AFC South: Sergio Kindle
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Each week leading up to the NFL draft (April 22-24), the ESPN.com blog network will take a division-by-division look at key aspects of the draft. Today’s topic: Dream scenario/Plan B.
(Overboard) Dream scenario: Running back C.J. Spiller falls to them, but I cannot see that happening and I don’t see safety Earl Thomas lasting either. Next best is that they are in position to choose running back Ryan Mathews. He could work every down if needed and will be able to earn the tough yard and hold on to the ball in a way no one could last season, when the offense was very good despite its running woes. Plan B: Mathews is gone and they get a cornerback like Devin McCourty or Kyle Wilson. My inkling is that McCourty could be the guy in this situation.
(Overboard) Dream scenario: Center Maurkice Pouncey somehow lasts, giving the Colts a big interior presence who could help at guard and eventually succeed Jeff Saturday. Next best is that they find another lineman who’s especially well suited to what the Colts do, but brings a bit more size. That could be Rodger Saffold, who seems to project as a very good left tackle for them. Plan B: A speedy defensive end in the mold of Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis. TCU’s Jerry Hughes fits the bill.
Dream scenario: Someone wants the Jaguars' No. 10 pick and offers a deal that drops them down in the first round and gets them a second-rounder, which they currently lack. They’d be happy to dip down and still find a defensive end, defensive back or interior offensive lineman. Plan B: If they stay put, linebacker Rolando McClain could be too good to resist 10th overall. He can be a consistent playmaker and a face-of-the-defense guy for a team that’s still looking to develop its personality.
Dream scenario: Get a trade offer, move back to regain a second-round pick and still be able to add a defensive end (Sergio Kindle?) or cornerback (McCourty?) early on. If they stay at 16, they’d love to see a run at offensive tackle ahead of them and Jimmy Clausen go off the board by the time their turn comes. I think they’d be happy with Jason Pierre-Paul or Brandon Graham. Plan B: Wilson, who’d have a chance to earn a spot as a starter opposite Cortland Finnegan.
As we count down to Thursday, here’s the second of four posts with their answers, which are largely a lesson in how many different views there can be on the same subjects. (Check out part one here.)
Segment two focused on matchmaking.
The perfect fit for the Jaguars that you expect to be available at No. 10 is?
Scout A: Rolando McClain or Jason Pierre-Paul
Scout B: Pierre-Paul
Matt Williamson, Scouts Inc.: Honestly, I really don't think that there is such a thing. The Jags are in no-man’s land. But if I had to pick one, I would take Earl Thomas.
Daniel Jeremiah, movethetticks.com: Pierre-Paul
The perfect fit for the Titans that you expect to be available at No. 16 is?
Scout A: Derrick Morgan or Brandon Graham
Scout B: Sergio Kindle
The perfect fit for the Texans that you expect to be available at No. 20 is?
Scout A: C.J. Spiller or Thomas
Scout B: Kyle Wilson
Williamson: This is a tough one and they should be very happy with Dan Williams, Thomas, Wilson or Ryan Mathews. But if I only get one, I will also go with Thomas, but I don't love his chances of still being on the board.
Jeremiah: Kareem Jackson
The perfect fit for the Colts that you expect to be available at No. 31 is?
Scout A: Maurkice Pouncey or Jared Odrick
Scout B: Rodger Saffold
As we count down to Thursday, here’s the first of four posts with their answers, which are largely a lesson in how many different views there can be on the same subjects.
I started with a focus on defensive end and cornerback, as I think all four AFC South teams will consider cornerback in the first round and three of our four teams will consider an end the first round (not Houston).
In order, rank defensive ends you think are top 35 picks:
Scout A: Derrick Morgan, Jason Pierre-Paul, Brandon Graham, Sergio Kindle, Jerry Hughes, Everson Griffen.
Scout B: Morgan, Pierre-Paul, Graham, Corey Wooten, Kindle, Carlos Dunlap, Hughes, Griffen
Matt Williamson, Scouts Inc.: Morgan, Graham, Pierre-Paul, Hughes, Jared Odrick (but only for a 3-4, otherwise he is a DT), Griffen
Daniel Jeremiah, movethesticks.com: Pierre-Paul, Graham (could be DE or OB), Morgan... that's it for 4-3 DE's.
Combined/consensus order: Morgan, Pierre-Paul, Graham, Hughes, Kindle, Griffin. Wooten, Dunlap and Odrick all get one mention as top 35 picks.
In order, rank cornerbacks you think are top 35 picks:
Scout A: Joe Haden, Patrick Robinson, Kyle Wilson.
Scout B: Haden, Wilson, Robinson, Devin McCourty, Brandon Ghee, Kareem Jackson, Dominique Franks, Perrish Cox
Williamson: Haden, Jackson, Wilson, McCourty
Jeremiah: Haden, Jackson, Wilson, McCourty
Combined/consensus order: Haden, Wilson, Jackson are one-two-three, with Wilson and McCourty even at four, though Wilson was mentioned as a first-rounder by all four. Ghee, Franks and Cox each got one mention.
