AFC South: Ziggy Ansah

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Some final mock drafts from smart and informed people: Mike Mayock of NFL Network, Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Peter King of Sports Illustrated, Greg Bedard of the Boston Globe, Lance Zierlein of the Houston Chronicle blog and Ben Standig of Fantasy Football Toolbox, who had a great hit rate last year.

The Jaguars, Titans and Texans will be among the 15 teams that have draft room cameras as part of NFL Network’s coverage.

Houston Texans

Rick Smith has a good track record late in the first round and the 27th pick has provided some good players in recent drafts, says John McClain of the Houston Chronicle.

Because they can play Brooks Reed inside or out, the Texans have flexibility with what kind of linebacker they add in the draft, says Tania Ganguli of the Houston Chronicle.

Clemson receiver DeAndre Hopkins is John McClain’s final mock draft pick for the Texans.

Five of the Texans' last seven first-rounders started 16 games, says Ganguli.

Arian Foster landed a role in the Kevin Costner movie “Draft Day,” according to KTRK in Houston. (Hat tip to the Chron.)

Indianapolis Colts

Three guys the Colts could draft at No. 24 from Phillip B. Wilson of the Indianapolis Star: receiver Hopkins, defensive end Damontre Moore and defensive end Datone Jones.

What are the Colts looking for? Anything but a quarterback, says Mike Chappell of the Indianapolis Star.

Wilson has some questions about things Bill Polian has said recently at ESPN that clash with what he did as head of the Colts.

No. 24 is historically a good spot, says Brian Resutek of The Wall Street Journal. (Hat tip to Colts Authority.)

A seven-round Colts mock draft from Josh Wilson of Stampede Blue includes a trade of the first-round pick.

Jacksonville Jaguars

A franchise in dire need of cornerstone players is in prime position to draft one second overall, says Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union.

The second round looks to be trickier than the first for first-year general manager David Caldwell, says Gene Frenette of the Times-Union.

There is more information compiled on prospects than ever before, but it doesn’t mean that teams are drafting better, says Vito Stellino of the Times-Union.

To which I say: Stellino tends to theorize that the draft is mostly about luck, and I heartily disagree. Luck is involved, but the best drafters aren’t simply consistently luckier than their colleagues.

Pass-rusher Ezekiel Ansah is the mock pick (subscription required) to the Jaguars at No. 2 for O’Halloran while John Oehser of Jaguars.com goes with offensive tackle Eric Fisher.

Ian Rapoport of NFL Network says the Jaguars will take quarterback Ryan Nassib with the 33rd pick if he’s there.

Tennessee Titans

Titans general manager Ruston Webster and a lot of writers who try to forecast the draft say this one is particularly difficult to predict, says Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean.

Capsules on the guys the Titans could be considering with the 10th overall pick, from John Glennon of The Tennessean.

A run through of Titans picks in multiple mock drafts, from Wyatt.

Grades for the Titans' last five drafts from Wyatt.

Tom Gower of Total Titans set some limits for himself in a seven-round Titans mock draft, using a full mock draft from Rotoworld to establish who’s unavailable to be selected.

Fans chose the team’s 15th anniversary logo.
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Houston Texans

Andre Johnson is among the masses who want to see the Texans add another top wide receiver, says John McClain of the Houston Chronicle.

To which I say: Is one of the batch of receivers expected to be available at No. 27 worth a late first-rounder? Plenty of outsiders aren’t so sure.

The Texans are looking to replenish their linebacking corps from a versatile group of prospects, says McClain.

Arian Foster worked as a DJ during the spring game at the University of Tennessee.

Indianapolis Colts

The Colts go cornerback in the mock draft from Mike Chappell of the Indianapolis Star.

Twenty-five different mock drafts have the Colts taking 16 different players at No. 24. It’s quality over quality in the mock drafting business these days, but general manager Ryan Grigson pays attention, says Phillip B. Wilson.

To which I say: Many general managers pay attention to mock drafters they know get information from quality sources.

The Colts' worst draft pick was Leonard Coleman, and the second best was Marvin Harrison, says Wilson.

Jacksonville Jaguars

If David Caldwell is going to succeed as general manager, he’s got to have a better eye for talent than the last two men who held his job, says Vito Stellino of the Florida Times-Union.

To which I say: Doing better than Shack Harris and Gene Smith in the draft isn’t even a high enough bar to set.

Running through some quarterback possibilities for the Jaguars with Ryan O’Halloran of the Times-Union.

Value needs to rule the Jaguars' draft, not need, says Gene Frenette of the Times-Union.

In his second mock draft, O’Halloran has the Jaguars taking defensive end Ziggy Ansah.

Tennessee Titans

Options abound for the Titans in the draft after a big free-agent haul, says Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean.

Can the Titans afford to draft for the future when Mike Munchak’s future depends on what happens in 2013? David Climer of The Tennessean considers.

To which I say: As Climer points out, Munchak’s been concerned with the long-term health of the franchise. Does a hot seat change his approach and how much influence will he have?

