The Tennessee Titans trading A.J. Brown was the top story of this division, and that includes the Jacksonville Jaguars taking Travon Walker first overall.
The NFL Draft provides hope for fans and gives us a good outlook on what teams value and where they think they are in the league hierarchy. Here are my AFC South draft grades and odds for each team to win the division. All odds are courtesy of FanDuel.
The Texans were an interesting team heading into the draft, as this was the first time we saw new general manager Nick Caserio have a mass amount of assets to use. Last year they didn’t pick until the third round. They had two top 15 picks this year and used them on Derek Stingley and Kenyon Green.
They traded up for John Metchie in the second and added Christian Harris and Dameon Pierce in the later rounds. They did an excellent job of infusing this talent-ridden roster with young, exciting players. The Texans are +2600 to win the AFC South via FanDuel.
The Colts didn’t pick until the second round due to the Carson Wentz trade and decided to focus their draft on elite athletes. They took wide receiver Alec Pierce in the second round, who ran a 4.41 40-yard dash and added tight end Jelani Woods who is 6’6, and a mismatch in the red zone for opposing defenses. The Colts did what they could with limited resources. The Colts are the favorites to win the AFC South at -105.
I cannot wrap my head around the Travon Walker pick. He had 9.5 career sacks at Georgia and was only a one-year starter. That is not enough production for a pass rusher to be taken first overall. Yes, he has freaky athletic traits, but rushing the passer is an art. It will be a complete outlier if he learns how to rush the passer in the NFL properly. I hate the pick.
Trading back up into the first round for a 24-year-old linebacker is also another head-scratcher. I don’t understand how Trent Baalke still has a job. The Jaguars are +700 to win the AFC South via FanDuel.
This draft will come down to if Treylon Burks turns into at least 80% of A.J. Brown. Trading the best wide receiver in franchise history at 24 years old is risky. Burks has potential, but his ceiling is turning into A.J. Brown. They already had him on the roster.
Having said that, their later-round picks were some nice additions. Malik Willis in the third round is a steal and gives the fan base something to look forward to after Ryan Tannehill. Roger McCreary will be a player, and Nicholas Petit-Frere has some upside. The Titans are +145 to win the AFC South at FanDuel.
AFC South Draft Grades articles from 2021 – May 5, 2021
The AFC South has a new sheriff in town. Trevor Lawrence was -10000 to be the first overall pick this year. The Jaguars ultimately took him and he instantly legitimizes their chances to win the division. Oddsmakers think the Jaguars will be competitive next year.
The NFL Draft provides hope for fans and gives us a good outlook on what teams value, and where they think they are in the league hierarchy. Here are my draft grades and odds for each team to win the division. All odds are courtesy of BetRivers:
AFC South 2021 Draft Grades
I didn’t have high expectations for the Texans considering they weren’t picking until 67. Well, it’s safe to say they had the worst draft in the league. Why take quarterback Davis Mills when you have so many more holes on the roster?
Fixing the quarterback position should not have been a priority this draft. They will likely have a high pick next year, so taking one at 67 was very unnecessary. I am also not very high on Mills as a prospect. Trading up for wide receiver Nico Collins was a bad idea. The Texans are heavy underdogs at +2200 to win the division according to BetRivers
Kwity Paye at 21 is good value, and he should be able to start right away in 2021. However, after Paye, I was very underwhelmed with the Colts draft haul. Edge rusher Dayo Odeyingbo is coming off a torn Achilles, and might not see the field this year. For a team ready to win now, that’s not ideal.
The Colts also did not draft a single offensive tackle. That was arguably their biggest need heading into the draft. The Colts are the favorites at +100 to win the division according to BetRivers.
It’s hard to critique a team that just landed arguably the best quarterback prospect in 10 years, but I am going to do just that. Taking Travis Etienne in the second round was a terrible move. James Robinson had over 1400 yards from scrimmage last year. Why would you spend a first-round pick on another running back? That’s a bad use of resources.
Overall the rest of their draft was fine. Tyson Campbell and Walker Little are solid second-round picks. That Etienne pick will leave a bad taste in my mouth. The Jaguars are +700 to win the division according to BetRivers.
The Titans took Caleb Farley with the 22nd overall pick, and he was only available due to back issues. The Titans missed big on Isaiah Wilson last year, so hopefully, Farley can bounce back from his injury issues.
Elijah Molden in the third round is one of my favorite picks in the draft. The Titans are +130 to win the division according to BetRivers.