2011 NFL Draft First Round Review: AFC South


Tennessee Titans: Jake Locker, QB, Washington (8th overall)

This was probably the first big surprise of the draft, but the Titans made a solid pick here. In all likelihood, Locker would have been gone in the next couple of picks, so the Titans just figured they might as well take him while they still can. Head Coach Mike Munchak said he would not have been able to sleep had they traded down and missed out on him. This was a big risk move on a guy who was supposed to be a top five pick back in October, and the Titans didn’t make him wait long on draft day.

Jacksonville Jaguars: Blaine Gabbert, Quarterback, Missouri (10th overall)

The Jacksonville Jaguars shocked everybody by uncharacteristically trading up into the top ten picks and taking a signal caller of the future in Blaine Gabbert. This was a gutsy move by head coach Jack Del Rio and company, and one that could give him some lee-way in keeping his job after this year. Gabbert isn’t a phenomenal prospect, but he is solid with all the measurables you could want, and he has a swagger about him. This was a solid pick by the Jaguars.

Houston Texans: J.J. Watt, DE/DL, Wisconsin (11th overall)

J.J. Watt is a blue-collar guy who is going to jump right in for the Texans and be a starter in their new three man front. He has great size and athleticism, and won’t be a double-digit sack guy I don’t think, but he will be a great anchor and will make things tough for opposing offensive lines. He burst onto the scene after starting his career as a tight end and then transferring to Wisconsin where he was a dominant defensive end and a fantastic student-athlete.

Indianapolis Colts: Anthony Castonzo, OT, Boston College

This pick was absolutely needed by the Colts, who have to protect Peyton Manning at all costs. Picking Boston College offensive linemen seems to be a safe bet in the NFL, and Castonzo is one of the smartest kids in the entire draft. He is a big guy with power and athletic ability that will make him a perfect fit for the Colts’ offensive attack.

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