Tag: Tennessee Titans

2020 NFL Draft Recap: AFC South

Houston Texans

Favorite Pick: Round 2, Pick 40 Overall – Ross Blacklock, DT, TCU – One could easily argue Blacklock should have gone in the first round, so always good to see a team without a first-round pick get first round value. Blacklock will not be a run-stuffing plugger like they once had in Vince Wilfork, instead he will more often line up over a guard and work to get after the QB, and interior pass rush is becoming more and more important in today’s NFL.

Least Favorite Pick: Round 3, Pick 90 Overall – Jonathan Greenard, Edge, Florida – The value here isn’t poor and there really wasn’t a better edge rusher available at the time, but seeing guys like Bradlee Anae, Curtis Weaver, and Khalid Kareem fall to round five, the Texans would have been off going corner in this spot as I feel there was better value there at the time.

Day Three Sleeper: Round 4, Pick 126 Overall – Charlie Heck, OT, North Carolina – A Heck of a pick here (see what I did there?) The Texans have had plenty of trouble keeping Deshaun Watson upright in recent years, so adding depth to the O-line was definitely a need. Heck will likely never be a starter, but he can fill in at either tackle as a backup and be serviceable in the role.

Undrafted Free Agent to Watch: Scottie Phillips, RB, Ole Miss – David Johnson is not the RB he once was, and Duke Johnson is purely a third down back and the RB depth chart is pretty barren after that for the Texans. This should open up a real opportunity for Phillips to earn a spot on the roster, and potentially as the primary backup to David Johnson. He was not a main target in the passing game in Oxford, but he has good enough hands to catch the ball and he is a big play back if he can get the edge.

Indianapolis Colts

Favorite Pick: Round 2, Pick 34 Overall – Michael Pittman, WR, USC – Watching the draft I immediately gained a soft spot for Pittman as they flashed him in his youth football jersey for the SCVAA Warriors, which happened to be the same organization I played for when I was a kid. After that, I looked at the player and the Colts may finally have a valid option opposite T.Y. Hilton. He was incredibly productive at USC, a Biletnikoff Award finalist, and the bloodlines that come from his father having played 11 seasons in the NFL. Another receiver who would garner first round consideration in another draft, but the depth this year assured he fell to round two.

Least Favorite Pick: Round 2, Pick 41 Overall – Jonathan Taylor, RB, Wisconsin – Looking at the highlights and numbers there is little doubt Taylor would be a favorite pick for the Colts, but the fumbles are too big a concern. He touched the ball more than 300 times in three consecutive seasons and averaged 5 fumbles a season. This means he is a turnover risk every time he touches the ball and he has as much wear and tear as any RB to enter the draft in recent memory, a recipe for disaster.

Day Three Sleeper: Round  4, Pick 122 Overall – Jacob Eason, QB, Washington – With the addition of Eason, the Colts may have the deepest QB room in all of the NFL as they now have Philip Rivers as the starter and Jacoby Brissett as the backup. I fully expected Eason to go on day two of the draft and was shocked to see him still on the board here for the Colts. He is big, potentially too big given recent history at the position, standing 6’6” and with a massive arm. His big problems are inconsistency, but the Colts should have a well above average backup QB and potentially someone who develops in to a quality starter.

Undrafted Free Agent to Watch:  Rodrigo Blankenship, K, Georgia – The Colts had trouble at kicker a season ago as Adam Vinatieri finally started to look his age. Enter the goggle wearing star from Georgia, Rodrigo Blankenship. He may be remembered mostly for his miss against South Carolina, and he had three kicks blocked, but he was 6/9 from 50+ and made 92.7% of his kicks inside 40.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Favorite Pick: Round 2, Pick 42 Overall – Lavishka Shenault Jr., WR, Colorado – I really liked the first three selections by the Jaguars, as C.J. Henderson could become a lock down corner, and K’Lavon Chaisson will slide in as an immediate starter as an edge backer opposite Myles Jack. With Shenault though, the Jags get a multi-faceted playmaker who can score anytime he touches the ball and get do just that via a deep route, bubble screen, or even carrying the ball. He is my early favorite to be my top rookie in fantasy leagues this season.

Least Favorite Pick: Round 3, Pick 73 Overall – DaVon Hamilton, DT, Ohio State – As big a body as there is at DT in the draft, there was little doubt a team would fall in love with Hamilton, but not sure he is worth a third rounder. He only started for Ohio State one season and is athletic for a guy weighing in at 320 lbs., but he isn’t really a run stuffer, and he isn’t really a pass rusher. Overall, he is a guy that is good at a lot, but great at nothing, so the upside is rather limited.

Day Three Sleeper: Round 4, Pick 137 Overall – Josiah Scott, CB, Michigan State – I nearly went with fifth round selection Collin Johnson here, but I feel Scott has the quicker path to impact. He ran a 4.42 40-yard dash at the combine and came away with seven picks in 30 college games, including more than a pass defended a game. If he was a 6’ corner, he would have been day two pick if he had more prototypical size but being just 5’9” he is likely best suited as a slot corner in the NFL.

Undrafted Free Agent to Watch: J.R. Reed, S, Georgia – The Jaguars have actually had a very good UDFA class, but none are expected to shine brighter than Reed. Many had him as an early day three selection, instead he goes undrafted and the Jags were quick to sign him up. He is a smart safety and has the ball skills you expect as the son of former NFL receiver Jake Reed. He can go get the ball in the air and will be able to cover tight ends one-on-one.

