Welcome back to Sports Krunch with DKrom ladies and gentlemen, I’m your host David Kromelow. Today, we wrap up our post-NFL Draft recap tour through the AFC with a look at the draft hauls in the AFC South. If health cooperates, the AFC South could be the most competitive division in football this season. Just how much more competitive did it get as a result of the 2018 NFL Draft? Joining us now to break down the draft classes of the Colts, Texans, Titans and Jaguars is our good friend Jake Arthur, who covers the Colts for StampedeBlue.com. Great to have you here as always Jake, how are you?
1. When you last came on the program, both you and I agreed that Quenton Nelson was the best option for the Colts at six should Bradley Chubb have been gone by then. Low and behold, that’s exactly what happened. Now that Nelson is a Colt, we know how much he improves that offensive line as a unit, but what I’m wondering is how he can make each member in that OL room better individually. How do you think he can do so?
2. One of the Colts biggest needs in this draft was off-ball linebacker, and they addressed that need with Darius Leonard out of South Carolina State in the second round. I saw Leonard at the Senior Bowl, and his sideline-to-sideline speed and solid coverage abilities stood out to me. Do you think his talent and potential fit in the Colts new defensive system warranted that high of a selection, or do you think there were better LB options on the board? Do you see him starting week 1?
3. The Colts wound up picking four times in the second round, and with half of those selections, they added to their pass rush. One was Kemoko Turay, the freakish athletic specimen out of Rutgers and the other was the guy whose voice you have heard at the beginning of every Dash to the Draft episode this year, our good friend Tyquan Lewis out of Ohio State. Which of these two “potential over production” picks are you the highest on and why?
4. Although the Texans didn’t pick until round three, they had to be beyond thrilled that Stanford safety Justin Reid, Eric Reid’s younger brother, fell into their lap. Many were mocking Reid in the late first round. What does he bring to the back end of the Texans defense that they’ve been lacking in recent years?
5. With their second of three third round picks, the Texans gave Deshaun Watson some much-needed protection by selecting versatile Mississippi State OL Martinas Rankin. Some believe Rankin can play all five OL positions. Which position do you think is his best fit with the Texans?
6. My personal favorite pick of the Texans draft was their selection of Wake Forest edge rusher Duke Ejiofor in the sixth round. A couple draftniks I respect had Ejiofor has a second-to-third round talent. Assuming he’s fully recovered by training camp, would you anticipate him getting a healthy amount of snaps each week in order to keep Clowney and Mercilus fresh?
7. The Titans believed the Patriots had their eyes set on Rashaan Evans so they traded up one spot ahead of them in the first round to take him. However, according to Albert Breer (I believe), the Patriots actually were not interested in him because they don’t believe he can be a three-down linebacker. Do you think he can eventually grow into one?
8. PFF had Harold Landry ranked ahead of Bradley Chubb as the draft’s best edge rusher. Do you see any evidence on Landry’s tape that suggests he can be a more potent weapon rushing the passer than Chubb?
9. The Jaguars played more of the long game with their first round pick. They strengthened their biggest strength (the DL) by adding the talented but raw Taven Bryan. Moreover, the selection of Bryan gives them salary cap flexibility going forward as they will likely have to part ways with either Marcell Dareus or Malik Jackson after this season. However, whether they do or not will mainly depend on how much Taven Bryan develops this year. Do you think Bryan can develop into a starter-type player by 2019, or do you think he needs two years of development?
10. My draftnik friends were split on D.J. Chark. One believes he runs an advanced route tree (especially for someone entering the league) and is a Stefon Diggs-level talent. Another suggested he is currently a one-trick pony that can only make his living running vertical routes at the moment. What is your current assessment of D.J. Chark?
11. Jacksonville also got potentially great value in round three by taking Alabama S Ronnie Harrison. To my knowledge, much of Draft Twitter and the media were in love with him but the league was obviously not. Lance Zierlein cited an AFC Pro Personnel Director’s thoughts on Harrison: “He’s one of the most overrated guys at safety to me. He doesn’t really run that well and he doesn’t really do anything special in coverage. He’s a hitter, but you can find hitters.” What is your take on Harrison and can he become the starting SS for the Jaguars by 2019 at the latest?
12. Overreaction/Not an Overreaction
-Deon Cain will be number two on the Colts WR depth chart behind only TY Hilton by the end of this season
-Keke Coutee will beat out Braxton Miller for the Texans slot WR job in training camp
-Dane Cruikshank will be a defensive matchup chess piece for the Titans just as much as Minkah Fitzpatrick will be for the Dolphins
-Will Richardson will succeed Jeremy Parnell as the Jaguars starting RT in 2019
Thank you Jake…and that’s it for today here on Sports Krunch with DKrom. We’ll be back tomorrow as we begin making the rounds in the NFC for our 2018 Dash To The Draft recap series…so stay tuned! Be sure to check out the episode archive as well as an up-to-date blog of mine at SportsKrunch.com!! And if you enjoy these podcast episodes please consider leaving us an iTunes review and donating to our Patreon at Patreon.com/SportsKrunch so we can improve our iTunes ranking and afford to produce even more shows with awesome guests like Jake, especially since there’s NEVER an “offseason” for talking football.
For Jake Arthur, our producer Chris Brodhead, this is David Kromelow saying so long, and as usual, stay awesome!!!
Jake’s Twitter handle: @JakeArthurNFL