Around the NFC South

Time for a trip through the NFC South headlines.

Atlanta linebacker Coy Wire is doing something a little different than most players during the NFL lockout. Sure, he’s working out, just like everyone else. But he’s working to make life better for homeless people back in his home state, Pennsylvania.

Jeff Duncan writes that the New Orleans Saints, who hold the No. 24 overall pick, might be wise to trade down. Duncan’s basing that on the strong possibility the top defensive ends and linebackers will be gone at this point, even though I’m hearing the Saints aren’t giving serious consideration to taking a linebacker in the first round, unless Von Miller makes an epic fall out of the top five. Makes sense to trade down because New Orleans is light on picks later in the draft.

Here’s a mock draft that has the Falcons taking Maryland receiver Torrey Smith at No. 27. I think this is a stronger possibility than most people realize. I’m not sure the Falcons will be able to find a pass-rusher they like enough at this pick. More and more I’m hearing they could be serious about going with a receiver in the first round. Smith and Pittsburgh’s Jonathan Baldwin are the two guys who could be targets.

Tom Sorensen writes Carolina’s best draft was 10 years ago, the Class of 2001. That’s when the Panthers got Dan Morgan, Kris Jenkins, Steve Smith and Chris Weinke with their top four picks. Weinke didn’t exactly work out as George Seifert threw him to the wolves in a disastrous 2001 season. But that class was perhaps the only thing Seifert contributed in his Carolina days. Smith has been perhaps the best player in franchise history. Morgan could have held that title if he had just been able to stay healthy. Even Jenkins could have held that title, if he had stayed in shape, stayed healthy and found a way to be happy in Charlotte over the long term.

Scouts Inc.’s Gary Horton takes a look at needs for all the NFC South teams in this Insider pieceInsider.

In this Insider pieceInsider, Horton takes a big-picture look at each NFC South team.