AFC South: Kirk Morrison

NFL Twindex: Another Brown on top

September, 30, 2011
9/30/11
11:36
AM ET
Carlton MitchellAP Photo/Mark DuncanCarlton Mitchell leads this week's Twindex.
Faith is a key piece of the lives of a lot of NFL players on Twitter.

Many tweet Bible verses or favorite passages, particularly in the morning when they get in a prayer and a daily reading.

It can be a piece of a well-rounded tweeter, though it's not something that typically scores for a guy in the NFL Twindex.

We seek well-rounded players who deliver good humor, good commentary and good football insight.

You can find what I consider the best player tweets of the week by looking at my favorites.

I try to scan through as many tweets as I can, but it's difficult to see them all and I can always use your help. Call my attention to anything of interest at @ESPN_AFCSouth or @PaulKuharsky.

This week's list:

In linebacker Paul Posluszny, the Jacksonville Jaguars are adding a veteran who fits general manager Gene Smith’s lunch-pail mold. A former linebacker named Jack Del Rio is sure to love Posluszny, too.

He will bring a strong dose of leadership and production that will give the linebacking group a presence akin to Aaron Kampman’s on the defensive line. And playing with Daryl Smith, a linebacker who's often underrated, Posluszny may help get him the attention he deserves.

Posluszny
He was the weak inside linebacker in Buffalo’s 3-4 last season, leading the team with 151 tackles. If he’s going to man the middle for the Jaguars, then they won’t be resigning their own free agent, Kirk Morrison.

Scouts Inc. rated Posluszny as the top available linebacker.
After missing most of his rookie season with a major arm injury, Posluszny has played at a high level for the past three years. He has good size and strength with just above-average athleticism for the position. He is not a great athlete for the spot but is rarely out of position because of his first-step quickness and smarts. Posluszny is effective to take on blocks and uses his hands well to shed. He has improved in coverage and looks fluid in his zone drops. He isn't great in pure man schemes but does understand route progression in the passing game. He is an instinctive player who understands [angles], run fits and how to leverage the football. He is a solid tackler, delivering power and punch on contact. Posluszny is a high-energy defender who wins with toughness, technique, intelligence and quickness, and should continue being a very productive linebacker for Buffalo in the coming years.

The Jaguars just got better on defense. This was an aggressive move, and the Jaguars locked up a guy who will turn 27 during the season for six years.

What’s next? Perhaps an outside linebacker and certainly a safety. The Jaguars are hardly finished.

Scoring and tracking free agents

July, 26, 2011
7/26/11
11:52
AM ET
Our free-agent tracker is up and running. Sort through the available talent pool by team or by Scouts Inc. grade. If you’re an Insider, you can also get a scouting report.

I scanned though it for guys in the division who Scouts Inc. believes rate a 75 or better plugging into its rating scale:

90-100: Elite Player

Player demonstrates rare abilities and can create mismatches that have an obvious impact on the game. ... Premier NFL player who has all the skills to consistently play at a championship level. ... Rates as one of the top players at his position in the league.

80-89: Outstanding Player

Player has abilities to create mismatches versus most opponents in the NFL. ... A feature player who has an impact on the outcome of the game. ... Cannot be shut down by a single player and plays on a consistent level week in and week out.

70-79: Good Starter

Solid starter who is close to being an outstanding player. ... Has few weaknesses and usually will win his individual matchup but does not dominate in every game, especially when matched up against the top players in the league.
Reading the coverage ...

Houston Texans

It’s time for the Texans to become one of the big boys in the NFL, and signing Nnamdi Asomugha would do just that, says Jerome Solomon. I think they should pursue the cornerback hard, but I am wary of the team and the town thinking that if he goes to Houston, the Texans have made it.

Less contact is a good thing as far as Richard Justice is concerned.

Indianapolis Colts

Finally we can think about action on the field again, writes Bob Kravitz. A very interesting point here: Kravitz says the Colts win with the limit on bonuses for undrafted rookies. Even more will head to Indy, where they know they will have a big chance to make it.

