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AFC South Draft Picks: Texans, Colts, Jaguars, & Titans

Discussion in 'Draft Day Zone' started by Hostile, Apr 1, 2009.

  1. Hostile

    Hostile Tacos are a good investment Zone Supporter

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    Houston Texans Draft picks

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    Round 1...#15...Brian Cushing, LB, USC

    Outside Linebacker

    6' 3" / 243 lbs.


    USC
    Senior

    Strengths:
    versatile, Aggressiveness, Pass Rush, School
    Weakness:
    Durability, Overaggressive, Performance Enhancers


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    The 2009 Senior Bowl was the perfect showcase for three Trojan linebackers and all three made the most of it. ILB Rey Maualuga, the trio’s headliner, Clay Matthews, who is a hybrid LB/DE, and Brian Cushing, who signed with USC as a strong safety but outgrew the position, all appear to be potential first round picks in April’s draft.
    Cushing could prove to be the one with the longest career. He started as a true freshman and has played DE, SLB and MLB over his career, not to mention playing RB and TE in high school, and that versatility has really won him the respect of scouts and opponents alike. His statistics will not blow you away (73 tackles, 10.5 TFL, 3 sacks in 2008 as a starter) but he’s been a steady, consistent performer for USC and makes those around him better and vice versa.
    One thing that has become obvious over the years, and especially in basketball, is that role players on great teams are not necessarily great players. The system, the coaching staff and the talent around them make them better. One example is Malik Rose, a huge part of the San Antonio Spurs first couple of NBA championships; he signed a monster contract with the Knicks I believe and he’s been a bench player ever since. I’m not saying that is the case with Cushing, but the talent around him has certainly played a large part in how good he looks on film.
    Cushing is an aggressive, intense customer that does a great job of bringing his body through the ball carrier on tackles and has an intimidation factor along with Maualuga. He doesn’t hit to make a tackle; he hits because he likes too. The harder the better. His aggressiveness comes out when taking on blockers as well. Cushing combines athletic ability and upper body strength to fight off blocks and is never truly out of a play until the whistle blows. He played a little offense in high school and that has helped him become reliable in coverage. He can run with almost anyone and gets to the flats quickly to cover screens. He’s not above giving the TE a little extra just to say “you won’t outrun me and you won’t out-physical me”. As a pass rusher, Cushing is an effective blitzer from LB, closes quickly and looks to destroy the QB.
    His injury history is worrisome. He seems like a player who will give a team around 13 games a year. They may be 13 great games, but teams will have to decide if 13 games out of 16 is worth a first round pick. Cushing separated a shoulder in 2005, sprained an ankle in 2007 and has had serious surgeries on his shoulder (2006) and knee (2007) during spring practices. He started all 13 games in 2008.
    Other than a slight concern about how much the talent at USC made him look better than he may be and his lengthy injury history, his only other on field concern is a bit of over aggressiveness that will take him out of position on occasion. But some off-field issues have popped up in conjunction to Cushing. It has been reported that he spends upwards of $1,000 a month on nutritional supplements. It appears that fellow Draftdog writer Brian Dietzler may have hit close to the mark with his original write up of Cushing before the season started. There’s a big difference between supplements and steroids but what happens if he finds himself maxed out already?
    Cushing is certainly in consideration for a mid- to late-first round pick but his history of injuries may keep him in the late 1st or push him into the second. Teams will have trouble overlooking a guy that can play all three LB spots, play a little defensive end and could be perfect for an elephant LB/S kind of role. He could do more in 13 games a year than some high picks do in a career.



    Round 2...#46... Connor Barwin TE/LB Cincinatti

    Round 3...#77... Antoine Caldwell C Alabama

    Round 3...#89 (from patriots)... Jared Cook TE South Carolina

    Round 4...#112... Glover Quin CB New Mexico

    Round 4...#122 (from Vikings)... Anthony Hill TE North Carolina

    Round 5...#152... James Casey TE Rice

    Round 6...#188... Brice McCain DB Utah

    Round 7...#223... Troy Nolan S Arizona St

  2. Hostile

    Hostile Tacos are a good investment Zone Supporter

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    Indianapolis Colts Draft picks

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    Round 1...#27... Donald Brown RB Uconn

    Junior
    Connecticut
    5’ 10” 210 lbs.
    Strengths: Production, Work Ethic, Vision, Acceleration, Hands, Balance
    Weaknesses: Bulk/Frame, Speed, Toughness

