The Fillability Index: NFC South

Cold, Hard Football Facts for May 07, 2006



Below is the Fillability Index grade for each NFC South team's 2006 draft. Read more about the Fillability Index to find out why it's a superior form of post-draft analysis.
 
 
ATLANTA (8-8)
Fillability grade: F
Total O
Score O
Rush O
Pass O
Total D
Score D
Rush D
Pass D
12
14
1
27
22
18
26
14
 
Atlanta's most pressing need is to shore up one of the worst run defenses in football. But Virginia Tech CB Jimmy Williams, slated by many as a No. 1 pick, must have seemed like too much of a value in the second round. He was chosen ahead of a front-seven run stuffer. But at least he plays defense.
 
Atlanta's other four picks all play on the offensive side of the ball. Their second pick was a running back, despite the fact that the team ranked No. 1 in rush offense and has a Pro Bowl ballcarrier in Warrick Dunn. They also drafted a late quarterback, one possessing skills similar to Michael Vick but with limited college experience. D.J. Shockley played quarterback for just one season at Georgia. Surely, Atlanta does not expect him to challenge Vick for the starting job, and it's doubtful he could surpass No. 2 QB Matt Schaub. There were several defensive studs out there who would have better served Atlanta.
 
Atlanta's 2006 picks
Round 2 (37) – CB Jimmy Williams, 6-2, 214, Virginia Tech
Round 3 (79) – RB Jerious Norwood, 6-0, 203, Mississippi State
Round 5 (139) – T Quinn Ojunnaka, 6-5, 308, Syracuse
Round 6 (194) – WR Adam Jennings, 5-10, 170, Fresno State
Round 7 (223) – QB D.J. Shockley, 6-1, 213, Georgia
 
CAROLINA (11-5)
Fillability grade: B+
Total O
Score O
Rush O
Pass O
Total D
Score D
Rush D
Pass D
21
8
19
17
3
5
4
9
 
The Cold, Hard Football Facts showed that Carolina's biggest need was to pick up a more productive ballcarrier for a team and a coach that insist on pounding away on the ground but is never particularly efficient at it. Note the 36-yard output in the NFC title game loss at Seattle.
 
The Panthers filled that need with No. 1 pick DeAngelo Williams, a player built in the mold of Emmitt Smith, one of the most durable small backs in NFL history. They also picked up an offensive tackle in the third round (though Rashad Butler may have a body more suited to play guard in the NFL), as well as guard Will Montgomery and massive tight end Jeff King in the fifth round. All have the potential to aid Carolina's inefficient rushing attack.
 
Carolina's 2006 picks
Round 1 (27) – RB DeAngelo Williams, 5-9, 213, Memphis
Round 2 (58) – CB Richard Marshall, 5-11, 188, Fresno State
Round 3 (88) – OLB James Anderson, 6-3, 230, Virginia Tech
Round 3 (89) – T Rashad Butler, 6-5, 292, Miami (Fla.)
Round 4 (121) – S Nate Salley, 6-1, 219, Ohio State
Round 5 (155) – TE Jeff King, 6-5, 256, Virginia Tech
Round 7 (234) – G Will Montgomery, 6-3, 300, Virginia Tech
Round 7 (237) – DE Stanley McClover, 6-2, 261, Auburn
 
NEW ORLEANS (3-13)
Fillability grade: C
Total O
Score O
Rush O
Pass O
Total D
Score D
Rush D
Pass D
20
31
18
14
14
28
27
3
 
The Drew Brees signing should help New Orleans overcome its biggest problem in 2005: an inability to score. Call us insightful, but that's usually a pretty big problem.
 
The other pressing need was shoring up a woeful rush defense. That need took a backseat when Reggie Bush was still available with the No. 2 pick. It's hard to blame New Orleans for that move, especially when they had one of the worst offenses in football last year.
 
But it's tough to justify failing to take a single run-stuffer in the draft on a team that ranked No. 27 in rush defense in 2005. The lone front-seven defensive player drafted was a puny 260-pound, fifth-round defensive end who is unlikely to do much against the run when battling offensive tackles who outweigh him by 50 to 80 pounds. Bush and Brees will certainly make New Orleans a better offensive team – if they get the chance to step on the field. It wasn't so easy last year, when the Saints were giving up 134.1 yards per game on the ground.
 
New Orleans' 2006 picks
Round 1 (2) – RB Reggie Bush, 5-11, 200, USC
Round 2 (43) – S Roman Harber, 6-0, 197, Alabama
Round 4 (108) – T Jahri Evans, 6-4, 317, Bloomsburg
Round 5 (135) – DE Rob Ninkovich, 6-3, 260, Purdue
Round 6 (171) – WR Mike Hass, 6-0, 208, Oregon State
Round 6 (174) – CB Josh Lay, 6-0, 196, Pittsburgh
Round 7 (210) – G Zach Strief, 6-7, 349, Northwestern
Round 7 (252) – TE Marques Colston, 6-4, 223, Hofstra
 
TAMPA BAY (11-5)
Fillability grade: B+
Total O
Score O
Rush O
Pass O
Total D
Score D
Rush D
Pass D
23
20
14
25
1
8
6
6
 
As the Cold, Hard Football Facts noted before the draft, Tampa's offensive flaws radiated like a Cold War Era Soviet power plant. Hey, there was a reason why the Bucs and their No. 1-ranked defense lost to Washington in the playoffs last year despite surrendering just 120 yards to the Redskins.
 
The Buccaneers made numerous efforts to bulk up the offense, drafting 312-pound guard Davin Joseph from powerhouse Oklahoma with their first pick, 315-pound tackle Jeremy Trueblood from OL U Boston College with their second pick and rangy, athletic 218-pound wideout Maurice Stovall from Notre Dame with their third pick. This team stocked with late-round picks spent six of its 10 selections on offense.
 
Tampa's 2006 picks
Round 1 (23) – G Davin Joseph, 6-3, 312, Oklahoma
Round 2 (59) – T Jeremy Trueblood, 6-8, 315, Boston College
Round 3 (90) – WR Maurice Stovall, 6-4, 218, Notre Dame
Round 4 (122) – CB Alan Zemaitis, 6-1, 193, Penn State
Round 5 (156) – DE Julian Jenkins, 6-4, 276, Stanford
Round 6 (194) – QB Bruce Gradkowski, 6-1, 218, Toledo
Round 6 (202) – TE T.J. Williams, 6-2, 270, N.C. State
Round 7 (235) – CB Justin Phinisee, 5-10, 198, Oregon
Round 7 (241) – OLB Charles Bennett, 6-3, 245, Clemson
Round 7 (244) – TE Tim Massaquoi, 6-2, 253, Michigan
 
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