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Team needs: AFC South

[Editor’s note: The following is our fifth in a series of NFL
Draft team needs by division  We’ve looked at the AFC
East
, AFC North, NFC
South
, and NFC
West
.]

Houston

CB: The Texans didn’t think Dunta Robinson was worth the money, and we don’t blame them.  That said, it’s a major problem that Glover Quin is the best cornerback on this team by far.  Peyton Manning probably doesn’t mind.

RB: Steve Slaton’s back injury makes the position a question mark.  We love what we saw from Arian Foster late last year, but Gary Kubiak’s comments indicate he’s only a role player.  They could draft a starter in the first or second round, which would complete a playoff-ready offense.

DL: The Texans have hit some home runs with their defensive picks (Mario Williams, DeMeco Ryans, and Brian Cushing).  The run defense has definitely improved, but we think Houston needs more bulk up front to pair with Amobi Okoye and Shaun Cody.  

S: The Texans need two cornerbacks really, but they also could use a safety that can cover.

Jacksonville

DE: They basically need to replace 2008 second round bust Quentin Groves.  Aaron Kampman helps a lot, but there is no quality depth and still plenty of questions about Derrick Harvey.

S: It’s not a good sign when a player that is on the edge of getting cut (Reggie Nelson) is still slated to start at free safety.  Gerald Alexander at strong safety isn’t much better.

QB: The Jaguars are a sleeper team in the Jimmy Clausen sweepstakes.  You can look at the quarterback situation three ways. 1) Jack Del Rio may not have the patience or job security to develop a new golden boy.  2) Jack Del Rio is running out of patience with David Garrard.  3) Jack Del Rio no longer has the juice to make these decisions.

WR: It wouldn’t be April if we weren’t listing wide receiver as a Jaguars team need.  The team is in better shape than usual with a true No. 1 entering his prime in Mike Sims-Walker.  Mike Thomas also looks like a player, but is he ready to start?  Troy Williamson and Kassim Osgood aren’t.

Indianapolis

OL: Is Charlie Johnson the long-term answer as Peyton Manning’s blind side protector?  No matter the answer to that question, the Colts need to beef up their interior line to help a stagnant running game.  The moves they’ve made this offseason are just window dressing.

CB: No team is better than the Colts at drafting and developing players to fit their system.  No team has fewer pressing needs at any position.  Jerraud Powers should be a good player for a long time, and Kelvin Hayden is solid across from him.  The team could use competition for last year’s surprise nickel back Jacob Lacey.

DT: Daniel Muir, Antonio Johnson, and Eric Foster all played better than anyone could have expected.  We still think the Colts should bolster the depth of the position here.

LB: They didn’t draft a linebacker last season and could use an option if Clint Session leaves via free agency in 2011.

Tennessee Titans

DT: Looking at this roster, the Titans are really in better shape than you’d think at nearly at every position.  The biggest exception may be the defensive line.  This team relies too much on the excellence of line coach Jim Washburn.  They have a lot of solid guys, but need some top-tier talent.

DE: This isn’t a team that is going to rely on pressure from their linebackers or safeties on blitzes.  They need better natural pass rushers.

CB: Half of the state of Tennessee is competing for a starting job opposite Cortland Finnegan, and Jeff Fisher would like to add another name to the mix.  For now, last year’s mid-round picks Jason McCourty and Ryan Mouton look like the best bets.

WR: In Kenny Britt, Nate Washington, and Justin Gage, the Titans have a future No. 1, and two solid No. 3’s.  All of them have size and go deep.  The group could use a possession receiver.  Think Derrick Mason.

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14 Responses to “Team needs: AFC South”
  1. Jag4Life says: Apr 17, 2010 3:44 PM

    Quentin Groves, out. Reggie nelson, out. We have too much money tied up in Harvey so he has another year to show and prove. The Jags don’t want the 10 pick. It’s better to trade down anyway to get more picks. It’s all a crap shoot anyway. There are no guarantees in the draft. Can’t wait until Thursday night though!!!!!

  2. dooger says: Apr 17, 2010 3:49 PM

    The Titans need an OLB way more than they need another WR. Bulluck is probably done and Thornton isn’t exactly young either. Hardly any LB depth on the team.

  3. 4ever19 says: Apr 17, 2010 4:29 PM

    Colts still need a running back to complement Mr. Addai. I liked what I saw from him as the year went on. I did not see a lot that gave me hope in young Mr. Brown’s game.

  4. aj says: Apr 17, 2010 7:24 PM

    Two things on the Texans, Rosenthal.
    Slaton doesn’t have a “back injury.” He had a disk issue in his neck (cervical spine) that was causing nerve issues in his arm/hand. He had the disection/fusion surgery a few months ago and we’ll have to wait and see how things go.
    You missed interior offensive line as a need. There will be a C/G drafted at some point after CB and RB are taken care of.

  5. samh says: Apr 17, 2010 8:43 PM

    Jaguars get Reggie Hayward back at DE (although they still need help at D End) but they’re not desperate there like they are at safety.
    Troy Williamson had two starts last year and Mike Thomas had three. So you may not think they are “ready” to start but NFL personnel holding some of the rarest jobs in the world (unlike, say, internet “journalist) appear to disagree with you.
    Once again, would it hurt to do a little research on what you’re “reporting”?