As I wrote last night, Peyton Manning’s deal can’t break the bank, according to Jim Irsay. Here’s Mike Chappell’s story on it.

Jacksonville Jaguars

The Jaguars will be looking to add about 30 players, says Tania Ganguli. Only two of their seven unrestricted free agents still have name plates in the locker room: Kirk Morrison and Adam Podlesh.

Jacksonville’s got about $35 million to spend, says Ganguli.

It’s go time for the team’s ticket campaign, says Vito Stellino.

Jack Del Rio has concerns about his players’ conditioning, says Ganguli.

Tennessee Titans

Amid the frenzy, the Titans will have to move Vince Young by Friday to avoid his roster bonus, says Jim Wyatt.

Jake Locker is in Nashville and ready to go, says Wyatt.

Player workouts at Father Ryan High School are finally over as they return to the Titans’ facility today, says John Glennon.

The Titans made some front-office moves, says Glennon. Highly respected, long-time scout C.O. Brocato has shifted to a consultant role.
NFC: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South Unrestricted FAs

A look at the free-agent priorities for each AFC South team:

Houston Texans

1. Finally fix the secondary: Not only was the Texans’ secondary awful in coverage last season, but it also needs some stabilizing veteran leadership on the back end of this revamped defense. A safety like Eric Weddle could help cure both issues. There are quite a few safeties in this crop of free agents who would be clear upgrades for Houston. Of course, we have to discuss Nnamdi Asomugha -- and the Texans should certainly be right in the thick of those negotiations. If they can’t land Asomugha, the Texans could pursue Johnathan Joseph or Ike Taylor, who could help fix some leaks.

2. Work the cap: Houston is pretty tight up against the cap as it stands right now. But the team has serious needs on defense -- particularly in the secondary. In order to get the help they need, the Texans might have to restructure a few contracts or let a current player or two go.

3. Lock up Vonta Leach: This offense pretty much has it all. Wideout Andre Johnson makes everyone around him better in just so many ways. And the running game was exceptional last season. But Leach is a key component in that running game. And no fullback opens holes like this guy. Houston should bring him back and dedicate the rest of its free-agent moves to the defense.

Top five free agents: Leach, WR Jacoby Jones, S Bernard Pollard, DE Mark Anderson and QB Matt Leinart.

Indianapolis Colts

1. Get Peyton Manning’s extension done: Manning has been franchised and had surgery again on his neck recently. But there is little doubt who the face of this franchise is. Getting him locked up long term is something that Indianapolis just needs to get done.

2. Get a starting safety signed: Melvin Bullitt is a free agent. He is a solid player, and bringing him back makes a lot of sense. Outside of Antoine Bethea, who is vastly underrated, Indy has very little at this position. The Colts need to get a starter under contract. Also on defense, bringing back linebacker Clint Session, who is a superb fit in this scheme, and adding defensive tackle help also should be priorities if they can fit it under the cap.

3. Add running back help: This could come in the form of bringing back the reliable Joseph Addai. Well, he is reliable when he is healthy. And Addai has a great grasp of the Colts’ offense. I am very high on 2011 draft pick Delone Carter and maybe the light goes on for Donald Brown. But the Colts do need someone in their backfield who can pass protect and can be trusted. In this capacity, Addai seems to be worth more to the Colts than to any other team.

Top five free agents: Manning (franchised), Session, Addai, Bullitt and OT Charlie Johnson.

Jacksonville Jaguars

1. Address holes at linebacker: Linebackers Justin Durant and Kirk Morrison are up for free agency. I would suggest bringing one of those two back and then finding an upgrade from a coverage standpoint at a starting linebacker position to go along with the steady Daryl Smith. James Anderson would be an excellent target, and if healthy, so would another Panther -- Thomas Davis.