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    2,083 rushing yards and 18 Touchdowns (TDs) is eye opening, as is 261 rushing yards in the International Bowl and selection as game MVP. Donald Brown just keeps making people look his way, especially when lulling an entire defence into thinking he’s going this way before breaking a long run back that way. The nation’s leading rusher, Brown was named Associated Press 2nd Team All-America and the Big East Offensive Player of the Year in 2008. He became the first Connecticut player to win a major Big East offseason award. He was also All Big East First Team this past year. He saw action as a freshman in 2006, being the only rookie to earn conference honours in the Big East, picking up 896 yards and 7 TD in 5 starts. He was instrumental in Connecticut’s big overtime win over Pitt that year, rushing 43 times for 205 yards and 2 TD. He really put his name on the map with that game and big things we’re expected from him in 2007. He disappointed some, gaining 821 yards with 8 TD and didn’t have the breakout performance that appeared to be coming. His 2008 season made up for it.
    While a little undersized at 5’ 10” 210 pounds, Brown has surprising strength. He runs low and hits the hole at top speed, squeezing himself through tight spaces that most backs wouldn’t see as a hole. His acceleration allows him to burst past unsuspecting defenders and he has the change of direction ability to stop and start on a dime and reach full speed faster than the tackler. His shifty and has some quality open field moves. Though his top end speed is suspect, he can be deceptively fast in the secondary and is very explosive through the hole. His route running is ahead of most rookie backs and he shows natural, soft hands out of the backfield.
    Brown is a bit thin in the upper body and doesn’t have the frame to add much more weight. While a solid inside runner, Brown may not have the lower body strength to be a featured back and handle the wear and tear of 300-carries. Brown is not a threat to break many tackles and I question his ability to hold onto the football through hard hits. He is very good at slipping out of the backfield and hauling in short throws but he does not always get deep on long routes and he struggles in pass protection. He looks hesitant at times and may not have the strength to be of much value there. His production was inflated by playing behind on the nation’s most underrated offensive lines.
    I have serious questions about Brown, namely his long term durability and his toughness. He has excellent vision to find lanes and gets through some small holes but he seems to look to bounce things outside too often. He will most likely not be an every down back and will need to be protected with a bruising fullback and a good complimentary partner for short yardage situations.
    Brown will not crack the top round but should go somewhere near the end of the second round to the third round. A lot of backs who rack up huge numbers in college are products of the system and circumstances much like J.J. Arrington in 2005. That may be similar to what we are seeing with Brown and be cautious of overrating his outstanding production.


    A second opinion by Robert Bryant, “The same thing was said about Matt Forte last year when he led the nation in rushing at one point and we all know what he did for the Chicago Bears. I like Brown a lot and I disagree about him not being able to carry the load as a featured back. He is tough, durable and has proven to be the go-to back while at Uconn. Every defence knew he was going to get the ball and they still couldn’t stop him. I agree with Daryl about his draft placement, but a lot depends on how and if he runs at the 2009 NFL Scouting Combine. With a run around 4.49 he could be a mid second rounder, much slower than that and he could slip a little”
    Daryl says: I see more J.J. Arrington than Matt Forte in Donald Brown. Forte was a bit thicker but had great strength for his size. Brown is just adequate though he can surprise. Forte also was a much better pass protector than Brown is. At the end of a run, Forte is more physical than Brown is, finishing his runs and punishing tacklers while Brown is more of a shiftier/make-you-miss kind of guy. You could also argue that Brown has a better o-line in front of him than Forte had. Donald Brown may have put William Beatty’s name on the map but Beatty probably had more to do with Brown being the prospect he is today than the other way around. Forte answered the questions about him this year; Brown will have to do the same.



