NFC South Rookie Report

Courtesy of Bucsblitz.com and the SportsXchange, here's a report on the top rookies in the NFC South:

Atlanta

First-round draft pick DE Jamaal Anderson didn't get many opportunities to make plays in limited action against the Jets, but Falcons head coach Bobby Petrino said he did more than hold his own against the run. Besides the physical aspect, Anderson also showed awareness and discipline on at least one misdirection play.

RCB Chris Houston still has a ways to go to learn the NFL style. His speed is his biggest asset right now but he has a tendency, as he was coached to do at Arkansas, to try and get his hands on receivers and be overly physical.

DT Trey Lewis, who backed up starter Jonathan Babineaux, had a very solid game. Lewis finished with three tackles, a half-sack and a quarterback hurry. Petrino said over the past week, Lewis has made a rapid ascension. A very good athlete, Lewis appears to have begun making the adjustment from Division III play (Washburn) to the NFL.

TB Jason Snelling was very impressive in his debut. He had a team-high 48 yards on 10 carries. Snelling knew going into the opener that he is in a position to gain the No. 3 tailback job. If he showed ineffectiveness as a runner and blocker and/or had some mental breakdowns, the Falcons would seek out a veteran to take the No. 3 role. Snelling still has a way to go but he may have quelled some doubts, at least at this juncture.

Carolina

LB Jon Beason, the 25th overall pick in the draft, led the Panthers with eight tackles Saturday night and forced a fumble to secure Carolina's 24-21 win.

WR Dwayne Jarrett (2nd round) did not play (hamstring), but should return to practice this week.

Center Ryan Kalil (second round) remains with the second team behind Justin Hartwig. If the first-team offense continues to work as well as it did Saturday night it will be hard for Kalil to find the starting lineup.

Ryne Robinson is working as both the punt and kick returner and is also running routes. He had two catches for 41 yards, one punt return for 11 yards and averaged 20 yards on four kickoff returns.

LB Tim Shaw (fifth round) had five tackles against the Giants but was one of several players who missed a tackle on kickoff coverage resulting in a 64-yard kickoff return.

New Orleans

WR Robert Meachem (first round) is still having trouble with drops, but made a nice over-the-shoulder catch on a fade route for a two-yard TD in last week's game with Buffalo.

CB Usama Young (third round) has impressed the coaches with his cover skills and leaping ability, but is still working with the third-team defense.

G Andy Alleman (third round) moved up to the second-team offense last week along with T Jermon Bushrod (fourth round).

RB Antonio Pittman (fourth round) had 10 carries for 23 yards and caught one pass for 24 yards in the game with the Bills.

CB David Jones (fifth round) and LB Marvin Mitchell (seventh round) are getting reps with the third-team defense.

Tampa Bay

DE Gaines Adams made an impact in his second snap as a pro by batting away a third down pass from Patriots quarterback Tom Brady to end a drive. "I thought he brought us some energy," coach Jon Gruden said.

G Arron Sears started at left guard Friday night against the Patriots and played well, particularly against the run.

DB Tanard Jackson stood out on special teams and in the second half at safety Friday against the Patriots. Jackson is working at the nickel corner spot and could be the heir apparent to Ronde Barber.


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