The Combine Report: 2016 NFL Needs – NFC South

By:  Barry Barnes, Founder

Other than using the vehicle of the NFL Draft to solve an immediate need, teams look to the selection process to build depth. For expected injuries and overall development, constructing a solid roster from top to bottom is essential for clubs’ success. Players must be teachable, hungry and ready, which is why the NFL Regional Combine is significant.

NFL teams should build according to their division. If a squad can collaborate the right athletes, and they can executed the system well enough to dictate their actions on the field, skies the limits.

The NFC South was the NFC’s representative for Super Bowl 50 last season, via the Carolina Panthers. The Division produced an offensive explosion in 2015 with 1,589 scored points, the league’s highest. But they allotted one of higher total points in the NFL with 1,546.

As a division, the NFC South is built on finesse as the representative teams are driven by the deep ball. The Division is set with their big arm quarterbacks. All four of the divisional squads are enriched with playmakers. Now, they need depth to support them.

The platform of the NFL Regional Combine launched many gems who can assist the NFC South to build stronger units.

CAROLINA PANTHERS (Current RC Players: DE Rakim Cox, T David Foucault and TE Scott Simonson)

Malik Simmons/Locker-Report.com

2015 record (15-1), .938

The Panthers were able to get to the Super Bowl last season, only to get bullied by the Denver Broncos. With the bulls eye on their back in the NFC, the explosive squad from Carolina needs to bulk up and counteract.

The Panthers are equipped to return to the big dance, but their need more partners. Fortunately, the RC showcased athletes who are ready to tango.

Needs: Cornerback, Safety, Offensive Tackle, Wide Receiver, Defensive End

Cornerback

C.J. Chatman (Walsh), Tremendous leaping ability, good hands, solid speed.

Malik Simmons (North Carolina), Solid instincts, decent ball skills, phyiscal, good speed and footwork.

Terrious Triplett (Tennessee-Martin), All-purpose players, awareness, solid hands, footwork and speed.

Safety

Fonyi Agendia (Morgan State), Elite speed, decent hands and footwork, aggressive.

Wallace Scott (McNeese State), Big, physical, decent hands, good awareness.

Keith Trumps (Saginaw Valley State), Calculated, quick, solid speed and ball skills.

Offensive Tackle

Alfred Thomas (Morehouse), Moves well, light on feet, powerful, aggressive.

Trevor Strickland (Youngtown State), ), Great balance and speed for size, solid footwork.

John Smith (Howard), Athletic, powerful, explosive, great hands and footwork.

Wide Receiver

Jerry Anderson (Lindenwood), Big target, elite speed, powerful, strong hands, good ball skills.

Jeremy Duncan (Thomas More), Huge target, strong hands, solid ball skills, good speed.

Bryan Fobbs (Saginaw Valley State), Great ball skills and footwork, good speed, solid route runner, strong hands.

Defensive End

Noche Nwofor (Dickinson State, N.D), Good speed, quick off snap, strong, explosive.

Justin Evans (Delta State), Quick, explosive, uses hands well, decent ball skills, balance, strong.

ATLANTA FALCONS (Current RC Players: WR C.J. Goodwin, S Kemal Ishmael and S Roberson Therezie)

Alan Cross/Google Images

2015 record, (8-8), .500

Comparably to the Detroit Lions, the Falcons are too talented of a team to consistently struggle year in and year out. Why? Is it their system, the wrong collection of talent, chemistry or lack of concentration?

After a strong start in 2015, led by their defense with newly hired head coach Dan Quinn, the Falcons eventually became themselves as an inconsistent unit.

The Falcons should have a better turnaround for their 2016 campaign. Currently, time is not on the Falcons’ side as they need to be relevant in January, in hopes to perform in early February.

The Falcons can gather some reinforcements who explored the NFL Regional Combine process.

Needs: Linebacker, Defensive Tackle, Safety, Tight End, Fullback

Linebacker

Mykar Groves (Augsburg), Agile, flexible, fast, good ball skills.

Jeremiah Allison (Washington State), Solid build, strong hands, decent footwork

Kentrell Reynolds (West Georgia), Explosive, fast, decent ball skills and leaping ability.

Defensive Tackle

Zamir Carlis (Stillman), Good speed, awareness, decent ball skills, powerful.

Greg Carswell (Shorter), Explosive, moves well, decent speed and ball skills, nasty.

Armand Nance (Boise State), Explosive, moves fluently, strong, athletic.

Safety

Jacob Green (Huntingdon, Ala.), Quick, solid speed and footwork, decent ball skills.

Tyrell Brown (Coastal Carolina), Solid across the board, hands, great footwork, has closing speed.

