AFC South: Mock draft

Todd McShay’s mock draft version 3.0 is out and available for your perusal if you’re an Insider.

Here’s an AFC South-based look if you’re not.

2) Jaguars: Luke Joeckel, OT, Texans A&M

McShay: “They surrendered 50 sacks last season and finished with third-fewest rushing yards in the NFL. The Jaguars would need to do some shuffling to make all the parts fit, but drafting Joeckel would immediately improve the mean age and the talent level of their offensive line.

Kuharsky: If Joeckel is a lock in their eyes, I would have no objection to this choice for new Jacksonville GM Dave Caldwell despite the presence of a good player in Eugene Monroe already on the roster.

10) Titans: Jonathan Cooper, G, North Carolina

McShay: “Cooper is the more explosive athlete and might be a slightly better fit [than Chance Warmack] for what the Titans are looking for. Either way, they will be in great shape if they draft one of these two exceptionally gifted guards at No. 10.”

Kuharsky: I don’t see Cooper over Warmack if both are available for the Titans at 10 and they decide to go guard.

24) Colts: Justin Pugh, G, Syracuse

McShay: “Coaches praise his work ethic and ability to quickly pick up the offense and blocking schemes. Pugh also has good movement skills. He has patience and balance in his sets and once he's able to latch on can lock out with his arms and shuffle and mirror defenders.”

Kuharsky: Indianapolis certainly needs offensive line help, but I’d think given this scenario they might find better quality help at one of several other positions of need.

27) Texans: Justin Hunter, WR, Tennessee

McShay: “Hunter has impressive natural hand-eye coordination and a huge catching radius. He can catch over his head with ease and he's smooth catching the ball on the run. Hunter also shows confidence attacking the football.”

Kuharsky: The Texans really need to give themselves the best possible chance to put a better second receiver on the field. If Hunter is the best option as things unfold, going for it would win applause here.
The draft is 99 days away. Mel Kiper’s first mock is out.

Where does he see teams of the AFC South heading at this point?

Let's have a look:

No. 2 -- Jacksonville: Damontre Moore, DE, Texas A&M

Kiper: “The Jaguars sacked opposing QBs on a league-low 3.6 percent of drop backs this season. I hear people question where Jacksonville will go at the QB position, but if they really want to make a change at QB in 2013 (and that's absolutely no guarantee), free agency is a better option than this spot in the draft. Meanwhile, I've had a pass-rusher as a top need for this franchise going on four years. Moore is an exceptionally productive defensive end prospect with very good quickness, long arms and elite closing burst as a rusher.”

Kuharsky: Oh, for a top-two spot last year instead of this year. A quarterback will rise, but the Jaguars shouldn’t force it. They need building blocks at a lot of spots, and if Moore can be one, then addressing the pass rush with this pick would be just fine.

No. 10 -- Tennessee: Dion Jordan, DE, Oregon

Kiper: “This is a very good athlete, a player who probably could have developed into a draft-worthy tight end, but Oregon made the right call in putting him on defense. There is development left in his game, but his quick first step, long arms and overall athleticism are all high level and he could become a very good NFL pass-rusher.”

Kuharsky: They need a guy who can consistently disrupt the passer, and if he could work with Derrick Morgan and Kamerion Wimbley, he could fill a need. He’s a developmental guy, and with a coach who will be on the hot seat, the Titans may seek immediate impact.

No. 24 -- Indianapolis: Menelik Watson, OT, Florida State

Kiper: “Who? Well, suffice to say, after just one year at Florida State, scouts know all about Watson, and people in NFL front offices are starting to catch up. This is a kid who has played basketball at the D-I level, can really use his hands to swat away rushers given a track record as an emerging boxing talent, and will go to the combine and run in the 4.8 range at around 320 pounds.”

Kuharsky: Protecting Andrew Luck has to be a priority and Kiper loves the ceiling for Watson. If he can upgrade the right tackle spot in a hurry, he sounds good to me.

No. 28 -- Houston: Keenan Allen, WR, Cal

Kiper: “If he hadn't become a wide receiver, it's entirely possible that Allen could be a coveted safety in this draft. His experience on defense shows up on offense, where he has a great knack for finding space in coverage, working back to the ball to help his quarterback and using great hands as a dependable pass-catcher. He's dangerous with the ball in his hands.”

Kuharsky: With DeVier Posey now recovering from a torn Achilles, finding a receiver to play opposite Andre Johnson and eventually take over for him should be a priority. Houston needs to be more threatening at wideout.

McShay and Mel mock the Jaguars

March, 8, 2012
Lost in a day that was busy thanks to Peyton Manning were new mock drafts from Todd McShay Insider and Mel Kiper Jr Insider.

Here’s the second of four team by team reviews.

7) Jacksonville Jaguars

McShay: Melvin Ingram, DE/OLB, South Carolina

“North Carolina DE Quinton Coples is more naturally talented, but he's inconsistent. Ingram has explosive quickness and power and he brings it on every down, and you know what you're getting with him. That fits the philosophy of the organization under general manager Gene Smith, who in the past has taken high-character, high-motor players like DT Tyson Alualu over more highly-rated prospects.”