2. Address holes at safety: Jacksonville featured one of the worst secondaries in football last season. The Jags tried many bodies at safety, but it yielded minimal results. This is a very strong free-agent safety class, and the Jaguars need to add a starter or two they can count on week after week.

3. Spend! The Jaguars have quite a bit of money to spend in free agency, and under the new rules, they will have to spend. This free-agency period is like none we have ever seen and the action could be fast and furious. Jacksonville needs to stay the course and make wise financial decisions as it tries to add players who can mostly upgrade a hurting defense.

Top free agents: Marcedes Lewis (franchised), WR Mike Sims-Walker, Durant and Morrison.

Tennessee Titans

1. Revamp the Interior offensive line: Although they didn’t play great in 2010, I have faith in the Titans’ offensive tackles. But the interior of the line is a train wreck. That won’t do with a rookie quarterback behind center and in an offense that will be extremely run-heavy. Chris Johnson had little room to run last season. That needs to change. Marshal Yanda and Harvey Dahl would be great targets here.

2. Add a veteran quarterback: Needless to say, the Titans cannot enter the season with just the quarterbacks they currently have on their roster. They must bring in a veteran with some experience. Donovan McNabb would be high on my list. Matt Hasselbeck might also fit the bill.

3. Fortify every level of the defense: Presently, Tennessee is very young at linebacker, just adequate at safety and could lose three of its defensive ends. Making matters more difficult, the team is also installing a different version of the 4-3 defense. The Titans do have some money to spend in free agency. It would be wise if they used those funds on young free-agent talent, as it appears this team is now rebuilding from the ground up. Every level of the defense could use reinforcement.

Top five free agents: DE Jason Babin, LB Stephen Tulloch, WR Randy Moss, DE Dave Ball and DE Jacob Ford.

Jaguars back-to-work FYI

July, 25, 2011
7/25/11
2:00
PM ET
NFC: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South Unrestricted FAs

Readiness factor: With Jack Del Rio, offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter and veteran quarterback David Garrard in place, the offense won’t change much. But rookie quarterback Blaine Gabbert's missing offseason time in the facility slowed his ability to challenge for the starting job. Garrard and defensive end Aaron Kampman organized a good bit of offseason work for players, but much of it was on positional levels where a leader stepped up at each spot.

Biggest challenge: Defensive coordinator Mel Tucker is taking over play calling from Del Rio. But more significant will be the Garrard-Gabbert dynamic -- and whether we will see any sort of wrestling match between the coach's thinking (win now to save his job) and the organization’s bigger issue (develop Gabbert and get the new face of the franchise ready to carry it).

Most holes: Jacksonville could be the most active team in the division in free agency. After the draft, the Jaguars said they didn’t love the available guys for their holes. They could add two veteran linebackers and a veteran safety (here's one vote for Eric Weddle). Kirk Morrison might be back if they don’t land an upgrade at middle linebacker.

Key players without contracts for 2011: Tight end Marcedes Lewis (franchise tag), punter Adam Podlesh, Morrison.

RTC: Players preaching patience on CBA

July, 22, 2011
7/22/11
10:25
AM ET
Reading the coverage ...

Houston Texans

Plaxico Burress has expressed interest in the Texans. But according to Pro Football Weekly's Arthur Arkush, citing a source close to the team, Burress signing with the Texans is unlikely.

Speaking to reporters Thursday night, Bob McNair said the owners and players will have to make sacrifices in the new labor deal. "We didn't get everything we wanted and the players didn't get everything they wanted," McNair said. "We got enough modifications in there so that we have a business model that works for the next 10 years."

Indianapolis Colts

Owner Jim Irsay is looking forward to team doctors being able to meet with Peyton Manning. Irsay: "We haven't seen him, and we haven't seen the medical records. We need to get that information as quickly as we can." Irsay said he already has made an offer to Manning that tops Tom Brady's contract, and he expects a five- or six-year deal to be completed shortly after a new CBA is ratified.