Vanard Placide (Harding), Big, moves sharp, has control and balance, decent ball skills.

Tight End

Dylan Curry (Ball State), Discipline, fundamentally sound, solid hands, decent speed.

Bryce Duncan (Minnesota State-Mankato), Huge, decent hands and speed, blocking ability, strong.

David Reeves (Duke), Awareness, good hands and speed, solid leaping ability, powerful.

Fullback

Alan Cross (Memphis), Tremendous catching and route running ability, strong hands, decent speed, solid footwork, tough.

Jarrod Lynn (North Texas) Great hands, powerful, blocking ability, solid leg strength, flexible.

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (Current RC Player: WR Reggie Bell)

Joel Scott/Locker-Report.com

2015 record, (7-9), .438

Despite struggling with their mechanics, the retooling Saints had a chance to win more of their contests last season. The jewel of New Orleans finished last the NFL in defense in 2015. However, defense was never their strong suit.

The Saints’ bend, but don’t break philosophy has helped them over the years. Nevertheless, if the Saints can demonstrate a touch of defense, they could return to the postseason with realistic expectations in 2016.

Needs: Defensive Tackle, Defensive End, Linebacker, Cornerback, Wide Receiver

Defensive Tackle 

Josiah Smith (Graceland University), Powerful, strong hands, quick feet, decent leaping ability.

Steven Wright (Fort Valley State), Agile, quick, strong, moves well.

Roger Stewart (Hillsdale College), Runs hard, strong hands, decent speed and ball skills.

Defensive End

Kyle Kragen (California), Great instincts, solid tackler, quick, decent ball skills, explosive first and second step.

Joel Scott (Morgan State), quick, explosive, solid speed and ball skills. He registered the fastest 40 time (4.65) and vertical jump for his position in the Baltimore-held workouts.

Linebacker

Blake Serpa (Central Michigan), Big, fluent in movement, decent ball skills, strong.

Jamaar Crayton (Waldorf), Pure athlete, can cover, speed and good hands.

Quentin Harton (West Alabama), Fiery, great awareness, decent speed, moves well.

Cornerback

Mariel Cooper (Citadel), Big, solid speed, great ball skills

Elroy Douglas (Missouri Western), Good speed, reads ball, decent ball skills.

Warren Gatewood (Alcorn State), Good speed, athletic, big, strong hands.

Wide Receiver

Wendall Williams (Cumberlands), elite speed (posted the fastest 40 time in NFL combine history with a 4.19), solid hands, balance and control.

Jacob Lampman (Ferris State), Ferris State), Strong hands, runs hard, decent speed, physical, powerful.

Phadrae White (Rhode Island), Solid speed and hands, good instincts, potential special team specialist.

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (Current RC Players: WR Donteea Dye, LB Darius EuBanks and P Jacob Schum)

Jake Ceresna/Locker-Report.com

2015 record (6-10), .375

The Bucs has nearly everything in place with a franchise quarterback, solid backfield and a touch of talent on both sides of the ball, but they need more, especially defensively. With a rookie head coach in Dick Koetter and a general manager, Jason Licht, who is getting his feet wet after two seasons on the job, the Bucs should be ready to challenge the division – and the league – once again sooner rather than later.

And the Bucs are not ashamed of finding prospects from the RC along the way.

Needs: Linebacker, Defensive End, Defensive Tackle, Cornerback, Safety

Linebacker

Ben Goodman (Kansas), Solid tackler, decent speed and ball skills, awareness, good instincts.

Emmanuel Graves (Colorado Mines), Athletic, solid ball skills and footwork, good change of direction movement.

David Wilkerson (Lenoir-Rhyne), Strong, solid ball skills, great footwork, quick first step.

Defensive End

Jake Ceresna (Cortland State), Big, strong edge rusher, moves well, decent speed and ball skills.

Justin Evans (Delta State), Quick, explosive, uses hands well, decent ball skills, balance, strong.

Defensive Tackle

Johnny Maxey Jr. (Mars Hill), Huge, decent speed, powerful, moves well.

Trevor Kelly (California), High motor, quick, tremendous strength, good awareness.

Cornerback

Ernest “Nick” Brewer (Prairie View), Physical, hard hitter, decent hands and speed.

Michael Lilly (South Dakota), Solid ball skills and speed, athletic, moves fluently, balance.

Safety

Corey Felton Jr. (Virginia-Lynchburg), Elite speed and leaping ability, decent ball skills, moves fluently.

Tyran Finley (Wyoming), Solid instincts and ball skills, awareness, decent speed, great leaping ability.

Chris Milton (Georgia Tech), Strong hands, solid speed, ball skills, and awareness, balance, physical.

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