Posted on: April 30, 2008 8:35 am

Draft Round-Up III AFC South

Will the South rise again?  Let's take a look:
Houston Texans - Here's a team that thought needs-based in their strategy, but should have pulled the trigger on trading up.  Instead, they traded down and drafted Duane Brown (OT) from Virginia Tech #26 overall.  He's 6'4" & 315 lbs with good pass-blocking skills, but suspect run-blocking skills.  He was a reach this high, but Houston saw a run of Tackles early and made the move down taking what was left.  They reached again in the 3rd round with another need for the Texans at Cornerback with Antwaun Molden from Eastern Kentucky (Steve My-GEEE!). He's quick, but his coverage skills are in doubt.  Steve Slaton (RB) from West Virginia was next in the 3rd round.  At worst, he's a third-down back who's prone to injury.  At best, he'll put on some weight without losing any of his 4.5 speed and become an everyday back.  The Texans made a great pick with Xavier Adibi (OLB) in the 4th round from Virginia Tech.  While his run-stuffing ability is raw, he flows well in coverage and is instinctive to the ball.  The 5th round was Houston's big "maybe" pick with Frank Okam (DT) from Texas.  He's 6'4" & 345 lbs.  The coaches feel if they can keep his weight down to 320 or so, his inconsistent motor will become more dependable.  Dominique Barber (S) from Minnesota {Marion's brother} & Alex Brink (QB) from Wash. St. rounded out the draft for Houston.  Barber has a much better chance of making the team as a run-stuffing back.  Grade: C-
Tennessee Titans - A draft of tweeners, reaches and occasional positive surprises is how I would quantify the Titans' this weekend.  Chris Johnson, insert "who?" here, (RB) from East Carolina was the #24 overall for Tennessee.  He's light at 197 lbs., but fast beyond fast at 4.25.  Size and his ability to play between the Tackles makes this a bit of a reach to me.  Jason Jones (DE/DT) from Eastern Michigan was taken in the 2nd round.  Too slow to be an End and too small to be a D-Tackle, the Titans will probably still try him at DE first.  Tight End Craig Stevens from Cal was selected in the 3rd round.  The system he played in didn't really utilize the TE as a receiver, but Stevens is a good run-blocker which Alge Crumpler does NOT do for them.  Still, he could have been had later on.  Tweener #2 came in the 4th round in the form of William Hayes (DE) from Winston-Salem.  At 258 lbs., Tennessee will probably try to get him to shed a couple of pounds and more to OLB.  Lavelle Hawkins (WR) from Cal was a nice pick in the mid-4th round.  In this bad crop of WRs, he & Cal teammate DeSean Jackson look to immediately deliver in the NFL.  Stanford Keglar (OLB) from Purdue will provide depth and a solid special-teams player in the short-term for the Titan.  In the 7th round came Craig Williams (CB) from Washburn who has height and speed, but no experience against top-tier talents.  Grade: C
Jacksonville Jaguars - A trade with Baltimore gave Jacksonville the #8 pick overall (gave up 1-1st round pick, 2 -3rds, & 1 - 4th) and they selected Derrick Harvey (DE) from Florida.  This and their 2nd-rounder, Quentin Groves (DE) from Auburn, addressed an enormous need that they couldn't deal with in free agency, but was it necessary to move up to #8 and give up those picks.  They could have moved up to around #14, given up less and still gotten Harvey.  They also traded up to get Groves.  It's a dilemma for me, since Grady Jackson should provide "stability" to the middle of the line and two speed guys provide the edge-rush necessary for pressure, but was it too much?  The Jags weren't heard from again due to the trades 'til the 5th round with Thomas Williams (OLB) from USC who didn't even start for the Men of Troy.  He was a back-up to three 1st-round picks, though.  Trae Williams (CB) from USF was also selected in the 5th round.  Numbers comparable to former teammate & 1st-round pick Mike Jenkins make this a solid pick for the Jags.  In the 7th round, Chauncey Washington (RB) from USC was Jacksonville's final pick.  His academic problems and occasional injury couldn't completely blind the team to his good size and quickness through the hole.  Grade: B-
Indianapolis Colts - How would you like to be Jeff Saturday, pro-bowl Center for the Colts, and see 3 people drafted at your position?  Granted most of the draftees will be "moved" to Guard, it's gotta make you wonder.  Mike Pollak (C) from Arizona State was the first with pick #59 (2nd round).  Tall for a Center at 6'3", he may get moved to Guard in the short-term to see playing time immediately.  Philip Wheeler (ILB) from Ga. Tech came in the 3rd round has the size (6'2" & 248 lbs.) to be successful in the middle, but will need to hone his run-stuffing.  The 4th round brought the Colts an oversized Wide Receiver in Jacob Tamme (TE) from Kentucky.  He's torn both labrums while in school and it sure doesn't seem like it's from blocking too much.  Marcus Howard (OLB) from Georgia is a gem that fell to Indy in the 5th round.  He has great speed (4.45) and good size (6'0" & 235 lbs.) to translate into another solid Linebacker for Coach Dungy. The remaining 5 picks saw the Colts looking for depth with those other 2 Centers, another Tight End, a Wide Receiver & Mike Hart (RB) from Michigan in the 6th round.  Here's a pick that sure can't hurt the team given Hart's numbers in school.  Grade: B
Looks to me like the rich got richer & the poor showed why they were poor.
Category: NFL
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com