We are little less than a month away from the 2012 NFL Draft. Here is a look at what is going on with teams in the AFC South, as well as some college prospects that could be 1st and 2nd round picks for each team.
Indianapolis Colts: The Indianapolis Colts are losing personnel and changing a philosophy that has been the forefront of a championship caliber team for the last decade. They lost their franchise quarterback in Peyton Manning. Lucky for them, Curtis Painter is less than mediocre, so they are treated with the #1 overall selection in the upcoming draft. New head coach Chuck Pagano will likely work towards a power running game on offense and a 34 look on defense. Defensive end Dwight Freeney has made it known he does not wish to stand up in a 34, so his roll may not change much, but look for Mathis to be an OLB/DE hybrid for Pagano’s club. The Colts were the worst team in the league last year, so it shouldn’t be a surprise they have needs at quarterback, wide receiver, tight end, cornerback, linebacker, defensive tackle, and center.
#1: Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford/ Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor
#34: Orson Charles, TE, Georgia/ Dwayne Allen, TE, Clemson/ Alameda Ta’amu, DT, Washington
Jacksonville Jaguars: The Jacksonville Jaguars are one star defensive end from being a force on defense. With that said, their offense is abysmal. They need help all over the place except at running back. Blaine Gabbert may be their future franchise quarterback, but they will never know unless they keep him upright and surround him with talent. They brought in wide receiver Laurent Robinson, but he is a #2 receiver at best. They need two more weapons on offense to allow wide receiver Mike Thomas to be in the slot where he belongs. Tebow mania isn’t happening, so the Jaguars front office needs to be on their A game and get a blue chip player in the first round that can not only sell tickets, but help this franchise get out of the hole it has fallen into.
#7: Quinton Coples, DE, UNC/ Reilly Reiff, OT, Iowa/ Melvin Ingram, DE, South Carolina/ Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame
#38: Andre Branch, DE, Clemson/ Chandler Jones, DE, Syracuse/ Alshon Jeffery, WR, South Carolina
Tennessee Titans: The Titans missed out on Peyton Manning, lost Jason Jones, Finnegan and Avery, but did sign free agent guard Steve Hutchinson and defensive end Kamerion Wimbley. Hutch is a vet lineman that will help on the field and in the locker room. Wimbley is a pure pass rusher with abilities nobody on the roster possesses but him. These acquisitions give Tennessee some flexibility with the first pick. They still have holes a center, defensive end, defensive tackle, corner, safety, and could use depth at linebacker and wide receiver. Per sources, Titans staff put Alabama safety Mark Barron through drills at his pro day today.
#20: Nick Perry, DE, USC/ Whitney Mercilus, DE, Illinois/Stephon Gilmore, CB, South Carolina/ Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama/ Fletcher Cox, DT, Miss. State/ Mark Barron, S, Alabama
#52: Cam Johnson, DE, UVA/ Brandon Thompson, DT, Clemson/ Harrison Smith, S, Notre Dame
Houston Texans: The Texans have been active in free agency thus far. They resigned core players Arian Foster and Chris Meyers to long term deals, but lost impact guys like Mario Williams, Demeco Ryans, Mike Brisiel and Eric Winston. Those will be some hard cleats to fill. Brooks Reid and Connor Barwin will be able to offset the loss of Mario and Demeco Ryans played less than 60% of the defensive snaps last season. The losses on the offensive line may hurt the most. Despite question marks at guard and right tackle the Texans will likely look for an offensive weapon to go opposite Andre Johnson.
#26: Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor/ Stephen Hill, WR, GT
#58: Andre Branch, DE, Clemson/ Zebrie Sanders, OT, FSU
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