So here they are, with thoughts from yours truly:
10th – Jacksonville
Kiper: Derrick Morgan, DE, Georgia Tech
McShay: Earl Thomas, S, Texas
Kuharsky: From what I know, I think either would stand to help the Jaguars. A lot depends on what they are feeling about Reggie Nelson, who didn’t earn a lot of confidence in 2009.
16th – Titans
Kiper: Sergio Kindle, OLB, Texans
Kuharsky: Need wise, I see more for Morgan than for Kindle. A prime pass-rusher is, as it was in 1999, the primary missing ingredient for this defense, when Tennessee drafted Jevon Kearse 16th.
20th – Texans
Kiper: Kyle Wilson, CB, Boise State
Kuharsky: Wilson can certainly help fill the Dunta Robinson hole, but if the right running back or free safety is there (Kiper has C.J. Spiller and Thomas still available), Houston could easily go one of those directions.
31st – Colts
Kiper: Brian Price, DT, UCLA
McShay: Maurkice Pouncey, C/G, Florida
Kuharsky: With Ryan Lilja let go, the Colts lack established guards. And trying to get bigger, Pouncey can bring that. But they draft the best player available at the top, and if it’s Price, they could go there.
Today we’re using Mel Kiper, Bleacher Report, Bucky Brooks, newnfldraft.com, NFLDraftDog.com, NFLDraftUpdates.com and KDraftonline's consensus.
Jacksonville (10 or 11)
Kiper: Derrick Morgan, DE, Georgia Tech (11)
Bleacher Report: Brian Price, DT, UCLA (11)
Brooks: Carlos Dunlap, DE, Florida (10)
NewNFLDraft.com: Brian Price, DT, UCLA (10)
NFLDraftDog.com: Joe Haden, CB, Florida (10)
NFLDraftUpdates.com: Dez Bryant, WR, Oklahoma State (11)
KDraftonline consensus: Derrick Morgan, DE, Georgia Tech (11)
My thoughts: If there is a pass-rusher the Jaguars love here, it’s hard to imagine them going a different direction, especially without a second-rounder.
Tennessee (16 or 17)
Kiper: Carlos Dunlap, DE, Florida (17)
Bleacher Report: Carlos Dunlap, DE, Florida (17)
Brooks: Brian Price, DT, UCLA (17)
NewNFLDraft.com: Derrick Morgan, DE, Georgia Tech (16)
NFLDraftDog.com: Dan Williams, DT, Tennessee (16)
NFLDraftUpdates.com: Derrick Morgan, DE, Georgia Tech (17)
KDraftonline consensus: Carlos Dunlap, DE, Florida (16)
My thoughts: The more the whole world gives the Titans a defensive lineman, the more inclined I am to think they’ll wind up going cornerback.
Houston (19 or 20)
Kiper: Brian Price, DT, UCLA
Bleacher Report: Taylor Mays, S, Southern California
Brooks: Earl Thomas, S, Texas
NewNFLDraft.com: Earl Thomas, S, Texas
NFLDraftDog.com: Earl Thomas, S, Texans
NFLDraftUpdates.com: Brian Price, DL, UCLA
KDraftonline consensus: Taylor Mays, S, USC
My thoughts: Mays or Thomas would be a fantastic addition to a defense that needs free safety to be settled.
Kiper: Jared Odrick, DT, Penn State
Bleacher Report: Maurkice Pouncey, C, Florida
Brooks: Jared Odrick, DT, Penn State
NewNFLDraft.com: Mike Iupati, G, Idaho
NFLDraftDog.com: Sean Weatherspoon, LB, Missouri
NFLDraftUpdates.com: Daryl Washington, LB, TCU
KDraftonline consensus: Sergio Kindle, LB, Texas
My thoughts: Predicting Bill Polian is incredibly difficult, because he’s as serious about "best player available" as anyone. At this point, I’ll say a defensive tackle would surprise me.
Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky
Ned Macey looks at the teams of the AFC South.
Jacksonville and Tennessee are mentioned as potential destinations for Michael Vick in this FoxSports.com roundtable. I don't see either happening.
- Bob McNair backs the plan to expand the regular season, writes Megan Manfull.
- A replay of John McClain's chat.
- Lance Zierlein talked to a scout who loves Texas linebacker Sergio Kindle.
- Jim Caldwell says Peyton Manning's offseason intensity hasn't changed, writes John Oehser.
- Tony Dungy wrote about Michael Vick in this week's Sports Illustrated.
- Oehser looks at the Colts' two newest coaches.
- Rashean Mathis talks about the team staying healthy, from Vito Stellino.
- Jack Del Rio reminded his players about making good decisions on Memorial Day weekend, says Vito Stellino.
- Alge Crumpler wants a second chance for Michael Vick, writes Jim Wyatt.
- Jason Jones is bulking up, writes Gary Estwick.
- Keith Bulluck is thinking this will be his last year in Tennessee, says Wyatt.
- Kenny Britt did little in Thursday's OTA because of a hamstring issue, says Terry McCormick.
- Chris Davis did what he could to take advantage of opportunities to make an impression, says David Climer.