AFC South: Patrick Peterson

Film review: Motion key on big play

November, 20, 2013
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Clay Harbor wasn't the intended target, nor was he even touched on the play, but he played a critical role in the Jaguars’ successful fourth-down touchdown against Arizona last Sunday.

The 6-foot-3, 255-pound Harbor was one of three tight ends the Jaguars used on the fourth-and-1 play from their own 38-yard line early in the first quarter. His pre-snap motion -- in which he went right, left, and back right again -- confused the linebackers and safeties and was the reason Noble was able to get wide open.

"The most important thing was the motion," quarterback Chad Henne said. "Yo-yoing the motion and getting him to sprint out right kind of threw the defense off guard. They thought we were going to go right and we went left with it."

[+] EnlargeDanny Noble
AP Photo/Phelan M. EbenhackDanny Noble took his first career reception 62 yards for a score against the Cardinals.
A look at the film shows exactly what happened:

The Jaguars went with three tight ends, fullback Will Ta’ufo’ou, running back Maurice Jones-Drew and no receivers. Danny Noble, whom the team signed to the practice squad Oct. 9, and Marcedes Lewis lined up tight on the left and right side of the formation, respectively. Harbor lined up one step behind the line of scrimmage off Noble’s left hip.

When Harbor went in motion to his right, cornerback Patrick Peterson and safety Tyrann Mathieu slid across the formation with him. Harbor then went back to his left for two steps before turning around and going back right. You can see the reversal caused confusion between linebackers Karlos Dansby and Daryl Washington, with Washington pointing and waving his left hand.

At the snap, Noble releases and brushes by linebacker John Abraham and heads up the hashmarks before curling toward the numbers. Henne play-fakes the ball to Jones-Drew, who goes low to block Abraham while Ta’ufo’ou heads into the flat.

Henne looks at Ta’ufo’ou, which causes Mathieu and Washington to make a beeline for the flat. Peterson, who was simply backpedaling after the snap, never sees Noble until he catches the ball. At that point it becomes a footrace.

Peterson eventually catches Noble at the 12-yard line but he grabs high and slides off Noble’s hip at the 5-yard line.

Coach Gus Bradley said Henne deserves credit for not taking the quick throw to Ta’ufo’ou, who was open and would have made the first down and instead going to Noble. That’s a decision he may not have made earlier this season.

"I think earlier in the season Chad may have thrown it to Will in the flat and we would have all been sitting here saying, ‘Oh, if he would have just throw it to Noble we had a chance for an explosive play,’ and he did it," Bradley said. "He was looking at the fullback but he hung in there and threw it to Nobes and we got a big play off of it."
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Jacksonville Jaguars' offense hasn't had any trouble starting fast the last two weeks.

It's the rest of the game that has been the problem.

It happened in a 29-27 victory over Tennessee on Nov. 10 but the Jaguars were able to hang on and get their first victory over the season. They couldn't overcome it against the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday at EverBank Field, however, and lost 27-14.

[+] EnlargeDespite a strong first quarter, Chad Henne and the Jacksonville offense could not score for the rest of the game.
Sam Greenwood/Getty ImagesChad Henne
The Jaguars scored two touchdowns -- their first at EverBank this season -- and racked up 111 yards in the first quarter. But penalties, an injury to an already-depleted receiving corps, and the lack of a running game crushed the early momentum. The result was the ninth loss of the season and sixth consecutive loss at EverBank Field.

"After those scores we struggled," head coach Gus Bradley said. "We had quite a few three-and-outs. I know we had some second-and-longs, some penalties that showed up in the second half, a couple interceptions. We've got to overcome that. We've really got to continue to challenge our guys to step up and make plays."

The Jaguars (1-9) managed just two first downs in the second quarter and two more in the third. They managed just 163 yards in the final three quarters and 58 came after the Cardinals took a 24-14 lead. Why such a poor performance?

Penalties hurt. A false start on third-and-8 by receiver Ace Sanders in the second quarter. Early in the fourth, center Brad Meester and guard Uche Nwaneri had false starts on the same drive. A holding penalty on tackle Cameron Bradfield wiped out a 21-yard reception by Maurice Jones-Drew.