If the Colts cannot reach a long-term deal with Manning, the team could theoretically retain Manning with the franchise tag -- but that would be very costly. It's worth $23.1 million in 2011 and would cost the team $27.72 million in 2012 and $33.264 million in 2013.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Linebacker Kirk Morrison says the players can't rush into a new CBA deal until they understand all of the aspects of it, especially since it would be a 10-year agreement. Maurice Jones-Drew also stressed that players have a lot at stake in a 10-year deal.

More caution urged by Jaguars players. Uche Nwaneri: "Honestly, I just feel like with any situation there has to be diligence about what it is that you want to do. You have to go through a process understanding where you stand as a group."

Tennessee Titans

Guard Jake Scott isn't buying the owners' stated concern over player safety. "For us, player safety was a massive issue and is a massive issue. And to the owners, honestly, I really don't think that they care that much because it doesn't affect their bottom line, you know, whether we do two-a-days or one-a-days or how many OTAs we have," Scott told SiriusXM Mad Dog Radio Thursday.

As the lockout appears to be winding down, several Titans players expressed an eagerness to get back to work.

Reading the coverage: Paying Peyton

July, 20, 2011
7/20/11
10:24
AM ET
Houston Texans

Fullback Vonta Leach told SiriusXM NFL radio that the Giants are on his list of preferred destinations if the free agent doesn’t re-sign with Houston.

In an interview with UWbadgers.com, Texans first-rounder J.J. Watt talks about his transition to Houston. Two former UW players who are now Texans, Owen Daniels and Garrett Graham, have helped Watt. "I talked to them about places to live, how to avoid the traffic and places to eat. It's just nice to be around the guys and feel like you're part of a team again, even though we're still locked out," Watt said.

Indianapolis Colts

Once the lockout ends, the Colts have to turn their attention to signing Peyton Manning to a new deal. Reggie Hayes of the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel looks at the dilemma facing the Colts: Considering Manning's age (35), how lucrative and how long should his next deal be?

Manning won't be ready once training camp begins July 31 as he recovers from surgery on a disk in his neck.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Single-game tickets for the Jaguars' two home preseason games will go on sale Wednesday.

Alfie Crow of Big Cat Country considers whether the Jags should pursue Jets free-agent corner Antonio Cromartie.

FoxSports.com's Brian Billick ranks the free-agent linebackers and he lists Jacksonville as a possible destination for the No. 4 player on his list, Paul Posluszny. Jags linebacker Kirk Morrison came in at No. 10 on the list.

Tennessee Titans

Former Titans coach Jeff Fisher believes Vince Young will learn from mistakes.
A viewing of Funny Or Die's "Field of Dreams 2" is a quality way to spend a work break.

I recognized Dwight Freeney right away, but was admittedly thrown by him wearing No. 95 as opposed to his Colts' 93. Jacksonville's Kirk Morrison also makes an appearance.

I am not ashamed to admit that the original film rates as my favorite sports movie of all time.

This spoof doesn't offend me, but I didn't tear up even a little at the end. Watching the original, there tends to be a waterfall on my couch just before the closing credits.
Gary Brackett has played eight NFL seasons. So the Colts middle linebacker and defensive captain has played in a lot of stadiums and has a feel for the reputation of the league’s venues.

Brackett
Brackett
Morrison
Morrison
As we prepared to unveil our Power Rankings on the NFL's toughest venues, I reached out to Brackett (@GaryBrackett58) to ask whether he'd share his list. He asked whether he could include Lucas Oil Stadium and I said sure, so long as he was fair about it.

Jaguars middle linebacker/free agent-to-be Kirk Morrison (@kirkmorrison55) also agreed to get in on the action.

Morrison has six years of NFL service.

Big thanks to both for sharing their lists, which you can compare to mine and the overall results of our Power Rankings poll in this chart pieced together by blog editors extraordinaire Brett Longdin and Jon Hudec.


