How The 2019 NFL Draft Affected The AFC South

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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.

INDIANAPOLIS — Following the NFL Draft, it's easy to only focus on your team's haul and how it did. However, fans of the Indianapolis Colts should know that the rest of the AFC South Division also got better as a result of the league's annual player selection meeting in 2019.

Whether it was filling critical needs or selecting players who inexplicably dropped down the board, the rest of the AFC South put in a good effort to get on par with the division's postseason champions.

Today, we're not going to assign grades or blast teams' picks. We're just evaluating the players that the teams did pick rather than who was available when they picked. Every team's board is different, so saying a team is wrong for picking a player they feel fits them best just doesn't jive.

HOUSTON TEXANS

Pre-Draft Needs:

  • Offensive line, cornerback, defensive line

Players Selected:

  • Round 1, No. 23 — OT Tytus Howard, Alabama State
  • Round 2, No. 54 — CB Lonnie Johnson, Kentucky
  • Round 2, No. 55 — OT Max Scharping, Northern Illinois
  • Round 3, No. 86 — TE Kahale Warring, San Diego State
  • Round 5, No. 161 — DE Charles Omenihu, Texas
  • Round 6, No. 195 — CB Xavier Crawford, Central Michigan
  • Round 7, No. 220 — FB Cullen Gillaspia, Texas A&M

Draft Trades:

  • Pick No. 54: The Seattle Seahawks traded 2019—2:54 and 2018—3:80 to Houston in exchange for Houston's 2018—5:141 and offensive tackle Duane Brown.
  • Pick No. 125: Houston traded 2019—4:125 and 2019—7:237 to the Denver Broncos in exchange for wide receiver Demaryius Thomas and 2019—7:220.

The Texans desperately needed to strengthen their offensive line after quarterback Deshaun Watson was sacked a league-high 62 times. With an extra second-round pick at their disposal, they selected two solid tackles within their first three picks in Tytus Howard and Max Scharping; my No. 5 and 6 OTs, respectively. The Texans also added three very high-ceiling players in cornerback Lonnie Johnson, tight end Kahale Warring — my No. 5 TE, who I considered as high as No. 3 — and defensive lineman Charles Omenihu. The latter is potentially an enormous steal who could play multiple spots along the defensive line for Houston. In all, the Texans did a good job of getting quality players to fill holes on their roster.

INDIANAPOLIS COLTS

Pre-Draft Needs:

  • Wide receiver, defensive line, secondary

Players Selected:

Draft Trades:

  • Pick No. 26: Indianapolis traded 2019—1:26 to the Washington Redskins in exchange for Washington's 2019—2:46 and a 2020 second-round selection.
  • Pick No. 34: The New York Jets traded 2019 2:34, 2018—1:6, 2018—2:37 and 2018—2:49 to Indianapolis in exchange for Indianapolis' 2018—1:3.
  • Pick No. 46: Indianapolis traded 2019—2:46 to the Cleveland Browns in exchange for Cleveland's 2019—2:49 and 2019—5:155.
  • Pick No. 109: The Oakland Raiders traded 2019—4:109 to Indianapolis in exchange for Indianapolis' 2019—4:129 and 2019—4:135.
  • Pick No. 246: The Philadelphia Eagles traded 2019—7:246 to Indianapolis in exchange for defensive tackle Hassan Ridgeway.

The Colts were able to pull in several of the players they were targeting and loved heading into the draft. Overall, they had a goal of adding more speed and athleticism to their defense, and man, did they do that. Linebackers Ben Banogu, Bobby Okereke and E.J. Speed as well as cornerback Marvell Tell III all showed elite athletic traits during pre-draft workouts and should be able to play multiple roles with the Colts along with safety Khari Willis and defensive end Gerri Green. Banogu, Okereke and Speed should add incredible competition to the linebacker group during training camp and should make the special teams coverage units event better. Rock Ya-Sin has "shutdown corner" written all over him if he develops as his work ethic says he should. Arguably the "belle of the ball," however, is wide receiver Parris Campbell. In speaking with the media, head coach Frank Reich, general manager Chris Ballard and Midwest area scout Chad Henry all fawned over what they think Campbell will be capable of in an offense like the Colts'. In Year 2 of establishing Coach Reich's culture, the Colts added high-character players who they can inject into their locker room as leaders. Nearly all of their 10-man haul were team captains for their college teams.

JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS

Pre-Draft Needs:

  • Offensive line, pass-catchers, safety

Players Selected:

  • Round 1, No. 7 — LB Josh Allen, Kentucky
  • Round 2, No. 35 — OT Jawaan Taylor, Florida
  • Round 3, No. 69 — TE Josh Oliver, San Jose State
  • Round 3, No. 98 — LB Quincy Williams, Murray State
  • Round 5, No. 140 — RB Ryquell Armstead, Temple
  • Round 6, No. 178 — QB Gardner Minshew, Washington State
  • Round 7, No. 235 — DT Dontavius Russell, Auburn

Draft Trades:

  • Pick No. 35: Oakland traded 2019—2:35, 2019—5:140 and 2019—7:235 to Jacksonville in exchange for Jacksonville's 2019—2: 38 and 2019—4:109.
  • Pick No. 98: The Los Angeles Rams traded 2019—3:98 and a 2020 fifth-round selection to Jacksonville in exchange for defensive end Dante Fowler.
  • Pick No. 144: Jacksonville traded 2019—5:144 to Cleveland in exchange for running back Carlos Hyde.
  • Pick No. 221: Jacksonville traded 2019—7:221 to Cleveland in exchange for quarterback Cody Kessler.
  • Pick No. 236: The Baltimore Ravens traded 2019—7:236 to Jacksonville in exchange for center Luke Bowanko. Jacksonville then traded 2019—7:236 to Seattle in exchange for a 2020 sixth-round selection.

On the subject of steals, Josh Allen was one of the first big ones in this draft. He's not a prototypical edge rusher, as he's a 4-3 SAM linebacker who can rush the quarterback on passing downs. After signing quarterback Nick Foles this offseason in free agency, the Jaguars were in good shape heading into the draft. They surrounded Foles with some quality players in this draft class, giving him some protection in tackle Jawaan Taylor, a tight end in Josh Oliver and backup running back in Ryquell Armstead. Getting Taylor in the second round was a steal, as many thought he'd be gone within the first half of the first round. He and current Jaguars left tackle Cam Robinson make up a high-quality tackle tandem. An unexpected bonus to Jacksonville's draft is the potential of linebacker Quincy Williams earning a spot with Telvin Smith taking the 2019 season off. The Jaguars also essentially replacing backup quarterback Cody Kessler (who they traded for last year) with Gardner Minshew was a nice move.

TENNESSEE TITANS

Pre-Draft Needs:

  • Offensive line, defensive line, pass-catchers

Players Selected:

  • Round 1, No. 19 — DT Jeffery Simmons, Mississippi State
  • Round 2, No. 51 — WR A.J. Brown, Ole Miss
  • Round 3, No. 82 — OL Nate Davis, UNC-Charlotte
  • Round 4, No. 116 — S Amani Hooker, Iowa
  • Round 5, No. 168 — OLB D'Andre Walker, Georgia
  • Round 6, No. 188 — LB David Long Jr., West Virginia

Draft Trades:

  • Pick No. 116: The Jets traded 2019—4:116 and 2019—5:168 to Tennessee in exchange for Tennessee's 2019—4:121 and 2019—5:157.
  • Pick No. 188: The Miami Dolphins traded 2019—6:188 and quarterback Ryan Tannehill to Tennessee in exchange for 2019—7:233 and a 2020 fourth-round selection.
  • Pick No. 191: Tennessee traded 2019—6:191 to Baltimore in exchange for linebacker Kamalei Correa.

Tennessee only finished with six picks in the draft, but they hit a grand slam. Five of their six selections ranked within my top 10 players at their respective position groups. Edge defender D'Andre Walker didn't make that cut, but perhaps he would've in a more shallow edge class. Defensive tackle Jeffery Simmons will almost certainly "redshirt" his rookie season after tearing an ACL this winter but could be a formidable force alongside Jurrell Casey moving forward. Wide receiver A.J. Brown is an excellent complement to 2017 first-round pick Corey Davis. Brown's addition should help both Davis and him blossom into excellent receivers. Guard Nate Davis filled a big need along the interior offensive line, and linebacker David Long Jr. likely would have been a Day 2 draft pick in a so-so linebacker class if he were bigger than 5-11, 227.

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