Thursday, January 12, 2012
Mel Kiper regrades the 2011 draft
By Paul Kuharsky
Mel Kiper hass gone back and reconsidered the grades he gave each NFL team after the 2011 draft, regrading after seeing everyone’s rookie season.
A look at his take on the teams of the AFC South:
Kiper: “[Anthony] Castonzo hasn't been spectacular, but at least he has made it to the left side and looks like the future there. What can he be? Well, if he does a good job of protecting Andrew Luck, the grade certainly will get a bump. But we don't know yet. Ben Ijalana hasn't shown a lot. Drake Nevis has had moments but mostly got good reps for a bad defense.”
Kuharsky: It’s also important to note what they didn’t draft: sufficient help for the secondary.
Kiper: “Suffice to say, I don't think throwing [Blaine] Gabbert in there with a lack of legit passing targets given his developmental needs was a great idea. I still think Gabbert has a shot because he has a lot of good physical tools and can be very accurate, but I hope the experience of this season is something he grows from and isn't a developmental setback. Elsewhere, there isn't much.”
Kuharsky: Guard Will Rackley was not great. The Jaguars’ big additions were in free agency, not through the draft. This draft’s grade will always hang on Gabbert.
Kiper: "The Titans got some really good early returns and value. Jurrell Casey and Karl Klug, picked in the third and fifth rounds, respectively, have been very good (Klug really got after quarterbacks), and so has Akeem Ayers, which wasn't much of a surprise. It's hard to up the grade too much until we know whether Locker is indeed the future, but a year out, it looks like the Titans planned and scouted well overall."
Kuharsky: Considering we haven’t seen Jake Locker, the top pick, start a game yet, it’s hard to get much more out of a rookie class than the Titans did.
Kiper: "If you consider that Houston got 11 sacks out of a combo of [Mario] Williams and [Brooks] Reed, the injury to Super Mario doesn't seem so terrible. Of course, the big steal here was to find T.J. Yates in the fifth round after he wasn't even invited to the combine."
Kuharsky: J.J. Watt proved the most impactful pick in the entire division and this class had a big hand in reshaping the Houston defense.