Friday, April 29, 2011

Round 1 Draft Grades: AFC South

Tennessee Titans (8): Jake Locker, QB Washington                                              Grade: C
         There was not a bigger Jake Locker supporter in 2010 than me, but he regressed as a passer this year at Washington.  It was not all his fault for his WR dropped as many passes as they possibly could, but Locker's accuracy in the pocket while under pressure was poor.  In the NFL, defenses try to knock the QB off the spot, but keep them in the pocket.  Taking a QB in this spot was not a bad idea for the Titans, but Blaine Gabbert was still on the board and should have been the pick.

Jacksonville Jaguars (10 via trade): Blaine Gabbert                                              Grade: B+
          It was simply shocking that Gabbert was the third QB off the board, but Jacksonville is thanking all 9 teams below them and snagged Gabbert at a discount.  Gabbert will have the opportunity to sit and watch another mobile quarterback in Gerrard navigate the pocket.  Hopefully for Jacksonville, Gabbert has more throwing skills than Gerrard.  Great pick, but didn't address any glaring needs.

Houston Texans (11): J.J. Watt, DE/OLB Wisconsin                                             Grade: A
        Perfect pick for new defensive coordinator Wade Phillips.  Phillips' philosophy to protect a poor secondary is to have a superior pass rush, and with Mario Williams on one side and J.J. Watt on the other, AFC south QB's should be worried.

Indianapolis Colts (22): Anthony Castonzo, OT Boston College                            Grade: A
        The rich get richer.  Perfect fit, perfect pick, perfect situation.  Castonzo has all the tools to protect Peyton Manning until Manning retires.  Manning got hit and took more sacks than almost every other year.  The face of the franchise needed some protection and the second best tackle fell right into their laps.  Slam dunk.

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