How do the Titans’ drafts compare to the drafts of the Texans, who’ve won the AFC South the past two years? John Glennon of the Tennessean compares.
NFC Eight in the Box: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

What’s the ideal first-round scenario for each team?

Houston Texans

The first 26 picks of the draft probably won’t hit a lot on wide receivers, giving the Texans their choice of a large group. West Virginia’s Tavon Austin likely will be gone, and Cordarrelle Patterson of Tennessee will probably be intriguing to some team. Ideally, if all of the other receiver prospects are on the board, there will be one the Texans believe is an ideal complement to Andre Johnson, whether it’s Cal’s athletic Keenan Allen, Tennessee’s burner Justin Hunter, Clemson’s sure-handed DeAndre Hopkins, USC’s daring Robert Woods or Louisiana Tech’s Quinton Patton.

Indianapolis Colts

Beyond Alabama’s Dee Milliner, it’s a quiet first round for cornerbacks and the Colts get Florida State cornerback Xavier Rhodes. He’s got the size, skills and mentality that should make him a great candidate for coach Chuck Pagano to deploy in man coverage against big receivers like Andre Johnson and Justin Blackmon. A cornerback crop of Vontae Davis, Rhodes, Greg Toler and Darius Butler should be significantly better than last year’s, and improved coverage will help the pass rush, where the Colts also need to add an outside backer.

Jacksonville Jaguars

The Chiefs take a left tackle at No. 1 and leave the Jaguars to take a pass-rusher like Oregon’s Dion Jordan or BYU’s Ziggy Ansah. Although Jacksonville has gaping holes at right tackle and cornerback, the prospects at those positions do not seem as valuable as the draft's top pass-rushers. And the Jaguars have had pass-rush deficiencies for years. Coach Gus Bradley has a defensive background, and a premier player who can put heat on quarterbacks is an absolute priority.

Tennessee Titans

The top nine teams in the draft lay off guards, or if one is drafted before the Titans are on the clock, it’s UNC’s Jonathan Cooper. That leaves Alabama’s powerful Chance Warmack there at No. 10 for the Titans, who draft him to play right guard beside right tackle David Stewart. Tennessee pledged a revamp of the offensive line to maximize the opportunities for quarterback Jake Locker and running back Chris Johnson. After the addition of free agent Andy Levitre as the left guard, Warmack would finish the project.
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Don’t believe the hype on guards going early, and look for teams to be wary of quarterbacks in this draft thanks to what unfolded in 2011, says Robbie Lee Roach of Pro Football Personnel.

Houston Texans

Neutralizing J.J. Watt is a priority around the AFC South, writes John McClain of the Houston Chronicle. “When you’re drafting, you’re thinking, ‘Who’s going to block Watt the next 10 years?’ ” Titans coach Mike Munchak said recently.

To which I say: We touched on this in December on a Sunday when the Colts had no answers for Watt.

The Texans are likely to buck the trend of using their top pick on a defender, says McClain.

“The next step in the possible demolition of the Astrodome could be taken next week by the board of directors of the Harris County Sports & Convention Corporation,” writes McClain.

Indianapolis Colts


Sizing up the Colts' offensive line heading into the draft, with Mike Chappell of the Indianapolis Star. Ryan Grigson talks about the up arrow on left tackle Anthony Costanzo and the uncertainty with Ben Ijalana.

To which I say: I've fielded a lot of questions about Ijalana recently. So there is our answer. Grigson thinks of the lineman as a big question mark.

The ongoing list of the Colts’ worst draft picks from Phillip B. Wilson includes Tony Ugoh, while the list of the best already has Andrew Luck as well as Robert Mathis.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Some raw prospects have great appeal when the draft arrives, says Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union. Ziggy Ansah, Cordarelle Patterson and Menelik Watson, respectively, are just three of the many who are highly regarded despite a short college resume.”

The task for David Caldwell: Choosing the right player at the right position who can help the Jaguars rebound from a franchise-worst 2-14 season, writes O’Halloran.

Jacksonville mayor Alvin Brown supports the Jaguars’ plan for giant video boards at EverBank Field, says Vito Stellino of the Times-Union.

O’Halloran’s first mock draft has the Jaguars taking Ansah, the BYU defensive end.

The veteran minicamp that starts tomorrow is an orientation that won’t have any bearing on what the Jaguars do in the draft, says John Oehser of Jaguars.com.

Tennessee Titans

Titans cornerback Coty Sensabaugh is honoring his brother Jamaar’s memory by participating in the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s man and woman of the year campaign, writes John Glennon of The Tennessean.

The free-agency haul gives the Titans freedom to draft virtually anyone at he end of the month, writes Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean

Delanie Walker supports stiffer laws for convicted drunk drivers, writes Wyatt.

Mike Munchak discusses the importance of guard with Dan Pompeii of the National Football Post.

Don’t expect the Titans to take Texans safety Kenny Vaccaro, says Tom Gower of Total Titans.

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