- Paul Kuharsky, ESPN Staff Writer
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Three new members of the AFC South make Mel Kiper’s list of NFL draft, Day 2 impact players. It’s an Insider file, but we have legal permission to borrow divisional elements.
Here they are straight from Mel.
Colts tight end Coby Fleener
“The thought was this pick would define which direction the Colts were going in the draft. Would they be satisfied with Andrew Luck as the new face of the offense and then get back to helping a leaky defense? Or would they wait on defense and find help for Luck? The Colts clearly figured: (A) They wouldn't get a second chance to get Luck off to a good start; and (B) as a team they had the ball a league-worst 43.7 percent of the time in 2011. The defense isn't good, but the offense was as bad as any team's but St. Louis last year. If the offense can stay on the field, the defense will look better. More than a possession tight end, Fleener has sub-4.5 speed, and he will be split out. It's a leap in levels, but he and Luck will have the advantage of familiarity. He also has a knack for staying on the field, having played in 51 straight games at Stanford. He could top 50 catches in 2012.
Colts receiver T.Y. Hilton
"Austin Collie is still there, but Hilton is far more explosive, and I can see him picking up a lot of slot duties this season. I'd also expect to see him in the return game.”
Titans defensive tackle Mike Martin
“This is a bit of a leap, but last year Karl Klug managed to come in as a fifth-rounder and make an impact in Tennessee, and I think the coaches will find it hard to keep Martin off the field. He plays with great leverage, takes on double-teams well and will beat single coverage. Suddenly, with Klug, Jurrell Casey and Martin, the Titans have a formidable young rotation at defensive tackle.”