Kiper: Quinton Coples, DE, North Carolina

“Coples wasn't quite as dominant as I thought he'd be during the 2011 season, but the draft process has reinforced what a lot of front office folks believed, which is that he's clearly the top 4-3 defensive end in the draft. The Jags need pass-catchers, but if Blackmon isn't available, Coples fits. Jacksonville sacked opposing quarterbacks fewer than two times a game in 2011, and Coples is a great fit for the scheme. He has great length at 6-foot-6, and the size to hold up in the run game, complementing his pass-rush skills. Jacksonville is another team that simply needs to upgrade its talent level, so the Jaguars shouldn't reach based on need.”

Kuharsky: If the Jaguars have the sort of questions about Coples that many analysts do, I can’t imagine they’d go near him. McShay’s thinking here makes a lot of sense.

McShay and Mel mock the Colts

March, 8, 2012
Lost in a day that was busy thanks to Peyton Manning were new mock drafts from Todd McShay Insider and Mel Kiper Jr Insider.

Here’s the first of four team by team reviews.

1) Indianapolis Colts

The picks: McShay and Kiper both take Stanford QB Andrew Luck

McShay: “It's never easy to say goodbye to a legend like Peyton Manning -- a Super Bowl winner and the face of the franchise since his first day in training camp -- but using the No. 1 overall pick on a once-in-a-generation prospect like Luck is an opportunity the Colts can't pass up. Luck's NFL-ready skill set and demeanor sets Indianapolis up for another decade-plus with one of the best quarterbacks in the league. “

Kiper: “No change here, even with the change to the future of Peyton Manning. Luck was going to land with the Colts; it was only a matter of whether he'd be serving an apprenticeship. I'm interested to see if he gets a deal done well before the draft so he can dive into the playbook. You know the scouting report. Arm strength, talent, size, smarts, leadership, intangibles -- it's all there. Luck is currently working hard out in Palo Alto to further refine his talents.”

Kuharsky: It’s a mere formality.

The AFC South in Mel's new mock

February, 15, 2012
Mel Kiper Jr.’s new mock draft Insider is out today, and we’ve received special permission to share AFC South picks.

Here’s a look with some thoughts.

1) Indianapolis, Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford

Kiper: “While the public relations drama continues between Jim Irsay and Peyton Manning, there's little drama surrounding whom the Colts will take with the No. 1 pick. I doubt Luck throws next week at the NFL combine, but his status among evaluators really isn't in question. Arm talent, strength, size, smarts, leadership, intangibles -- it's all there. The only question is whether he'll be serving an apprenticeship under Manning, but my guess right now would be that he won't have to.”

Kuharsky: He gets measured and tested next week in the city where he will wind up playing.

7) Jacksonville, Quinton Coples, DE, North Carolina

Kiper: “If the Jags don't add help at wide receiver in free agency, they could look for help here, but they're also desperate for pass rush help. They sacked opposing quarterbacks fewer than two times a game in 2011, and Coples would fit in the scheme as the top 4-3 defensive end in the draft. He has ideal physical traits, with great length at 6-foot-6, and the size to hold up in the run game, complementing his pass-rush skills. Jacksonville is another team that simply needs to upgrade the talent level, so it shouldn't reach on offense at the cost of adding superior talent.”

Kuharsky: Is Coples going to wind up being the mock pick to the Jaguars in the first round as often as Ryan Kerrigan was last year?

20) Tennessee, Whitney Mercilus, DE, Illinois

Kiper: “They've devoted some draft attention to it in recent years, but the Titans' pass rush still needs help. Only Tampa Bay had more of a struggle getting to opposing passers last year. People talk about the quarterback situation in Tennessee, but I think it was the lack of a pass rush that kept the Titans (barely) out of the playoffs last year. Mercilus is, quite simply, a pass-rusher. I like his athleticism and uncanny ability to beat blockers. He needs a good combine to cement his status, but he could move even higher, and might be a good value here. The Titans need someone who can breathe on an opposing quarterback.”

Kuharsky: If he’s “quite simply, a pass-rusher” and he shows well at the combine and in a pro day workout, will he move up out of Tennessee’s range?

26) Houston, Jerel Worthy, DT, Michigan State

Kiper: “Houston did an exceptional job in last year's draft, locking up players who would fit in Wade Phillips' system. And even the injury Mario Williams suffered didn't derail them. Worthy, when he's on his game, can be really dynamic. He has a really good burst for his size, allowing him to penetrate and be really disruptive against both the run and the pass. He'll tie up blockers because he can be really hard to neutralize one on one. He just needs to be consistent, but if Houston can rotate him in, it'll get good production early.”

Kuharsky: I like the defensive tackle idea. If Worthy is what Kiper thinks he will be, imagine the benefit to J.J. Watt, Antonio Smith, Connor Barwin, Brooks Reed, Brian Cushing and, perhaps, Mario Williams.