New Faces in the NFC South

NFC South fans have plenty of new faces to get familiar with because these players are either on your favorite team or will be knockin' helmets with them. Cruise through these quick hits describing each player in the NFC South 2007 draft class.


Round 1/4 -- Gaines Adams, DE, 6-4, 258, Clemson

The Bucs hoped to swing a deal for Calvin Johnson and hoped Wisconsin tackle Joe Thomas would fall to them at No. 4. But neither materialized and they addressed a big need with Adams, a pure pass rusher who will help an aging defense that had just 25 sacks last season.

Round 2/35 -- Arron Sears, OG, 6-3, 319, Tennessee
The Bucs have concerns about Dan Buenning, who is coming off a knee injury and may be moved to center. Sears should start at left guard to continue the youth movement on the offensive line.

Round 2/64 -- Sabby Piscitelli, S, 6-3, 224, Oregon State
Big hitter who tries to pattern himself after John Lynch and could compete for a starting job as a rookie.

Round 3/68 -- Quincy Black, LB, 6-2, 240, New Mexico
Fast, athletic linebacker who played hybrid position of Brian Urlacher for the Lobos. Projected as an outside linebacker for the Bucs.

Round 4/106 -- Tanard Jackson, S, 6-0, 200, Syracuse
Switched from corner to safety by the Bucs coaching staff at the Senior Bowl. Eventual successor to Ronde Barber at nickel safety.

Round 5/141 -- Greg Peterson, DE, 6-5, 282, North Carolina Central
Junior college transfer who led his team with 7.5 sacks and two fumble recoveries as a senior. Can play both defensive tackle and defensive end positions.

Round 6/182 -- Adam Hayward, LB, 6-1, 237, Portland State
Cover two linebacker who wore five different jersey numbers, six different positions and two different schools. Defensive Player of the Year in the Big Sky conference.

Round 7/214 -- Chris Denman, OT, 6-6, 315, Fresno State
Former walk-on who projects as a right tackle but struggles to maintain weight.

Round 7/245 -- Marcus Hamilton, CB, 5-11, 188, Virginia
Two-time captain of the Cavaliers has good ball skills and could add depth to an aging secondary.

Round 7/246 -- Kenneth Darby, RB, 5-10, 211, Alabama
Highly productive running back as a junior who struggled last season. Could develop into a third-down back.


Jamaal Anderson (Doug Benc/Getty Images)
Round 1/8 -- Jamaal Anderson, DE, 6-5, 288, Arkansas
He fits a need pick, since former Pro Bowler Patrick Kerney signed a free-agent contract with Seattle. A former wide receiver, who turned into a pass rushing force from the left side. He's added roughly 15 pounds since the beginning of the 2006 season but has not lost any athleticism.

Round 2/39 -- Justin Blalock, OG, 6-3, 320, Texas
Atlanta considered moving up as high as No. 28 because it felt Blalock would be gone but it couldn't find a trade partner. Blalock fell to the Falcons and gave them the massive pile mover Petrino wants up front as they transition from a zone-blocking scheme to more in-line blocking.

Round 2/41 -- Chris Houston, CB, 5-9, 185, Arkansas
Atlanta traded one of its three fourth-round picks to Minnesota to move up three spots to select this tough, press coverage corner. His acquisition prompted the Falcons to move second-year cornerback Jimmy Williams to safety.

Round 3/75 -- Laurent Robinson, WR, 6-2, 199, Illinois State
With Brian Finneran coming off a knee injury that wiped out his season, the Falcons had to add insurance in case Finneran isn't at full strength. Wide receivers coach Paul Petrino lobbied hard to get this sure handed speedster.

Round 4/109 -- Stephen Nicholas, OLB, 6-3, 225 South Florida
He could emerge as a starter on the weak side with recent chest injury suffered by starter Demorrio Williams. Petrino knows him well having recruited him, losing out, and having to face him four times in conference play.

Round 4/133 -- Martrez Milner, TE, 6-3, 252, Georgia
After a long stretch of not taking players from UGA, the Falcons have chosen a Bulldogs' player for two straight years. Though he had problems catching the ball, at times, Milner made some clutch catches. A tough blocker who could be used some at H-back.

Round 6/185 -- Trey Lewis, DT, 6-3, 318, Washburn
Nose tackle was a big need but the Falcons couldn't find one before this point. Lewis is a long-armed bruiser who was dominant on the small college level. If he can transition to this high level of play, he could earn a spot since this is a shallow position.

Round 6/194 -- David Irons, CB, 5-10, 190, Auburn
A local product, who could provide depth, where the Falcons have little depth.

Round 6/198 -- Doug Datish, C, 6-4, 302, Ohio State
Another player who fits into the bigger bodied mold Petrino seeks. Datish can also play guard, which could help him earn a roster spot as the Falcons plan a transition in personnel along the offensive line.

Round 6/203 -- Daren Stone, S, 6-3, 212, Maine
With strong safety Lawyer Milloy nearing the end of his career, the Falcons had to start grooming a replacement.

Round 7/244 -- Jason Snelling, FB, 5-11, 230, Virginia
A bruiser who has the chance to make the team. Corey McIntyre is Ovie Mughelli's only backup and he's a journeyman.


