Jerry Hughes – DE – TCU
Pat Angerer – MLB – Iowa
Kevin Thomas – CB – USC
Jacques McClendon – G – Tennessee
Brody Eldridge – TE – Oklahoma
Ricardo Matthews – DT – Cincinnati
Kavell Conner – LB – Clemson
Ray Fisher – DB – Indiana
More of the same from the Colts. They drafted overachievers that may lack the ideal NFL size, but they have the skill set to fit the Colts system and contribute in a specific role right away. They found solid value on the defensive side of the ball throughout the draft and this class will give the Colts defense a nice push throughout the back end of Peyton Manning’s career.
Best Pick: Jerry Hughes – DE – TCU (#31 overall)
Scout’s Take: There were less than a handful of teams that had Hughes on their draft board as a defensive end, but the undersized disruptor fits in perfectly with what the Colts ask of their edge rushers. Hughes is a bit undersized, but he has the elite explosion out of his stance and he is a savvy defender that consistently makes plays. He will be part of a three man rotation that should combine for 30+ sacks.
Worst Pick: Pat Angerer – MLB – Iowa (#63 overall)
Scout’s Take: While Angerer will fit in as a run defender because of his prowess inside, he has questionable athleticism in space. Within the Tampa-2 defense, the scheme’s middle linebacker must be able to drop back in to the intermediate level of the route tree of the opposing offense. He looked slow and stiff in the Big 10 as a zone defender and that is a part of his game that will be exposed on the much faster NFL.
Sleeper Watch: Vuna Tuihalamaka – LB – Arizona (Undrafted)
Kareem Jackson – CB – Alabama
Ben Tate – RB – Auburn
Earl Mitchell – DT – Arizona
Darryl Sharpton – MLB – Miami
Garrett Graham – TE – Wisconsin
Sherrick McCmanis – CB – Northwestern
Shelley Smith – G – Colorado State
Trindon Holliday – WR – LSU
Dorin Dickerson – TE – Pittsburgh
The Texans struggled to find the right value throughout the majority of this draft. They went after a lot of undersized athletes that do not exactly make up for it with speed, and the chances of this draft class being among the worst in the league five years from now are high.
Best Pick: Garrett Graham – TE – Wisconsin (#118 overall)
Scout’s Take: Graham will bring a dimension to that offense that has been inconsistent throughout the Matt Schaub era. He can be used as a motion tight end and/or H-Back that can create mismatches in space. Very good short area quickness and a high effort player that catches everything thrown his way. I believe he will be a better pro than former Badger and current New York Giant Travis Beckum.
Worst Pick: Earl Mitchell – DT – Arizona (#81 overall)
Scout’s Take: There were only a few teams that I felt Earl Mitchell fit in to as a defensive tackle. He is undersized and was pushed around the trenches with ease in the Pac-10. Houston’s run defense was abysmal in 2009 and if they wanted to go with an interior presence, names like Corey Peters (Kentucky) and Al Woods (LSU) would have been better fits.
Sleeper Watch: Shelley Smith – G – Colorado State (#187 overall)
Derrick Morgan – DE – Georgia Tech
Damian Williams – WR – USC
Rennie Curran – LB – Georgia
Alterraun Verner – CB – UCLA
Robert Johnson – S – Utah
Rusty Smith – QB – Florida Atlantic
Myron Rolle – S – Florida State
Marc Mariani – WR – Montana
David Brown – DT – Brown
After succeeding with the proper value at the top of the draft, the Titans tried hard to bring in the type of player that will not ‘wow’ anyone with ability, but instead with their character and work ethic. Head Coach Jeff Fisher likes the gritty players that think fast and react even faster. Not so long ago this squad was the #1 seed in the playoffs, and the same kind of players that led them to that point were brought in last weekend.
Best Pick: Alterraun Verner – CB – UCLA (#104 overall)
Scout’s Take: Good sized corner than can bump and run with different kinds of receivers. Great ball skills and the uncanny ability to make dual reads and get himself in position. Verner should compete for playing time right away as a nickel back and will be a starter within the next three years.
Worst Pick: Damian Williams – WR – USC (#77 overall)
Scout’s Take: Williams does not enter the league with the hype surrounding him we saw with Dwayne Jarrett and Mike Williams did, however he may bring the same kind of minimal production to the table. He brings top tier route running ability and he can catch most balls thrown his way, but he lacks the physicality and NFL quickness to separate from defensive backs. The receiver taken right after him, Brandon LaFell out of LSU, would have been a much better selection in the third round.
Sleeper Watch: LeGarrette Blount – RB – Oregon (Undrafted)
Tyson Alualu – DT – California
D’Anthony Smith – DT – Louisiana Tech
Larry Hart – DE – Central Arkansas
Austen Lane – DE – Murray State
Deji Karim – RB – Southern Illinois
Scotty McGee – KR – James Madison
Jacksonville seems to have fallen in love with the small school prospects which is quite the gamble considering the jump in competition and speed they will see in year one. After arguably the top draft class in 2009, the Jaguars rolled the dice on their draft board that seems to be the black sheep in comparison to the rest of the league. With a move back to the 4-3 defense on the horizon, the defensive line was rebuilt with each of their first four picks on that group.
Best Pick: Deji Karim – RB – Southern Illinois (#180 overall)
Scout’s Take: It took until the sixth round for the Jaguars to use a pick on an offensive player, but Karim has a good shot at being the best NFL player out of this draft class. With his low center of gravity and explosion in space, the Jaguars will be able to maintain their scheme should Maurice Jones-Drew need a rest. Karim was one of the more overlooked running backs in this draft class, but he has the ability to be a 1,000 yard back very early in his career.
Worst Pick: D’Anthony Smith – DT – Lousiana Tech (#74 overall)
Scout’s Take: After watching Smith for a week in Mobile at the Senior Bowl, I didn’t see him as an every down player at the next level. He had a hard time holding his ground against a single blocker and he lacked the explosion off the ball to shoot the gap and create a new line of scrimmage. He should have been graded as a late rounder because he projects as a career backup.
Sleeper Watch: Chris Hawkins – CB – LSU (Undrafted)