The running game was non-existent, too. That's not surprising considering the Cardinals entered the day with the NFL's third-ranked rush defense, but Jones-Drew and the offensive line really struggled. The Jaguars ran for just 32 yards on 16 carries and Jones-Drew ran 14 times for 23 yards, which is the second-lowest total of his career in games in which he's had double-digit carries.

The Jaguars were already short at receiver with the suspension of Justin Blackmon and Stephen Burton missing the game with a concussion, but Mike Brown left the game in the second half with a shoulder injury. That meant the Jaguars had to use Kerry Taylor, whom the team claimed off waivers from Arizona on Nov. 4, in a bigger role.

Sanders, Brown, Taylor and tight ends Marcedes Lewis and Clay Harbor were pretty much quarterback Chad Henne's only options because No. 1 receiver Cecil Shorts was being shadowed by Arizona cornerback Patrick Peterson. Until the final four minutes of the game, Henne targeted Shorts just once. In those final four minutes, Henne threw to Shorts four times.

Shorts was clearly frustrated.

"There was opportunities throughout the game I should have been involved in," Shorts said. "But, you know, it is what it is. I can't control what the … We can do better as an offense."

Henne wasn't particularly effective, either. Though he completed 27 of 42 passes for 255 yards and one touchdown, he threw two interceptions and didn't challenge the Arizona secondary. As noted, he didn't look for Shorts until the game was well in hand and there were instances where he was open against Peterson.

He settled for shorter passes too often, too, especially on several third downs. It seemed as if he was overly concerned with Peterson and safety Tyrann Mathieu.

"It was tough," Henne said. "Patrick Peterson's a great corner and we knew we were going to have some problems with him. But Cecil, I thought, in some of his one-on-one routes did some really good things with it. They were playing a high safety. Their guys up front are good pass rushers, so we wanted to get the ball out quick, get it out on time, and I think we definitely accomplished some of that."

It was a typical Henne game. Several good throws, several bad, and a mixture of safe stuff. But he couldn't lead the offense to any points despite starting possessions at his own 40, the Arizona 42, midfield, and his own 42. Punt, punt, punt, interception.

"Field position was outstanding," Bradley said. "We had a couple times we started on the 50 and there in. Those we have to come away with some points. We have to. Even if it's a field goal, to get it down there inside the 35. We took a sack on one. We were on the 36 yard line, the 38-yard line, trying to get it to the 35, we take a sack. Throw it away and give it a chance. We'll continue to grow on those decisions."

It's not all on Henne, Shorts said.

"I felt like we had a lot of momentum at the beginning of the game," said Shorts, who caught just two passes for 22 yards. "We had penalties. When we're in their territory we need to at least get three points. We're on their side of the 50, we can't have a penalty, first-and-15, and we get a positive play, then another penalty, first-and-20. We can't have stuff like that. We need to at least get three every time we're in their territory. We've just got to do better. We need to execute."

Rapid Reaction: Jacksonville Jaguars

November, 17, 2013

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A few thoughts on the Jacksonville Jaguars' 27-14 loss to the Arizona Cardinals.

What it means: The Jaguars were trying to achieve something that hasn't happened since 2010: win back-to-back games. They beat Tennessee and Oakland in consecutive weeks in December that season but have won just eight games since. There is a silver lining in the loss, though. Tampa Bay was routing the Falcons, which leaves the Jaguars as the league's only team with a single victory and puts them in the lead for the No. 1 overall selection in the 2014 draft.

Stock watch: Punter Bryan Anger had perhaps his best game of the season, averaging nearly 50 yards per punt and pinning the Cardinals deep in their own territory. In the third quarter alone he forced the Cardinals into starting drives on their 9-, 10- and 2-yard line. Anger kept the Jaguars in the game while the offense sputtered in the second half. Cornerback Alan Ball had a solid game, too, by breaking up four passes in the first half -- three of which were intended for Michael Floyd.

TOs overturned: The Jaguars had what appeared to be two turnovers deep in Arizona territory wiped out. Patrick Peterson fumbled a punt at his own 10-yard line. Three Jaguars pounced on the ball but somehow Peterson came out with it and the Cardinals retained possession. Replays appeared to show long-snapper Carson Tinker coming out of the pile with the ball and the Jaguars challenged the play, but officials upheld the ruling on the field. Two plays later, middle linebacker Russell Allen intercepted Carson Palmer's pass to Larry Fitzgerald, but officials announced after the play that the Cardinals had called timeout before the snap.

Sneaky: The Jaguars scored their first touchdown on an interesting fourth-and-1 call. They lined up at their own 38 with extra tight ends. The Cardinals played run all the way, and the play-action fake allowed recently acquired tight end Danny Noble to get behind the first level of defenders. Chad Henne hit him with a good pass and Noble broke a tackle to score a 62-yard touchdown. What made the play work is the fact that Noble is a blocking tight end who had played in only five games and never had a catch until Sunday.

What's next: The Jaguars will play at Houston on Sunday.
Here are five things to watch in Sunday’s Jacksonville Jaguars-Arizona Cardinals game at EverBank Field in Jacksonville, Fla.

Shorts vs. Peterson: Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson usually shadows the opposing team’s best receiver. In the Jaguars’ case, that’s Cecil Shorts (48 catches, 607 yards). Can the 6-foot, 202-pound Shorts handle the 6-1, 219-pound Peterson? Shorts cannot get completely taken out of the game, because the Jaguars’ other receivers aren’t good enough to carry the passing game. Mike Brown is a solid No. 3 receiver but the only other healthy receiver is Kerry Taylor.

The Honey Badger: Tyrann Mathieu was a ballhawk at LSU, and he’s doing the same with Arizona. He has two interceptions and 10 pass breakups. He starts at safety, and he’s also talented enough to cover slot receivers man-to-man. The Jaguars need to be aware of where he is pre-snap, because he’s also a decent blitzer.

Who’s in the middle: Jaguars middle linebacker Paul Posluszny is questionable because of a concussion. He’s by far the defense’s best player (88 tackles, two interceptions, two forced fumbles), so not having him on the field would be a huge loss. Outside linebacker Russell Allen would take his place. Though he has played all three spot in his five-year career, Allen hasn’t started a game in the middle since his rookie season (2009). Allen’s replacement would be rookie John Lotulelei, who has played in just two games this season.

Can Mojo get going? The Jaguars have struggled to run the ball all season, and now they’ll be facing the No. 3 run defense in the league. The Cardinals are allowing only 86.9 yards per game on the ground. Jones-Drew has rushed for 432 yards, and is averaging 3.0 yards per carry, more than a yard less than his career average. The offensive line might be without starting left guard Will Rackley (concussion), too.

The end zone: The Jaguars haven’t been in one in EverBank Field this season. The last TD the team scored there came in the first quarter of a Week 16 loss to New England in 2012. The Jaguars have been out-scored 89-11 in three games at EverBank this season.
INDIANAPOLIS -- Morris Claiborne is largely regarded as the top cornerback available in the draft.

The Jaguars may be drafting a bit too late at No. 7 to get him, but he’d sure be a great fit. Jacksonville has a quality young corner in Derek Cox. But veteran Rashean Mathis is about to be an unrestricted free agent and is coming off a torn ACL. Even if he’s re-signed and recovered for opening day, the Jaguars need their next starting corner on the roster.

Not long ago, Claiborne wasn’t even a cornerback. He said he was recruited to LSU as an “athlete” and teammate Patrick Peterson, drafted fifth overall by Arizona last year, convinced him to try corner.

He was quickly hooked.

Regarding the combine, Peterson told Claiborne to “go up and take over.”

Claiborne is an admirer of Darrelle Revis and rates himself a technician who funnels receivers rather than being especially physical with them.

He’d be a great piece for the Jaguars. But it may be difficult for him to get beyond Tampa Bay at No. 5.
Todd McShay’s final mock draft has a big surprise early that could change the picture for the AFC South. He’s got Missouri defensive end/ linebacker Aldon Smith, who we’ve identified as a candidate for Houston and Jacksonville, going fifth to Arizona.

McShay goes seven rounds. I’ll only share three.

No. 8 -- Tennessee Titans

Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn

“Fairley is the best interior pass-rusher in the 2011 class, has tremendous overall upside and fills a major need.”

No. 39 -- Ryan Mallett, QB, Arkansas

No. 77 -- Marcus Gilchrist, CB, Clemson

PK says: Virtually every time they’ve talked about quarterbacks, they’ve talked about the ability to rollout and move. Good offensive line or no, I don’t see them going with the least mobile of the top eight quarterbacks.

No. 11 -- Houston Texans

Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU

“There has been talk about the Texans possibly trading up to get Peterson and significantly upgrade their secondary, but in this dream scenario they stay put and get one of the four elite players in this class.”

No. 42 -- Stephen Paea, DT, Oregon

No. 73 -- John Moffitt, G, Wisconsin

PK says: A first-round dream scenario becomes possible thanks to the ascension of Smith and J.J. Watt. I hope they think they need an interior defensive linemen like Paea.

No. 16 -- Jacksonville Jaguars

Ryan Kerrigan, DE, Purdue

"Kerrigan is the kind of safe pick GM Gene Smith likes, a player who works hard and can contribute right away with solid skills and a high motor."

No. 49 -- Torrey Smith, WR, Maryland

No. 80 -- Edmond Gates, WR, Abilene Christian

PK says: Gene Smith has attacked key positions in bunches, so he could nab a couple receivers. But no quarterback until the second of the team’s two fourth-round picks?

No. 22 -- Indianapolis Colts

Gabe Carimi, OT, Wisconsin

"Carimi would provide more protection for QB Peyton Manning but, more importantly, would be a significant upgrade for a running game that struggled mightily in 2010."

No. 53 -- Clint Boling, G, Georgia

No. 87 -- Terrell McClain, DT, USF

PK says: It’s hard to imagine no skill position guys with the value picks, but it could be healthy for the roster.

NFL Blog Network mock draft

April, 25, 2011
We know you’ve been mocked and mocked. We all give you divisional takes on Todd McShay and Mel Kiper. We often link to other mocks. Maybe you’re to your breaking point. Maybe you need one more.

We spent three days last week emailing back and forth and compiling a mock put together by eight divisional bloggers. John Clayton stood in for the NFC East.

Perhaps we add some different insight to the speculation. Perhaps we echoed prevailing wisdom. (I can raise my hand on that, as you will see.)

At any rate, we know we’re mostly wrong, and we’re eager to write names in draft slots in ink instead of pencil when things kick off Thursday evening. Here’s hoping this helps tide you over.

Big Board Bar

Analysis: The Panthers are aware of upside and downside with Newton. But a team that has to compete in a division with Drew Brees, Matt Ryan and Josh Freeman for the foreseeable future realizes it has to get a franchise quarterback to have a chance in the NFC South. Time to take the big leap on Newton. (Pat Yasinskas)


Analysis: The Broncos are thrilled to see Carolina go with a quarterback, allowing them to pick from the entire defensive board. Denver goes with Dareus because he's a perfect fit and he's ready to instantly impact the NFL's worst defense. (Bill Williamson)


Analysis: The Bills have a great opportunity to land a potential franchise quarterback and don't plan on drafting in this territory again. GM Buddy Nix repeatedly has said the presence of Ryan Fitzpatrick as the starter means it's the perfect time to draft a quarterback and let him grow. (Tim Graham)


Analysis: Drafting a receiver this high is risky, especially when quarterback Carson Palmer is talking retirement. So there's nothing wrong with going safe and taking arguably the best player in this draft. (James Walker)


Analysis: It's tough to second-guess the Cardinals under this scenario with the top two quarterbacks off the board. New defensive coordinator Ray Horton needs outside pass-rush help and fresh legs at linebacker. (Mike Sando)


Analysis: I think the Browns should go defense with Robert Quinn and Nick Fairley still available. But our AFC North readers voted for Green when making our mock draft board. He gives quarterback Colt McCoy a legit No. 1 receiver. (James Walker)


Analysis: The 49ers have needs in the secondary, too, so Prince Amukamara could be an option. Quinn was suspended for last season and previously returned from surgery to relieve pressure associated with a benign brain tumor. The question on Quinn is whether the 49ers' medical people would sign off on him. (Mike Sando)


Analysis: A DT with Fairley's power and feet can impact the entire defense, and the Titans need a big transformation on that side of the ball. Still, the gaping hole at quarterback means they may look to maneuver. If they love Jake Locker, it's even possible they'd take him here. (Paul Kuharsky)


Analysis: Jerry Jones may be tempted to trade down, but the revamping of the offensive line is long overdue. Smith has the best upside of any tackle in the draft. (John Clayton)


Analysis: Even though Mike Shanahan will be looking to improve his defense with the first pick, it's going to be hard to pass on a fast wide receiver and the second-best non-quarterback offensive player available in the draft. (John Clayton)


Analysis: The Texans are out of range for Miller and Quinn, who'd be huge additions. Trading down to a team that wants a quarterback here and landing an OLB later in the first would be ideal. I think they address the front before the secondary, and Smith can rush from the outside, helping the whole D. (Paul Kuharsky)


Analysis: A team desperate for a quarterback can't wait for one to fall to them in the second round. Without a third-round pick, trade-up options are limited. Sometimes you just have to jump. (Kevin Seifert)

Analysis: A speedy playmaker in the back end would enhance the Lions' defensive rebuild. (Kevin Seifert)


Analysis: With the top two receivers gone, the Rams get arguably the highest-rated defensive lineman available at this point. Watt has the versatility to play more than one position. He would give Steve Spagnuolo welcome depth on the line, upgrading and diversifying the rotation instantly. (Mike Sando)


Analysis: The Dolphins' interior line has been chaotic for the past three years, and Pouncey is a versatile player who can line up at center or guard. If the Dolphins truly are sold on Ryan Mallett, they might make a splash by taking him here because they don't have a second-round pick to use on a quarterback. (Tim Graham)


Analysis: GM Gene Smith made it clear recently that Kerrigan is hardly the only "Gene Smith guy" who could be available here. But Kerrigan's résumé, college captaincy and work ethic make him a fit considering an edge pass-rusher should complete the defensive line reconstruction. (Paul Kuharsky)


Analysis: If he's still on the board here, the Patriots likely won't be deterred by Bowers' knee injury. Bill Belichick always is searching for value and isn't afraid to draft injured players and give them time to heal. The Patriots drafted Brandon Tate in the third round in 2009 even though he was healing from reconstructive knee surgery. (Tim Graham)


Analysis: The Chargers are thrilled the Cal pass-rusher is on the board. The intense, high-character Jordan is one of the team's top-rated pass-rushers. He should give this team an instant spark. (Bill Williamson)

Analysis: Like the Cowboys, the Giants let their offensive line get too old. Even though Mike Pouncey would have been tempting to take at this spot if he were available, the Giants need a tackle more than they do a guard. (John Clayton)


Analysis: The Buccaneers have a huge need for a pass-rusher. Houston's the best on the board. Time for the Stylez G. White (4.5 sacks last season) era to end. (Pat Yasinskas)

Analysis: The Chiefs are relieved Tampa Bay didn't take Wilkerson. He is a versatile player who will fit in with this defensive line and should help this young defense continue to improve. (Bill Williamson)


Analysis: Yes, there are good offensive line options here and Bill Polian could pounce on Nate Solder or Gabe Carimi. But the Colts are rarely in range of a top interior defensive lineman and Liuget's penetration means he helps the rush and the run defense. (Paul Kuharsky)


Analysis: The Eagles have spent a lot of time investigating Smith's character and determined he's too talented to let pass. The Eagles need cornerback help, but if Smith is gone, they will look at a right tackle or right guard. (John Clayton)


Analysis: The Saints don't need an immediate star. But he can be the heir apparent to Will Smith and contribute in a defensive end rotation for a year or two before becoming the main piece of this defensive line. (Pat Yasinskas)


Analysis: The players taken 22nd through 24th could appeal as well. Some locals will groan if the Seahawks pass up Jake Locker, but Ingram represents the value pick. Seattle wants to trade down. GM John Schneider was with Seattle in 2000 when the team drafted another Alabama back, Shaun Alexander, in the first round. (Mike Sando)


Analysis: The Ravens love drafting monsters on their front seven, and Heyward would be a good value at No. 26. He has an NFL pedigree and adds another threat to get to the quarterback. (James Walker)

Analysis: The Falcons would really love to get a pass-rushing defensive end, but the board is pretty empty. They can fill that need whenever free agency starts. For now, they'll switch things up and look for an "explosive" player on offense. Baldwin is a huge receiver and could be the perfect complement to Roddy White. (Pat Yasinskas)


Analysis: Another value pick for the Patriots if Solder still is on the board. The Patriots must stabilize their offensive line. Left tackle Matt Light went to the Pro Bowl as an alternate last season but is a free agent and will turn 33 in June. (Tim Graham)


Analysis: Looking to trade down, the Bears are stunned to find one of the draft's top tackles still available. Carimi is an immediate starter. Thanks, fellow bloggers. (Kevin Seifert)


Analysis: The Jets' primary needs are to improve their pass rush and along the defensive line. Ayers can rush the passer and help in coverage. That kind of versatility makes it easier for Rex Ryan to deploy his tricky, aggressive defensive tactics. (Tim Graham)


Analysis: Steelers catch a break with both Williams and Miami cornerback Brandon Harris still on the board. Williams' versatility and physicality give him a slight edge, and he fills the team's biggest need at corner. (James Walker)


Analysis: With Ayers off the board, the Packers continue their succession plan at offensive tackle. It's a luxury afforded to the Super Bowl champions. (Kevin Seifert)

Texas cornerback Aaron Williams might qualify as the best safety in a terrible safety draft, says Jeffrey Martin. Every team in the AFC South can use a safety.

Houston Texans

The Texans need to trade up for Texas A&M linebacker Von Miller or LSU corner Patrick Peterson, says Jerome Solomon.

Aldon Smith is still the pick at 11 in John McClain’s newest mock.

A blueprint for the Texans’ success from Lance Zierlein. Excellent stuff in here. The only piece I disagree with is moving Glover Quin to safety. I think it’s too early to make that decision and the team can still find a couple of quality safeties, particularly if the team is willing to shop in free agency when it arrives.

Is Amobi Okoye conceding he can’t play nose in the 3-4? Alan Burge examines.

Letting Vonta Leach leave might not be all bad, says Rivers McCown. I’m not so sure Leach will get a big deal elsewhere.

Indianapolis Colts

Best available player or an offensive lineman? That’s the question for the Colts, says Mike Chappell.

Chappell on the Colts and quarterback possibilities in the draft.

The Colts are looking through a broader lens for this draft, writes Chappell.

Blair White is working to build chemistry with Peyton Manning, says Joe Rexrode. Hat tip to Nate Dunlevy.)

Linebacker options for the Colts from Brett Mock.

Jacksonville Jaguars

The Jaguars are in flux at linebacker, says Tania Ganguli.

Pass defense is a big issue, says Vito Stellino.

Tennessee Titans

Late-round finds are great, but first-round choices can make or break a team, says John Glennon.

Would the Titans, should the Titans, take Cam Newton if he slides, asks Jim Wyatt.

Tracy Rocker gives the Titans a big resource on Nick Fairley, says Jim Wyatt.

Fairley says his sleep apnea is under control, says Glennon.

Who might want to trade up to No. 8?

McShay's multiple scenarios

April, 20, 2011
While Todd McShay makes an official pick in his newest mock Insider, he also provides a three-for-one, with two alternate scenarios for each team.

Here’s what he’s got the AFC South doing.

Tennessee Titans, No. 8

Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn

Scenario 1: Fairley makes the most sense at this point and he has tremendous upside. He's worth the pick from a talent standpoint, but there are legitimate questions about his football character and if the Titans pass, that will be the reason.

Scenario 2: [Prince] Amukamara is worth the pick and would fill one of the Titans' top five needs.

Scenario 3: If [Julio] Jones were to fall this far, Tennessee would consider taking him given Kenny Britt's recent off-field issues, or if he were available it might provide an opportunity to trade back with a team like the St. Louis Rams and perhaps address need at quarterback with someone like Washington's Jake Locker.

My thoughts: I’m on board with Fairley if things unfold as expected with the top seven players. If Blaine Gabbert or Patrick Peterson somehow slip, I think they’d pounce. Among players likely available, I think Locker is second-most likely to Fairley, with Jones next.

Houston Texans, No. 11

Robert Quinn, DE/OLB, North Carolina

Scenario 1: Taking Quinn is the best-case scenario outside of [Von] Miller somehow falling this far. Quinn would be a nice complement to fellow OLB Connor Barwin, one of the best ILB tandems in the league in DeMeco Ryans and Brian Cushing, and difference-maker Mario Williams up front.

Scenario 2: If Quinn is gone, then a 5-technique like [J.J.] Watt or California's Cameron Jordan would be the pick.

