Every team made a blunder and a burglary in the 2014 NFL draft. So which was which for the AFC South division?
Burglary: Telvin Smith
It was really difficult to find anything remotely wrong with Telvin Smith. He’s fast, athletic, delivers good hits, can tackle and is a leader on the field. The only constant problem referenced by scouts was he was a little lighter than preferred at 218 lbs. So to get him in the 5th round was huge for the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Blunder: Brandon Linder
By that same token the selection of Brandon Linder in the 3rd round felt like coach’s pick. The Miami product is certainly big, tough and reliable but he’s doesn’t have that starter look about him. He lacks power and isn’t even a good athlete, much less a great one. Based on the board, they could’ve gotten him a round or two later in the 2014 NFL draft.
Burglary: Louis Nix
It’s never a good thing being 340 lbs and having knee problems when entering the pros. Still it’s hard to believe Notre Dame nose tackle Louis Nix fell into the 3rd round given his clear upside as a run defense. Already fueled by their Jadeveon Clowney pick, the Houston Texans eagerly and wisely jumped up to get him.
Blunder: Jeoffrey Pagan
One would think the Nix and Clowney moves pretty much settled the defensive line but the Texans chose to go back to the well again by adding Jeoffrey Pagan. While boasting good size and versatility, he has trouble with double teams and little pass rush value. Houston could’ve found better value with that pick at other positions of need like linebacker.
Burglary: Donte Moncrief
The 2014 NFL draft would be a short one for the Indianapolis Colts so they had to make sure they went after quality picks. Getting Donte Moncrief in the 3rd round qualifies. The big receiver out of Ole Miss was among the most productive and reliable targets in the SEC and has the desired traits of a future #1 receiver. A great heir apparent to Reggie Wayne.
Blunder: Jonathan Newsome
Finding edge rush was a must for the Colts so it’s easy to justify the pick of Jonathan Newsome who did his best work at Ball State beating tackles with speed and leverage. At the same time they passed up some quality talent with more upside such as Ronald Powell from Florida and Howard Jones from Shepherd.
Burglary: DaQuan Jones
There isn’t much glory in being a run stuffer but to the right defense it can mean everything. The Tennessee Titans need a plugger at nose tackle for their new 3-4 and they managed to get one who can start right away in DaQuan Jones in the 4th round. Considering he was graded as a 2nd or 3rd rounder, that is great value.
Blunder: Avery Williamson
It’s not so much the player Avery Williams that draws the ire with this 2014 NFL draft pick for the Titans, it’s the fact that they favored an inside linebacker over taking a corner. There were a number of good ones still available and it was a clear need for the team after losing Pro Bowler Alterraun Verner.