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AFC South Draft Grades: Jacksonville Solidifies The Offensive Line

by Photo of Quentin Haynes

Draft Grades For The Jaguars, Titans, Colts, and Texans

AFC South Draft Grades: Jacksonville Solidifies The Offensive Line

The AFC South is interesting. I thought Tennessee would’ve been better last season, and Houston lived up to expectations. Jacksonville was brutal, and Indianapolis was the surprise of the league thanks to Andrew Luck. Each team had its need going into the draft, and with Jacksonville picking second overall, they needed to do their best in acing this draft. Let’s see how each team did. If you missed some of the previous draft classes I graded, here are the grades for the AFC East and NFC East

Jacksonville Jaguars Grade: B-

1. Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M

2. Jonathan Cyprien, SS, Florida International

3. Dwayne Gratz, CB, Connecticut

4. Ace Sanders, WR, South Carolina

5. Denard Robinson, WR, Michigan

6. Josh Evans, FS, Florida

7. Jeremy Harris, CB, New Mexico St.

7. Demetrius McCray, CB, Appalachian St.

I thought it was genius taking Luke Joeckel with the second overall pick. You needed to protect Blaine Gabbert next season, and Joeckel should be able to provide that. After selection Joeckel, I thought Jacksonville went after jokers and defensive backs. The jokers were Ace Sanders and Denard Robinson. Sanders, at 5-8, projects as a monster kick returner and slot receiver. Robinson could play anywhere out the backfield, and if his hands improve, he could be a weapon. The secondary picks of Jonathan Cyprien, Dwayne Gratz, and Josh Evans could help improve an average pass defense, and if Jeremy Harris or Demetrius McCray could provide production as a rookie, the Jaguars could be interesting.

Tennessee Titans- Grade: A

1. Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama

2. Justin Hunter, WR, Tennessee

3. Blidi Wreh-Wilson, CB, Connecticut

3. Zaviar Gooden, OLB, Missouri

4. Brian Schwenke, C, California

5. Lavar Edwards, DE, LSU

6. Kahlid Wooten, CB, Nevada

7. Daimion Stafford, FS, Nebraska

Jake Locker and Chris Johnson have to be excited over the selection of Chance Warmack. The Titans now have two players who can open holes at the guard position for Johnson and could protect Locker from interior pass rushers. Justin Hunter comes in as someone who could replace Kenny Britt while putting pressure on Damian Williams, Nate Washington, and Kendall Wright. Blidi Wreh-Wilson and Lavar Edwards seem like two picks that could be potential backups as rookies, and Brian Schwenke will also see snaps as a rookie. Overall, a good draft for Tennessee after going defense heavy in free agency, and now there's no excuses for Jake Locker this upcoming season. 

Indianapolis Colts- Grade: C-

1. Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida St.

3. Hugh Thornton, OG, Illinois

4. Khaled Holmes, C, USC

5. Montori Hughes, DT, Tennessee-Martin

6. John Boyett, FS, Oregon

7. Kerwynn Williams, RB, Utah St.

7. Justice Cunningham, TE, South Carolina

I didn’t get it. Bjoern Werner was a nice pick, but after that? You lost me. Hugh Thornton was a nice pick, but Khaled Holmes could’ve gone undrafted. Montori Hughes had a great senior bowl at both defensive end and nose tackle in a 3-4 defense, and John Boyett has the awareness and hands most want from a backup safety. The last two draft picks should’ve been spent on the offensive line, but I can’t be mad. I just feel like this class could be solid backups, but other than Werner and Thornton, I’m curious to see how much this class actually helps this season. From an outside view, the Colts are really looking for a huge sophomore season from Andrew Luck.

Houston Texans Grade: B

1. DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Clemson

2. D.J. Swearinger, FS, South Carolina

3. Brennan Williams, OT, North Carolina

3. Sam Montgomery, DE, LSU

4. Trevardo Williams, OLB, Connecticut

6. David Quessenberry, OT, San Jose St.

6. Alan Bonner, WR, Jacksonville St.

6. Chris Jones, DT, Bowling Green

6. Ryan Griffin, TE, Connecticut

It’s not the first round pick that bothered me, but the third round pick. Sounds pretty silly, huh? I think the Texans needed a legitimate receiver and DeAndre Hopkins fits the bill. D.J Swearinger could make an instant impact opposite of Ed Reed. Two huge offensive linemen picks- Brennan Williams and David Quessenberry- could help solidify an average offensive line. The Trevardo Williams pick was interesting because I thought he was more of an inside linebacker in a 3-4 defense, but with Cushing coming back from injury, I guess it made sense. The only gripe I had about this draft is the lack of the QB position. You have Matt Schaub, who looks like he clearly peaked in the playoffs. You have T.J. Yates, who seems like the perfect backup. I would’ve taken a chance on Matt Barkley in round three over going Sam Montgomery.

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