NFL Draft Winners & Losers | NFC South
Chief Sports Writer
In the latest of our analysis of the NFL Draft. We look at who's in and who's out across the NFC South Division teams. Plus, we compare the DraftKings' odds swing between pre-draft and current Super Bowl odds to decide are the winners and losers of the NFL Draft.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Division Odds: +105
Pre-Draft Super Bowl 55 odds: +1200
Current Super Bowl 55 odds: +1100
|Key Re-signings||Jason Pierre-Paul, LB; Rakeem Nunez-Roches, DE; Bryant Mitchell, WR; Antony Auclair, TE; Kevin Minter, LB; Andrew Adams, CB; Ndamukong Suh, DL; Ryan Smith, CB; Blaine Gabbert, QB|
|Key Trade Acquisition||Rob Gronkowski (from NE)|
|Key Free Agent losses||Carl Nassib, DE/LB; Beau Allen, DT; Peyton Barber, RB; Breshad Perriman, WR|
|Key Free Agent signings||Tom Brady, QB (from NE); Joe Haeg, OG (from IND)|
|Key Draft Pick||Tristan Wirfs, OT (1st round); Antoine Winfield, Jr., S (2nd round); Ke’Shawn Vaughn, RB (3rd round)|
|Franchise Tag||Shaquil Barrett, LB|
The Bucs took the NFL world by storm this offseason, first signing QB Tom Brady and then getting TE Rob Gronkowski via trade with the Patriots. This offense is going to have some unbelievable firepower, headlined by the dynamic WR duo of Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. Head coach Bruce Arians is the perfect guy to deal with all these talented players -- and personalities -- so look for the Bucs to be major players in the NFC playoff picture this season.
Needless to say, the Bucs knocked free agency out of the park, but the draft was another big win as well. Some draft experts would say that Tristan Wirfs was the best offensive lineman in the draft, yet he fell to Tampa Bay at No. 13 overall. Not to mention, Antoine Winfield was a fantastic grab for the defense in the second round.
The one thing holding Tampa back right now is the coronavirus restrictions in our world. With Brady having to learn a new system and players, this time off is not helping at all. We do believe the Bucs are good enough to make the playoffs, but it’s a matter of whether they can all get on the same page before it’s too late.
New Orleans Saints
Division Odds: +110
Pre-Draft Super Bowl 55 odds: +1200
Current Super Bowl 55 odds: +1400
|Key Re-signings||Drew Brees, QB; David Onyemata, DT; Andrus Peat, OG; Justin Hardee, CB; D.J. Swearinger, S; Noah Spence, DE; P.J. Williams, CB; Cameron Tom, OG; Dwayne Washington, RB; Taysom Hill, QB|
|Key Trade Acquisition||Marquise Goodwin, WR; Darius Slay, CB|
|Key Free Agent Losses||A.J. Klein, LB; Teddy Bridgewater, QB; Keith Kirkwood, WR; Vonn Bell, S|
|Key Free Agent Signings||Malcolm Jenkins, S; Michael Burton, FB|
|Key Draft Picks||Zack Baun, LB (3rd round)|
It is slated to be a two-team runaway in the NFC South, as the Bucs and Saints and right there at even money while the Falcons and Panthers are far behind. This will be final season for QB Drew Brees before heading into the booth as a color analyst on NBC; he’ll surely want to make this season a memorable one down in the bayou.
You have to feel for this Saints team, losing a playoff game on their home field on the last play of the game in two straight seasons. This is a great story of redemption that could very well end up with New Orleans getting another Super Bowl before Brees heads off into the sunset. Getting S Malcolm Jenkins from Philly was a great way to make sure that happens.
Division Odds: +1000
Pre-Draft Super Bowl 55 odds: +4000
Current Super Bowl 55 odds: +4000
|Key Re-signings||Tyeler Davison, DT; Sharrod Neasman, S; Blidi Wreh-Wilson, CB; John Wetzel, OG|
|Key Trade Acquisition||Hayden Hurst, TE|
|Key Trade Departure||Brandin Cooks|
|Free Agent Signings||Dante Fowler Jr., LB; Todd Gurley, RB; Laquon Treadwell, WR; Justin McCray, OG; LaRoy Reynolds, LB|
|Key Free Agent Losses||Austin Hooper, TE; Wes Schweitzer, OG; Vic Beasley, DE; Desmond Trufant, CB; De’Vondre Campbell, LB; Ty Sambrailo, OG; Jack Crawford, DT|
|Key Draft Picks||A.J. Terrell, CB (1st round); Marlon Davidson, DT (2nd round)|
|Franchise Tag||Leonard Williams, DT|
A few years ago, the Falcons had a 25-point lead in the Super Bowl, only to watch it slip away. That could very well be a monumental chance that never comes again – or at least not any time soon. QB Matt Ryan and WR Julio Jones aren’t getting any younger, and they’re not cheap either, which limits the rest of the team at other positions. In spite of that, Atlanta signed two excellent players in free agency – RB Todd Gurley and LB Dante Fowler Jr.
Perhaps, there’s a way the Falcons can sneak into the playoffs this season since each conference gets an extra. However, there’s no reason to think they can hit it big and win the Super Bowl.
Division Odds: +2000
Pre-Draft Super Bowl 55 odds: +8000
Current Super Bowl 55 odds: +10000
|Key Re-signings||Kyle Allen, QB; DeAndrew White, WR|
|Key Trade Departure||Kyle Allen, QB|
|Free Agent Signings||Teddy Bridgewater, QB; Juston Burris, CB; Stephen Weatherly, DE; Seth Roberts, WR; John Miller, OG; Keith Kirkwood, WR; Pharoh Cooper, WR; Seth Devalve, TE; Tahir Whitehead, LB; P.J. Walker, QB; Robby Anderson, WR; Zach Kerr, DT|
|Key Free Agent Losses||Ereck Flowers, OG; Case Keenum, QB; Josh Norman, CB; Colt McCoy, QB; Michael Burton, FB|
|Key Draft Picks||Derrick Brown, DT (1st round); Yetur Gross-Matos, DE (2nd round); Jeremy Chinn, S (2nd round); Kenny Robinson, S (5th round)|
|Franchise Tag||Brandon Scherff, OG|
The Cam Newton era is over in Carolina, accompanied by a ton of changes. Matt Rhule comes from Baylor to take his first NFL coaching job, and it won’t be any easy one as this division has impeccable QB play on each team.
Teddy Bridgewater was signed as a free agent to lead the Panthers for the foreseeable future. Expect plenty of dump-off passes to the most complete RB in football, Christian McCaffrey. If you’re a fantasy football head, McCaffrey will likely be slotted as the No. 1 consensus pick in all league formats. In addition, the Panthers got a nice WR from the Jets in Robbie Anderson.
If the whole Bridgewater thing doesn’t work out, it’ll be interesting to see if QB PJ Walker can get some playing time. If you remember, Walker was the clear favorite for MVP in the XFL before the league folded amid the coronavirus shutdown.
The Panthers may be a fun story this year, but it’s not a tale that will have many wins to talk about.