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NFL Draft Review: Jaguars stack offence in AFC South

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The Sports Network
5/14/2014 2:19:54 PM
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Houston Texans

1 (1) - Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina; 2 (33) - Xavier Su'a-Filo, OG, UCLA; 3 (65) - C.J. Fiedorowicz, TE, Iowa; 3 (83) - Louis Nix, NT, Notre Dame; 4 (135) - Tom Savage, QB, Pittsburgh; 6 (177) - Jeoffrey Pagan, DE, Alabama; 6 (181) - Alfred Blue, RB, LSU; 6 (211) - Jay Prosch, FB, Auburn; 7 (216) - Andre Hall, CB, Vanderbilt; 7 (256) - Lonnie Ballentine, FS, Memphis

Top Picks Analysis: Houston, was expected to address its muddled quarterback situation early in this draft but days one and two came and went as the Texans scored with value picks through the third round.

Superstar defensive end Jadeveon Clowney was a no-brainer for the Texans at No. 1 overall once the organization couldn't extract a king's ransom for his services. After that, the Texans found plug-and-play starters at both Nos. 33 and 83, UCLA offensive guard Xavier Su'a-Filo and Notre Dame nose tackle Louis Nix.

And in between those two picks, Houston GM Rick Smith was able to garner one of the better two-way tight ends in the draft, C.J. Fiedorowicz of Iowa.

Best Value Pick: There was no sense of urgency at the game's most important position, leading many to speculate that Smith and new head coach Bill O'Brien were honing in on Tom Brady's backup in New England, Ryan Mallett. In the end the 6-foot-7 Mallett may still end up in south Texas but if he gets there he will have some extra competition because Smith was able to provide O'Brien another Joe Flacco-sized thrower by snaring the 6-foot-4, 228-pound Tom Savage in the fourth round.

Barring Mallet's arrival Savage will be competing against a triumvirate which includes veteran free agent signee Ryan Fitzpatrick as well as youngsters Case Keenum and T.J. Yates, who have both been given limited opportunities by the Texans in the past but have hardly set the world on fire.

"I'm just going to have to come in there and work and compete and that's all you can really ask for," Savage said. "I think I obviously have a lot to learn and I went 1,024 days without playing football and played one year at Pitt. I think I have a lot to improve. I'm excited to just get in there and start working."

Questionable Calls: If a deep quarterback draft, at least when it comes to prospects, it might have been more prudent for the Texans to address the position sooner with a more NFL-ready prospect.

Summary: When you possess the No. 1 overall pick, you should do well and Houston did. Three likely starters and potential at the quarterback position point toward success.

FINAL GRADE: A

Undrafted rookie free agent signings: WR Nathan Slaughter, West Texas A&M; LB Max Bullough, Michigan State; K Chris Boswell, Rice; DE Cory Henry, Florida Atlantic; WR Josh Stewart, Oklahoma; TE Anthony Denham, Utah; WR Travis Labhart, Texas A&M; OT Chris Martin, Central Florida; OT Matt Feiler, Bloomsburg; OG Kevin Forsch, Houston; OT Bryan Witzmann, South Dakota State; WR Anthony McClung, Cincinnati; TE Chris Coyle, Arizona State; LB Chris McAlister, Baylor; LB Terrance Lloyd, Baylor; LB Chris Young, Arizona State; LB Jason Ankrah, Nebraska; DT Tyrone Ezell, Pittsburgh; DT Austin Brown, Miami-Ohio; CB Marcus Williams, North Dakota State; DT Julius Warmsley, Tulane; S Theo Alexander, Southeast Louisiana; DB Nick Addison, Bethune- Cookman

Indianapolis Colts

2 (59) - Jack Mewhort, OL, Ohio State; 3 (90) - Donte Moncrief, WR, Ole Miss; 5 (166) - Jonathan Newsome, DE, Ball State; 6 (203) - Andrew Jackson, ILB, Western Kentucky; 7 (232) - Ulrick John, OT, Georgia State

Top Picks Analysis: The Colts did not have a first-round pick because of general manager Ryan Grigson's ill-fated trade for disappointing running back Trent Richardson.

Indianapolis badly needed help on the interior offensive line and used its first pick (No. 59 overall) on Ohio State's Jack Mewhort, who played tackle on the college level but projects inside.

Third-round pick Donte Moncrief is a big, raw receiver, who should add to what already is shaping up as a far deeper group of pass catchers for Andrew Luck (Reggie Wayne, Hakeem Nicks, Ty Hilton, Da'Rick Rogers).

Best Value Pick: Seventh-round offensive tackle Ulrick John out of Georgia State has the frame and long arms to be something but needs to add strength.

Questionable Calls: Dealing a first-round pick for Richardson, who showed no explosion as a runner while Ii Cleveland and even less with the Colts, is inexcusable.

Summary: The T-Rich deal put Grigson in a bind and there wasn't much he could do to salvage this draft.

