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  1. #1
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    AFC South after the draft

    NFLDraftScout.com
    Grading the 2014 NFL Draft: Jaguars steal the show in AFC South
    By Rob Rang | The Sports Xchange/CBSSports.com
    May 10, 2014 10:31 pm ET

    Draft coverage: Picks and grades | Prospect Rankings | Sam goes No. 249 | News

    Grading an NFL Draft immediately after it occurs is akin to giving your compliments to the chef based on the menu rather than actually waiting to taste the food. It will take at least three years before we can truly assess how the 32 NFL teams fared over the weekend. But waiting is no fun. As such, let's take a take at which teams appear to have done the best job of filling needs and building for the future via the seven rounds of the 2014 draft.

    AFC South

    Houston Texans

    Bill O'Brien would have loved an Andrew Luck-caliber quarterback to be sitting on the board for him at No. 1 overall but a dominant pass rusher like Jadeveon Clowney was the next best scenario. Clowney will quiet any critics when he earns the Defensive Rookie of the Years with at least 10 sacks and the combination of he, J.J. Watt, Brian Cushing and Louis Nix could help Houston enjoy quite the bounce-back campaign in 2014. That is, of course, if O'Brien can work his magic at the quarterback position, where the Texans added only Tom Savage to a position group currently headlined by journeyman Ryan Fitzpatrick. Versatile offensive lineman Xavier Su'a-Filo was a first round talent that the Texans were fortunate to have slip to No. 33 and tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz will also be solid. Sixth rounders Jeoffrey Pagan and Alfred Blue could also surprise. Grade: B

    Indianapolis Colts
    The Colts traded away the rights to their first round pick for running back Trent Richardson and while I expect that he'll be significantly improved with a full off-season to master their playbook, at this time the deals looks pretty one-sided on Cleveland's behalf. Helping Richardson's chances at improving in 2014 was the selection of tough-guy offensive lineman Jack Mewhort in the second round and an exciting vertical threat in Donte Moncrief. Of their Day Three selections, former Western Kentucky run-stuffer Andrew Jackson looks like he could provide the most immediate impact. Grade: C

    Jacksonville Jaguars

    Some are going to knock Jacksonville for selecting Blake Bortles at No. 3 but not me. He's not a sure-fire superstar but I love the tools and the fact that Jacksonville already has in place a heady veteran in Chad Henne to aid in the young quarterback's development. The other thing I love is that Jacksonville has talent on the offensive line already in place (and added two solid interior options this weekend) and added to their receiving corps with Marqise Lee and Allen Robinson with their second round picks. Jacksonville's Day Three picks also are going to turn heads as they are each athletes who are very good schematic fits in Gus Bradley's defense, especially injured (but intriguing) cover corner Aaron Colvin, speedy outside linebacker Telvin Smith and classic LEO defensive end Chris Smith. Rather than spend a high pick on a non-premium position, the Jags got former UCF (and Miami) running back Storm Johnson in for cheap as a 7th round pick and he, too, could make this roster. Ultimately, this draft will hinge on Bortles' development but I see this class as potentially a big win for an up and coming franchise. Grade: A

    Tennessee Titans

    Given the Pro Bowl caliber play of left tackle Michael Roos and the addition of right tackle Michael Oher in free agency, the Titans' selection of Taylor Lewan in the first round surprised me. There is no denying his talent and toughness, however, and I don't quibble with the idea of adding offensive linemen - especially when a club has a gifted quarterback like Jake Locker whose biggest struggle to this point remains durability. I love the selection of running back Bishop Sankey in the second round. He is a tough, grounded kid with a terrific blend of instincts, burst and hands. Fantasy enthusiasts should take note of him. Of Tennessee's Day Three picks, I'm especially high on Penn State's DaQuan Jones, who is a wide-bodied run-stuffing presence whose size complements the smaller, quicker interior rushers already on the roster. Adding Zach Mettenberger in the seventh round is a low-risk gamble that could pay off big as his arm is a nice fit in Ken Whisenhunt's offense and gives the Titans a quarterback to develop should Locker not earn an extension with his play next season. Grade: B
    http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/n...w-in-afc-south

    This thread wasn't made to talk about the grades that CBS gave to the teams, but moreso to talk about the changing landscape in the AFC SOUTH.

    Houston has the scariest front 7... possibly ever. Clowney said it best when he was asked about teaming up with J.J. Watt: "Andrew Luck better have head on a swivel." But, I don't think Savage is their savior at QB.

    Jacksonville finally has a QB (maybe)... plus it appears they adequately replaced Blackmon. Their offense will be better... Bradley's defense was improving. This team can shock some people.

