The time for the class council has come! After the Draft, here is the evaluation of each team, division by division. The evaluations, in order of quality: congratulations, compliments, encouragement, fair, repetition.
The AFC South division includes four teams with very different objectives in this 2021 draft. While the objective is in the playoffs for the Colts and the Titans, the Jaguars are starting to rebuild. The Texans are in a nebulous situation, and the pick of a quarterback with their first pick has been a bomb in this draft weekend.
Houston Texans: fair
Picks: 67 – Davis Mills (QB), 89 – Nico Collins (WR), 147 – Brevin Jordan (TE), 170 – Garrett Wallow (LB), 195 – Roy Lopez (DT).
The Texans had no pick in the first two rounds, so they started the draft in the third, with a pick that got a lot of talk. Quarterback Davis Mills is therefore the lucky winner, he who played only 11 matches in college after being recruited as the best quarterback in the country out of high school. A very risky choice therefore, and a project that will take several seasons before being really ready for the NFL. This choice seems to be an admission on the part of the organization that the adventure with Deshaun Watson is coming to an end, it remains to be seen how it will actually end.
Still in attack, the Texans have mounted an exchange to select the immense receiver Nico Collins, who brings an interesting profile in this attack. However, the strategy of getting into the draft when resources are limited seems questionable. Brevin Jordan is a great deal in the 5th round as he is a receiver / tight end hybrid. Finally, Houston reinforced the race defense at the end of the draft, by recruiting linebacker Garrett Wallow, who could contribute strongly from the first season.
Nick Caserio arrived in a difficult situation, and he tried his best to strengthen the team by preparing for the future as quarterback.
Indianapolis Colts: encouragement
Picks: 21 – Kwity Paye (EDGE), 54 – Dayo Odeyingbo (EDGE), 127 – Kylen Granson (TE), 165 – Shawn Davis (S), 218 – Sam Ehlinger (QB), 229 – Mike Stratchan (WR), 248 – Will Fries (OT)
While many saw the Colts take a replacement for Anthony Castonzo in the first round, and Christian Darrisaw was available, Indianapolis chose to reinforce another need, that of a pass rusher. The athletic Kwity Paye therefore joins DeForest Buckner on the line, for those who constitute a strong duo, in every sense of the word. It was a priority need, and Paye fits the Colts “mold”.
The defensive line was spoiled by the way, as Dayo Odeyingbo also joined the squad in the second round, but the versatile lineman is unlikely to contribute much in the first season, having suffered an injury after the season. Achilles tendon and will need time to be at 100%.
Then began a maze of risky choices, including tight end Kyle Granson. A talented hybrid player, his limited size makes him a gadget player more than a real reinforcement. Shawn Davis is another astonishing choice given the physical profile far from Colts standards. He is talented, but his lack of size and sheer speed raises questions. Sam Ehlinger is the new backup quarterback, a logical choice.
What appeals is the absence of left tackle before the 7th round. Either the Colts have a plan, like an Erik Fisher signing for example, or it’s a big miss.
Jacksonville Jaguars: compliments
Picks: 1 – Trevor Lawrence (QB), 25 – Travis Etienne (RB), 33 – Tyson Campbell (CB), 45 – Walker Little (OT), 65 – Andre Cisco (S), 106 – Jay Tufele (DT), 121 – Jordan Smith (EDGE), 145 – Luke Farrell (TE), 209 – Jalen Camp (WR)
No surprise on the football planet, Trevor Lawrence is the first choice. The most anticipated quarterback since Andrew Luck, he must be the one to lead the rebuilding of the Jaguars in the years to come. The surprise comes rather from the second choice, as the Jaguars have chosen to ignore the needs on the line and in cornerback to give Lawrence « his rider », his former teammate in Clemson Travis Etienne. He will therefore form the riders committee for 2021 with James Robinson.
Another surprising choice, that of the athletic but irregular Tyson Campbell while the cornerback position is far from the weakest. Then comes a succession of superb picks in rounds 3 to 5. Walker Little is talented, and the Jaguars will have time to put him to work to avoid injury. ANdre Cisco is also coming back from injury and will need time, but Jacksonville has recovered an excellent playmaker for 2022. On the front seven Jay Tufele and Jordan Smith bring depth and talent. They need time too, and Jacksonville clearly looks like it’s going to be long term.
The additions of Luke Farrell and Jalen Camp allow Lawrence to have even more targets. A great success for Urban Meyer’s first draft.
Tennessee Titans: encouragement
Picks: 22 – Caleb Farley (CB), 53 – Dillon Radunz (OT), 92 – Monty Rice (LB), 100 – Elijah Molden (DB), 109 – Dez Fitzpatrick (WR), 135 – Rashad Weaver (EDGE), 205 – Racey McMath (WR), 215 – Brady Breeze (S)
Although present in the playoffs the last two seasons, the Titans had a lot of needs. In defense, all three lines could be addressed. Tennessee chose to fill the need for cornerback by recruiting Caleb Farley, as talented as fragile. With Janoris Jenkins and Kristian Fulton, he will form a formidable trio at a crucial position.
Another strong need was the right tackle post after the Isaiah Wilson debacle. Dillon Radunz’s choice makes sense, and his racing game experience is great news for Derrick Henry. Monty Rice is a surprising choice, in the sense that the position of inside linebacker did not seem a priority. He remains a starting potential in the medium term and an extraordinary special team player.
In a deep draft in receiver, the choice of Dez Fitzpatrick calls out, even if the player is constant and good in layout, because more attractive profiles were still available. Can he be a number 2 receiver? It’s a real gamble. Rashad Weaver on the contrary seems like a very good deal, and he will bring into the rotation as early as 2021. The last two picks are projects, which will only serve as a special team the following season.