2020 NFC South Draft Grades


New Orleans Saints

First-Round Pick: Cesar Ruiz-Center-Michigan

Best Pick: Zack Baun-Outside Lineback-Wisconsin

Grade: C+

The New Orleans Saints went into the 2020 National Football League Draft without having that many selections which took away from their ability to add depth. It appeared that linebacker Kenneth Murray would be there for the Saints to select 24th overall, but the Los Angeles Chargers would make a trade with the New England Patriots to move ahead of the Saints to select him.

New Orleans would instead turn their focus to center Cesar Ruiz who is expected to be a starter this year as the Saints are poised to make another push for the Super Bowl Title.

Outside linebacker Zack Baun had the talent to be selected in the first round, but he fell to the third round where the Saints got one of the steals of this draft. Baun is a solid edge rusher who blends speed and power with a strong will of determination. At the beginning of the season I expect to see Baun getting his fair share of reps, but as the year progresses it will be hard for Saints head coach Sean Payton to keep him off of the feel.

New Orleans would find another gem in the third round when they would select tight end Adam Trautman. Trautman was not a big name at the start of the draft process, but his athleticism was very enticing for plenty of teams. And as Saints quarterback Drew Brees knows how to put his skill players in the best position to succeed, Trautman will have a solid contribution to the Saints offense as a rookie.

The one thing that hurt the Saints in this draft was that they didn’t that many picks, but they made the most of those selections.

Atlanta Falcons

First-Round Pick: A.J. Terrell-Cornerback-Clemson

Best Pick: A.J. Terrell

Grade: C-

The Atlanta Falcons entered the 2020 National Football League Draft with several needs, and although that they only had six picks, they are hopeful that they were able to fill those voids.

The first round would see Atlanta select cornerback A.J. Terrell whom they are hopeful can step in right away and be a starter. In the second round, the Falcons would select defensive tackle Marlon Davidson who will give them depth. However Atlanta would not find another impact player in this draft class which will hinder their chances of winning the NFC South in 2020.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

First-Round Pick: Tristan Wirfs-Offensive Tackle-Iowa

Best Pick: Round Two-Antoine Winfield Jr.-Safety-Minnesota

Grade: B

After signing veteran quarterback Tom Brady in free agency, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers spent this edition of the National Football League Draft putting some talent around him. In acquiring a veteran quarterback like Brady, you need to protect his blind side, and in the first round of the draft, the Bucs got one of the best offensive tackles that was available.

At 6’5″, 320 lbs., offensive tackle Tristan Wirfs is freakishly athletic, but he is an even better lineman. Wirfs has a good set of feet on him which is very important to play offensive tackle in the NFL, but he is also blessed with good hips as those fast-twitch muscles will be put to the test versus the top pass rushers in the NFC.

In round two, Tampa Bay would get one of the best safeties available in this draft as they selected Antoine Winfield Jr. Winfield was one of the best defensive backs in the nation last season at the University of Minnesota as he has good range, while also possessing a nose for the football. And as Winfield’s rookie season progresses, he will only get better.

The Bucs would spend the remainder of the draft adding depth on both sides of the football as this club will look to make some noise in the NFC South in 2020.

Carolina Panthers

First-Round Pick: Derrick Brown-Defensive Tackle-Auburn

Best Pick: Derrick Brown

Grade: B

The Carolina Panthers were ranked 23rd last year in the National Football League in total defense, and their new head coach Matt Rhule dedicated the entire 2020 NFL Draft to upgrading that side of the football.

Derrick Brown

The Panthers would use their first-round choice on defensive tackle Derrick Brown as they are hopeful that he can come in an be a disruptor in regards to getting into opponent’s backfields. Carolina would follow this up by selecting defensive end Yetur Gross-Matos in the second round. Gross-Matos never had a double-digit sack season when he played collegiately for the Penn State Nittany Lions as he will be more of a project for this Panther defense.

After selecting Gross-Matos, the remainder of Carolina’s pick will be developmental players for this team as Rhule has begun the process of overhauling the defense in Charlotte.


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