Posted: Wednesday April 20, 2005 3:40PM; Updated: Wednesday April 20, 2005 3:40PM
AFC South Five-Year Draft Grades
The Texans have done well at the top of the draft, picking up cornerback Dunta Robinson and linebacker Jason Babin last year, to go with receiver Andre Johnson (1st) in 2003 and quarterback David Carr (1st) in 2002. Carr's continued development is key. We give them credit for Domanick Davis (4th in 2003), and turning the sixth-round pick of Drew Henson in 2003 into a 2005 third-rounder from Dallas via trade. But there have been gaps. Jabbar Gaffney (2nd, 2002), Bennie Joppru (2nd, 2003) and not landing a quality left offensive tackle stand out.
The Colts aren't for their draft success, but they've had their share: Dwight Freeney (1st) and David Thornton (4th) in 2002, Marcus Washington (2nd) in 2000, Reggie Wayne (1st) and Ryan Diem (4th) in 2001 and Dallas Clark (1st) and Robert Mathis (5th) in 2003. Middle linebacker Rob Morris (1st, 2000) never really made the impact that was expected, but he was a solid starter. The Colts need safety Bob Sanders (2nd, 2004) and defensive back Mike Doss (2nd, 2003) to contribute more and solidify the secondary this year.
When the Jaguars stay away from first-round receivers (see R. Jay Soward in 2000 and Reggie Williams in 2004), they've done well for themselves. In fairness, Williams still has time to turn that assessment around. But Jacksonville has scored big with Marcus Stroud (1st, 2001), John Henderson (1st, 2002) and Byron Leftwich (1st, 2003), and found solid second-round starters in linebacker Daryl Smith (2004), cornerback Rashean Mathis (2003) and offensive tackle Mike Pearson (2002). Also, quarterback David Garrard (4th, 2002) could bring trade value.
The Titans have drafted well overall, picking up the likes of Keith Bulluck (1st), Peter Sirmon (4th) and Robaire Smith (6th) in 2000, Andre Dyson (2nd) and Justin McCareins (4th) in 2001, Albert Haynesworth (1st), Tank Williams (2nd), Rocky Calmus (3rd) and Carlos Hall (7th) in 2002 and Chris Brown (3rd) in 2003. But it's time for Andre Woolfolk (1st in 2003) and Tyrone Calico (2nd in 2003) to stay healthy and step up, and we still don't know enough about the five defensive linemen taken last year.