Monday, April 30, 2012

Final Draft Grades: AFC South

Houston Texans Unlike some other clubs, the Texans really couldn't help but have a so-so NFL Draft. They've lost a couple offensive linemen in the off season and more importantly linebacker DeMeco Ryans and former top pick pass rusher, Mario Williams. Adding three offensive linemen through the draft shows they were just as concerned with that position getting filled more than any other, to be honest this was a team that was most likely an injury to their quarterback, Matt Schaub, away from making a deep playoff run a season ago. Their first pick of the weekend, defensive end Whitney Mercilus from Illinois will be a high value selection if he can make up for some of what they lost with Ryans and Williams going elsewhere in agency, and the same can be said for adding Nebraska's Jared Crick in the later rounds. Mercilus being a 1-year wonder in college does concern me. Oh, and I absolutely do not care for their 68th overall pick, Ohio State receiver DeVier Posey, it's just not smart, he's an average starter at best. Final Grade: C+

Indianapolis Colts Look, if Indianapolis had no other picks other than the top overall pick, I'd give them the same grade I'm going to give them for the entire draft they did have. Stanford's QB Andrew Luck is going to start from Day 1 in Indy, they did what most teams dream of doing - add a franchise quarterback the year you part ways with your previous franchise quarterback. Luck is the real deal in every way, and he'll prove that going forward. Then, Indianapolis managed to put two very good tight ends around him, his teammate in Palo Alto, Stanford TE Coby Fleener and Clemson TE Dwayne Allen. Fleener gives Luck a familiar face to pass to in his first season in the NFL, passing to tight ends is something he's very good at to boot. Allen will help in the run blocking game and possibly even on the right side where Indy failed to pick up another top tier offensive tackle. Later adding skill position players like FIU's receiver T.Y. Hilton and Mississippi State running back Vick Ballard just further emphasized the point; Indy is putting quality players around their franchise quarterback, something Washington and Cleveland could learn from. Final Grade: A

Tennessee Titans The Titans clearly made some organized moves to improve depth and holes in their defense. Of their seven selections, the Titans stuck to the defensive side five times. However, their 1st round-selection Baylor receiver Kendall Wright was an extremely special pick to us. Adding Wright and provided Kenny Britt can come back healthy this season really improves the pass game in Tennessee and thus improves their explosive running game with Chris Johnson. Their next three selections, LB Zach Brown (52nd), DT Mike Martin (82), and CB Coty Sensabaugh (115) are all expected to come in right away and start making plays on that Titan defense, alot to expect from some really valuable positions! Lastly, one of my steal picks at pick #190, Oklahoma State safety, Markelle Martin. Obviously the Titans had a need in the secondary with Cortland Finnegan's departure and they filled it with Coty Sensabaugh but Martin just really adds to that. He's a quick player who is used to playing against those pass-happy Big 12 schools and can translate at the next level. Final Grade: B

Jacksonville Jaguars It pains me that one of my favorite players in this draft, Oklahoma State receiver Justin Blackmon, ended up in Jacksonville, but I felt like Jacksonville needed to make a move like this and I applaud that. Look, the Jags need star players who can put 'cheeks in the seats' and get people excited about their franchise and at #7, they were just out of reach of doing that, the trade to jump up to #5 put them in perfect position and they hit it out of the park. Why do we like Blackmon so much? It's simple, he's a great kid and an awesome team player, oh and he's just flat out great on gameday. Early second round, the Jaguars pick up Clemson pass rusher Andre Branch, great pick and if you weren't going to attack the position early on the first round, get the best available at the same position when you get to pick again, and they did that. Now to the bad; The Jaguars, of all teams, wasted a f*cking third round-pick on California punter Bryan Anger! Here's the thing, he's the highest punter drafted since 1995, and there is a reason for that! Are the Jaguars the team that can validate drafting a punter this high? No, No, and No. If I was a Jaguars fan I would have shut the television off and ran my head through a wall after this pick. I get that the Jaguars probably are going to punt an awful lot, but come on man! Final Grade: D (just for that pick alone!)

. . . next up, AFC West

No comments: