AFC South: NFL Roster Analysis 2010

Jacksonville Jaguars cutdown analysis

September, 4, 2010
9/04/10
10:17
PM ET
Check here for a full list of Jacksonville’s roster moves.

Biggest surprises: Three undrafted rookies won spots -- offensive tackle Kevin Haslam, defensive end Aaron Morgan and linebacker Jacob Cutrera. Getting anything for Reggie Nelson was big, and GM Gene Smith managed to send the safety to Cincinnati for David Jones. That’s a surprise. That they also cut another veteran safety, Gerald Alexander, before adding one, also qualifies as a surprise. They seem sure to add someone in the coming days. Right now the starting pairing would come from Anthony Smith, Sean Considine, Tyron Brackenridge and Courtney Greene. I bet Peyton Manning and Matt Schaub endorse that. It’s not clear who the third wide receiver will be with Troy Williamson gone. Atiyyah Ellison was a feel good story a year ago, now he’s gone too. The team has three fullbacks with Greg Jones, Montell Owens and Brock Bolen. Kynan Forney was competing for a starting guard job, lost it and lost his place on the team.

No-brainers: Not a ton. Three linebackers -- Teddy Lehman, Alvin Bowen and Tony Gilbert -- of a weak group of reserves didn’t make it and another (Kyle Bosworth) was placed on IR.

What’s next: Work at safety, first and foremost. The Jaguars will be thorough in their examination and consideration of the waiver wire and free agents. They have room at the back of the roster for upgrades. After safety, look for linebacker to be the spot that gets the most attention as the Jaguars have just five on the roster.

Indianapolis Colts cutdown analysis

September, 4, 2010
9/04/10
10:03
PM ET
Check here for a full list of Indianapolis’ roster moves.


Biggest surprises: Undrafted running back/returner Devin Moore, undrafted offensive tackle Jeff Linkenbach and undrafted cornerback Brandon King all won roster spots. Defensive tackle Mitch King, who also ranked as a long shot when camp started, survived. So did Gijon Robinson, the primary blocking tight end in recent years who figures to lose snaps to rookie Brody Eldridge. John Chick, a CFL star, lost out to Keyunta Dawson in his bid to be the fourth defensive end.

No-brainers: Two out of three of the return candidates were going, and those turned out to be Brandon James and seventh-rounder Ray Fisher.

What’s next: The team traded an undisclosed pick to Washington for defensive back Justin Tryon, so it appears more settled with cornerback depth. Despite fan desires for a change from Curtis Painter, I’d expect he’s locked in as the backup quarterback to Peyton Manning. The team is currently 10 deep on the offensive and defensive lines, but there doesn’t seem to be a spot screaming out for help at the expense of a lineman right now.

Houston Texans cutdown analysis

September, 4, 2010
9/04/10
7:23
PM ET
Check here for a full list of Houston’s roster moves.

Biggest surprises: At times, the Texans touted running backs Jeremiah Johnson and Chris Henry. But they are both gone now, Johnson likely due at least in part to a toe injury. Veteran Derrick Ward gets the last running back spot, and the Texans will move forward with Arian Foster, Steve Slaton and Ward as they look for a big jump from their running game. Another player that got some early hype from Gary Kubiak, defensive tackle Malcolm Sheppard, didn’t stick.

No-brainers: Considering quality and draft status ahead of them, low-ranking depth chart guys were easy choices for the waiver wire: Receivers Bobby Williams and Derrick Townsel, offensive tackles Steve Maneri, Brett Helms and Cole Pemberton, defensive tackle Mitch Unrein, linebacker Will Patterson and cornerback Mark Parson. Perhaps we will see a few of them who did OK resurface on the practice squad.

What’s next: With the running back issue resolved, the Texans might not have too much waiver-wire surfing to do. They could upgrade over Jesse Nading at their final end spot. While they are quite young with their five cornerbacks, they seemed committed to them all, at least right now. While they put Kris Brown and Andre Davis on IR and Anthony Hill on PUP, they did not announce Brian Cushing is on the suspended-reserve list. So they might still be in line to gain one roster spot.

Tennessee Titans cutdown analysis

September, 4, 2010
9/04/10
6:58
PM ET
Check here for a full list of Tennessee's roster moves.

Biggest surprises: Running back Samkon Gado ran ahead of LeGarrette Blount since he was added, but Gado lost out to the unproven rookie. Tight end Sean Ryan seemed like he’d stick as insurance for Craig Stevens, whose role is now quite important and who’s had concussion issues in the past. But the Titans parted ways with Ryan. Veteran cornerback Tye Hill was surprised he was let go, according to The Tennessean. Jeff Fisher says teams need at least four corners. If you count nickelback Vincent Fuller, a safety, in the equation the numbers are OK. But otherwise unproven Ryan Mouton is fourth.

No-brainers: Chris Simms often looked confused and flustered in preseason action, and it became clear that the Titans would stick with Kerry Collins as the veteran backup to Vince Young while looking to develop rookie Rusty Smith for down the road. Collins can run the scout team at practice and step in with no practice work if and when he’s needed, and Smith’s got a lot of good qualities, including a nice arm and swagger.

What’s next: The Titans will probably look for help at linebacker, where Gerald McRath’s four-game suspension is underway, and the primary alternative, Collin Allred, has not been durable lately. Could they pursue Oakland’s Thomas Howard in a trade? The depth right now beyond Stephen Tulloch, Will Witherspoon and Allred is Jamie Winborn, Stanford Keglar and long snapper Ken Amato. With receiver Paul Williams finally gone, Keglar can be the guy fans wonder about still being around.

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