The Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Tennessee Titans, and Jacksonville Jaguars all had first round picks this season and they all went after players that they felt could help them immediately. The AFC South welcomed three new offensive players and one new defensive player to its ranks during the first day of the draft. Let’s take a peek at the selections and see who came away with the best player.
No. 2 Overall: Luke Joeckel, OT, Jaguars
- Widely regarded as the best offensive line prospect in this draft, the Jaguars scooped up Joeckel to fill the void at right tackle and potentially replace left tackle Eugene Monroe if he struggles or doesn’t get a new contract after the season. Joeckel is going to be a great right tackle and is very technically sound. He says he is motivated to play better because he was passed over for the first overall pick.
No. 10 Overall: Chance Warmack, G, Colts
- Warmack is a personal favorite of mine, though I like the guard position more than other people. Like the Jaguars getting Joeckel, I think the Titans were fortunate to get Warmack as the Arizona Cardinals picked at number seven and selected guard Jonathan Cooper. Warmack wanted to go to the Titans and they are the only team he worked out for in the lead up to the draft. He lands in the ideal situation with head coach Mike Munchak and offensive line coach Bruce Matthews, both of whom are Hall of Fame guards who played for the Oilers/Titans.
No. 24 Overall: Bjoern Werner, DE, Titans
- Werner is a high motor guy who plays faster than he is. He was unimpressive in comparison to other pass rushers at the NFL Combine but his tape matters most and he is shown to be an adept pass rusher and good run defender in game situations. Dropping to 24 overall when he was once considered a top-10 pick is disappointing for Werner but big for the Colts. Their defense gets a lot meaner with Werner in the lineup.
No. 27 Overall: DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Texans
- The starting wider receiver position opposite Andre Johnson appars to be Hopkins’ to lose. The Texans picked the wide receiver they felt would be help their running game and their passing game. Hopkins is a versatile threat who will take pressure off Johnson and running back Arian Foster. Houston has been looking for a player to complement Johnson for a while and Hopkins does this well. He is an outside receiver who will demand attention.
Personally, I think the AFC South got a lot stronger with all of these picks. I’m inclined to think that Warmack is in the best position to succeed individually and may have the highest ceiling of all AFC South first round picks. What do you guys think?
- Luke N. Sims