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AFC South: My favorite and least-favorite draft picks

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Updated Oct. 06, 2010 @ 7:27 p.m.
By Eric Edholm

Here's a look at the AFC South:

Texans

Favorite pick: TE Dorin Dickerson, Round Seven. I hear they are going to make him into a big receiver. I think the kid will make it. They have a ton of tight ends anyway and could use a sturdy backup to Andre Johnson. Every time I looked up at Senior Bowl practices, this guy was making a nice catch. He could be a good catch so late for the Texans.

Least-favorite pick: RB Ben Tate, Round Two. I realize that the Senior Bowl might not be the place for running backs to really stand out, but Tate was quiet that week and didn't make a great impression. Perhaps I am basing too much of my thoughts on that week alone, because the guy had a nice season at Auburn. And I realize he'll fit well in the zone running scheme they have there. But I am not too sure he's a big-time performer.

Colts

Favorite pick: DE Jerry Hughes, Round One. Overlooking the offensive line need, the Colts went the right direction at the end of the first round, where Hughes should have been long gone. Pass rushers are hard to find, and Hughes can help give rest to Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis a rest. The Colts could not get to Drew Brees in the Super Bowl, making this a bigger need than people think. Another favorite is blocking TE Brody Eldridge; I am rooting for this guy to make it. He was so unsung for OU.

Least-favorite pick: OG Jacques McClendon, Round Four. Off most teams' radars, McClendon was seen by some teams as a major reach. Calling out mid-round Bill Polian picks is dangerous because that's where he's done his best work. But if he wanted McClendon, he might have been able to get him much later. One team was stunned he went so high, having graded him out as a priority free agent.

Jaguars

Favorite pick: OLB Larry Hart, Round Five. While many of the other picks were labeled reaches by most analysts, I thought the Hart pick was outstanding here. He has intriguing skills to develop if the Jags are patient. They could be transitioning to more "30" fronts, and Hart is a one- or two-year project who could pay off well in time.

Least-favorite pick: DL Austen Lane, Round Five. The Jaguars scooped up three Senior Bowlers, and likely could have had all three later on. I know people are upset at the Tyson Alualu pick (or at least where they got him), but I think Lane will be a non-factor. I don't see him being powerful enough to be a three- or a five-technique, which is where the team projects him.

Titans

Favorite pick: CB Alterraun Verner, Round Four. A good player who probably should have gone higher. Don't get me wrong: I love Derrick Morgan and think he'll be a nice player, though I see him as more of a 7-8 sack guy, not the 12-13 everyone else thinks. He's just not that explosive. But I think Verner, who started much of his UCLA career and just has a knack for the ball, will be like Cortland Finnegan: You throw out the measurables and just let him play. He'll perform.

Least-favorite pick: WR Damian Williams, Round Three. For some reason, this guy just never has done it for me. I think he might be a better punt returner than receiver in the long run, and if he's excellent at the former it probably will justify the pick, though third round is a little high for that. We'll see, of course, but it makes me wonder why the Titans have struggled to find WR help in the draft for years.

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