Brackett’s AFC-heavy list looks to have a strong correlation at the top between a building and its inhabitant. The Colts regularly fight with the Steelers, Patriots and Chargers for playoff seeding. He indicated Denver's elevation and Miami's heat were big factors in his placement of the Broncos' and Dolphins' stadiums.

Morrison played his first five seasons with the Raiders and leaned hard on the AFC West. He factored in the baseball dirt in Oakland and Miami as part of his votes for Oakland Coliseum and Sun Life Stadium. He cited Denver's altitude, as Brackett did, and gave Seattle’s Qwest Field a nod for the noise of its 12th man.
I find the incumbent AFC South linebacker crop a largely unimpressive bunch.

A healthy DeMeco Ryans is excellent, as is Gary Brackett. Mario Williams is now a linebacker, so we need to mention him. Daryl Smith is beloved by the Jaguars staff but not everyone’s reviews of him line up with the team's. I think he’s good, but I don’t notice he's consistently great. [LATE ADDITION: Football Outsiders says Smith was especially good at third-down stops in 2010.]

Others who deserve singling out: Brian Cushing (see previous post) and Clint Session.

Two second-rounders will have a chance to make an impact, Akeem Ayres in Tennessee and Brooks Reed in Houston.

Matt Williamson of Scouts Inc. reviews the division’s linebackers in an Insider piece Monday. We’ve gotten clearance to do some sharing and offer a bit of his team-by-team review in the same order he ranks the groups.

Houston:

“To me, Cushing is the prototypical strongside linebacker in a 4-3. He will be asked to play inside next to Ryans in the 3-4, but he is an inside/outside 'tweener in this odd front. He isn't the dynamic edge pass-rusher for the outside and he is cut a little high to take on blocks from the interior. You could certainly do worse than Cushing -- especially if he regains his 2010 form -- but he isn't a natural fit. Cushing does have a very good feel for coverage for such a young linebacker. Expect Wade Phillips to move him around quite a bit."

Indianapolis:

“Last year's second-round pick, Pat Angerer, showed well as a rookie and looks like a starter for years to come, either on the strong side or in the middle if Brackett were to go down or further decline. Angerer is far from a finished product, though, and his route-recognition skills and ability to turn and run with elusive running backs and tight ends is questionable. He might only be a two-down linebacker.”

Tennessee:

“The Titans' best linebacker, Stephen Tulloch, is up for free agency, and after they selected two linebackers in the draft it doesn't appear the Titans will bring him back. Still, losing Tulloch would be a huge blow to this defense, especially against the run. Few play the run as well as Tulloch, and he is sure to command a lot of money for a guy who really is best suited to be a two-down linebacker. Tulloch was a major reason the Titans were the best defense in the division against the run last season.”

Jacksonville:

“After struggling early on, [Kirk] Morrison played well in the middle, especially as a run defender. But by the looks of its draft class, it seems Jacksonville is building for tomorrow, which might make Morrison more valuable to another team. [Justin] Durant has plenty of ability, but he has been too inconsistent with the Jaguars. Still, if Jacksonville -- or his next team for that matter -- could improve Durant's coverage recognition and overall skills, he could be a heck of a linebacker. Bringing him back would make some sense for the Jaguars, even if only as a two-down player.”
What wasn’t addressed in the draft and could be a free agency focus for the Jaguars:

Linebacker: The team didn’t think it was a great draft for linebackers, but clearly has plans to address the position in free agency. The Jaguars could be looking to add two as it doesn’t appear Kirk Morrison or Justin Durant are in their plans going forward. The line gets a lot of blame for the lack of rush and the secondary takes the fall for the pass coverage, but an upgrade at linebacker can have an affect on both.

Defensive end: It’s not easy to find an edge rusher, but a lot of us figured they’d land one in a draft that was loaded with them. They went other directions, and now can still use someone who will add pass pressure and be a final piece of the defensive line rebuild.

