- Paul Kuharsky, ESPN Staff Writer
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Todd McShay’s initial mock draft is out, and he’s got the AFC South getting an influx of pass-rushers.
Here’s how he sees it panning out if it was held right now.
No. 2 – Jaguars
Damontre Moore, DE, Texas A&M
McShay: “The Jaguars have a league-low 14 sacks this season. They signed the recently-released Jason Babin as a Band-Aid, but even if Babin returns in 2013, upgrading the pass rush will be a huge priority. Moore can win with quickness or power, shows very good closing burst and is the kind of high-motor, high-character prospect the Jags are known to value. He also flashes the ability to hold the point against the run and has the versatility to line up in multiple spots."
Kuharsky: You can see it as hard to project, because we don’t know who will be making the draft call. We do know the roster this team has, no matter who’s calling the shots, continues to be lacking in the pass-rushing department to an embarrassing degree.
No. 6 -- Titans
Barkevious Mingo, DE, LSU
McShay: “Tennessee ranks 26th in the NFL in pass defense and 20th in sacks with 27. Kamerion Wimbley has five sacks, but he will be 30 next season and the Titans need a younger, better version of Wimbley to start on the right side opposite Derrick Morgan. While Mingo isn't a finished product, he has the quick first step, speed and range to chase down quarterbacks.”
Kuharsky: It’s sad that the Titans still need pass-rush help and overestimated what they had the way they did. Given a big free agent in Wimbley and a first-rounder in Morgan, either the coaches haven’t gotten enough production out of the headliners or the evaluators overestimated their talent.
No. 24 -- Colts
Ezekiel Ansah, DE, BYU
McShay: “The Colts have a lot of needs along the front seven in their new 3-4 scheme. Ansah is raw, but he made huge strides in 2012 and showed impressive versatility for a player with limited experience. He also has a rare combination of size and speed. While Ansah is a project, the potential reward if he reaches his potential could be worth the risk.”
Kuharsky: They can add virtually anywhere except quarterback. I suspect fans and a good share of media will call for cornerback or offensive lineman.
No. 32 – Texans
Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame
McShay: “The Texans are looking for another pass-catcher who can take pressure off WR Andre Johnson and need an upgrade at tight end. Eifert is not an elite athlete, but he has the size to create mismatches and separation and also the best ball skills of any tight end in college football. Houston also could opt for USC WR Robert Woods, or a safety such as Florida's Matt Elam or LSU's Eric Reid.”
Kuharsky: I’m not so sure they need an upgrade at tight end. Owen Daniels has some quality time left and Garrett Graham has proved a capable second. Though fullback James Casey, who’s really a tight end, should run away as a free agent to a team that will throw him the ball more. They should have the luxury of drafting someone good who's not necessarily a need.
9hEric D. Williams