AFC South: Craig Davis

Justin Blackmon was the best receiver available in the draft for a Jaguars team with a desperate need at the spot.

Kendall Wright was the sort of receiver the Titans were still missing as they look to become a more modern offense.

I like the additions for the Jaguars and the Titans, and at this point I’d certainly expect both guys to have good careers.

But I think early expectations for the two are unreasonably high.

Blackmon, still unsigned, is unlikely to pop in, learn the offense and make a bunch of plays for Blaine Gabbert on Sept. 9 at Minnesota.

Wright, just signed, is unlikely to take Kenny Britt's place if Britt isn’t ready or is suspended for the Titans Sept. 9 game against New England and produce like Britt could.

A.J. Green's 1,000-yard rookie year last season was the first for a receiver since Michael Clayton's for Tampa Bay in 2004.

Julio Jones made a big debut too, falling just 41 yards short of 1,000.

But receiver isn’t a spot where even highly-rated rookies generally get plugged in and make monstrous, immediate impacts. Maybe Green and Jones signified some sort of switch. But at this point I’m still inclined to see them as the exceptions rather than rewriters of the rule.

Per Keith Hawkins of ESPN Stats and Info, 16 first-round receivers who played as rookies in the last five years have averaged 44 catches, 615 yards and 3.8 touchdowns. That’s nice production from Green, Jones, Jonathan Baldwin, Demaryius Thomas, Dez Bryant, Darrius Heyward-Bey, Michael Crabtree, Jeremy Maclin, Percy Harvin, Hakeem Nicks, Britt, Calvin Johnson, Ted Ginn, Dwayne Bowe, Craig Davis and Anthony Gonzalez -- but hardly phenomenal.

That’s as many catches as Mike Thomas had for the 2011 Jaguars.

It’s not far off the stat line of 2010 third-rounder Damian Williams for the 2011 Titans -- 45 catches, 592 yards and five TDs.

Can Blackmon and or Wright be impactful players for their teams this year?

It probably depends on your definition of impactful.

Comparably valued players have provided roughly three catches for 38 yards with a score once every four games in their first year in the league.

Certainly it’s possible Blackmon and Wright do more. Are they going to be Week 1 fantasy football MVPs because of the monster numbers they put up early?

If I was making a bet, it wouldn’t be on yes.
Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky

Borrowing an idea from Tim Graham over at AFC East HQ, we at the AFC South Blog begin a periodic look at the history of the AFC South-relevant first round draft slots.

We start with No. 30, where the Tennessee Titans will pick on April 25.

Recent history suggests they can find a great player at the spot -- and they are part of that history. In 2000, not in dire need of a linebacker, they landed Keith Bulluck and he's been a stalwart for the Titans.

Recent History at Pick No. 30
Year Pos. School Player Team Comment
'08 TE Purdue Dustin Keller N.Y. Jets As a rookie: 48 catches
for 535 yards, 3 TDs
'07 WR LSU Craig Davis San Diego Trip to IR meant only four
games in second season
'06 RB LSU Joseph Addai Indianapolis A Pro Bowl trip and 33 TDs
in first three seasons
'05 TE Virginia Heath Miller Pittsburgh Productive with 60 starts,
21 TDs in four years
'04 RB Va. Tech Kevin Jones Detroit Faded after 1,133-yard
rookie season
'03 DB Texas A&M Sammy Davis San Diego Three years in SD, one
each in SF and TB
'02 G Auburn Kendall Simmons Pittsburgh Eighty starts in seven
seasons, but recently cut
'01 WR Miami Reggie Wayne Indianapolis Averages 72 catches, been
to last three Pro Bowls
'00 LB Syracuse Keith Bulluck Tennessee An underrated staple who
can run, cover and hit
'99 DE Virginia Patrick Kerney Atlanta In 10 seasons, 77.5 sacks
with four seasons over 10

SPONSORED HEADLINES