- Pat Kirwan examines the draft needs for all 32 teams, by division, this week. The biggest need for each team is listed first and followed in descending order.*
Needs: CB, NT, OLB, S
Houston has been the projected "rising" star of the division for three years, yet it disappoints every year. It is impossible to win the AFC South with Peyton Manning in the division, a weak secondary and a one-man pass rush. The Texans have to go back in the draft for more secondary help or pay big bucks for a veteran like Nnamdi Asomugha. The conversion from the 4-3 base defense to the 3-4 also means they need to draft a nose tackle and an outside linebacker or this conversion will fail. This year's draft figures to be defense-oriented to help support a fine offense.
* Draft choices: Nos. 11, 42, 73, 104, 135, 173, 204
Needs: C/G, LT, DT, S, KR, CB
Manning covers up significant problems for the Colts with his play calling at the line of scrimmage and his quick decision making. Sooner or later, the Colts need more talent along the offensive line and really have to develop the replacement for aging center Jeff Saturday. The Colts' defense has plenty of speed, but could still use some bulk inside. With all the injuries in the secondary, the Colts must restock the back end of the defense. Don't look for the Colts to move around in this draft to satisfy needs or acquire more picks.
* Draft choices: Nos. 22, 53 87, 118, 149, 183
Needs: DE, CB, WR, S, QB, ILB
Jacksonville played pretty well last year when you consider the roster and the inconsistent quarterback play. The three-game, season-ending losing streak forced an 8-8 finish when expectations were running high after the Jaguars were sitting at 8-5 with two sub-.500 teams still on the schedule. The 2009 draft was a full-blown injection of youth to the roster, and it was a good plan. Now the Jaguars need to get a few key players on defense considering they gave up 88 points in the last three games. A wide receiver is probably in the plans, and don't be surprised to see a quarterback in the mix.
* Draft choices: Nos. 16, 49, 80, 113, 120, 144, 177
Projection game: Two-round mock
Needs: QB, DT, OG, OLB, C, DE
The Titans' experiment with Vince Young appears over, which will set the franchise back a few years. Kerry Collins is too old to consider a 16-game starter, let alone build around. They will be lucky to see a top quarterback still available at the No. 8 spot and might have to settle for a second-tier quarterback who sits on the bench for most, if not all, of the 2011 season, which isn't a bad thing. In the meantime, defensive line help is a necessity for a team once built on defense. The Titans gave up 29 or more points in five of their loses and have some of their better veterans ready for free agency, which could complicate things. The Titans' defensive line coach, Jim Washburn, is now in Philadelphia, and we could see a Titan or two follow him there.
* Draft choices: Nos. 8, 39, 77, 108, 139, 170, 201
*The draft picks are unofficial at this point. The league is expected to release the complete draft order by the end of March.