We are now sliding into the AFC to continue our best and worst draft pick series. More specifically, we are going into the AFC South. The Jaguars surprised everybody last year by dominating the south. The Titans made the playoffs, and lost in the divisional round. Things were looking bright for the Texans before Watson got hurt. Colts quarterback Andrew Luck is finally going to be back. We could see a very competitive AFC South next year. So to win this tough division, it’s important to draft well. Let’s look at the best and worst draft picks for each team in the AFC South!
Best Pick- Offensive Tackle Martinas Rankin
The Texans did not have any picks in the first two rounds of the NFL draft, but they nailed it in round three. Justin Reid and Martinas Rankin were both great picks in the 3rd round. I think Rankin is the better pick because of team need. The Texans’ offensive line last year was just awful, and that’s a nice way to put it. They need an upgrade at about every position on the line, and Rankin can play anywhere on the line. Scouts think Rankin is best suited for right tackle, but with a desperate need to protect Watson, he will probably play left tackle for at least this year. No matter where Rankin plays, the Texans got a big boost on their offensive line.
Worst Pick- Defensive End Duke Ejiofor
There really isn’t a problem with Ejiofor. He suffered a shoulder injury, and that caused him to fall in the draft. However, scouts said the shoulder injury shouldn’t be an issue. The problem with this pick is the scheme fit. He was a 4-3 defensive end in college, but the Texans run a 3-4. Texans have labeled Ejiofor as the rushing outside linebacker. If the transition goes great, he can be a productive player. That’s a big if, though. It’s not easy to transition into a new position in your rookie year. He’ll have to learn a lot of new techniques. If he doesn’t transfer into the new position like the Texans think he can, Ejiofor won’t pan out for the Texans.
Best Pick: Defensive End/Edge Harold Landry
Landry falling to the 2nd round was just madness. He posses many elite qualities. Landry is great at pass rushing. He has a great dip move to get past tackles. He’s very effective with his hands. Even better for the Titans, he fits their defense. The Titans got an elite pass rusher who should of gone earlier. Reasons he slightly fell are unknown, but the biggest theory is his durability. However, injuries have never caused a major setback for him.
Worst Pick- Cornerback Dane Cruickshank
The Titans only had four draft picks, so choosing a worst pick was complicated. There was no problem with this pick. Evans and Landry are day one starters, and Luke Faulk will be the backup to Mariota, which is important. So out of the four, Cruickshank was the least impactful.
Best Pick- Wise Receiver Deon Cain
The Colts made sure to fix their struggling offense. They added many weapons, and Cain is one of them. Cain was under appreciated at Clemson. He ran a 4.4 forty, and has great size. Standing at 6’2, he’s good with jump balls. He gets physical when the ball is in the air. He’s an exciting player that is fun to watch when he gets the ball in his hands. He needs to work on his route tree and separation before he can be a full time impactful player. Cain can be a very affective weapon for the Colts this year.
Worst Pick- Running back Nyheim Hines
There’s no problem with Hines. He’s a very fast running back, running a 4.38 forty. He’s on the smaller side, only standing at 5’8. He’s not an every-down back because of how small he is. But that’s not why it’s a bad pick. This is a bad pick because Hines is very similar to their current running back, Marlon Mack. It’ll be hard to fit both of them in, because their play style is almost exactly the same.
Best Pick- Safety Ronnie Harrison
Instead of reaching for team need, the Jaguars go for the best player available in Ronnie Harrison. Sure, safety wasn’t a team need for the Jaguars, but they got great value. Harrison is really good at reading the quarterback’s eyes. He’s a downhill hitter who will smack you. Harrison has a lot to work to do before he starts. He needs to work on wrapping up, and zone coverage before he can start. But both of the Jaguars’ safeties are under contract until 2020, so he has time to develop.
Worst Pick- Quarterback Tanner Lee
Jaguars had the right idea here in wanting to find a good backup. However, Lee was not the best option. Quarterbacks such as Logan Woodside and JT Barrett seemed like better options. Lee doesn’t have much potential, so the Jaguars are just going to use him as a backup. Best case scenario for Lee is for him to be a really good backup. That’s about how high his ceiling is.