TAMPA, Fla. – Time to weigh in on several NFC South picks that were made while I was off writing a column on Carolina’s selection of quarterback Jimmy Clausen.
Let’s start with New Orleans taking Charles Brown with the final pick of the second round. Presumably, Lucy and Linus come along with Charlie Brown. But, really, this pick was made with Jammal Brown in mind. He used to be a Pro Bowl left tackle for the Saints. But he missed last season with an injury and he’s been making noise about his desire for a new contract. This may be a case where Jammal Brown should be careful what he’s wishing for. The Saints were able to get by without him last season. Jermon Bushrod and Zach Strief did an adequate job filling in for Jammal Brown last season. Add Charles Brown to that mix and the Saints may able to get by without Jammal Brown on a permanent basis.
Now, let’s move on to the third round. Tampa Bay selected Vanderbilt defensive back Myron Lewis with pick No. 67. Although he’s got the size to make you think he can play safety, the Bucs said they drafted Lewis with a future at cornerback in mind. They’ve already gotten three instant starters out of this draft with defensive tackles Gerald McCoy and Brian Price and receiver Arrelious Benn. Lewis doesn’t quite fit as an instant starter. He’ll compete with Elbert Mack for the nickel back role as the aging Ronde Barber and the sometimes-troubled Aqib Talib remain the starters. The Bucs view Lewis as a guy who could replace Barber in another year or two.
With the 78th overall pick, the Panthers selected LSU wide receiver Brandon LaFell and this move looks very good on paper. LaFell is a big, physical receiver. In theory, he should be the perfect No. 2 receiver to go with Steve Smith. Then again, the Panthers thought they drafted that in Dwayne Jarrett a few years ago. We’ll see what happens.
With pick No. 83, the Falcons, who didn’t have a second-round pick, chose Corey Peters, a defensive tackle from Kentucky. The Falcons still haven’t made a pick move to improve their pass rush, but Peters take care of some other needs on the defensive line. He can create a little bit of a surge in the middle and he can play the run. The Falcons have Jonathan Babineaux and Peria Jerry, last year’s top pick, is expected back from a knee injury. There might be a little concern about Jerry coming back at full strength right from the start of the season and the addition of Peters gives Atlanta some insurance.
Stay tuned. The Saints and Falcons each still have a third-round pick coming.