NFC Notes: Buccaneers, Falcons, Panthers

     

Buccaneers

Buccaneers GM Jason Licht said they are still interested in drafting a quarterback but they will not reach for any players.

“You just want to make sure that you’re not picking a quarterback just to pick a quarterback,” said Licht, via Scott Smith of the team’s official site. “You want everybody to be onboard, and the guy’s got to have the right mindset. He’s got to be, obviously, talented and can through the ball, but he’s got to be somebody that we all feel comfortable with above the neck. There’s always positives to drafting a quarterback if all those things align.”

Licht explained that there are obvious “pros to drafting a quarterback” given it would enable a prospect to work with HC Bruce Arians, OC Byron Leftwich, QBs coach Clyde Christensen, and offensive consultant Tom Moore. 

“Well, there’s always pros to drafting a quarterback for us because of our coaching staff,” said Licht. “Bruce and Byron and Clyde and Tom Moore – I mean, you couldn’t think of a better staff to groom a quarterback.”

Licht explained that their draft plans at No. 32 overall depends on which player falls to them

“That’s not to say that there aren’t players at every position that we have targeted throughout the entire draft,” said Licht. “You always have what you want going into the draft. You don’t necessarily come out of it with everything that you went in trying to get, because it depends on if the player is there. If you need a certain position or you want a certain position, it’s not as easy as just picking any player at that position. It’s all just going to kind of depend on who’s there on the board.”

  • Northwestern QB Peyton Ramsey had a pre-draft meeting with the Buccaneers. Edholm notes that Ramsey could be a “late-round pick.” (Eric Edholm)

Falcons

Falcons’ new S Duron Harmon pointed out that the organization having Matt Ryan was a reason he signed with Atlanta. 

“In this league, it’s hard do anything without a quarterback,” Harmon said. Matt Ryan is one of the better quarterbacks in the league. Obviously, they have an explosive offense with explosive skill players.”

Although the Falcons finished 4-12 last season and are considered to be in a rebuilding phase, Harmon feels there were “four or five games” that Atlanta could’ve won. 

“If you look at their season, there was probably four or five games where they could have won last year,” Harmon said. “You know, one-possession games that could have went either way. If you take that, then you go from 4-12 to 9-7 and (close to) the playoffs.”

“The one thing about this league is that there is a very, very thin line between being a good team and a bad team,” Harmon said. “I just think obviously, the pieces are there. You have to work. I just feel like the pieces are there. I’m going to come in and work my butt off and kind of see where it goes.”

Panthers

  • Panthers GM Scott Fitterer said they have around “155 draft prospects” on their board. (Jonathan Jones)
  • When asked about Panthers’ new QB Sam Darnold‘s fifth-year option, Fitterer said they have a “strong plan in place” and will reconvene after the 2021 NFL Draft. (Kimberly A. Martin)
  • As for Panthers QB Teddy Bridgewater‘s standing on the roster, Fitterer said he plans on speaking to the quarterbacks representation in the near future: “Teddy’s a part of our time right now…” (Kimberly A. Martin)
  • According to Tony Pauline, the Panthers could take Alabama CB Patrick Surtain II with the No. 8 pick in the event that Oregon LT Penei Sewell is not available.
  • While the Panthers could take a quarterback at No. 8, Ben Standig of The Athletic mentions that drafting a cornerback or offensive tackle seems most likely for Carolina.

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