Jon Beason(
Round 1/25 -- Jon Beason, LB, 6-2, 266, Miami
The Panthers traded down from No. 14 to No. 25 because they felt good about the group of players that would be around at that spot. Beason gives the Panthers an insurance policy at linebacker because they can't count on Dan Morgan to play a full season. He never has since coming into the league in 2001.

Round 2/45 -- Dwayne Jarrett, WR, 6-5, 200, Southern Cal
Jarrett caught 41 touchdowns in three seasons at USC, so he has a good nose for the end zone. He will be Keyshawn Johnson's successor, which is not good news for Keary Colbert.

Round 2/59 -- Ryan Kalil, C, 6-2, 298, Southern Cal
Was a first team All-PAC 10 conference selection his final two years at USC. He was an All-American as a senior won the 2006 PAC-10 Morris Trophy given to the conference's top offensive lineman. Kalil played exclusively at center at USC and will start out there in practice with the Panthers. He could be moved later to guard. It's more likely the team will move Justin Hartwig to guard.

Round 3/83 -- Charles Johnson, DE, 6-2, 272, Georgia
Second-team All-SEC. Johnson started only 13 games in his career, but recorded 19.5 sacks and 73 tackles. He had a knack for the big play, forcing five fumbles and recovering three, one of which he returned for a touchdown. Johnson is expected to fill the void created by the departure of veteran Al Wallace. He will compete for the No. 3 job at defensive end with last year's rookie Stanley McClover.

Round 4/118 -- Ryne Robinson, WR, 5-8, 178, Miami (Ohio)
Robinson is expected to fill the team's need for a return man. A year ago, Steve Smith and Chris Gamble shared punt return duties and DeAngelo Williams returning kicks. Carolina finished last in the league in both punt and kickoff return average last year. Robinson can return punts (he had seven TDs for the Redhawks in college), but only returned eight kickoffs.

Round 5/155 -- Dante Rosario, TE, 6-3, 243, Oregon
Is considered a pass-catching tight end and would fill a need if he can develop into a player. He is still raw and considered a bit of project. The Panthers would like to have a tight end who can stretch the defense and take pressure off Steve Smith and Jarrett.

Round 5/164 -- Tim Shaw, LB, 6-1, 236, Penn State
He will basically fill a role on special teams while learning the defense. Carolina needed a fill-in for Vinny Ciurciu, an under appreciated special teams player who left to join the Minnesota Vikings.

Round 7/226 -- C.J. Wilson, S 6-1, 195, Baylor
Has played both corner and safety. Projects as a safety for the Panthers.


Robert Meachem (AP Photo/Wade Payne)
Round 1/27 -- Robert Meachem, WR, 6-2, 214, Tennessee
In the market for a big receiver to help take the place of four-time Pro Bowl pick Joe Horn, the Saints resisted the urge to trade down to make sure they got their hands on this guy. With 4.39 speed in the 40, Meachem has a rare combination of size and speed who gives the Saints another threat to go along with Marques Colston and Devery Henderson.

Round 3/66 -- Usama Young, CB, 5-11, 186, Kent State
A four-year starter who was considered to be one of the top defensive players to come out of Kent State in recent years. He worked his way into the lineup as a freshman and earned a reputation as a shutdown corner and physical tackler. He caught the eye of scouts with recent workouts and 40 times of 4.39 and 4.40 seconds.

Round 3/88 -- Andy Alleman, G, 6-4, 302, Akron
Started 24 games at right guard for Akron after transferring from Pitt, where he was a defensive linemen his first two college seasons. He made a name for himself in the weight room as he was named by in 2006 as one of the nation's "workout freaks." Set several school records, including 465 pounds in the bench press and 595 pounds in the squat.

Round 4/107 -- Antonio Pittman, RB, 5-11, 207, Ohio State
Productive inside runner who rushed for 2,500 yards in his last two seasons with the Buckeyes. Also possesses good speed with a time of 4.40 seconds in the 40. Has shown good change-of-direction and the ability to make the first tackler miss. Averaged 5.3 yards per carry for his career and scored 22 TDs -- including 14 in 2006.

Round 4/125 -- Jermon Bushrod, T, 6-5, 325, Towson
A dependable four-year starter at tackle for Division I-AA Towson, the Saints plan to keep him at that position even though many scouts projected him to play guard and had him work out at that position. A solid player who excels at pass blocking although he's considered to be a capable run blocker as well.

Round 5/145 -- David Jones, CB, 5-11, 190, Wingate
A relatively unknown player from tiny Wingate University in North Carolina who was a first-team All-South Atlantic Conference pick and a Division II All-America selection in 2006. He intercepted four passes as a senior and had 15 in his final three seasons. Jones intrigued the team's scouts with his measurables and productivity.

Round 7/220 -- Marvin Mitchell, LB, 6-3, 249, Tennessee
Brings a physical presence to the Saints' defense. He started all 13 games for the Vols at inside linebacker last year. After playing sparingly his first three seasons, he won a starting job last year and finished with 104 tackles -- including a career-high 15 stops against national champion Florida.

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