What a night! Going into these two rounds we thought we would learn about the new direction that the Colts are going and boy did we.
Here's a recap of what the AFC South teams have done so far, starting with the Colts.
Round 1(1) - Andrew Luck QB Stanford
Round 2(34) - Coby Fleener TE Stanford
Round 3(64) - Dwayne Allen TE Clemson
Round 3(92) - T Y Hilton WR Florida International
Remaining Team Needs: Nose Tackle, Cornerback, Wide Receiver, Offensive Line
All the intrigue started with the Colts today. Would they trade down? Would they go protection, weapon or defense? Who did they really covet in this range? All questions got answered with a resounding cry of offense! The Colts put talent around Andrew Luck by taking his favorite target from Stanford at the top of the second. This pick will be debated because Fleener may have been available after a trade down, but I gotta trust the guys in the war room to know if the right move is there or not.
Then came the first head scratcher from our new front office man, Ryan Grigson. Taking a second TE just one round later got a collective "What?!??!" from most of Colts nation. There was good defensive value to be had. Every need that the football world saw for the Colts had something available. Why double up on TE? Grigson's answer came later in a mantra-like statement of "Best Player."
The Colts then gave up a 5th Round pick from next year to move up 5 spots to take a speed demon from Florida International. I'm sure most Colts fans again said "Who?" Again, could he have been had 5 spots later? Probably, but I am again not in the war room so I will have to trust what they are feeling and hearing. This kid is physically suited to be a slot receiver, but has some high-end KR/PR ability. He may be a weapon like we haven't had in years. I am leaving WR on the needs list because I think we still need someone outside.
More of my take on the Colts later. On to the rest of the division.Jacksonville Jaguars -
Round 1(5) - Justin Blackmon WR Oklahoma State
Round 2(38) - Andre Branch DE Clemson
Round 3(70) - Bryan Anger P California
Remaining Team Needs: Offensive Line
After a strong move in Round one to get Blackmon, Jacksonville continued to have a solid draft by getting Branch in the 2nd. I think this might have been a slight reach, but I think this kid has great potential. Big and athletic are in every scouting report. Not much of a run stopper, but I think the Glitter Kitties want to put some pressure on the new QB in the division.
While most of the Colts world was still reacting to the Allen selection in the 3rd, the Jags popped up on the clock again and properly stole the focus again. They took a punter in the 3rd round. Not just the 3rd round, high in the 3rd round. Now I don't need to tell Colts fans how valuable a great punter can be, Mike Scifres anyone? You better have some faith in this kid if you are gonna take him at the top of the third though.
I think Jacksonville's first two picks are solid but the third leaves me wondering. What kind of info were they getting that a punter was gonna get grabbed before the 5th round? That's may be taking BPA a bit too far.
Round 1(26) - Whitney Mercilus DE Illinois
Round 3(68) - DeVier Posey WR Ohio State
Round 3(76) - Brandon Brooks G Miami(OH)
Remaining Team Needs: Linebacker, Cornerback
The Moo Cows were the big movers in the AFC South today. They moved out of the second round all together after trades with the Buccaneers and the Eagles. They used their first 3rd rounder to go get a big bodied, sure handed receiver from THE Ohio State. I think this kid will be a good weapon for Matt Schaub. He will see the coverage rolled away from him and toward Andre Johnson quite often. this should allow his size to play a big factor.
Speaking of size, did you see how massive the guard is that the Texans took with their last pick in the 3rd. Brandon Brooks comes in at 6'5" 343 lbs. Having watched Ball State get manhandled by this behemoth (not saying much I know), I can see why he would hold some value. While he may struggle with quicker NFL defenders, his spot should be inside so he won't see as many of them.
A solid day for Houston. Not to mention the fact that picked up a couple more 4th rounders today. Interested to see whose turn into.
Round 1(20) - Kendall Wright WR Baylor
Round 2(52) - Zach Brown OLB North Carolina
Round 3(82) - Mike Martin DT Michigan
Remaining Team Needs: Cornerback
As the only team in the AFC South that hasn't moved around to make picks, the Titans have had a puzzling draft for me. I am not a huge Wright fan from yesterday, and then to follow it up with a linebacker that has been described as "allergic to contact," I am not on-board with that pattern. Brown is physically gifted and fast and can fly all over the field. None of that matters if you can't make a play.
In the 3rd, the Flaming Thumbtacks went with the pass rushing DT from Michigan. I think this is a good fit for Munchak's defense. He is a space eater inside and can find his way through the O-Line buy understanding and recognition. His strength allows him to hold up well at the point too. A solid pick at that point in the draft.
I am under whelmed with Tennessee so far. Most of that comes from my feelings on Wright. Brown as the 2nd rounder doesn't excite me either.
My take on the Colts:
I know I said I would get back to the Colts so here goes. While I scratch my head with the rest of you when I heard the picks announced, I think I can see the usefulness of each of what the Colts considered the BPAs at the time.
The two TEs should be threats that a precise QB like Andrew can utilize. Getting these two TEs from a two tight set matched on LBs could be a big weapon.
How often have we complained about the lack of investment in our special teams? Could Hilton give that a big boost? He sure could. I have heard comparisons to DeSean Jackson. If we get a half of that, it was a good pick.
I also cannot allow myself to finalize on just the first four picks. NFL seasons are made by the selections at the end of the draft just as often as the one at the beginning. If the value on the defensive side is there later this time, then so be it. I need to see that the front office has a plan though.
We hired these guys to evaluate the talent available. Until I see more of what they have planned for the players selected, I will give them slack. I just hope I am not handing out enough rope for them to hang themselves, figuratively of course.