  6. Gregg Rosenthal says: Apr 18, 2010 10:05 AM

    AJ: Interior OL was next on my list but they are good at developing late-round guys. But I agree it’s right there after the first two.
    Samh: Of course i know hayward is back. He’s no lock to make the team and hardly a long-term solution. And good luck if you think Williamson is a starting caliber player.

  7. PureIgnorance says: Apr 18, 2010 12:39 PM

    @ 4ever19
    Did you even watch any Colts games last year, besides the Super Bowl?? Donny Brown is not the problem, there is no need to draft another RB. When healthy he was a solid contributor and had many calling for him to take Addai’s starting job. He’ll be just fine…and so will Addai.
    We need OL, DL and LB depth from this draft…and possibly a new place kicker!

  8. GoJags436 says: Apr 18, 2010 1:53 PM

    Del Rio “no longer has the juice to make these decisions”??
    Del Rio NEVER HAD that kinda juice in the 1st place. Shack Harris had the last word on draft picks before & Gene Smith has the final word on all roster spots now.

  9. dafish says: Apr 18, 2010 6:53 PM

    Does this clown even know the Jaguars? I know we’re irrelevant even in our own city, but when a guy gets paid to know, and obviously doesn’t, it kills me. Groves likely will get cut in training camp if he doesn’t step it up. Nelson, I think will stick but he’s got to bring it in the preseason. He’s got the physical tools, I tend to believe it’s between his ears where he’s deficient. He never had to do anything at Florida other than launch and knock people’s head off. He freelanced way too much and never adjusted to NFL speed.
    The receiver comments kill me. We had what 5 rookie receivers play last year along with Holt? Sims-Walker was finally healthy, Williamson made some plays in preseason then got injured against Arizona. Dillard was starting to become a factor then he was lost against the Jets. He has the makings of another McCardell in my opinion in that he catches everything. Thomas impressed especially in gadget formations. Underwood had some plays as well and stuck after getting starstruck against the Cards and dropping sure touchdowns.
    Here, Gregg, are our needs in order:
    D line- all as Henderson ain’t getting younger. We need depth all across the line
    O line- same as above. We’ve got bookends for 8-10 years but we need to bolster the interior.
    Linebacker- we only have 2 decent LBs. If McClain’s available we grab him, of course assuming he’s BAP at that point.
    Then Safety, Corner, QB, Receiver, and RB.
    Bottom line, our secondary is garbage because our D line was awful and never got close to the quarterback. Warner, Brady, and Manning twice, never got dirty when they played us. So naturally, the secondary had to hold their assignment longer than most teams. Same thing can be said for the O line. Interior was porous and Meester had an awful year so MJD earned every single yard and Garrard was dropped 42 times. Not to absolve Garrard at all, as he’s got to be smarter with the football this year.
    No excuses for the team this year.
    Also, with Del Rio and “the juice”. If memory serves Shack had the 1st round Del Rio, Smith and McDonough had the rest. The biggest Shack/Del Rio snub was Leftwich over Suggs.

  10. sniperhare says: Apr 18, 2010 11:10 PM

    Williamson was starting before he was injured. He finally broke the hump of only being good in training camp. He was productive in preseason and was looking like he could finally be a starting caliber player but then he got hurt.

  11. kpweaver27 says: Apr 19, 2010 12:40 AM

    As a Colts fan, he’s the first to really nail how we fans feel about our needs by priority. I continue to see mock drafts putting DT Brian Price to the Colts in Round 1. I can assure you it will either be an OL Polian likes or it will be a CB, pushing Lacey to #4 on the depth chart. It would be nice to get a DT but Fili Moala barely played last year, and if you follow the Colts, you can see defensive rookies rarely play, especially in the front seven. Powers and Lacey played out of injury and need. Clint Session and Phillip Wheeler took a few years before starting. I expect Moala to move into the starting job by 2011, and he’ll play a bigger role in 2010.
    The Colts should consider moving up to get Pouncey; he would make the run game so much better. Indy can afford moving up.

  12. samh says: Apr 19, 2010 8:15 AM

    Greg,
    It’s not about how good you think the WRs are or how good I think they are. Whether they’re good starters – we can only wait and find out. But clearly they were starting games laster year (and in Williamson’s case, in years past). Sloppy use of language is no good for somebody who makes his living on words.

  13. ras6111 says: Apr 19, 2010 9:17 AM

    I am soooooooooooo sick of Jags fans qualifying everything with “as long as hes BAP.” Has Vic brainwashed all Jag fans? Of course you draft the best player on your board, the problem is when your board sucks. Why would not not pick the Best available player, its a draft. You draft players that fit. Don’t tell me the Jags drafted BAP last year, they draft BAP that fit for them.

  14. dafish says: Apr 19, 2010 12:22 PM

    ras,
    it’s a combination of the two. You draft strictly need, you’re waiting a couple of years. Just like those teams that think they’re one guy away and get the big free agents.
    Our board was pretty damn good last year, right? We had what 16 rookies playing significant minutes last season. 4 starting on opening day and 5 starting the last game? Pretty good draft board I must say.

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