Around the NFC South

Let’s take a look at the top headlines from around the NFC South.

We hadn’t heard much from New Orleans running back Pierre Thomas since he took a frightening hit to the head in the playoff loss to San Francisco. But Thomas talked Thursday night and said he has recovered from the injury. Thomas said he was knocked out as soon as he was hit, but that he remembers everything right before the impact and was aware and alert in the locker room after leaving the game.

Alabama running back Trent Richardson, who many are linking to the Bucs with the No. 5 overall pick, had his pro day Thursday. Richardson was time between 4.45 and 4.49 seconds in the 40-yard dash. Speaking of Richardson and the draft, we’ll have our blog network mock draft Monday. I can’t reveal my pick for the Bucs until then, but I will at least tell you Richardson was one of only two guys on my short list for Tampa Bay.

Richardson also said he will have a private workout for the Bucs.

The Saints are scheduled to host free-agent cornerback Kelvin Hayden this weekend. He spent last season with the Atlanta Falcons. The Saints lost Tracy Porter in free agency, but aren’t in bad shape with veteran Jabari Greer and young players Patrick Robinson and Johnny Patrick. But it wouldn’t hurt to add a solid and experienced player like Hayden, who isn’t likely to command a high salary.

Tom Sorensen writes that Oklahoma State wide receiver Justin Blackmon would be a good fit for the Panthers, if he’s available with the No. 9 overall pick in the draft. A lot of people are assuming the Panthers will take a defensive lineman with that pick. That’s possible. But I don’t think anything’s definite. If Blackmon’s available, the Panthers would give him strong consideration. He’d be a nice complement opposite Steve Smith. Plus, I also think there’s another position the Panthers are looking at that could surprise people. That’s linebacker and I think Boston College’s Luke Kuechly is a guy that’s getting a long look.