Tennessee Titans

Favorite Pick: Round 2, Pick 61 Overall – Kristian Fulton, CB, LSU – I had Fulton as a first-round pick, but he goes near the end of round two. He has the perfect size at 6’ and 195 lbs. while running a 4.46 40-yard dash. There is some concern about the makeup as he was suspended all of 2017 after falsifying a specimen for a drug test, otherwise he would have more tape and likely been a sure fire round one selection.

Least Favorite Pick: None – The Titans didn’t have a phenomenal draft, but I don’t feel they missed with any pick. Darrynton Evans is going to be a really good change of pace option for Derrick Henry, and their first-round pick of Isaiah Wilson should slide right in at right tackle.

Day Three Sleeper: Round 7, Pick 224 Overall – Cole McDonald, QB, Hawaii – Good athleticism, quality touch, looks off defenders well equals a seventh round pick that should be able to earn a spot as a long term backup in the league. His deep ball needs plenty of work, but an athletic game manager isn’t the worst thing to have as QB depth.

Undrafted Free Agent to Watch: Kobe Smith, DT, South Carolina – Often overshadowed by teammate Javon Kinlaw, Smith was the less sexy run stuffer to Kinlaw’s pass rushing acumen. Smith won’t be a guy who gets after the passer but is a guy who can play on early down to help stuff the run. He will never be a stand out star, but he is just the kind of ancillary piece a team needs to stay competitive.

The Good, Bad, and Confusing of NFL Moves

We aren’t even a week into the new league year, but already there have been a ton of moves that will help shape the 2018 NFL season. Here is a quick take on the teams I feel have gotten better, worse, and completely confused.

Better

Chicago Bears – They have parted ways with Mike Glennon after giving the reigns over to Mitch Trubisky and brought in two solid backups. I feel like the idea of Chase Daniel is better than the quarterback Chase Daniel, but he is now in Chicago to be the primary backup and will land high on many people’s lists of top backups in the league. Time will tell if Tyler Bray will make the team, but he is another backup with experience.  The Bears are where highly thought of college receivers go to die, so it is about time they sign a big time receiver, and Allen Robinson gives Trubisky a real number one target. Add Prince Amukamara, Aaron Lyncch, Sam Acho,  and resign Kyle Fuller, and the defense gets a boost as well.

Green Bay Packers – Getting DeShone Kizer as the new backup to Aaron Rodgers is an upgrade, Muhammad Wilkerson for just $5M is all upside, and Jimmy Graham gives Rodgers a scary weapon at tight end. Will be interesting to see how the loss of Jody Nelson will impact the team.

Kansas City Chiefs – They dealt away Alex Smith to make room for Patrick Mahomes and brought in a stud receiver for him in Sammy Watkins. Kendall Fuller will take the place of the departed headache in Marcus Peters, while they also add linebacker Anthony Hitchens to an already solid defense.

Los Angeles Rams – Speaking of Marcus Peters, he is now in LA with the Rams, along with new acquisition Aqib Talib improve the Rams secondary, although they did lose talent up front.

Oakland Raiders – Goodbye Michael Crabtree, make room for Jordy Nelson. In addition to adding a reliable receiver, they are taking their chances on former Pro Bowl running back Doug Martin.

San Francisco 49ers – There won’t be a move that goes further under the radar than the 49ers signing Weston Richburg. He takes over as center along side two underperforming first round guards in Laken Tomlinson and Josh Garnett, making the raw talent in front of Jimmy Garappolo something that could become elite. They replace the departed Carlos Hyde with Jerick McKinnon and were the winners in the rush to get Richard Sherman after he was released.

Tennessee Titans – The Titans had DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry, two backs that run very similarly, but now part ways with Murray and bring in Dion Lewis who will serve as an excellent change of pace back and easy underneath target for Marcus Mariota. They also spend the money get Malcolm Butler as corner, and word is they will allow him to play.

Worse

Dallas Cowboys – Ready for the list of new players the Cowboys have brought in this season? Ok, here it goes:

 

Did you miss it? Yeah, they haven’t brought in anyone of note, their big signing has been the re-signing of their long snapper. Meanwhile they have said goodbye to Anthony Hitchens, Keith Smith will no longer be in at fullback, and Orland Scandrick has been released. Not a good sign for the Cowboys.

New England Patriots – Ok, maybe my fandom is getting in the way here, but I am not one to say “they always lose talent and somehow win the division”. I am one to say “you just traded Jimmy G for practically nothing after sending off Jacoby Brissett in the preseason, who is gonna be the QB of the future?” Add to that the departure of Julian Edelman (I don’t care if he didn’t play last year, he is still the best receiver the team had) and replace him with the always underwhelming Cordarrelle Patterson? Oh, and we already touched on the fact that Dion Lewis and Malcom Butler are gone.

Confused

Arizona Cardinals – Let’s face it, this tweet perfectly sums up the signing of Sam Braford.

 

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But they also sign Mike Glennon, one who we at The Stain have long been fans of. You also bring back Larry Fitzgerald but lose the Brown brothers, John and Jaron (not really brothers).

Cleveland Browns – Ok, you have picks one and four in the draft and seem to be debating between quarterback and running back…so you trade for Tyrod Taylor and sign Carlos Hyde? I am confused. You trade for Jarvis Landry, a very good WR, but you are going to have to give him a very large contract as he is currently under the franchise tag.

New York Jets – The Jets resigned Josh McCown and went out and brought in Teddy Bridgewater, which would be a solid QB room for a team who just might be a few good pieces away from being respectable…so they go out and trade away their 6th overall pick along with picks 37 and 49 and a second next year to jump up to three where they will no doubt add a QB? What a mess.