    Round 2...#56... (acquired from Dolphins) Fili Moala DT USC

    Round 3...#92... Jerraud Powers DB Auburn

    Round 4...#127... Autsin Collie WR BYU

    Round 4...#136 (Compensatory pick)... Terrance Taylor DT Michigan

    Round 6...#201... Curtis Painter QB Perdue

    Round 7...#222 (From Saints through Eagles)... Pat McAfee K WVU

    Round 7...#236... Jaimie Thomas OT Maryland
  3. Hostile

    Hostile Tacos are a good investment Zone Supporter

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    Jacksonville Jaguars Draft picks

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    Round 1...#8... Eugene Monroe OT Virginia

    6’ 6” 315 lbs.Virginia
    Senior Strengths: Size, Agility, Run Blocking, Pass Protection Weaknesses: Durability, Strength, Toughness

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    The 2008 NFL Draft was a good one for offensive tackles and Monroe, among others, will help make the 2009 NFL Draft a good one for the position also. Monroe has spent a majority of his college career unnoticed but is now starting to catch the attention of NFL scouts looking for a solid offensive tackle. Monroe might just be what they are looking for. The upside to Monroe, first and foremost, is his size. At 6’ 6” and 315 pounds, Monroe has ideal size for the position and he moves like a much lighter tackle which is a huge benefit for any offense that likes mobile offensive lineman. Monroe also has the intelligence that is sought after for offensive tackles. He has learned a lot from his playing experience at Virginia and can take that knowledge into the NFL and start right away. He also has quick feet and can slide and move with defenders very well and with his quickness and agility, he can shadow even the quickest defenders and keep them at bay.
    Monroe is lucky to be playing with the Cavaliers, a school which has produced some great offensive linemen in the past including DeBrickashaw Ferguson and Brandon Albert leaving Monroe as the next in line to keep the strong tradition of producing offensive lineman going. Some other positive attributes that Monroe has include his ability to stick with a defender in pass protection and thanks to his size, he is able to easily handle smaller defenders. In addition to that, Monroe can use his wide body and long arms to help keep the outside rusher at bay. Monroe is very smart and knows a lot about the game. He is also mature and not someone who is going to give the coaching staff a lot of trouble.
    The downside to Monroe is that, size wise, although solid, he could stand to add some additional bulk to help him with the larger and heavier defensive tackles in the NFL. Conditioning may also be a factor as there are times when it appears as if Monroe is worn out later on in games and he will have to improve on that in the NFL. There are also times when he looks a little hesitant when making blocks especially when having to react to the blitz and needs to think and react quicker. When in pass protection, Monroe will anchor himself a little bit too far outside the pocket allowing defenders to rush to the inside where he can be beaten.
    Monroe has a tendency to play too high sometimes when run blocking and needs to stay low so that he can move defenders off the ball and clear lanes for the running back. In addition to this, he often times takes to many steps to reach defenders down field and needs to take better angles when run blocking.
    Offensive lineman, good offensive lineman, are always in high demand and Monroe is a good offensive lineman. He’s having a strong 2008 season and with some work on the negative aspects of his game he could be one of the most sought after lineman in the 2009 NFL Draft. Right now, he is definitely a first round pick and with some work along with solid showings for scouts, he could go somewhere in the top ten of next year’s draft.
    On the injury front, Monroe had surgery to repair a dislocated kneecap in the spring of 2006. He missed two games in 2007 due to a knee injury. He hasn’t missed any other time.
    Some of the honors that Monroe has received while at Virginia include All-ACC Honorable Mention (2007), ACC Offensive Lineman of the Week (2007) and second team All-State (2007).
    Monroe attended Plainfield High School in Plainfield, New Jersey and graduated from there in 2005. While in high school, Monroe was named the Parade All American, a SuperPrep All American, first team all USA Today, first team All American by EA Sports along with several other accolades.



    Round 2...#39... Eben Britton OT Arizona

    Round 3...#72... Terrance Knighton DT Temple

    Round 3...#73 (from packers through patriots)... Derek Cox DB William & Mary

    Round 4...#107... Mike Thomas WR Arizona

    Round 5...#144... Jarett Dillard WR Rice

    Round 6...#180... Zach Miller TE Nebraska

    Round 7...#250 (Compensatory pick)... Rashad Jennings RB Liberty

    Round 7...#253 (Compensatory pick)... Tiquan Underwood WR Rutgers
  4. Hostile

    Hostile Tacos are a good investment Zone Supporter

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    Tennessee Titans Draft picks

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    Round 1...#30... Kenny Britt WR Rutgers

    Overview

    The Big East Conference's elite receiver ended his brilliant three-year career as the league's all-time leading receiver with 3,043 receiving yards in just 34 games. The Associated Press third-team All-American ranked second in the nation with an average of 114.25 receiving yards per game and finished eighth nationally with 87 receptions, an average of 7.25 grabs each contest.

