Draft Grades

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Divisional draft recap: AFC South

Both the Jaguars and Texans loaded up on defense in the 2008 NFL Draft -- Jacksonville used the first four of its five picks on defense, while Houston drafted five defenders in seven selections. The Colts took a pair of outside linebackers in the third and fifth rounds -- including one they hope they can convert to a DE -- but failed to address any other defensive positions with their seven other picks. The Titans appear to have had the most well-rounded draft of the division, taking four defenders at different positions and three offensive players, though they failed to address a glaring need at wide receiver.

Safest pick: DE, Derrick Harvey (Jaguars). Some would argue the Jaguars reached in moving up to get the Jr. out of Florida with the 8th overall pick, but Harvey adds another tenacious and athletic pass rusher to an already potent defense.

Riskiest pick: DE, Jason Jones (Titans). Looking to replace departed DE Antwan Odom, Tennessee picked up Jones, a defensive end out of Eastern Michigan with the 54th overall pick. Jones' inconsistency, however, has some people questioning whether he'll be able to start right away.

Best Day 2 value: LB, Xavier Adibi (Texans). Houston continues to improve its front seven by taking the agile Virginia Tech linebacker in the fourth round. Adibi should be an upgrade over the departed Danny Clark and a nice complement to a solid LB corps of DeMeco Ryans and Morlon Greenwood.

AFC South draft recaps

The loss of Rob Morris and Rocky Boiman in the offseason opened up holes at the linebacker, so the Colts will look to alleviate those losses with Philip Wheeler. With Anthony McFarland released and Dwight Freeney coming back from a season-ending foot injury, Indianapolis picked up Georgia DE Marcus Howard. First-round pick Mike Pollak could play anywhere on the offensive line, and running back Mike Hart could end up being Joseph Addai's backup. With Marvin Harrison getting up there in age, the Colts took a flyer on Pierre Garcon, a talented but raw Division III prospect.
Indianapolis' complete draft

The Jaguars had a pressing need on the defensive line after trading Marcus Stroud, so they added ends Derrick Harvey and Quentin Groves with their first two picks. However, they still lack a replacement for safety Sammy Knight, who left for the Giants. Jacksonville still lacks some youth at key positions in the offensive line, like center, where Brad Meester is entering his 10th season and coming off an injury-plagued year. It did not address this need with any of its five picks.
Jacksonville's complete draft

The Titans have not surrounded quarterback Vince Young with talented receivers, and this year's draft was no exception. The Titans spent their first pick on running back Chris Johnson. Tennessee did draft receiver Lavelle Hawkins in the fourth round. On defense, the loss of ends Antwan Odom and Travis LaBoy led the team to take defensive end Jason Jones in the second round.

Throughout the Texans' six-year history, offensive line has been a significant concern, so Duane Brown in the first round makes sense. Brown is the prototype for Alex Gibbs' system. Steve Slaton is the kind of running back that could have some success in that system, although many believe he'll be nothing more than a third-down back. The Texans also addressed some need for depth at linebacker, cornerback and safety.
Houston's complete draft

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