NFL.com’s Nick Shook ranked the teams in the NFC South and came up with this order:
1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: A-
2. Carolina Panthers: B+
3. Atlanta Falcons: B
4. New Orleans Saints: C+
The Falcons were bolstered by the strong showing of Mykal Walker who was named to the PFF All-Rookie Team.
“Walker carries this class, earning an overall grade of 74 from PFF and an elite coverage grade of 90.7 as a rookie, giving the Falcons solid value from a fourth-round pick, wrote Shook. ” He didn’t play anywhere near a full season’s worth of defensive snaps in 2020, but that’s bound to change in 2021.”
The Falcons first round pick, A.J. Terrell, had an outstanding rookie campaign and drew praise from Shook.
“Terrell’s stat line — 74 tackles, seven passes defensed, three forced fumbles, one interception (and nearly two) — is promising,” wrote Shook. ” The upside with Terrell is visible; he just needs more time to hone his craft and become an effective professional corner.”
Marlon Davidson, the Falcons second round pick from Auburn, should be a better player in his second year. It can take time for interior linemen to adapt to playing with grown men who have been in the NFL for several years.
For Shook’s complete NFC South rankings, please click here.