Defensive back: They added a free safety in Chris Prosinski and a nickel corner type in Rod Issac. Odds are that’s not the end of the moves in the defensive backfield. Safety is more pressing to me still. Relying on Courtney Greene and Prosinski would be asking a lot, and a veteran in the mix could be a boost. Overall the team could still add two to four players on defense.
Gary Horton of Scouts Inc. provides two Insider files of interest Friday, offering AFC South team profiles Insider and needs Insider.

Here are snippets of interest with some of your AFC South blogger sprinkled in.

Houston Texans
Organizational structure: GM Rick Smith and Kubiak work well together and they usually seem to be on the same page. They have a deep and veteran scouting staff, but they are not a group that likes to take a lot of chances. They stay true to their draft board and they don't make a lot of 'gut' decisions. While they don't always look overly creative, they also don't make a lot of glaring mistakes. For such a deep and experienced front office, why is the product on the field not improved with better talent?

Horton’s needs: S, CB, OLB, NT, WR RS


My thoughts: With the lack of late-round success, I'd almost wish some decisions had been gut decisions. Kubiak and Wade Phillps have down-played nose tackle as a need. But Shaun Cody and Earl Mitchell are nothing close to Jay Ratliff, the smaller nose Phillips had in Dallas.

Indianapolis Colts
Offseason observations: This team has been to the playoffs nine seasons in a row, and while they were disappointed in their first-round loss to the New York Jets, they won despite having 18 players on injured reserve. The Colts also had five losses by three points or less and never seemed to get into any kind of groove. They need to improve their offensive line and run game to take some pressure off Peyton Manning.

Horton’s needs: OT, DT, SS, WR, G-C, CB


My thoughts: I expect an offensive tackle, but am not so sure about an interior offensive linemen. They have a lot of guys in the mix there, including second-year man Jacques McClendon, who should make a jump. If Bill Polian sees a receiver worth No. 22, I could totally see him going that way. But who is that guy?

Jacksonville Jaguars
Offensive philosophy: Coordinator Dirk Koetter has adjusted his offense to accommodate what David Garrard does best, which is a short passing game with a quick release and some roll-outs and bootlegs. They will still run the ball a lot with some two tight end sets to set up play action. The offense not only lacks a deep threat, but also a true No. 1 WR.

Horton’s needs: S, DE, CB, QB, WR, OLB


My thoughts: Sixth ranks too low for outside backer and they need a middle linebacker too as they seem unlikely to bring Kirk Morrison back. But these are all legitimate needs and he didn’t even get to interior offensive line. Jacksonville doesn’t have enough picks.

Tennessee Titans
Defensive philosophy: Jerry Gray is the new coordinator and he will likely keep the 4-3 defense intact, although [Mike] Munchak wants to show some multiple fronts to confuse offenses and cover up personnel deficiencies. They want most of their pressure to come from their front four without a lot of blitzes, but they are quick one-gap penetrators and always on the move. On the back end they will play a lot of zones and they really try to be physical. It is an assignment-oriented defense designed to not give up big plays, but they really dropped off in 2010, especially versus the pass.

Horton’s needs: QB, MLB-OLB, DT, G-C, CB, DE


My thoughts: A lot of people want to give the Titans an interior offensive lineman and they may draft one because Leroy Harris could be a free agent. But all indications are Munchak and his offensive line coach, Bruce Matthews, plan to keep the line intact and think the interior will be better.
Is there less buzz about the upcoming NFL draft than usual?

I certainly think so. The lockout and labor impasse are putting a damper on everything. There has been no free-agency build up. And there won’t be trades involving veteran players.

ESPN Stats & Info’s Mark Malzewski sifted through the past 11 drafts to find all the draft-day trades involving players.

There have been 37 such trades, or 3.4 per draft. That included two deals involving drafted players, and those aren’t allowed this time either. (Think Eli Manning and Philip Rivers in 2004.)

These trades included significant names such as Jason Campbell, Pacman Jones, Randy Moss, Trent Green and Ahman Green.

Last year the Jaguars gave up a fourth-round pick to Oakland for linebacker Kirk Morrison and a fifth-rounder.

