Mocking NFC South with Mel Kiper Jr.

Mel Kiper Jr. has his latest Insider mock draftInsider out, so let’s take a look at what he has the NFC South teams doing.

At No. 13, Kiper has the Bucs taking Utah defensive tackle Star Lotulelei. Cornerback is Tampa Bay’s biggest need at the moment, but there probably isn’t going to be a corner available that’s worth the value if the Bucs stay at No. 13. Put Lotulelei and Gerald McCoy together (and hope McCoy stays healthy) and the Bucs could have one of the league’s top tandems at defensive tackle.

Kiper also has the Panthers taking a defensive tackle at No. 14. He has Missouri’s Sheldon Richardson going to Carolina. That’s a popular pick and one I’ll consider strongly in our upcoming Blog Network mock draft. But I have to wonder if the Panthers could pull a surprise and take a wide receiver or take a leap on a cornerback.

At No. 15, Kiper has the Saints taking Georgia linebacker Jarvis Jones. He’d be a great fit in the 3-4 scheme. But I wonder if the Saints would take a defensive tackle if Lotulelei or Richardson is still available.

I’m really intrigued by what Kiper has the Atlanta Falcons doing at No. 30, mainly because it’s a scenario I haven’t seen before. It also is extremely timely with Thursday’s release of starting right tackle Tyson Clabo. Kiper has the Falcons taking Oregon offensive lineman Kyle Long, who can play guard or tackle and can be an immediate starter.