    Titans: Nothing drastic happened with them, but Sankey is another problem for our run defense. I think Jacksonville finishes higher than Ten this season.
    "We earned this ****ing burn. It doesn’t matter how you get from A to B. Our goal at the beginning of this ****ing season is to win a ****ing World Series, and guess what, boys, we’re going to the ****ing dance." - The Reverend Hunter Pence


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  2. #2
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    Houston
    If they can't score, QBs won't have to pass against them much making their scary pass rush irrelevant. They were 23rd against the run last year so I'm not even sure if they have that run and stop the run slow the gqme down thing going for them. They can run and rush the passer...so they can close out games and if they actually do get a lead they will be virtually impossible to beat, but they need to take a lead to get that done. Think the opposite of the Peyton led Colts. We kept scoring so teams couldn't run against us and had to pass to keep up, however if we didn't score 28+ points we were in some bad positions with teams keeping Peyton off the field. I also hear rumors Andre Johnson wants out of Houston making their offense even worse. If that is true and he gets his way, I see an offense led by Fitzpatrick/Keenum/Savage (I think at least 2 of those 3 plus maybe a FA will see time), Hopkins, and Foster and possibly Spann (Tate is a huge loss for them with Foster's injury history) being the offense to lead the best on paper roster in the NFL top to bottom, to the 6-8 win record. I would say 4-6 but our division looks pretty bad. The D is scary, but the rules have changed since Baltimore won a ring with Dilfer at QB.

    Jaguars
    Yup...they are still the Jags. I like Henne as a backup anywhere and he is much better than Gabbart was...but he is still the QB that won 4 games last year with Gabbart losing his only 3, and that was with the threat of MJD out of the backfield. They have a really nice young group of WR, but much like us last year, and even Oakland....I don't see a go to guy here, and Lewis is a decent TE, but he has never taken off like I always thought he would. So you have a guy in Henne who is a solid backup and a rookie that isn't going to be day 1 ready throwing to a bunch of solid young #2 and #3 WRs and a TE that has under preformed IMO his whole career. They have Todman who showed he could be a change of pace option along with Gerhert who is a change of pace option....and then you have a 7th round pick who I think may be a good change of pace back...and we are looking at a very under whelming 3 headed monster. They have some nice pieces on D, but just like Houston...if you can't score they don't matter that much. Jacksonville I think may go to the 6 win range as well depending on how their match ups with the division go and but needle is certainly up....but they need another year or two in the teen picks and some experience for their QB. The thing that is scary about them is that they are young and could throw together a few huge performances.

    Titans
    I have no clue about the Titans and probably have the least knowledge of them. Sankey was a nice pickup and I have absolutely no clue who Jake Locker is as a player. He when healthy has looked like a world beater at times, and others has looked completely lost. In terms of games played he is in the middle of his 2nd year heading into actual year 4...so in game experience could be the issue with inconsistency. He is solid if he can stay on the field and if they have deep threats with McCluster and Washington....if Wright keeps his momentum and Hunter does what I think he can we could be talking about a wild card...however if Locker does go down we are looking at some trouble throwing to them and we could be talking top 10 pick. It sounds obvious to say their season rests on the QB health, but with Locker playing roughly half the games his team has since he was drafted, this is a big time valid question since he was 4-3 as a starter last year...4-2 in games he was the leading passer and didn't go out. I'm just guessing on them but they could be pretty dangerous.

  3. #3
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    Houston added a lot of talent in the draft but will be the same team they were last year; a great defense that gives up halfway through the season because their QB is terrible.

    Tennessee has the least amount of talent in the division. Locker is a decent enough QB to lead a good team but his team is terrible and he is not Peyton or Luck.

    Jax also got a lot better through the draft. A 7th round on Storm Johnson could be the steal of the draft and I imagine he will be the starter by the time they get back from their BYE. I don't picture Bortles ever being a star but he should be able to lead a good team, like Locker. Adding pieces like Marquise Lee and Storm Johnson and UDFA Allen Hurns will help, so will upgrading the OL with Linder and teaming him with Joeckel. Their secondary and LBs will be their downfall. The look of this team is promising.

    The Colts have ALL the same questions going into camp that they did going into free agency. The secondary is one injury away from being atrocious, the OL still has a lot of question marks and we still don't have a pass-rush except for Mathis. Seeing Mathis get dominated by the Chargers OL for 3 quarters SHOULD have been an eye opener. If the Colts want to contend for a title this year, they will have to ask A LOT from UDFA's because those are the only additions the Colts made to areas of need.

    Colts - 10 wins
    Jags - 6 wins
    Texans - 6 wins
    Titans - 3 wins

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