- Paul Kuharsky, ESPN Staff Writer
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You may not be an Insider, but I am. So here’s a sneak, AFC-South-centric peek at Todd McShay’s most recent mock draft:
No. 8, Tennessee Titans
Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska
McShay says: "Quarterback is obviously the biggest need, but the Titans can't afford to gamble on Cam Newton or Jake Locker here. Look for them to bring in a veteran signal-caller and use a Day 2 pick on a quarterback to develop such as Arkansas' Ryan Mallett or TCU's Andy Dalton. This franchise has had too many disappointing first-rounders over the years, and taking Amukamara -- the top athlete on the board and one of the hardest workers in the 2011 class -- would be a strong building block for new head coach Mike Munchak."
Kuharsky’s thoughts: From what we know of the quarterbacks so far, I like the idea of steering away from the position here. If they can get the top athlete on the board at eight, they should jump. In this scenario, maybe they can fake someone into thinking they want Newton and move down a slot or two.
No. 11, Houston Texans
Jimmy Smith, CB, Colorado
McShay says: "Kareem Jackson should make big strides in his second season, and Glover Quin should improve in his third season. It would be nice to bring in a veteran cornerback to provide depth and stability, but if the Texans are unable to do so, Smith would be a good pick for them at No. 11. A big, smooth cornerback with the strength, confidence and balance to hold up in press-man coverage, Smith could emerge as one of the most underrated players from the 2011 class."
Kuharsky’s thoughts: I’m a bit skeptical about another kid at cornerback. But the right kid with the right confidence can still help transform a group, and I could be on board with Smith if they address safety with a veteran or veterans.
No. 16, Jacksonville Jaguars
Adrian Clayborn, DE, Iowa
McShay says: "The Jaguars have more pressing needs at quarterback and in the secondary. They also could use a speedster at wide receiver. But drafting a good value at defensive end is never a bad idea, and Clayborn could learn a lot early in his career from Jags right defensive end Aaron Kampman, who will return from injury in 2011."
Kuharsky’s thoughts: They went defensive line with their first four picks last year. Still, if he’s the best guy and they take him, the boost in pass rush helps offset other deficiencies and they could steer clear of a lineman again for some time. So long as they promise to go heavy at safety as soon as they can after this.
No. 21, Indianapolis Colts
Anthony Castonzo, OT, Boston College
McShay says: "The Colts rarely draft offensive linemen this high, but they have a major need when it comes to protecting Peyton Manning. Castonzo could add some bulk to his frame, but pass-blocking is his strength and his run-blocking should improve with time in the weight room. Indianapolis also could consider a defensive tackle with this pick."
Kuharsky’s thoughts: A pass-blocking offensive tackle may be too obvious, but if Castonzo fits what they do, I hope they won’t over think it. A.J. Green and Julio Jones are long gone here, and so is the hope of a No. 1 receiver in this mock.