Best and worst 2015 draft picks for NFC South teams

The gems of a draft class aren't always first-round picks, and the picks that disappoint aren't always the third-day fliers. College Football 24/7 takes a look at the best and worst picks of each team in the NFL with respect to value and fit rather than overall talent, here focusing on the NFC South.

Atlanta Falcons

Best: DL Grady Jarrett, Round 5 (No. 137 overall)
The Falcons picked up a potential steal in Jarrett, whose slip to the fifth round was difficult to fathom. Typically the fifth round is where more prospects tend to be projects, but Jarrett has the talent to help Atlanta as a rookie in an area of need. Think of him as a poor man's Geno Atkins.
Worst: OL Jake Rodgers, Round 7 (No. 225 overall)
Atlanta had one of the most rock-solid drafts of any team in the league and, as such, there isn't a hole to be poked in the class. Rodgers is basically a camp hopeful, but that's what the seventh round of the draft is for every team. If there's a criticism to be found, it would only be that Atlanta waited until this point in the draft to address the offensive line.

Carolina Panthers

Best: G Daryl Williams, Round 4 (No. 102 overall)
The Panthers got an absolute road grader of a run blocker in Williams. If he doesn't work out at offensive tackle, he can be an outstanding guard, but with a fourth-round pick, he'll be a solid value regardless of his eventual position. Carolina had the No. 7 rushing attack in the NFL last season, which is must-have support for Cam Newton, and Williams will help maintain it.
Worst: LB Shaq Thompson, Round 1 (No. 25 overall)
Thompson is an exciting athlete and a nice addition for just about any team, but it just didn't make much sense for the Panthers to reach a round early to spend the No. 25 overall pick on him. Thompson could prove otherwise over time, but for now, the Panthers' investment in him lends itself to neither need nor value.

New Orleans Saints

Best: CB P.J. Williams, Round 3 (No. 78 overall)
Williams ranked No. 35 overall on NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah's top 50 list, but went No. 78 overall as the Saints nabbed a high-value pick in Round 3. Concerns about a DUI charge just weeks before the draft, even though the charge was ultimately dropped, didn't help his draft stock. From a talent standpoint, however, the Saints couldn't have done any better at this point in the draft.
Worst: LB Stephone Anthony, Round 1 (No. 31 overall)
A lot of draft pundits were high on Anthony as a prospect, and while he could turn out to be a significant contributor, the prediction here is that he won't live up to first-round billing. The size/speed combination is there, but he is sometimes late with his recognition. Though big enough to play inside, he might be better suited outside.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Best: LB Kwon Alexander, Round 4 (No. 124 overall)
From an athleticism standpoint, Alexander was easily a top-100 player. At 6-foot-1 and 225 pounds, he's a bit on the small side. But the way Alexander can play in space and pursue the ball makes him a high-value pick at No. 124, not to mention the asset he could be on special teams. By the time the Buccaneers' draft class is ready to sign second contracts, Alexander's rookie deal will look like a bargain.
Worst: OL Donovan Smith, Round 2 (No. 34 overall)
With the Bucs staking the immediate future on Jameis Winston and impressive receiving weapons already in place, the club's obvious next move was bolstering the line. At pick No. 34 overall, however, Smith was something of a reach -- especially if he ultimately becomes a guard. There are also some scouting concerns about work ethic with Smith and whether his weight will stay in check.

Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter @ChaseGoodbread.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content