The 2020 NFL Draft first round has come to an end and with all of the action especially late in the draft, the AFC South has changed entering the coming season
Here is a quick look at the AFC South after the first day of the NFL Draft.
AFC South Round-Up
The Houston Texans did not select in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft as they traded their pick to the Dolphins last year to acquire Pro Bowl Tackle Laremy Tunsil. Although the Texans did try to test the water by asking around to trade up to the first round, Bill O’Brien and the Texans stayed put.
Staying put was a smart move as the Texans were able to preserve their precious draft capital and watched as they landed a very favorable draft board for the second and third round tomorrow with many offensive and defensive stars still left.
In addition, not having a first-round pick also proved the importance of trading for Laremy Tunsil as many of the top offensive linemen were off the board quickly giving the Texans very little options to operate with. Thus, in hindsight, making the move for a player like Laremy Tunsil was a smart move as without him the Texans would have to settle for an offensive lineman that wouldn’t be nearly as talented and effective as Tunsil.
With the 9th overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, the Jacksonville Jaguars selected cornerback CJ Henderson. In the 2019 college football season, Henderson was selected to the first-team All-SEC as he made 33 tackles and 11 pass breakups in 2019. Henderson has great footwork, speed, and ball skills, which would make him a great cornerback for the Jaguars. This addition of Henderson can greatly improve the Jaguars secondary, making them a force to reckon with for years to come. However, his issue of tackling can be an issue that needs to be refined. His addition could also help the Jaguars regain its daunting form from three years ago.
Picking Henderson in the draft could have major repercussions for the Texans as Henderson could be a shutdown corner that would be a nightmare for Texans’ receivers. Especially since the Texans play the Jaguars twice in a season, drafting Henderson could be a problem for the Texans in a major way.
With the 20th pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, the Jacksonville Jaguars selected linebacker K’Lavon Chaisson out of LSU. Chaisson is such a dynamic player that was a very valuable part of the Tigers’ defense in their championship run last year. Chaisson is a very versatile player that can play in a myriad of positions and has excellent flexibility and explosiveness proving his value. As a leader on the field, Chaisson athleticism allowed him to have 6.5 sacks, 13.5 tackles for losses, and a forced fumble in 2019. As an electric player, Chaisson can be a new leader for the young Jaguars defense. Chaisson could also be a future replacement for Yannick Ngaouke who has been very vocal of wanting out of Jacksonville. However, his injury concerns and his lack of production makes are points of worry. However, the Jaguars will be getting a leader for their future and a dependable athletic freak that can wreak havoc for years to come.
Drafting both Chaisson and Henderson makes the Jaguars' defense very scary and could hurt the Texans. As defensive rivals, the Jaguars can give the Texans some serious nightmares with both a powerful pass rush (led by Chaisson) and a shutdown secondary (led by CJ Henderson). Although both players need some development, the Texans should be prepared for facing a tough, unforgiving, and strong defense whenever playing the Jaguars.
The Indianapolis Colts do not have a first-round pick tonight as they traded their first-round pick (at 13th overall) to the San Francisco 49ers for DeForest Buckner about a month ago. Instead of opting towards drafting some new talent, the Colts opted for the second-team All-Pro defensive tackle who is only 26 years old. Buckner, after being trading, subsequently signed a massive extension with the Colts for a 4 year, $84 million dollar contract. Buckner had 12.0 sacks and 7.5 sacks in 2018 and 2019 respectively showing that he has dependable production making him a valuable defensive player that can fortify the defensive line for the Colts.
This trade affects the Texans as the addition of Buckner to the Colts makes them an even scarier defensive side. Buckner can dominate offensive lines with ease and gets to the quarterback often. His addition makes the Texans more vulnerable to a weaker passing and rushing game as Buckner is a tackling machine. Paired with star Darius Leonard, the tandem of these two stars making the Colts defense even more successful. With a four year extension, the years of terror that the Colts defense can have will last and become a nightmare for the Texans.
With the 29th overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, the Tennessee Titans selected from Isaiah Wilson the University of Georgia. Isaiah Wilson is a very athletic and powerful right tackle that can fortify the Titans offensive line. With his rare size and raw skills, Wilson can be easily molded by NFL coaches that can make him a very dependable offensive line option for the Titans for years to come. Wilson’s size and movement skills make him very special and unique. However, Wilson is slow and can be easily beat by fast defensive ends, which can be a major weakness if Wilson does not improve. Wilson is a great pick for the Titans that can fill in the need at the offensive line after Conklin left the Titans earlier in the offseason.
Drafting Wilson would be a problem for the Texans as Wilson will make it harder for the Texans to stop the rush as Wilson further empowers Derrick Henry, allowing him to continue wrecking the league through his lethal speed and ability to find holes. Wilson will also strengthen the Titans’ pass rush preventing the Texans’ defensive ends and tackles from sacking Tannehill. With an already weak defensive line, it is imperative that the Texans use the next couple of day drafting players that can upgrade their defensive line as it is clear that the Texans will be challenged in years to come with the talent of this new tackle.
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