vincent Jackson, they’re likely to give Mike Williams a healthy contract extension and they signed Kevin Ogletree to challenge for the third receiver spot. The Bucs will have a lot invested in wide receivers and I don’t see them investing any more. Tampa Bay has greater needs on defense. Of course, it must be noted the Bucs might not even have this pick if they make a trade with the New York Jets for Darrelle Revis.

At No. 14, McShay has Carolina taking Missouri defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson. That’s a pretty common pick in mock drafts everywhere, and I think there’s an excellent chance the Panthers end up with Richardson. But I wouldn’t be totally surprised if the Panthers take Austin or Florida State cornerback Xavier Rhodes.

McShay has the New Orleans Saints taking LSU defensive end/outside linebacker Barkevious Mingo at No. 15. But McShay also throws out the possibility of the Saints moving up in the draft to get another pass-rusher. I would not rule out that scenario.

At No. 30, McShay picks a mild surprise for the Atlanta Falcons. He has them taking Boise State cornerback Jamar Taylor. In most of the mocks I’ve seen, Taylor is projected as a second-round pick. But Atlanta has a glaring need at cornerback and the law of supply and demand could kick in. Plus, it’s entirely possible the Atlanta personnel department has Taylor rated higher than where the draft gurus are projecting him.