NFL Draft 2024 needs for Panthers, Falcons, Saints, and Buccaneers in NFC South, plus pick breakdown

It is finally here dear readers.

No, not the 2024 NFL Draft. That is still a few days away.

But it is finally at least “Draft Week.” And you can feel the excitement in the air.

The NFL world heads to Detroit this week for the 2024 NFL Draft, and we are winding down our division-by-division look at what all 32 NFL teams still need to address over the seven rounds that await us. Our tour of the NFL brings us next to the NFC South.

Carolina Panthers

  • WR
  • CB
  • EDGE
  • DT
  • TE

The Carolina Panthers had a clear plan of attack this offseason.

Make life easier for quarterback Bryce Young.

New General Manager Dan Morgan made a number of key moves along the offensive line, adding guards Damien Lewis and Robert Hunt, as well as offensive tackle Yosh Nijman. While the team added Diontae Johnson to the wide receiver room, getting Young a talented WR might be the move when the Panthers are first on the clock at the top of the second round. Bringing in a tight end at some point could also be a smart play.

Defensively, the trade for Johnson required Carolina to part with cornerback Donte Jackson, so do not be surprised if the Panthers add to the secondary as well on Day Two of the draft. Derrick Brown is back with a new deal, but adding some more talent along the defensive line would be wise.

Carolina Panthers draft selections

  • Round 2, Selection 1 (Pick No. 33 overall)
  • Round 2, Selection 7 (Pick No. 39 overall)
  • Round 3, Selection 1 (Pick No. 65 overall)
  • Round 4, Selection 1 (Pick No. 101 overall)
  • Round 5, Selection 6 (Pick No. 141 overall)
  • Round 5, Selection 7 (Pick No. 142 overall)
  • Round 7, Selection 20 (Pick No. 240 overall)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  • EDGE
  • IOL
  • CB
  • LB
  • S

When the Tampa Bay Buccaneers added Baker Mayfield ahead of the 2023 season, many believed he would be a bridge to the quarterback the organization drafted in 2024.

But Mayfield’s strong season earned him the starting role for the foreseeable future, allowing the organization to look elsewhere on the offensive side of the football this year. Mike Evans is back as well, but wide receiver is likely an area the Buccaneers address this week. Adding to the interior of the offensive line would be another smart investment.

On the defensive side of the football, the most pressing need is bolstering the pass rush, and EDGE is a popular pick for the Buccaneers in mock drafts, with UCLA pass rusher Laiatu Latu and Penn State EDGE Demeioun “Chop” Robinson popular selections for Tampa Bay. The departures of Devin White and Carlton Davis make LB and CB depth additional needs.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers draft selections

  • Round 1, Selection 26 (Pick No. 26 overall)
  • Round 2, Selection 25 (Pick No. 57 overall)
  • Round 3, Selection 25 (Pick No. 89 overall)
  • Round 3, Selection 28 (Pick No. 92 overall)
  • Round 4, Selection 25 (Pick No. 125 overall)
  • Round 6, Selection 44 (Pick No. 220 overall)
  • Round 7, Selection 26 (Pick No. 246 overall)

Texas Rangers v Atlanta Braves

Photo by Matthew Grimes Jr./Atlanta Braves/Getty Images

Atlanta Falcons

  • EDGE
  • CB
  • DT
  • S
  • QB

For the third-straight year the Atlanta Falcons hold the eighth-overall selection in the NFL Draft.

After adding Drake London and Bijan Robinson the previous two years, do not be surprised to see Atlanta address the defensive side of the ball early this week.

Pass rusher is perhaps the most pressing need, with Alabama EDGE Dallas Turner a very popular pick for the Falcons in mock drafts. But the Falcons have needs beyond pass rush on the defensive side of the football, and could use help in the secondary as well as the interior of the defensive line.

While Kirk Cousins solidifies the quarterback position, do not be surprised if the Falcons add a quarterback at some point. Cousins is coming off an Achilles injury, and while Taylor Heinicke remains a solid backup option a developmental QB would be a smart move.

Atlanta Falcons draft selections

  • Round 1, Selection 8 (Pick No. 8 overall)
  • Round 2, Selection 11 (Pick No. 43 overall)
  • Round 3, Selection 10 (Pick No. 74 overall)
  • Round 3, Selection 15 (Pick No. 79 overall)
  • Round 4, Selection 9 (Pick No. 109 overall)
  • Round 5, Selection 8 (Pick No. 143 overall)
  • Round 6, Selection 11 (Pick No. 187 overall)
  • Round 6, Selection 21 (Pick No. 197 overall)

New Orleans Saints

  • OT
  • WR
  • CB
  • DT
  • LB

The three most popular picks for the New Orleans Saints in mock drafts right now?

Penn State OT Olu Fashanu, Alabama OT J.C. Latham, and Oregon State OT Taliese Fuaga.

Yes, offensive tackle is a need for the Saints, given Ryan Ramczyk’s knee injury history and questions about former first-round selection Trevor Penning. Sticking with the offense, adding another wide receiver would be a smart move, given the release of Michael Thomas.

On the defensive side of the ball, look for the Saints to add to the defensive tackle room, as well as adding at linebacker and in the secondary.

New Orleans Saints draft selections

  • Round 1, Selection 14 (Pick No. 14 overall)
  • Round 2, Selection 13 (Pick No. 45 overall)
  • Round 5, Selection 15 (Pick No. 150 overall)
  • Round 5, Selection 33 (Pick No. 168 overall)
  • Round 5, Selection 35 (Pick No. 170 overall)
  • Round 5, Selection 40 (Pick No. 175 overall)
  • Round 6, Selection 14 (Pick No. 190 overall)
  • Round 6, Selection 23 (Pick No. 199 overall)
  • Round 7, Selection 19 (Pick No. 239 overall)

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