NFC South evening update

Let’s take a tour of some headlines around the NFC South.

I highly recommend you read Tom Sorensen’s column on Steve Smith. It gives a very accurate portrayal of the complicated wide receiver. I also urge you to read right through the very last line of the column. It should make you laugh.

You knew there would be some shots from the Atlanta media at Bobby Petrino after he was fired at the University of Arkansas. I’ll hold back comment of my own because we didn’t start the ESPN.com blog network until 2008, just after Petrino’s very brief era with the Falcons ended, so I’ve never met the man.

The Falcons sent a contingent that included coach Mike Smith and general manager Thomas Dimitroff to watch Clemson defensive tackle Brandon Thompson and defensive end Andre Branch work out. The Falcons don’t have a pick until the second round (No. 55 overall). Some projections have Thompson and Branch going in the top 50, but the Falcons have their homework done if either of them falls.

Here’s a minor bit of Saints’ news that’s not related to the bounty program. Defensive back Leigh Torrence has signed with the Redskins as a free agent. Torrence was a backup and special-teams guy and the Saints didn’t have the cap room to keep him.

Here’s a recent mock draft in which I made the pick for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. I’ve stayed consistent on this one, so far. I didn’t make the pick for the Panthers, but I definitely see a chance of it playing out like this.

Former Tampa Bay fullback Mike Alstott has accepted a job as a high school coach in St. Petersburg.