2014 NFL Draft Grades: AFC South

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Indianapolis Colts

First Pick: Depending on how you want to look at it, the Colts first pick is either Jack Mewhort, the offensive tackle from the Ohio State University, who the Colts took in round 2 or Trent Richardson, who the Colts moved their 2014 first round pick for last season. Mewhort was a nice pick for team that struggled along the offensive line and can play at multiple spots.

The Question: Will Trent Richardson provide the Colts with any value? Last season, Trent RIchards was unproductive and is starting to look like a bust. This season will be pivotal for Trent Richardson returning to some semblance of what he showed during his rookie season. In Pep Hamilton’s offense that utilizes the downhill running style, Richardson should be  The Colts have Ahmad Bradshaw returning from injury and could be the guy in Indy this season.

The Steal:Wide receiver Donte Moncrief has the potential to be stand out in the Colts offense. Moncrief will likely be a 3rd or fourth option at this point but Reggie Wayne is heading to the end of his career and is coming off of a knee injury last season. Donte Moncrief could be the staple opposite TY Hilton in the near future.

The Reach: The Colts had five total selections. None of their selections scream reach.

The Rest: Defensive end Jonathan Newsome and inside linebacker Andrew Jackson could add some depth for the Colts defense. Offensive Tackle Ulrick John adds some depth to the Colts offensive line

The Grade: Between giving up a first round pick for Trent Richardson and not adding many if any impact starters the Colts had a poor draft. D

 

Jacksonville Jaguars

First Pick: The Jaguars took Blake Bortles with the number three pick overall in what was the surprise pick of Thursday nights first round. The Jaguars believe they have found their quarterback of the future.

The Question: Can the Jaguars two second round picks be impact receivers for Blake Bortles this season? The Jaguars took Marqise Lee and Allen Robinson to join Cecil Shorts in a receiving corps that is hurt by the season long suspension of Justin Blackmon. Lee and Robinson were two of my favorite receivers in this class. I think they will both provide an impact this season.

The Steal: Storm Johnson could be the steal of the draft. Storm draws comparison to a different running back taken in the sixth round out of a smaller Florida school, Alfred Morris. I see Storm having a Alfred Morris like impact this season in Jacksonville. He will likely be in a time share with Toby Gerhart especially as the season gets under way.

The Reach: Aaron Colvin is the reach for the Jaguars only because the Jaguars are rebuilding and are needing Colvin to play this season. Colvin is a first round talent that is recovering from injury and he may not be ready when the season starts. If he is healthy and looks like the potential first round pick he was before his injury, this pick could be a tremendous value.

The Rest: The Jaguars added Brandon Linder an offensive guard out of the University of Miami. Linder should play quickly and help protect Blake Bortles. The Jags also added linebacker Telvin Smith and defensive end Chris Smith to add depth to their defense.

The Grade: I want to give the Jaguars an A but couldn’t do it because of the Bortles pick. If Bortles turns out to the be the real deal, this draft would be the turning point to their turnaround. B+

 

Houston Texans

The First Pick: The Texans had the privilege of taking Jadeveon Clowney at number one overall. Clowney was best prospect in this class. He has the potential to be a once in a generation type talent. He will line up opposite JJ Watt and form one of the most dynamic pass rushing duos in the league.

The Question: Did the Texans miss out by not taking a quarterback sooner? As of right now Ryan Fitzpatrick will be under center for the Texans come week 1.

The Steal: Louis Nix in the third round was an absolute steal. He will fit in between Clowney and Watt. He was a potential first round pick that fell because of inconsistency during his junior season. If he can regain his form his sophomore season he could be a beast.

The Reach: In the fourth round of the draft the Texans took Tom Savage as a potential quarterback of the future. I don’t see Savage as a legit NFL talent. Savage is already 24 and bounced around during his college career. He has issues getting past the second option in his progression. They took Savage over Zach Mettenberger who fits the mold of a typical Bill Obrien quarterback and AJ McCarron who i’m not in love with as a prospect but could have played an Andy Dalton type role in Houston .

The Rest: Tight end CJ Fiedorowicz has a chance to be an impact rookie. Alfred Blue will join Andre Brown backing up oft injured Arian Foster. Xavier Su’a-Filo is a masher at guard and should be a factor early in the 2014 season if not week 1.

The Grade: The Texans started the draft with a slam dunk, taking Clowney. The Texans continued to excel in the draft taking Xavier Sua-Filo who had first round talent and CJ Fiedorowicz who should have an instant impact. Outside of the Savage pick, I love what the Texans did. B+

Tennessee Titans

The First Pick: The Titans took Taylor Lewan at 11 overall. While on the surface the pick is questionable considering the Titans signed Michael Oher to play right tackle during free agency and still have Michael Roos under contract to play left tackle. Taylor Lewan has the ability to become an elite left tackle. In the short term it wasn’t a great pick but if Roos moves on next season and Lewan becomes an anchor it may be one of the best picks in the draft.

The Question: With all the running backs on the board, was Bishop Sankey the right guy to take? Sankey is a true three down back that fits in the much of what made Gio Bernard the top running back in last years draft. If Sankey can provide value in the passing game this could be the best running back in the draft.

The Steal: DaQuan Jones could be one of the best picks in this draft. Jones will play nose tackle in Ray Hortons 3-4 scheme. He will fit great next to Jurrell Casey in both 3-4 and 4-3 schemes.

The Reach: The Titans reached on their first round pick, Taylor Lewan. While Taylor Lewan, talent wise is worthy of being a top 15 pick, the fit is where the questions come into play. Lewan will likely be a backup this season. A first round pick should be a contributor in year one.

The Rest: The Titans did a solid job with all of their selections in the 2014 NFL draft. Marqueston Huff was a nice value for the Titans in the 4th round. Zach Mettenberger has the opportunity to be the Titans quarterback of the future. He will sit behind Locker initially but could be thrust into duty if Locker’s injury history repeats itself. Avery Williamson will depth at linebacker as well.

The Grade: Overall the Titans did a solid job. While this draft has the potential to be a building block draft class, at this point the draft has far too many question marks and a lack of instant impact players. C+

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