If you’ve read the Sports are from Venus Mock Drafts, you know that I place a high premium on team needs in the draft. These grades will reflect how well I think each team has done in addressing their weak spots. So, let’s get to it!
Grading the 2020 AFC South Draft
2nd Round: 40 Ross Blacklock, DT, TCU
3rd Round: 90 Jonathan Greenard, LB, Florida
I get that the Texans had a few needs heading into the draft. I get that they traded away their first rounder to get Laremy Tunsil from Miami. But not picking an OT to improve depth and protect Deshaun Watson was just folly. Sure, Watson wasn’t the most-sacked QB in the league again this year, but he wasn’t far off, either. Add that to the durability concerns around Greenard’s wrist injury (he didn’t play in 2018) and you’ve got a draft with some serious question marks.
Grade: C-. Blacklock fills a need and has some upside. Greenard is a coach’s dream, hardworking and smart. If he can get back to 100%, there’s upside potential. But not finding more protection for Watson is inexcusable. But then again, so was trading away DeAndre Hopkins. The Texans are vexing.
2nd Round: 34 Michael Pittman, WR, USC
2nd Round: 41 Jonathan Taylor, RB, Wisconsin
3rd Round: 85 Julian Blackmon, S, Utah
Some stuff I like here, some I don’t.
What do I like best? That the Colts grabbed Jacob Eason as I predicted but did it in the fourth round. He’s a good choice to groom under Philip Rivers for a year or maybe two. I like Pittman out of USC, good receiver for early in round two.
After that I think they got a little hung up waiting for Eason. Taylor is a good back, but Marlon Mack has been better than advertised, so they simply don’t need him. I do like Blackmon in round three, but I wonder if linebacker or DE was a bigger need there.
Grade: B-. If Eason becomes the Colts full time starter inside of twenty-four months, this grade skyrockets.
1st Round: 9 CJ Henderson, CB, Florida
1st Round: 20 K’Lavon Chaisson, EDGE, LSU
2nd Round: 42 Laviska Shenault, WR, Colorado
3rd Round: 73 DaVon Hamilton, DT, Ohio State
I don’t say this much, so Jags fans, pay attention.
I like what the Jaguars did here.
Yes, it depends on Gardner Minshew being the guy for the foreseeable future, but I’m cool with that. CJ Henderson was the absolute right pick. He’ll fill a gaping hole in the Jacksonville secondary. K’Lavon Chaisson is a raw talent with scary athletic ability. If he studies well, he can be a terror at the next level. Laviska Shenault was an exceptional player on a very mediocre team, and assuming he and Minshew can get on the same page, that can be an electric combination. I like his ability to stretch the field and come down with contested balls.
Grade: A-. I feel like running back was a need here, but I can’t argue much with what Jacksonville did.
1st Round: 29 Isaiah Wilson, OT, Georgia
2nd Round: 61 Kristian Fulton, CB, LSU
3rd Round: 93 Darrynton Evans, RB, Appalachian State
The Titans were an awesome underdog story last season, as RB Derrick Henry steamrolled the entire league en route to the AFC Championship game, where they had a lead before Patrick Mahomes went full gas. They added strength and depth to their offensive line in round one with Wilson, then got a potential first rounder at the back of round two with LSU’s Fulton. He’ll help shore up a secondary that was better than expected down the stretch.
Not sure how I feel about the extra running back in round three, but Evans is a very different rusher than the Titans league-leading power back. He’s patient and shifty, with good burst, more Le’Veon Bell style than Henry. He’ll be a good option to keep defenses guessing.
Grade: B. Look. I get it. Lots of writers don’t love this draft for Tennessee. They see Tannehill as a potential liability, and I can’t say I disagree with that. The backup situation is…not elite. But they are playing to their strengths and if Tannehill remains as poised next season as he did this year, the Titans will be contenders in the AFC.
For more thoughts and opinions from Tom, check out his author page.