The Carolina Panthers selected Stanford WR DJ Moore out of the University of Maryland to become the WR1 after the Panthers traded Kelvin Benjamin midseason last year. With opposing defenses having to focus on Christian McCaffrey and Greg Olsen, it’s definitely possible that Moore, even as a number one WR, gets lost in the defense. But make no mistake about it: Moore is no scrub who could only survive on single-coverage. Former Panther - and infamous Saints terrorizer - Steve Smith said about Moore: “They have never been able to replace me....until today.”
The Atlanta Falcons also added a WR in the draft, and they ended up picking a player many analysts believed to be the best WR in this class: Alabama’s Calvin Ridley. Ridley with pair with fellow Crimson Tide alum Julio Jones and could be groomed to be Julio’s replacement down the road. Ridley might not be the primary read in Atlanta’s passing attack, possibly even falling behind Mohamed Sanu in that regard, but he doesn’t need to be in order to drive the Saints defense crazy. Ridley lined up in the slot could give Patrick Robinson nightmares.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, on the other hand, went defense with their first pick. They grabbed Tevita Tuliʻakiʻono Tuipulotu Mosese Vaʻhae Fehoko Faletau “Vita” Vea, a DT out of Washington. Vea is going to be a 347 lbs. beast in the middle of the Buccaneers’ defensive line, and it’s not like the Saints offensive line could just focus on Vea. Along with Vea, the Buccaneers line up Gerald McCoy in the middle of the line with 2018 acquisitions Vinny Curry and Jason Pierre-Paul rushing from the edges. There really isn’t a weak spot on the Bucs defensive front.
And just for fun, let’s throw a Saints draft pick out as a option. While the Saints made headlines by trading up for Marcus Davenport at the cost of their 2019 first round pick, the Saints left a lot of folks in the media scratching their heads with the selection of Florida State OL Rick Leonard in the 4th Round. Leonard has a pretty high ceiling, but to call him a “project” at the NFL level could be an understatement.
Maybe it’s someone else to you, though. Maybe there’s another draft pick that came into the NFC South that gives you a little pause. Or maybe there’s just an honorable mention that you’d like to point out. Vote in the poll. Tell us in the comments. Send me presents.
Which NFC South draft pick should scare Saints fans the most?
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Moore - if he could be the next Steve Smith, that’s going to be a problem
Ridley - there are just too many passing options in the Atlanta offense
Vea - he could wind up forcing Drew into early retirement