    Known for his ability to gain yardage after the catch, Britt closed out his career in explosive fashion, registering his 14th 100-yard receiving game vs. North Carolina State in the PapaJohns.com Bowl. That total tied the Big East Conference record that was first set by Larry Fitzgerald of Pittsburgh (2002-03). That record also included a string of five consecutive 100-yard performances during his junior campaign.

    Britt also etched his name in the school record books. His 17 touchdown catches tied the Rutgers all-time record and he also became the all-time leader in receiving yardage (3,043) while ranking third on the school career-record list with 178 receptions, a total that also places him fourth in Big East history.

    After his banner 2008 campaign that saw Britt establish Scarlet Knight season records with 87 catches for 1,371 yards, the junior decided to forgo his final season and declared for the 2009 NFL Draft. He is the second player in the Greg Schiano era at Rutgers to leave school early, joining tailback Ray Rice, a second-round draft selection of the Baltimore Ravens in the 2008 NFL Draft. During Britt's three-year career in Piscataway, the Scarlet Knights won 27 games, including three bowl victories.

    At Bayonne High School, the local product was rated the 22nd-best receiver in the country and the fifth-best overall talent in the state of New Jersey by Rivals.com. The Prep Star and Super Prep All-American added All-Hudson County first-team honors from the Hudson County Interscholastic Athletic Association, The Star-Ledger and Jersey Journal.

    As a senior, Britt was credited with 24 receptions for 462 yards and six touchdowns. That total included seven catches for 136 yards vs. Bridgewater-Raritan and he also eclipsed the 100-yard mark vs. Union Hill with four catches for 112 yards. As a junior, he added 28 catches for 515 yards and six touchdowns. He would conclude his prep career with an appearance in the 2006 New York/New Jersey Governor's Bowl.

    Britt enrolled at Rutgers in 2006, where the coaching staff originally planned to redshirt him. However, solid performances in practices forced the team to activate him for nine games, as he started six of the final seven contests. He would go on to make 29 catches for 440 yards (15.2 avg.) and a pair of touchdowns, all coming in those six starting assignments, including an eye-popping total 10 catches vs. West Virginia, a team that boasted one of the top secondaries in the country.

    Despite posting the sixth-best receiving yardage total in Big East Conference history (1,232 yards) and ranking second on the team with 62 receptions (19.9 avg.), Britt was only named to the league's All-Big East second team. He also hauled in eight passes for touchdowns, averaging 94.77 aerial yards per game. For that performance, he was named the team's Offensive Most Valuable Player.

    Britt finally began to receive national attention in 2008. The third-team All-American and first-team All-Big East pick led the league in receptions (7.25 pg) and receiving yards (114.25 ypg). He set school season records with 87 receptions and 1,371 yards (15.8 avg.), as his yardage total was the second-best season effort in conference annals. He also was used in the backfield, completing his only collegiate pass attempt for 28 yards while adding 75 yards and a score on seven reverses.

    High School

    Attended Bayonne (N.J.) High School, where he was rated the 22nd-best receiver in the country and the fifth-best overall talent in the state of New Jersey by Rivals.com...Prep Star and Super Prep All-American...Added All-Hudson County first-team honors from the Hudson County Interscholastic Athletic Association, The Star-Ledger and Jersey Journal...As a senior, Britt was credited with 24 receptions for 462 yards and six touchdowns...That total included seven catches for 136 yards vs. Bridgewater-Raritan and he also eclipsed the 100-yard mark vs. Union Hill with four catches for 112 yards...As a junior, he added 28 catches for 515 yards and six touchdowns...Concluded his prep career with an appearance in the 2006 New York/New Jersey Governor's Bowl.


    Round 2...#62... Sen'Derrick Marks DT Auburn

    Round 3...#94... Ryan Mouton CB Hawaii

    Round 4...#130... Gerald McRath LB Southern Miss

    Round 4...#135 (Compensatory pick)... Troy Kropog OT Tulane

    Round 5...#173 (Compensatory pick)... Javon Ringer RB Michigan RB

    Round 6...#203... Jason McCourty DB Rutgers

    Round 6...#206 (Compensatory pick)... Dominique Edison WR Stephen F Austin

    Round 7...#239...Ryan Durrand OG Syracuse

    Round 7...#242 (Compensatory pick)... Nick Schommer DB

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