This is part of a series of reviews, looking at each team’s IDP drafts and how it will affect the players already on the team. Check out my NFC North and the NFC East reviews as well. I’m not going to spend time discussing picks who likely won’t make the team or whose ceilings are to be a Special Team contributor. That usually means any EDGE drafted after R3 and any LB or Safety drafted after R4…
2.26 Isaiah Oliver CB Colorado
3.26 Deadrin Senat 4-3 DT South Florida
6.26 Foye Oluokon 4-3 LB Yale
Atlanta’s defense is fairly set. They had one hole on the depth chart. Oliver was a luxury pick. Desmond Trufant and Robert Alford are set at outside CB. Both are currently under contract through at least 2021. But Trufant missed a game last year and seven games in 2016, so Atlanta put together an insurance policy in case he misses more time. Barring injury, I don’t expect Oliver to play enough snaps as a rookie to be productive.000
Senat will start opposite Grady Jarrett as the rest of the depth chart at DT is pretty bad. Senat is likely in line for 700+ snaps, assuming a healthy season. If you need a DT, he’s one of the best options for immediate production.
2.23 Donte Jackson CB LSU
3.21 Rashaan Gaulden FS Tennessee
4.36 Marquis Haynes SAM Mississippi
5.24 Jermaine Carter 4-3 LB Maryland
7.16 Andre Smith 4-3 LB North Carolina
7.24 Kendrick Norton 4-3 DT Miami
Jackson is interesting… If he earns the starting CB spot opposite James Bradberry, Jackson should be picked on enough to be a solid IDP asset. He will be one of my top rookie CB options. Jackson is a bit rough around the edges so he may take his lumps while getting his feet under him. I want to take advantage of said lumps. Gaulden is stepping into the starting FS spot. He’ll start and likely play every snap. Expect some production from him, but being at FS will limit it.
Haynes is an undersized EDGE who’s ticketed for a SAM role. He’s safe to ignore. Carter may be a handcuff for Luke Kuechly so keep an eye on his role. Kuechly’s understudy could become productive pending injury.
New Orleans Saints
1.14 Marcus Davenport 4-3 DE Texas-San Antonio
5.27 Natrell Jamerson S Wisconsin
6.15 Kamrin Moore CB Washington
After the stellar defensive draft New Orleans put together last year, they followed it up by throwing everything at Davenport. Davenport is considered a project rather than a finished product. Cameron Jordan will be starting at one DE spot and playing 900-1,000 snaps. Davenport will compete with Alex Okafor for the opposite starting job. Okafor tore his Achilles last season which is a difficult injury to recover from (Strike 1). New Orleans gave up two 1sts for Davenport (Strike 2). The Saints will try to justify the draft capital spent on Davenport, but they’re still in win-now mode and can potentially compete with Philly, Minnesota and the Rams. If Davenport isn’t ready and Okafor is, Okafor should play.
Jamerson could be a fun stash if you’ve got plenty of roster depth. He’s got some depth chart issues though, currently behind Marcus Williams, Vonn Bell, and recently signed [/profiler]Kurt Coleman[/profiler]. Coleman signed a 3-year deal and Bell and Williams are both still on their rookie contracts. So Jamerson would need to show out to convince the Saints to release Coleman and give him a chance.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
1.12 Vita Vea 4-3 DT Washington
2.21 MJ Stewart CB North Carolina
2.31 Carlton Davis CB Auburn
4.17 Jordan Whitehead SS Pittsburgh
6.28 Jack Cichy 4-3 LB Wisconsin
The Bucs saw how much fun Green Bay was having while doubling up on CB and decided to do the same. Two R2 CBs throw this depth chart into turmoil. Brent Grimes signed on for another year. [/profiler]Vernon Hargreaves III[/profiler] was a R1 pick back in 2016. And Ryan Smith was a R4 pick back in 2016. Hargreaves was put on notice last year when he was demoted to solely slot CB before ending up on IR. He needs to bounce back to keep getting snaps. There are some questions as to whether Stewart could be switched to Safety. Justin Evans mans one safety spot, but Chris Conte and Keith Tandy split time at the other. Stewart could potentially be an upgrade there. If one of Stewart or Davis ends up starting at outside CB across from Grimes, they would be useful. Tampa also added Whitehead. Whitehead is an enigma. He has to be a SS because his coverage skills don’t allow him to play single high, but he’s too small to play in the box. If the plan is to play Stewart at Safety, Whitehead is simply a depth/big nickel subpackage player.
After signing Beau Allen to take up space in the middle of the d-line, Vea will immediately start over Allen. Vea will be playing the majority of snaps next to Gerald McCoy on the revamped Tampa line. Vea should see plenty of snaps and should be the first rookie DT off the board.