NFL Draft 2022: AFC South Team Grades

NFL Draft 2022: AFC South Team Grades
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Following on from the 2022 NFL Draft how do things look in the AFC South? Could the Texans drag themselves away from being perennial basement dwellers by drafting some good players? How would the Colts supply Matt Ryan with some new playmakers? With their second #1 overall pick in two years, would the Jags made the right decision? And would the Titans strengthen ready to make another deep playoff run? Let’s get to some AFC South Team Grades shall we!

Houston Texans – B+

  • #3 – Derek Stingley, CB, LSU
  • #15 – Kenyon Green, OG, Texas A&M
  • #37 – Jalen Pitre, S, Baylor
  • #44 – John Metchie, WR, Alabama
  • #75 – Christian Harris, LB, Alabama
  • #107 – Dameon Pierce, RB, Florida
  • #150 – Thomas Booker, DT, Stanford
  • #170 – Teagan Quitoriano, TE, Oregon State
  • #205 – Austin Deculus, OL, LSU

How we look back on this Texans draft class is going to depend on whether Derek Stingley can stay healthy and play like he did in 2019. If he does that, Houston are going to look very smart for taking him third overall.

Then, in a very un-Texans-like manner, Houston continued to just draft good players. Kenyon Green will immediately bolster their offensive line while I can see all their day two picks making an impact as rookies. The high caliber, big school bias was also very evident. There is a clear desire to bring in players who have been competing at high levels and you can see that in this class. Dameon Pierce could be a real steal by the way if the Texans use him more than the Gators did.

Indianapolis Colts – A-

  • #53 – Alec Pierce, WR, Cincinnati
  • #73 – Jelani Woods, TE, Virginia
  • #77 – Bernhard Raimann, OT, Central Michigan
  • #96 – Nick Cross, S, Maryland
  • #159 – Eric Johnson, DT, Missouri State
  • #192 – Andrew Ogletree, TE, Youngstown State
  • #216 – Curtis Brooks, DT, Cincinnati
  • #239 – Rodney Thomas, CB, Yale

Apart from the fact that the Colts first round pick is already on another team (Carson Wentz) it’s hard to pick holes in this class. Alec Pierce and Jelani Woods will both give newly-acquired QB Matt Ryan additional big targets to throw to. And while he may not step in straight away as a rookie, Bernhard Raimann has a great deal of upside and plenty of room for further development.

Nick Cross was also a smart pickup by Indianapolis at the back end of the third round. He capped off an excellent day two for the Colts who will now be hoping to make a major playoff run.

Jacksonville Jaguars – D

  • #1 – Travon Walker, EDGE, Georgia
  • #27 – Devin Lloyd, LB, Utah
  • #65 – Luke Fortner, C, Kentucky
  • #70 – Chad Muma, LB, Wyoming
  • #154 – Snoop Connor, RB, Ole Miss
  • #197 – Gregory Junior, CB, Ouachita Baptist University
  • #222 – Montaric Brown, CB, Arkansas

If it wasn’t for the fact that I’m a big fan of Devin Lloyd and can see him as a defensive leader and captain for the next decade, I might well be giving this Jaguars draft a big, fat F.

Jacksonville took a massive gamble taking Travon Walker first overall. The athletic upside and potential is huge – but so was JaMarcus Russell’s and that worked out well for the Raiders, right? Placing a huge wager when you’re the worst team in the NFL doesn’t seem like a particularly bright thing to have done. It may work for them, but with similarly athletic prospects with significantly better production under their belts also available to them this one really needs to not backfire.

I like Luke Fortner and Jacksonville did need to add to its offensive line, but this felt a tad early. And I know others are questioning the Chad Muma pick when they’d already got Lloyd and picked up Foye Oluokun in free agency. For me, I don’t mind adding depth in round three plus I had a higher grade on Muma – so ‘draft good players’ applies here.

Tennessee Titans – B

Malik Willis
  • #18 – Treylon Burks, WR, Arkansas
  • #35 – Roger McCreary, CB, Auburn
  • #69 – Nicholas Petit-Frere, OT, Ohio State
  • #86 – Malik Willis, QB, Liberty
  • #131 – Hasaan Haskins, RB, Michigan
  • #143 – Chigoziem Okonkwo, TE, Maryland
  • #163 – Kyle Phillips, WR, UCLA
  • #204 – Theo Jackson, CB, Tennessee
  • #219 – Chance Campbell, LB, Ole Miss

The Titans have been solid drafters in recent years and 2022 proved to be no different. Replacing AJ Brown with Treylon Burks created, and then immediately filled, a need many didn’t know they had. To then trade back a couple of times and ensure they had multiple day two and early day three picks was a very smart move.

Roger McCreary wasn’t as high on my board as they took him but I understand the need. But the next five picks – Petit-Frere, Willis, Haskins, Okonkwo and Phillips all seemed like excellent value choices to me.

Malik Willis has a bucketload of raw talent for them to groom behind Ryan Tannehill for a while, whilst Hasaan Haskins is a powerful downhill runner in a similar mould to a certain Derrick Henry.

How would you grade the AFC South draft classes? Let us know over on Twitter @ninetynineyards and @UK_draft

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