Behind Enemy Lines is a weekly look at Tampa Bay’s NFC South foes every Tuesday. Let’s spy on the Bucs’ division rivals and try and predict who they could draft this weekend, shall we?

Atlanta Falcons

• The Falcons are coming off a 4-12 season, so there are needs all over the field. The consensus among most is the biggest priorities are at outside edge rusher, cornerback and even a quarterback for the future. There has even been rumblings that star wide receiver Julio Jones could be traded if a reasonable deal is offered. The Falcons might be rebuilding and their roster could look completely different a year from now.

Below are the picks the Falcons currently hold.

Round 1, pick 4
Round 2, pick 35
Round 3, pick 68
Round 4, pick 108
Round 5, pick 148
Round 5, pick 182
Round 5, pick 183
Round 6, pick 187
Round 6, pick 219

Draft Outlook: Many mock drafts have the Falcons taking Florida tight end Kyle Pitts with the No. 4 overall pick. But don’t rule out a QB-needy team giving up the farm to trade up with Atlanta to draft one of the remaining quarterbacks that will go after Trevor Lawrence, Zach Wilson and either Mac Jones, Trey Lance or Justin Fields at No. 3. Atlanta has holes at a number of positions and are in rebuild mode with a new head coach and a new general manager.

Cook’s Pick For Falcons: Florida TE Kyle Pitts

Carolina Panthers

• Following a disappointing 5-11 season under first-year head coach Matt Rhule, the Panthers will also be looking to fill a number of needs on draft day. After spending every 2020 draft pick on the defensive side of the ball, look for Carolina to address the offensive side, likely with their first pick at No. 8 overall. Despite the trade for Sam Darnold, not everyone is convinced that the Panthers won’t still take a quarterback in the first round. The Panthers also need to address the wide receiver position, offensive line and cornerback.

Below are the picks the Falcons currently hold.

Round 1, pick 8
Round 2, pick 39
Round 3, pick 73
Round 4, pick 113
Round 5, pick 151
Round 6, pick 193
Round 6, pick 222
Round 6, pick 226 

Draft Outlook: The biggest question when trying to guess which way the Panthers go with the No. 8 overall pick is, do they truly believe Darnold is the quarterback of the future? Carolina signed Teddy Bridgewater last offseason after moving on from Cam Newton, but quickly decided after the 2020 season that Bridgewater wasn’t the answer for what Rhule and offensive coordinator Joe Brady want to do moving forward. Look for the Panthers to take a quarterback if Lance or even Justin Fields are still on the board. Like I mentioned with the Falcons, you also can’t rule out a trade down with a team looking to move up for one of the remaining quarterbacks.

Cook’s Pick For Panthers: NDSU QB Trey Lance

New Orleans Saints

• The Saints won the division in 2020 by going 12-4, sweeping the Buccaneers in the regular season before Tampa Bay bounced them in the divisional round of the playoffs. Drew Brees retired and the Saints had to slash several million dollars in salaries to get under the cap for 2021. While it appears the Saints are content to let Jameis Winston and Taysom Hill fight it out to replace Brees under center, CB2 is a big need for New Orleans after losing Janoris Jenkins this offseason. The Saints could also use help at linebacker, wide receiver and on the defensive line.

Below are the picks the Saints currently hold.

Round 1, pick 28
Round 2, pick 60
Round 3, pick 98
Round 3, pick 105
Round 4, pick 133
Round 6, pick 218
Round 7, pick 229
Round 7, pick 255 

Draft Outlook: With the loss of Janoris Jenkins there is a need for a starting corner opposite Marshon Lattimore. The Saints need to also address the linebacker unit with Alex Anzalone leaving in free agency. While Demario Davis is a stud, he is also 32 years old and won’t play forever. Look for the Saints to bolster their receiving corps, giving Winston or Hill more weapons. Florida receiver Kadarius Toney would be a dynamic playmaker in head coach Sean Payton’s system, but could be off the board before the Saints pick.

Cook’s Pick For Saints: Purdue WR Rondale Moore

Share On Socials

About the Author: Mark Cook

Mark Cook currently is the director of editorial content and Bucs beat writer and has written for since 2011. Cook has followed the Buccaneers since 1977 when he first began watching football with his Dad and is fond of the 1979 Bucs team that came within 10 points of going to a Super Bowl. His favorite Bucs game is still the 1979 divisional playoff win 24-17 over the Eagles. In his spare time Cook enjoys playing guitar, fishing, the beach and family time.Cook is a native of Pinecrest in Eastern Hillsborough County and has written for numerous publications including the Tampa Tribune, In the Field and Ya'll Magazine. Cook can be reached at [email protected]
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
1 year ago

Since Marshon Lattimore was arrested recently, what does that mean regarding his playing time this upcoming season?

1 year ago

Sorry, I don’t buy the bullshit of the herd of draft prognosticators that half a dozen quarterbacks will be drafted in the first round. That never happens. Two to four QBs taken in the first is the historical average. And with senior veterans letting it be known they’re fine with switching teams, after the GOAT blew the “you can’t leave after umpteen years” model all to hell, that’s what the quarterback needy teams are thinking, not taking a huge risk on overdrafting a future bust or disappointment. Boy, I would sure hate to see Pitts go to anybody in our… Read more »

1 year ago

Javoris Jenkins and Trey Hendrickson gone with Lattimore in limbo. Cam Jordan, who was manhandled by Tristan Wirfs in the playoffs, another year older. Kwon Alexander gone along with his backup. The possibility of having the most immature QB in the league as their starter. Yikes!

1 year ago

I would be happy if the Falcons make the same stupid mistake as the Packers did last year and drafted a rookie QB. For those Bucs fans, including some on the PR staff, let the Packers bonehead draft mistake from last year be a lesson to you. Love did absolutely nothing to improve the Packers last year other than to irk Aaron Rogers into having a great season. But that didn’t count for much in the NFL championship game where once again the Packers came up short. The SB window for the Bucs is more like a porthole for the… Read more »

Reply to  drdneast
1 year ago

Dr.D: I thought it was hysterical seeing how Aaron Rodgers reacted when the Packers couldn’t resist selecting Jordan Love. So much for taking the youngster under his wing like some folks seem to think Brady would do should Jason Licht want to grab a young signal caller. What Brady brings to the table can’t be taught. The QB Room is going to be just like last season with Brady, Gabbert, Griffin and an unnamed 4th or maybe even 5th camp thrower. At some point Jason and B.A. will have to start thinking about a succession plan at QB………..just not yet.… Read more »