The NFC South was, wins wise anyway the worst division in the NFL last year but that was largely due to the Texans & Jaguars being really bad. The Titans still ended up with the No 1 seed though helped greatly by going 5-1 in the division. This year Houston & Jacksonville had plenty of draft capital, but did they do enough with it to close the gap on their rivals? Lets see
2021 Finishing Positions
Tennessee Titans 12-5
Indianapolis Colts 9-8
Houston Texans 4-13
Jacksonville Jaguars 3-14
LSU DB Derek Stingley Jr. (No. 3 overall)
Texas A&M OL Kenyon Green (No. 15 overall)
Baylor S Jalen Pitre (No. 37 overall)
Alabama WR John Metchie III (No. 44 overall)
Alabama LB Christian Harris (No. 75 overall)
Florida RB Dameon Pierce (No. 107 overall)
Stanford DT Thomas Booker (No. 150 overall)
Oregon State TE Teagan Quitoriano (No. 170 overall)
LSU OT Austin Deculus (No. 205 overall)
The Texans had two first-round picks (as they could have for the next two years also) thanks to the Deshaun Watson trade and took a bit of a flyer with their first one. We were slightly surprised when they went CB at no 3 and even more so when the pick was Derek Stingley. Not that Stingley doesn’t have potential, it’s more the fact that he has only played 10 games in two seasons thanks to injury and to be fair he has not looked as good as he did in them. Ahmed “Sauce” Gardner went with the next pick and to us looked like a better bet.
They did better with their next pick grabbing the versatile Kenyon Green who can play anywhere across the O-Line apart from Centre and he could probably do that too at a push! When you have so many roster holes getting this level of versatility is great.
They used their two second-round picks well too adding a hard-hitting safety and a wide receiver whose draft stock slipped due to a late-season ACL tear. If Metchie recovers fully and gets back to his best then he could be their best pick for 2022.
The rest of their draft was ok but we were surprised that they didn’t take a single edge rusher given their pass rush was not great in 2021.
Overall Grade B-
They filled a few holes but plenty remain and two of their first four picks do come with a health warning. Still, when you have as much draft capital agoing forward as they have you can afford to take a few risks. Especially when you are not likely to compete for the playoffs in 2022 anyway.
Cincinnati WR Alec Pierce (No. 53 overall)
Virginia TE Jelani Woods (No. 73 overall)
Central Michigan OT Bernhard Raimann (No. 77 overall)
Maryland S Nick Cross (No. 96 overall)
Missouri State DT Eric Johnson (No. 159 overall)
Youngstown State TE Andrew Ogletree (No. 192 overall)
Cincinnati DT Curtis Brooks (No. 216 overall)
Yale DB Rodney Thomas (No. 239 overall)
The Colts gave up their first-rounder in 2022 for the slightly ill-fated Carson Wentz trade and didn’t get to pick until 53 when they took Alec Pierce. He may end up starting as WR3 and looks like a solid pick. They needed extra weapons for the newly acquired Matt Ryan and he will be pleased with that pick.
We were a little perplexed by their TE choices first Jelani Woods who at 6′ 7″ should be a big red zone threat but maybe not much help in the blocking game. Then they followed that up with Andrew Ogletree who is a slightly shorter clone of Wood playing style anyway!
Their best pick though was Bernard Raimann in the third round. He started out as a tight end before switching to OT and he will add depth at Left Tackle and could easily have been a late 1st round pick. he may be down the depth chart currently but we can see him starting at some stage in 2022.
Overall Grade B-
A good but not great draft, hampered by than missing first-round pick. Still, they got Round One value in Raimann, in our opinion anyway (we had him going at 19 to the Saints).
Georgia Edge Travon Walker (No. 1 overall)
Utah LB Devin Lloyd (No. 27 overall)
Kentucky C Luke Fortner (No. 65 overall)
Wyoming LB Chad Muma (No. 70 overall)
Ole Miss RB Snoop Conner (No. 154 overall)
Ouachita Baptist CB Gregory Junior (No. 197 overall)
Arkansas CB Montaric Brown (No. 222 overall)
We like what the Jags did in round one Travon walker was a key part of Georgia’s Nationa Title winning defense and was never tasked with getting after the QB, given others on the line took up that responsibility. He will be a quality run-stopper and the Jags could use him on the edge too if needed. This versatility probably justifies him going 1st overall.
Next, they took Dein Lloyd who is also good against the run and also offers versatility in his LB role. One thing is for sure, Jacksonville’s run defense will be better in 2022 which will help given they gave up an average of 125.1 per game last year.
They also filled a huge roster hole at center (pardon the pun) by adding Fortner, and he will most likely be the day one starter. Nothing else really stood out for us and trading some picks for extra draft capital next reinforced the thought that they know their rebuild is not done with this haul.
Overall Grade B-
They will be better against the run but the secondary still looks vulnerable and they haven’t done much to help Trevor Lawrence other than giving him a Center. It could be a long hard season again unless Trevor does a Joe Burrow.
Arkansas WR Treylon Burks (No. 18 overall)
Auburn CB Roger McCreary (No. 35 overall)
Ohio State OT Nicholas Petit-Frere (No. 69 overall)
Liberty QB Malik Willis (No. 86 overall)
Michigan RB Hassan Haskins (No. 131 overall)
Maryland TE Chigoziem Okonkwo (No. 143 overall)
UCLA WR Kyle Philips (No. 163 overall)
Tennessee CB Theo Jackson (No. 204 overall)
Mississippi LB Chance Campbell (No. 219 overall)
It’s hard to find much fault with Tennessee’s draft! Swapping AJ Brown and a whole chunk of their salary cap for a promising young WR in Treylon Burks looks like a punt worth taking and they added a bit of depth at Corner with McCreary.
Having a pretty stacked roster also allowed them to add a decent backup Right Tackle in Petit-Frere and even the luxury of punting on high risk but equally high ceiling QB in Malik Willis. He was tipped by some to be a 1st round talent and as his highlights reel below shows they might be right.
Even their late-round picks were good, especially Hassan Haskins who had a huge year at a revitalised Michigan last year rushing for 20 TDs while Kyle Philips should find a role as a punt returner at the very least.
Overall Grade A+
The Titans nailed the draft this year adding quality all over, drafting the QB of the future and clearing cap space for possible free agency moves post-draft.