We’ll see no such movement in this draft and it certainly takes away one layer of intrigue. Allow trades for veterans in this draft and it could be way more interesting considering all the quarterback uncertainty around the league.

Quarterbacks Kevin Kolb, Carson Palmer, Kyle Orton and Matt Flynn, who could eventually be traded, will not go anywhere.

Here’s the year-by-year review of the sort of trades we won’t be seeing.

Draft Watch: AFC South

March, 10, 2011
3/10/11
12:29
PM ET
NFC Draft Watch: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

Each Thursday leading up to the NFL draft (April 28-30), the ESPN.com blog network will take a division-by-division look at key aspects of the draft. Today's topic: Needs.

Houston Texans

Where to start? The defense needs a major personnel infusion, starting at safety, where this draft is weak. Eugene Wilson (cut) and Bernard Pollard (not tendered in case he would be restricted) are not going to be back. They need candidates for both starting spots.

Outside linebacker in Wade Phillips’ 3-4 is a void, where rehabbing 4-3 end Connor Barwin is slated to be one guy and there is a blank on the other.

The team has talked confidently about Shaun Cody, who got a two-year contract, and second-year man Earl Mitchell being capable of playing the nose for Phillips. They can certainly upgrade.

The best answer for a group of too-young cornerbacks would be a veteran, not a rookie, but who knows how the next guy arrives? And a No. 2 wide receiver better than Kevin Walter who can do what they’d hoped Jacoby Jones would do would be nice.

Indianapolis Colts

We’ve been hearing about the need to get a tough yard in a crucial situation with the run game for some time and haven’t seen the personnel changes necessary. Then Bill Polian said during the season that yes, offensive tackle Rodger Saffold (drafted by the Rams in the second round) could have helped the Colts. The team needs offensive linemen, plural. At least one high-quality guy who can contribute from opening day would be big.

When they're healthy, Indianapolis has a great four-pack of receivers in Reggie Wayne, Austin Collie, Pierre Garcon and Anthony Gonzalez. But health questions on Collie and Gonzalez will linger; none of those guys looks to be an heir to Wayne’s role, and the Peyton Manning-era Colts have spent premium picks on skill guys.

The corner depth proved pretty good, but even if they are ultimately able to re-sign Melvin Bullitt, the Colts need some depth at safety.

Jacksonville Jaguars

While Courtney Greene may be a serviceable NFL safety, Don Carey probably is not. Odds are the Jaguars draft one and sign one at a position that was a big weakness in 2010.

Linebacker is also a spot of need. Daryl Smith is locked in, but the team probably will allow Kirk Morrison and Justin Durant to walk as free agents, meaning they need a starter on the middle and the outside.

Defensive end wouldn’t seem a need considering the team drafted Larry Hart and Austen Lane last season after adding veteran Aaron Kampman. But the pass rush is not where they want it, and a rush end could well be a position they address.

Inconsistent quarterback David Garrard needs to see the team have a legitimate alternative, and he should come from this draft. And those two quarterbacks plus Luke McCown need a No. 1-caliber receiver to head a group that won’t bring Mike Sims-Walker back.

Tennessee Titans

It starts under center, where the Titans do not have a No. 1 or No. 2 quarterback. They intend to add one veteran and one rookie and could easily spend their first or second pick on a signal-caller.

The team needs to get bigger and more durable on the defensive line. A beefy tackle and a rugged defensive end are on the wish list, and both could help make things easier for the rest of the defense. The interior didn’t collapse the pocket a lot, and the smallish ends wore down. Three of them are heading for free agency -- Jason Babin, Dave Ball and Jacob Ford.

Stephen Tulloch is heading for free agency, and the Titans didn’t get enough plays out of the linebackers last year, so they could upgrade.

Chris Hope’s replacement at strong safety doesn’t appear to be on the roster. While it’s a thin draft at the spot, the Titans need to find a candidate.

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Insider