FINAL GRADE: C-

Undrafted rookie free agent signings: QB Seth Lobato, Northern Colorado; S Dewey McDonald, California (PA); CB Keon Lyn, Syracuse; G Marcus Hall, Ohio State; RB Zurlon Tipton, Central Michigan; DE Tyler Hoover, Michigan State; DT Zack Kerr, Delaware; OL Eric Shultz, Utah State; DT Nnamdi Ubokwelu, Harvard; G Josh Walker, Middle. Tennessee State; WR Tony Washington, Appalachian State; WR Jordan Harris, Bryant; S Anthony Baskin, Carson-Newman; CB Qua Cox, Jackson State; K Cody Parkey, Auburn; WR Eric Thomas, Troy WR Greg Moore, Lane College; RB Brandon Oliver, Buffalo; CB Darius Polk, Kent State; C Jonotthan Harrison, Florida; CB Louchiez Purifoy, Florida

Jacksonville Jaguars

1 (3) - Blake Bortles, QB, Central Florida; 2 (39) - Marqise Lee, WR, USC; 2 (61) - Allen Robinson, WR, Penn State; 3 (93) - Brandon Linder, OG, Miami; 4 (114) - Aaron Colvin, CB, Oklahoma; 5 (144) - Telvin Smith, ILB, Florida State; 5 (159) - Chris Smith, DE, Arkansas; 6 (205) - Luke Bowanko, OC, Virginia; 7 (222) Storm Johnson, RB, Central Florida

Top Picks Analysis: The Jags' sent Radio City Music Hall into a tizzy by selecting Central Florida quarterback Blake Bortles with the third overall pick and bypassing higher-rated talents like Clemson wide receiver Sammy Watkins and Buffalo linebacker Khalil Mack.

Jacksonville was looking for the answer at the game's most important position, after pulling the plug on 2011 first-round pick Blaine Gabbert in the offseason, sending the former Mizzou star to San Francisco to be Colin Kaepernick's new backup.

At 6-foot-5 and 230 pounds Bortles brings prototypical size to the table and many have compared him to Ben Roethlisberger, although it remains to seen if he shows the same kind if innate escapeability as "Big Ben."

With Justin Blackmon suspended moving forward Jags' GM David Caldwell added a pair of receivers for Bortles in the second round, USC's Marqise Lee and Penn State's Allen Robinson.

The third round brought interior offensive line help with Miami offensive guard Brandon Linder, a steady, if unspectacular prospect.

Best Value Pick: Fourth-round cornerback Aaron Colvin of Oklahoma was likely going to be a Day 2 pick at worst if he didn't suffer a knee injury before the Senior Bowl. Jacksonville will have to redshirt him for a year but may have found a difference maker if he rehabs well.

Questionable Calls: There is just no way you can consider Bortles one of the three best prospects in the is draft so there is no question that Jacksonville overreached a bit.

The Jags did re-sign Chad Henne as a bridge and an insurance policy in the offseason, meaning they could have bypassed the position at No. 3 overall and looked for the answer in the second round with the 39th overall selection.

Summary: Bortles' future will not only define this draft for Jacksonville, it will also define the fates of both Caldwell and head coach Gus Bradley in the Sunshine State.

FINAL GRADE: B-

Undrafted rookie free agent signings: WR Allen Hurns, Miami; QB Stephen Morris, Miami; G Tyler Shatley, Clemson; RB Terreance Cobb, Cumberlands (Ky.); TE D.J. Tialavela, Utah State; TE Marcel Jensen, Fresno State; OT Josh Wells, James Madison; FB Maurice Hagens, Miami; CB Rashaad Reynolds, Oregon State; S Craig Loston, LSU; TE Reggie Jordan, Missouri Western; P Chad Zinchini, Tennessee Tech; DT Ricky Havili-Heimuli, Oregon; WR Brandon Wimberly, Nevada; LB Spencer Shuey, Clemson; K Jeff Budzein, Kansas State; DL DeAndre Coleman, California; DB Mike Jordan, Missouri Western; LB Marcus Whitfield, Maryland; S Craig Loston, LSU; WR Damian Copeland, Louisville; LS Trevor Gillette, Rice

Tennessee Titans

1 (11) - Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan; 2 (54) - Bishop Sankey, RB, Washington; 4 (112) - DaQuan Jones, DT, Penn State; 4 (122) - Marqueston Huff, FS, Wyoming; 5 (151) - Avery Williamson, ILB, Kentucky; 6 (178) - Zach Mettenberger, QB, LSU;

Top Picks Analysis: With Michael Roos and Michael Oher on board, tackle wasn't really a need in Nashville but general manager Ruston Webster surveyed the landscape at No. 11 overall and decided Michigan's Taylor Lewan was the best player available.

It's hard to argue with that logic because Lewan has the prototypical length and athletic ability to play tackle in the NFL for a decade or so.

Running back was a need for the Titans because the team moved on from Chris Johnson in the offseason and Washington's Bishop Sankey will have every opportunity to become the bell cow. The second-round pick has a lot of Emmitt Smith qualities in that he is an all-around volume back who does everything pretty well.

Best Value Pick: Tennessee wanted some competition for Jake Locker and they got it in the sixth round with former LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger, who has tremendous size and perhaps the best arm strength in this draft. A diluted urine sample at the scouting combine and some injury concerns pushed Mettenberger down the board.

Questionable Calls: Linebacker Avery Williamson, the Titans' fifth-round pick out of Kentucky, lacks the speed and athletic ability to be anything more than a two-down run stuffer.

Summary: The Titans sandwiched this draft with Lewan, a very good choice, and Mettenberger, a potential steal. In between it was largely by the numbers, run-of-the-mill stuff.

FINAL GRADE: B

Undrafted rookie free agent signings: WR Jaz Reynolds, Oklahoma; C Gabe Ikard, Oklahoma; TE David Wright, Westminster; RB Antonio Andrews, Western Kentucky; DB Gabriel Lynn, Oklahoma; DE James Gayle, Virginia Tech; WR Josh Stewart, Oklahoma State; WR Eric Ward, Texas Tech; K Travis Coons, Washington; OL Justin McCaray, Central Florida; DE Jamall Marell, Rutgers; S Hakeem Smith, Louisville; WR Derel Walker, Texas A&M; CB Rishard Anderson, Syracuse; OL William Poehls, Montana



2014 NFL Draft

The Houston Texans selected defensive end Jadeveon Clowney first overall in the 2014 NFL Draft.


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