AFC South Teams Mostly Clean Up At 2017 NFL Draft

Intro: The competition in the AFC South Division just got even better, as each team seemingly found multiple talented pieces in the 2017 NFL Draft. We take a look at each team’s haul.

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INDIANAPOLIS — In a division in which the top three teams were separated by one win/loss in the standings — going to a tiebreaker scenario to determine the winner — last season, the competition just got even tighter over the last few days.

All four AFC South Division teams seemingly found several talented pieces and filled various needs with their picks in the 2017 NFL Draft, which concluded Saturday afternoon in Philadelphia.

While the Indianapolis Colts picked up multiple possible future starters for the immediate future, the story was the same in Houston, Jacksonville and Nashville, where the Texans, Jaguars and Titans each also fared well and found prospects that could make an immediate impact.

So with that being said, let's take a look at each team's entire 2017 NFL Draft haul, followed by some analysis from NFL.com draft analyst Chad Reuter, who came away very impressed with each AFC South team's approach this year:Indianapolis Colts
Draft picks: S Malik Hooker (No. 15 overall), CB Quincy Wilson (No. 46 overall), DE Tarell Basham (No. 80 overall), G Zach Banner (No. 137 overall), RB Marlon Mack (No. 143 overall), DT Grover Stewart (No. 144 overall), CB Nate Hairston (No. 158 overall), LB Anthony Walker Jr. (No. 161 overall)Day 1 grade: A
Day 2 grade: A
Day 3 grade: B
Overall grade: A-*

The skinny: In the first round, the Colts got the rangiest safety prospect since Earl Thomas. They got very good value at No. 15 at a major position of need. It's a big win for the Colts' defense. Indianapolis had to be thrilled to get Quincy Wilson to help out Hooker in the secondary. Tarell Basham is a pass rusher who can covert power to speed on the edge; getting him in the third was a good deal.**

Indianapolis made very good back-to-back picks in the late fourth with running back Marlon Mack (slasher with more power than you'd think) and defensive tackle Grover Stewart (nose tackle with good footwork). Zach Banner was a stretch in the fourth round, though he could be a D.J. Fluker or Orlando Franklin-type guard. In the fifth, Anthony Walker provides strength in the middle of their defense. This was a well-executed draft.* Houston Texans
Draft picks: QB Deshaun Watson (No. 12 overall), LB Zach Cunningham (No. 57 overall), RB D'Onta Foreman (No. 89 overall), OT Julie'n Davenport (No. 130 overall), DT Carlos Watkins (No. 142 overall), CB Treston Decoud (No. 169 overall), C Kyle Fuller (No. 243)Day 1 grade: A
Day 2 grade: A
Day 3 grade: A
Overall grade: A*

The skinny: Deshaun Watson was an excellent college quarterback, and the Texans are hoping he becomes a great NFL quarterback. I'm with Bill O'Brien on this one, even though Houston parted with a 2018 first-round pick in trade up to get him. With Houston's defense playing well, they needed a leader and playmaker to get the offense rolling. Houston found the inside linebacker of the future with Zach Cunningham, a Daryl Washington-type defender who should be around for a while. They needed to find a running back, so they headed to Austin to pick up D'Onta Foreman, who could be a force if his weight is under control.**

The Texans need immediate offensive line help. Davenport might be a year or two away from that, but it was a solid value in the fourth round. Carlos Watkins is a talented defensive lineman with a good motor, and could play five-technique as well as inside for Houston. The Texans found an interesting long, physical corner in Treston Decoud; they desired depth at corner coming into the event.* Jacksonville Jaguars
Draft picks: RB Leonard Fournette (No. 4 overall), OT Cam Robinson (No. 34 overall), DE Dawuane Smoot (No. 68 overall), WR Dede Westbrook (No. 110 overall), LB Blair Brown (No. 148 overall), CB Jalen Myrick (No. 222 overall), FB Marquez Williams (No. 240 overall)Day 1 grade: B
Day 2 grade: A
Day 3 grade: A
Overall grade: A-*

The skinny: Blake Bortles' development will be aided by Fournette's. Fournette's injury history is a bit worrisome, but the same was said about Adrian Peterson -- that turned out well. But will he be able to succeed like last year's No. 4 pick, Ezekiel Elliott, without a similarly talented offensive line? Cam Robinson is a beast, and will be a longtime starter inside or outside for Jacksonville; giving up a sixth-round pick to get him in the second round was no sweat. Duwuane Smoot from Illinois has strength and flashed off the edge, a solid pick in the early third round.**

Dede Westbrook is elusive and fast, but he fell to the fourth round due to off-field issues and a slight build. He's not contact-shy, though -- he'll play tough. The Jags got faster with linebacker Blair Brown and corner Jalen Myrick.Tennessee Titans
Draft picks: WR Corey Davis (No. 5 overall), CB Adoree' Jackson (No. 18 overall), WR Taywan Taylor (No. 72 overall), TE Jonnu Smith (No. 100 overall), LB Jayon Brown (No. 155 overall), G Corey Levin (No. 217 overall), OLB Josh Carraway (No. 227 overall), OT Brad Seaton (No. 236 overall), RB Khalfani Muhammad (No. 241 overall)Day 1 grade: A-
Day 2 grade: B
Day 3 grade: A
Overall grade: A-

The skinny: Corey Davis is a really good player who deserved to be picked early. However, anytime you pick a player with an injury (Davis is coming off ankle surgery) at No. 5, there is a slight concern (thus the A-minus). Still, I expect he'll be a big-time receiver. Jackson has some work to do at cornerback, but he can learn and he's explosive as a returner. Taywan Taylor adds solid hands in the receiving corps for the Titans, who apparently wanted to re-make their receiving corps at the expense of other positions. They continued to help the offense with tight end Jonnu Smith, another Jordan Reed-type match-up issue. Smith was likely picked a bit early.**

The Titans picked up an athletic linebacker in Jayon Brown, who can play inside in coverage. Corey Levin and tackle Brad Seaton were fine interior line depth selections from small schools in the sixth and seventh rounds -- they both have starter qualities. Taywan Taylor adds solid hands in the receiving corps for the Titans, who apparently wanted to re-make their receiving corps at the expense of other positions.*

The analysis from those producing content on Colts.com does not necessarily represent the thoughts of the Indianapolis Colts organization. Any conjecture, analysis or opinions formed by Colts.com content creators is not based on inside knowledge gained from team officials, players or staff.

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