NFC South Notes: Buccaneers, Falcons, Panthers


  • Jenna Laine of ESPN reports that the Buccaneers are hosting Baylor WR Jalen Hurd for an official top-30 visit. 
  • Laine also reports that Clemson DT Dexter Lawrence is another player taking an official-30 visit. 
  • According to Laine, Alabama State OT Tytus Howard is among the Bucs’ top-30 pre-draft visits.


Falcons owner Arthur Blank made it clear that they’re focused on upgrading their offensive and defensive lines in this year’s draft.

“I think the needs in the draft are exactly the same as going into free agency: I think we’ve got to get younger on the offensive line,” Blank tells Vaughn McClure of ESPN. “We made some improvements, in that regard, in free agency, but we’re looking at that in the draft.

“I think the defensive line continues to be a need for us. And we’ll look at other particular positions both on defense and, selectively, on offense as well.

  • Vaughn McClure reports that the Falcons signed veteran DE Adrian Clayborn to a one-year contract worth $930,000.
  • Ian Rapoport reports that the Falcons are working out former Air Force DE Ryan Watson, whose two years of service is up on Monday.
  • Rapoport says that Watson was set to sign with the Cardinals coming out of college, but the DOD blocked it.
  • The Falcons worked out Oklahoma offensive linemen Cody Ford, Bobby Evans, Ben Powers and Dru Samia, per ESPN’s Vaughn McClure
  • Atlanta also met with Ford at the Combine, and McClure writes he’ll be in consideration for the Falcons with their No. 14 overall pick. 
  • McClure also reports the Falcons worked out Florida OT Jawaan Taylor.
  • The Falcons worked out Houston CB Isaiah Johnson on Thursday. (Tom Pelissero)


Panthers RB Christian McCaffrey understands why some people might be concerned about his usage last season.  But he says he didn’t feel overburdened.

“Yes, I get it. I’d be lying to you if I said I didn’t get it. But at the same time, I know myself and I know my body better than anybody,” McCaffrey said via the Athletic’s Joe Person. “If it were one of those things where I was like, man, I’m dying. I need somebody to (spell him). But I can tell you this — there was not one time during the season where I felt like I was overworked. Take that how you want.”

McCaffrey said he had minor shoulder surgery following his rookie season and that helped stress the importance of diet, nutrition and recovery. 

“I used to be a seven-days-a-week kind of guy. I was getting worse, I was getting slower, more fatigued,” he explained. “I’ve learned that rest for me is my best friend. Because I’m already training hard. I’m already doing the right stuff. The more I rest, the better I feel.”

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