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Best And Worst Draft Pick In Each Team’s History: NFC South

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Atlanta Falcons

Best: Jamal Anderson, RB

The Atlanta Falcons have had a number of great picks at the top of the draft, but one late-round pick stood out as the best value. Jamal Anderson was one of the biggest reasons the Falcons made it to the Super Bowl. Even though he won’t be a Hall of Famer like others, he was an outstanding seventh-round pick. Also, he was the pioneer of one of the best touchdown celebrations in NFL history, “The Dirty Bird,” which only helps his case.

Worst: Aundrey Bruce, OLB

Aundrey Bruce was a wash out for the Falcons and he never lived up to the hype of a first-overall pick. The Falcons passed on future Hall of Famers like Michael Irvin, which makes this pick as boneheaded even more boneheaded in hindsight. Bruce was supposed to be the leader of the defense for the next decade, but it didn’t even come close to panning out.

Carolina Panthers

Best: Steve Smith, WR

The Allen Iverson of the NFL, Steve Smith may be one of the best third-round picks ever. The short receiver has had a way with words and he has the game to back up his big talk. Smith is the best receiver in Panthers history, and he is the best value they have had in the draft.

Worst: Tshimanga Biakabutuka

It may be unfair to include Tshimanga Biakabutuka on this list because his failures weren’t all his fault. Biakabutuka struggled to fight through injuries throughout his career, which wouldn’t allow him to live up to the hype of an eighth-overall pick. It would be interesting to see how good he could have been without the injuries, but unfortunately for the Panthers, time travel hasn’t been invented yet.

New Orleans Saints

Best: Willie Roaf, OT

Willie Roaf deserves to be a Hall of Famer as he was one of the best offensive tackles to ever play football. The former eighth-overall pick was a stud on the edge for 13 seasons. While the New Orleans Saints had a lot to worry about during his tenure, Roaf was never one of them.

Worst: Jonathan Sullivan, DT

The Saints used the resources they got from trading Ricky Williams to draft Jonathan Sullivan, which proved to be a bad choice. They traded their two first-round picks to get up to the sixth-overall pick to select Sullivan who only produced one and a half sacks and 77 tackles in three years.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Best: Derrick Brooks, LB

Derrick Brooks may be one of the most underrated players in recent memory. The Hall of Fame linebacker was the leader of the historic Buccaneers defense and an 11-time Pro Bowler. Brooks was the leader of one of the most dominant defenses in the history of football, which is reason enough to be the best draft pick in Buccaneers history.

Worst: Bo Jackson, RB

Bo Jackson was another player who never played for the team who drafted him. What makes it worse is that the Buccaneers didn’t even need a running back as their incumbant starter ran for 1,300 yards in the prior season. Ultimately, the Buccaneers spent the first overall pick on a player who never played a down for their team.


About John Owning

John Owning

John Owning is a NFL columnist for Football Insiders. He has years of experience covering the NFL, NFL draft and NCAA football. John's work has been featured on the Bleacher Report and DraftBreakdown.com