In the AFC South, Jacksonville and Tennessee used their first-round picks to strengthen their offensive lines. Indianapolis made a key addition to its pass rush, and Houston added a much-needed receiving threat. Generally speaking, it was an opening round without much controversy for this division, though Tennessee's choice has analysts divided.
Here's a look at how some draft experts graded those picks.
Jacksonville Jaguars, No. 2 overall: OT Luke Joeckel, Texas A&M
Luke Joeckel could have been the No. 1 overall pick in the draft and might be the best overall player in the 2013 draft class, but Jacksonville's decision to take him didn't come without some concerns. The Jaguars have a lot of needs on the defensive side, and the fact that Joeckel is likely to end up playing right tackle dampened some of the enthusiasm for his selection within the fan base. But it's a start for an offense that also needs plenty of help, as Joeckel might be ready to break into the first string from day one.
Tennessee Titans, No. 10 overall: OG Chance Warmack, Alabama
The Titans also decided to strengthen their offensive line; in this case, was more polarizing among the experts. It's clear that Tennessee was committed this offseason to improving its interior line -- in addition to drafting Warmack, the team signed free agent Andy Levitre. Titans fans are excited about the direction of the offensive line, and Warmack in particular:
We have been asking for years for the Titans to upgrade the interior of the offensive line. They have finally done that. Fernando Velasco has solidified the center position. They signed Andy Levitre to play one guard, and now they have drafted the best player in the draft in Chance Warmack. He is a starter from day one, and he gives them the mauler they have wanted inside.
With the offensive line taken care of, the organization may turn its attention to needs on the defensive side of the ball.
Indianapolis Colts, No. 24 overall: DE/LB Bjoern Werner, Florida State
Indianapolis needs more pass rushers, and Werner certainly fits that bill. He led the ACC with 13 sacks as a down lineman last season, but the Colts plan to move him to outside linebacker. He'll be transitioning from the 4-3 in college to the 3-4 in Indianapolis, which is what prompted the position change.
I imagine Grigson and Pagano imagine they want to mold Werner into a hybrid of J.J. Watt, Paul Kruger, and Jarrett Johnson. All three of these players either have wrecked havoc on Indianapolis or have Pagano connections.
The Colts ranked 23rd in the NFL in sacks last season.
Houston Texans, No. 27 overall: WR DeAndre Hopkins, Clemson
Houston wanted a young receiving threat to complement Andre Johnson, and that's what they hope they have in DeAndre Hopkins. Hopkins is coming off a huge season at Clemson, and while his 40 time underwhelmed at the NFL Combine, his overall skill set was more than enough to get him into the first round. SB Nation's Battle Red Blog is pleased with this choice:
I originally crushed hard for Hopkins, but I thought he had pushed his stock out of Houston's reach. With Hopkins, Houston gets a guy with incredible hands, smooth route-running abilities, someone who stepped up when Sammy Watkins went down, a good character guy, and someone who is going to work hard to stand next to Andre Johnson. This is all spur of the moment reaction, but I absolutely love this pick.
Hopkins finished the 2012 season with 1,405 yards receiving and 18 touchdown grabs.