Skip to main content

NFC South: Panthers snag Newton; Bucs gamble on two DEs

Charles Davis and I shared duties on "NFL Draft Review" on NFL Network, so I wanted to make sure I gave you my thoughts on the rest of the teams I didn't cover on the show.

It will be interesting, given the shortened offseason, to see whether Jimmy Clausen or top pick Cam Newton starts the season as Carolina's starting quarterback. The Panthers need some help on their defensive line. Defensive end Charles Johnson is a guy they have to re-sign. They drafted two defensive tackles in the third round --South Florida's Terrell McClain and LSU's Drake Nevis -- both of whom will compete for snaps this year. I think they'll both be in the rotation.

Then a guy who nobody really has focused on is the Panthers' fourth-round pick, Brandon Hogan, a cornerback from West Virginia who is a talented but troubled athlete. Veteran Richard Marshall is a potential free agent, and Carolina isn't really gifted back there on the edges. So Hogan is a kid who, if he keeps his nose clean, can compete for snaps.

  -- Mayock on 
 Buccaneers fifth-round pick 
 Ahmad Black

The two defensive end the Buccaneers took at No. 20 and No. 51 -- Adrian Clayborn and Da'Quan Bowers -- there's a wow factor there. It's kind of a medical boom-or-bust factor. They're both talented enough to be first-round picks, but they both slid because of different medical issues. If they both can play like first-rounders, then Tampa Bay got a couple of steals at a position of need.

In the third round, the Bucs took Mason Foster, one of the few guys in the draft who might be able to play all three linebacker positions. Witt Barrett Ruud and Quincy Black both potential free agents, Foster could see more playing time than people expect.

Luke Stocker, their fourth-round tight end, is another important component. Kellen Winslow is a little more of a vertical threat. This kid can be an in-line guy who can block and catch.

Then the Bucs got two of my favorite late-round picks. In the fifth, they took safety Ahmad Black out of Florda. Too small, too slow, but boy can he play. And in the seventh, they got Anthony Gaitor, a little corner from Florida International who I think might compete for their nickel slot.

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.