Scenario 3: The Texans could be forced to weigh value against philosophy here if the players above are gone. Amukamara would be the value pick, but I tend to think they would lean toward Missouri DE Aldon Smith because new defensive coordinator Wade Phillips is determined to upgrade the front seven.

My thoughts: Quinn would feel like a home run. If he’s gone, I feel like one of those more rugged ends who could play in a 3-4 would be the value, though Smith would fill the more the outright need. Amukamara would surprise me.

Jacksonville Jaguars, No. 16

Ryan Kerrigan, DE, Purdue

Scenario 1: General manager Gene Smith likes safe, high-motor, strong-character picks who can contribute right away, and Kerrigan fits that mold perfectly.

Scenario 2: If the Jaguars were to take a chance with this pick, it could be on Clemson DE Da'Quan Bowers and his knee issues.

Scenario 3: Their three other top needs are reaches here, so reaching for Locker or moving back for another quarterback might be a possibility.

My thoughts: Kerrigan is an easy match to make, but he’s not the only high-motor, hard-worked Smith is going to have a crack at here. They already have a DE with knee questions in Aaron Kampman, and I suspect they’d fear Bowers. Watt or Smith are possibilities.

Indianapolis, No. 22

Nate Solder, OT, Colorado

Scenario 1: Solder is a no-brainer. The Colts gave up the fewest sacks in the league last year, but that was mostly due to QB Peyton Manning getting the ball out quickly. But Solder has the athleticism to help in protection when he's ready to step into the lineup. More importantly, he's already a monster at 6-foot-8 and 319 pounds and would help upgrade a running game that finished 29th in the league (92.7 yards per game) last season.

Scenario 2: Liuget is the higher-ranked prospect and is a strong possibility as the kind of quick, penetrating defensive lineman the Colts like.

Scenario 3: If the top four offensive tackles are off the board, Indianapolis could reach for Mississippi State OT Derek Sherrod.

My thoughts: As soon as a player or a position is deemed a no brainer for the Colts, I get scared. One of the top four offensive tackles sure looks like a match. I don’t see them looking to Sherrod as he seems a bit like Tony Ugoh. I could certainly see Liuget. Is there a receiver value here?
Reading the coverage ...

Peter King says the Texans are in love with Patrick Peterson and has details of Jeff Fisher’s upcoming climb.

An autographed “Luv Ya Blue” Oilers helmet sold for $2 million at a charity auction.

The second round of mediation is mostly for show, says Mike Freeman.

Houston Texans

The directions the Texans can go at No. 11, from John McClain.

Taking a quarterback high is risky business, says McClain.

Greg Cosell assesses Aldon Smith, via Alan Burge.

Indianapolis Colts

The NFL is prepared to move the date of Indianapolis’ Super Bowl if needed.

Bill Polian’s being honored by Marian University.

Some possibilities at center in the draft, from Brett Mock.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Even with more blackouts it would be too early to worry about the Jaguars leaving, says Vito Stellino.

Are prospects rising or falling or are reporters just catching up to values? John Oehser discusses.

Tennessee Titans

The Titans' draft approach can’t help but change because of the lockout, says John Glennon.

Pondering Ryan Mallett with Jim Wyatt.

David Boclair wonders about how Mike Munchak will deal with Kenny Britt.

Deep draft thoughts from Mike Mayock

February, 28, 2011
Mike Mayock of the NFL Network has become the official final word at the combine -- he’s the last guy at the podium after four days of interviews because he’s great at summarizing things.

I just listened to a tape of his talk, and pulled out some things I thought you’d find interesting. I’ll have his voice in a piece or two still to come as well.
  • “The defensive line in general is phenomenal. I’ve got nine defensive ends with first-round grades. Typically 3.8 to four go in the first round.”
  • He believes tight end is the weakest spot in the draft and that the safety class is below average. (Bad news for Texans, Jaguars and even Titans.)
  • Patrick Peterson vs. Julio Jones was his favorite tape of the year to watch.
  • He like the depth of the first couple rounds at offensive tackle and thinks there could be a plug-and-play guy at the spot who would be a fit for the Colts at No. 22.
  • Ryan Mallett is a first-round talent he doesn’t think will get drafted in the first round.
  • Oregon inside linebacker Casey Matthews is not explosive like his brother Clay, but he is instinctive and will play better than his measurables suggest.