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Overrated/Underrated Draft Prospects: NFC South

Gonna throw in my X-Factor players here as well like I will with every division...
Atlanta Falcons:
Overrated: Lamar Holmes
Underrated: Jonathan Massaquoi
X-Factor: Peter Konz
Analysis: Now I'll admit I haven't seen Holmes play a ton, but when he's a guy who was projected to be a late round pick, either the Falcons see something everyone else doesn't or it was a bad pick in the 3rd round. Jonathan Massaquoi was an outstanding value selection in the 5th round. He could very easily have gone off the board in the late 3rd or early 4th rounds of the draft, so nice job there by Atlanta. He's a little raw, so maybe that's why he fell some, but the Troy Trojans have had a ton of success putting guys in the NFL of late (DeMarcus Ware being one). Konz is the best center in this draft class bar none. However, he has had issues with blood clots in the past. For his sake, I hope that's an issue that doesn't pop up again.

Carolina Panthers:
Overrated: Frank Alexander
Underrated: Josh Norman
X-Factor: Luke Kuechly
Analysis: While Mike Mayock had Alexander ranked right around where Carolina pegged him, quite a few others had him ranked as a later round type of prospect. He could make some sense for the Panthers though. I imagine Ron Rivera will eventually want to transition to a 3-4 defense like he had in San Diego... and a 3-4 OLB seems to be Alexander's best fit. Norman is a kid who could also have very easily gone much higher ala Jonathan Massaquoi for Atlanta, which gets him placed here. Kuechly will be a very productive NFL player for the next decade plus. I view him in the mold of a James Laurinaitis. Three others I have an eye on from Carolina's class are Joe Adams, Amini Silatolu and UDFA Tauren Poole. Adams was a speedy playmaker at Arkansas. He'll be a factor not only as a wide receiver, but also as a punt returner. Silatolu is a little raw, but he reminds me so much of Mike Iupati. Plays with a mean streak and throws defensive linemen around like rag dolls. Poole is a guy who struggled during his Senior season after a nice Junior campaign, There is a lot to like though, especially as an UDFA. I bet he outperforms his UDFA status by quite a bit.

New Orleans Saints:
Overrated: Corey White
Underrated: Nick Toon
X-Factor: Akiem Hicks
Analysis: White isn't really overrated in general, but is by the Saints. Most major outlets didn't even have the Samford safety being drafted, so that was either a really bad pick or New Orleans sees something the rest of us don't. Toon is, of course, the son of former New York Jets WR Al Toon, so he's got some great NFL bloodlines. He was a terrific value in the 4th round and could get some chances in New Orleans after Robert Meacham departed to San Diego as a free agent. Akiem Hicks is a former LSU recruit who then transferred his way to Regina College in Canada. There is a lot of raw talent with Hicks, but it will take him some time to get used to NFL competition after playing in Canada.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers:
Overrated: Mark Barron
Underrated: Keith Tandy
X-Factor: Lavonte David
Analysis: Now I don't dislike Mark Barron as an NFL prospect. I expect him to be a solid NFL player, but if I am going to use a top 10 pick on a safety, he needs to be an elite/special talent at the position like Ronnie Lott, Ed Reed, Troy Polamalu and Eric Berry were/are. I don't hold Barron in that same very high regard. There were a few I thought about going with in the underrated department. Tandy is the one I went with. He's a solid all-around corner who can hang with receivers in man coverage and is also a very physical press corner. Terrific 6th-round selection. The Bucs got another corner I really like as an undrafted free agent. His name is Leonard Johnson, a cornerback out of Iowa State. Top 5 pick Justin Blackmon called him the best, most physical corner he played against in college. That's extremely high praise and in my mind... a guy who should have gone at least in Round 5. Lavonte David is another I thought about putting down as underrated, but put him as my X-Factor. The only thing you question with him is his size because he does everything at a very high level on the football field. The last prospect I want to mention is Boise State RB Doug Martin. He's a runner who has a very polished all-around game. I don't know how happy LeGarrette Blount was with the pick initially, but he will appreciate the help Martin will bring in the long run.

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