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The Turf Draft Grades: AFC South

With the NFL Draft just passing, we at the Turf will be breaking down draft grades by division. This piece focuses on the AFC South Division.

NFL Draft Chicago 2016 by swimfinfan is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

The Turf Draft Grades: AFC South

Estimated Reading Time: 5 Minutes

The NFL Draft has come and gone and we all have our opinions about the draft. Who had the best draft, who had the worst draft, who reached the most, who got a steal? Myself and a few other writers for The Turf are breaking down each teams drafts by divisions. This edition will be focused on AFC South division that is made up of Jacksonville Jaguars, Indianapolis Colts, Houston Texans and the host city of the draft Tennessee Titans.

Jacksonville Jaguars: A-

Best Pick: Josh Allen, EDGE, 1st Rd, Pick 7

I love the first 4 picks of this draft. Once again, the Jags have pulled first-round talent in both the first and second round. This year the Jaguars were in line to pick an Offensive Lineman or Tight End with the 7th overall pick. By the time the 7th round pick came up, Josh Allen was still on the board. This was hard to pass up, so instead of addressing an immediate need, they went for a very impactful player. To me, Allen was the steal of the first round. Not one analyst predicted him to make it past pick 3. Jaguars add a lethal edge rusher to hopefully get them to “Sacksonville 2.0”. General Manager Dave Caldwell also confirms that Allen will be filling the void left by the Dante Fowler Jr. trade.

In the 2nd round, the Jags traded up to grab their guy with the 35th pick. Moving up three spots from 38th, they picked Jawaan Taylor from the University of Florida. Many had them pegged as a first-round pairing. In the third round, they added aggressive small school Linebacker Quincy Williams out of the basketball school Murray State. He’s the brother of 3rd overall pick Quinnen Williams and the Jags are hoping the gene pool runs deep.

They receive and A- minus from me because I wanted them to be more aggressive with Safety. They were one pick away from landing Alabama Deionte Thompson in the 4th round and had they done that, this would be hands down best draft.

Indianapolis Colts: A-

Best Pick: Rock Ya-Sin, Corner Back, 2nd Rd, Pick 34

I have to give the Colts an A based off their choice of former NFL players to announce the picks. The Colts selected former greats Reggie Wayne and Pat McAfee to announce their 2nd round and 3rd round picks. These moments by the former Colts absolutely stole the show. It was entertaining, to say the least.

Despite not having a first round pick due to trades, Indianapolis still turned in a very impressive draft. Some would say they drafted in a patriot manner. Impressing you with each pick, even though they are starting at a rounds worth of disadvantage.

Even though they didn’t have a first-round pick they hauled in first round talent. Rock Ya-Sin is projected to be a starter and is already up for Name of the Year. Parris Campbell is a dynamic receiver added to a talented crew. Oh, and in case you missed it, Pat McAfee already declared LB Bobby Okereke a future Hall of Famer.

Houston Texans: C

Best Pick: Tytus Howard, Tackle, 1st Rd, Pick 23

I give the Houston Texans a C for effort. Personally, I think they should have gone Offensive Line with every pick. They have a special talent and a good defense now. Priority number one should be protecting the QB. At least they added some players along the line with two of their first 3 picks. While also adding a long athletic corner in the 2nd round.

While Tytus Howard is a freak athlete who once played Quarterback and basketball in High School, he now stands 6’5″ and 322 lbs. Tytus, having played Quarterback, knows what it takes to protect the QB. I don’t feel as though Tytus Howard was the guy that the Texans were targeting. I believe they were content on waiting for Andre Dillard to fall them at 23. When the Eagles traded up and jumped over the Texans to select Andre Dillard, the Texans panicked and pulled the trigger on Howard.

Both Tytus Howard and Max Scharping (2nd rd, pick 53) have great upside but have faced little competition at small schools. That’s often times not the biggest problem with Lineman, but still, you’d like to see prospects against formidable competition. Though this draft maybe ugly, Texans are resilient people who have seen worse.

Tennessee Titans: B

Best Pick: Jeffrey Simmons, Defensive Tackle, 1st Rd, Pick 19

The Titans had a great draft and if their first selection would be likely to play this year, they would have received an A grade from me. Unfortunately, the Titans took a chance on a player who has major upside but will likely not be an immediate factor.

The selection of Simmons also comes with a lot of weight. Simmons has been through his own controversy even before stepping on a collegiate campus. Simmons was involved in an altercation that included him punching a female. A tough, if not damn near impossible action to recover from. He did it to himself and he wears the responsibility. He has taken that moment and turned it into Academic All-SEC Honors as well as Athletic All-American Honors, just to mention a few.

The Titans also selected stud receiver AJ Brown from Ole Miss. He is wildly overlooked because he played next to an often injured, physical freak in DK Metcalf. Most people have AJ Brown as the better of the two receivers but Metcalf has the huge upside. I still expect Brown to emerge as a top 2 receiver on this team.

Baltimore made me. Duval raised me. New York saved me. I'm a Jags fan for life and don't ever disrespect it. I'm Duval Til' We Die #DTWD. Florida Gators over everybody. Dodgers to win it all. Since moving to NYC I have become a Brooklyn Nets fan and am still trying to pick a hockey team. Those are my main rooting interest. I'm the head NFL Writer for the Turf. You can also catch me on Amplified Network where I co-host a podcast called "60 minute suspension" highlighting all off field activity covering all sports. I'm also a very big hip hop fan. You may find some rhymes from my favorite songs in my writing.

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