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Sunday, 29 March 2015

First-Round Pick Analysis By Division: AFC South

Houston Texans:

The Texans have a talented defense, but that unit stills lacks holes while their offense lacks playmakers. Quarterback is still a need with the unproven Ryan Mallett and shaky veteran Brian Hoyer expected to fight for the starting job, but there is no one worth drafting at their position and it would take too much to trade up and get whoever is available at the second spot. Possibly their biggest need is pass catcher, with no one outside of DeAndre Hopkins seen as anything more than average. On defense they added great players in Vince Wilfork and Rahim Moore and resigned Kareem Jackson, but they have holes at defensive end and outside linebacker, while inside backer and strong safety could be seen as holes too if the current incumbents continue to trent downwards. They will likely miss out on guys like Vic Beasley and Dante Fowler, but Bud Dupree and now Randy Gregory are fully expected to fall outside of the top ten, so they are options. Other possible picks are Malcom Brown and Arik Armstead, both of whom are very potent.

Top Three Prospects:

1.) Malcom Brown - DT   Texas

2.) Randy Gregory - OLB   Nebraska

3.) Bud Dupree - OLB   Kentucky


Indianapolis Colts:

The Colts had a productive offense despite the lack of a running threat and a reliable offensive line, while their defense held up in the pass without consistent pressure or depth in the secondary. They got short-term fixes at running back and pass rush with two veterans, Frank Gore and Trent Cole, but the other positions remain an issue. They can address their line if one of the first-round tackles are available or with center Cameron Erving if they see him worthy of a first-round pick. Corner is also an option, but the four guys worth a pick that early will likely be gone by the time the Ravens or the Cowboys are on the clock. What is the biggest need for them is a run stopper, whether it be on the line or a backer. Both positions though, are very deep in the draft, so the should opt to wait unless their first few options are off the board.

Top Three Prospects:

1.) T.J. Clemmings - OT   Pittsburgh

2.) Ereck Flowers - OT   Miami (Fla.)

3.) Eric Kendricks - ILB   UCLA

Jacksonville Jaguars:

The Jaguars are one of the most talent-dearth teams in the league, with only a handful of quality starters on their team. Needs at running back, interior lineman, inside linebacker, and defensive back can all be filled more safely in the later rounds, while their two second-round picks from last year should develop some more in their sophomore year, so that leaves edge rusher. The Jaguars have enough holes to where a trade back could be seen as the better option, but whether or not a team would want to trade up to the third spot is questionable. Assuming the Jaguars are forced to stick, they will likely be looking at Florida's Dante Fowler and Clemson's Vic Beasley. Both players are raw but extremely athletic, with Beasley's case being more extreme in both categories. Fowler looks like the safer pick here, but Beasley's athleticism is incredibly rare and both players are boom-or-bust products.

Top Three Prospects:

1.) Dante Fowler - OLB   Florida

2.) Vic Beasley - OLB   Clemson

3.) Shane Ray - DE   USC

Tennessee Titans:

The Titans, despite picking one spot earlier, are in a better shape than the Jaguars in most positions. They however, still have far too many holes to be considered a contender anytime soon. Needs that they are expected to address later in the draft are wide receiver, inside linebacker, and defensive back, with quarterback and defensive end being possible options with their first-round pick. The deal with the Titans is whether or not they will trade back, and if they do not will they select Marcus Mariota. They should be getting suitors for the pick, with the Jets being the first to come up to mind, so signs are pointing to a Zach Mettenberger-led offense, but drafts are often filled with surprises. If they do get a trade off, how far do they trade back? If can trade back to six with the Jets and still get Williams, but if they trade all the way back to 12 with the Browns, they will miss out on Williams and have to settle for someon like Malcom Brown, possibly Arik Armstead if they trade back even further.

Top Three Prospects:

1.) Leonard Williams - DE   USC

2.) Malcom Brown - DT   Texas

3.) Marcus Mariota - QB   Oregon


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