AFC South Pre-Draft Needs

I was looking through the archives here at Stampede Blue for any and all articles about CBSSports.com writer Pete Prisco, and found that he and BBS have butted heads before.  BBS didn't like his Top 50 Players in the NFL, and BBS also didn't like Pete's apparent lack of research into the Colts position battles.  

However, overall, I think Pete does a decent job covering the NFL.  His article on Over/Under rated players even got a standing ovation from Stampede Blue.  He's been previewing teams draft needs division by division, and he did the AFC South a couple days ago.  He doesn't waste any time beating around the bush.  Right out of the box, he says:

The AFC South can stake a claim as the best division in the NFL. It's certainly the best in the AFC. The Indianapolis Colts have owned the division. The others are in chase mode, which is why the April draft will be so important to those three other teams.
He is, of course, correct on every count.  Obviously, "Best division in the NFL" is certainly debatable with the NFC East, but we as Colts fans know just how tough it is playing against teams that have clearly built their teams around beating the Colts.  Plus the AFC South did win 75% of their games outside of the division last year.

Here's what he had to say about the Colts:

The skinny: Colts general manager Bill Polian is the best in the league at finding ways to keep his team moving forward through the draft. He gets it. The Colts don't have a lot of needs, which makes drafting easier for Polian. They also don't have a first-round pick, which they traded to San Francisco for the right to draft Ugoh last year. He started as a rookie.

Primary need: With Dwight Freeney coming off an injury, the Colts could use more depth at defensive end. You can never have enough of those kinds of players.

Secondary needs: Linebacker, wide receiver, guard.

Possible targets: Georgia defensive end-linebacker Marcus Howard, Auburn defensive end Quentin Groves or Florida receiver Andre Caldwell.

Summary: They are once again heading to the draft without any major needs. Without a first-round pick, that's a good position. Polian will get two or three good players out of this draft, even without a first.

I think Pete is a closet Colts fan.  He obviously loves Polian, pointing out that he always finds a gem or two in the later rounds.  He also is agreeing with all of our collective analysis here, in that we need depth on the Defensive Line.  He mentions LB and WR as secondary needs, but I don't feel those are as pressing as another C/G, and a RB that can catch the ball out of the backfield.  He mentions Marcus Howard, who BBS profiled here.  He throws out Florida WR Andre Caldwell as well.  I just can't see Polian using our 2nd Round pick on a WR, especially since our first pick last year was also a WR, and I don't think Caldwell will be there in Round 3 for us.

Prisco also does a nice job talking about the needs of our division brethren, but you should read his story to find out about them.

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