2018 NFL Draft In Review, AFC South

Houston Texans

Draft picks: Stanford S Justin Reid (No. 68 overall), Mississippi State OT Martinas Rankin(No. 80 overall), UCF TE Jordan Akins (No. 98 overall), Texas Tech WR Keke Coutee (No. 103 overall), Wake Forest LB Duke Ejiofor (No. 177 overall), Mississippi State TE Jordan Thomas (No. 211 overall), Stanford LB Peter Kalambayi (No. 214 overall), San Jose State CB Jermaine Kelly (No. 222 overall). 

The Texans moved up last year to take Watson leaving the cupboard a little bear in terms of draft capital for this season. Justin Reid is a great find in the third round and is a very savvy player who should start many seasons in the NFL. Expect Reid to be on the field as a rookie. Rankin is another potential starter and it will be interesting to see if he lines up at tackle or somewhere inside. Selecting Akins over Ian Thomas to address TE position was a very perplexing decision. Ejiofor is a versatile player that was great value at pick 177 and could develop into a player at DE or as an edge rusher in Houston. Coutee is a WR that might benefit from having Hopkins lining up outside if he wins some time in the slot.

Indianapolis Colts

Draft picks: Notre Dame OG Quenton Nelson (No. 6 overall), South Carolina State LB Darius Leonard (No. 36 overall), Auburn OG Braden Smith (No. 37 overall), Rutgers DE Kemoko Turay (No. 52 overall), Ohio State DE Tyquan Lewis (No. 64 overall), N.C. State RB Nyheim Hines (No. 104 overall), Northern Iowa WR Daurice Fountain (No. 159 overall), Mississippi RB Jordan Wilkins (No. 169 overall), Clemson WR Deon Cain (No. 185 overall), Houston LB Mathew Adams (No. 221 overall), Syracuse LB Zaire Franklin (No. 235 overall). 

The Colts needed to address a lot of areas of need during the draft to fill in some holes on the roster. The Colts did well to pick one of the best players in the entire draft at number six in Quenton Nelson. Interior offensive line might not be a glamourous position but it fills a need and Nelson is going to be amongst the best at the position in the NFL for a decade. The Colts landed several good players although they seemed to reach on several of them. Leonard is an off-the ball WLB who is athletic, yet small, and is coming from a small program that doesn’t face top competition often. Braden Smith is a bully at guard and will help the run game but also came off the board at least a round earlier than expected. Turay is a heck of an athlete who just hasn’t produced for one reason or another at Rutgers and will be a nice project for the Colts to develop. Tyquan Lewis had a disappointing season at Ohio State following a superb junior season the year before. Lewis might help early on by rushing from the inside on passing downs. Like some of the other names mentioned it was surprising that he was taken as early as he was. Nyheim Hines is an electric prospect and is a player that all of you fantasy players might want to take a flyer on. Fountain is a nice pick at WR but it might be Deon Cain that turns out to be the steal in the draft lasting all the way to pick 185 somehow.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Draft picks: Florida DT Taven Bryan (No. 29 overall), LSU WR DJ Chark (No. 61 overall), Alabama S Ronnie Harrison (No. 93 overall), N.C. State OT Will Richardson (No. 129 overall), Nebraska QB Tanner Lee (No. 203 overall), Wisconsin LB Leon Jacobs (No. 230 overall), Mississippi State P Logan Cooke (No. 247 overall). 

It is very unusual to see Jacksonville picking as late in the draft as they did this year-but it looks like we should start getting used to it. The Jaguars are a well-coached team without many glaring weaknesses. Jacksonville is lacking a true number one WR as Allen Robinson has departed, they could use someone to compete at MLB to replace Posluszny, and they could use a young QB to develop. The way the board fell to Jacksonville it doesn’t seem as though Jacksonville was able to completely satisfy any of those needs although they did get better as they landed some good players. Bryan might develop into a player that can get in the backfield and disrupt the play. He will benefit from the depth that Jacksonville possesses at the position as he can transition to the league in more of a specified role with the team early on. Harrison can cover and hit. He will add some nasty to a defense that is not lacking in that department. Chark is one of the better athletes in the draft and has a ton of potential to develop into a solid vertical threat. Richardson comes with some off-field issues but has the size and strength that will suit Jacksonville’s power running style. Jacksonville took a flyer on Lee but don’t expect him to be the type of prospect that can push Bortles.

Tennessee Titans

Draft picks: Alabama LB Rashaan Evans (No. 22 overall), Boston College edge rusher Harold Landry (No. 41 overall), Arizona S Dane Cruikshank (No. 152 overall), Washington State QB Luke Falk (No. 199 overall). 
The Titans went for quality over quantity this year and were able to find a couple of very good players at positions of need. Evans looks like a sure bet to start as a rookie inside and is going to be an excellent fit in Vrabel’s defense. Tennessee is still getting good play out of Derrick Morgan and Brian Orakpo off the edge but it was time to add some youth to the position. Landry might end up being one of the best value picks of this year’s draft as he has freakish bend and speed off the corner. Landry wasn’t the closer that he was in his previous season but injuries were a factor. Cruikshank is a corner/safety tweener that might develop into a nice matchup player on Sundays. Luke Falk has limitations as a QB but it was a nice value at 199 and he might develop into a dependable backup in the league.

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