Sunday, April 29, 2012

Grading The 2012 NFL Draft: AFC South

A division once dominated by the Indianapolis Colts, had a new division winner in 2012. The Houston Texans rode their top five defense to a wild card win over the Bengals, before losing to the Baltimore Ravens in the division round. The division had two top ten picks and landed the coveted Andrew Luck. Let's take a look at each team:

Houston Texans - The Texans added a good defensive end in Whitney Mercilus in the first round before not having another pick until the third round. Houston tried to improve their interior offensive line in the third and fourth round with Brandon Brooks and Ben Jones. They also tried to improve their offense by adding two wide receivers in DeVier Posey and Keshawn Martin. Both players could turn into number three receivers. The Texans are obviously excited by both players as they are now shopping Jacoby Jones. They may have got a late round steal in Nebraska's Jared Crick. Houston is obviously trying to continue to build their defense in hopes that it will bring them a championship. Grade: B

Indianapolis Colts - Plenty of people are going to argue that the Colts had a great draft because they got Andrew Luck. However, they did have the first overall pick so they did not really make a smart pick with Luck. I think the later rounds is where the grade should come from and the Colts missed in the later rounds. Indianapolis seemed to only draft offensive players. I think Coby Fleener can be a star but why they would take another tight end only a round later is beyond me. T.Y. Hilton is an interesting prospect and could become a decent number two receiver but beyond that I do not think the Colts added many starters. They also ignored their defense. One that was sub par all year long. I think the Colts will be drafting in the top 10 next year and will be looking to draft defense throughout. Grade: B-

Jacksonville Jaguars - The Jacksonville Jaguars were definitely a confusing team in the draft. They had to be the laughing stock of Saturday as they drafted a punter in the third round. Even if he is a top punter, he will not be on the field enough to make a difference. However, the Jags started the draft off on a high note. They actually gave Blaine Gabbert a play maker in Justin Blackmon and helped the defense out by drafting Andre Branch. After those two picks it seems like the Jaguars let a child make the picks for them. Jacksonville fans have to be hoping that they did not miss with their first two picks. Grade: C

Tennessee Titans - The Titans tried to add a weapon for Jake Locker in the first round with Kendall Wright. I am not sold on Wright as an NFL wide receiver but at the least he gives Tennessee a vertical threat. Zach Brown is definitely an athletic but not much of a hard hitter. He should be a good linebacker but nothing special. The Titans failed to address their needs for a cornerback until the fourth round. Coty Sensabaugh could be decent cornerback but I thought Tennessee should have addressed this need earlier in the draft. Overall, I think the Titans added two starters, zero stars and a whole lot of depth. Grade: C

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