AFC South: Colts' dominance continues in draft
On the surface, the AFC South might have had the most boring draft of any division.
The Colts didn't pick until late in the second round and the only skill-position player taken in the first two rounds was an undersized running back. But this draft class has the potential to make a big impact on the division.
If things work out, Jacksonville suddenly has a pass rush, the Texans filled a couple of more holes, the Titans landed a home run threat and the Colts continued to stockpile the kind of talent that will keep them a Super Bowl contender for years to come.
Here is a breakdown of this weekend's draft within the AFC South:
With the No. 59 overall pick, they drafted Arizona State center Mike Pollack, who really was the best player on the Colts' draft board. The Colts already have a very solid center in Jeff Saturday, but he is getting older.
The beauty of this move is Pollack will get to spend a season learning from Saturday and the Colts won't have to draft a center next year.
The Jaguars may have been only two players away from being a legitimate Super Bowl contender. Those two players better be defensive ends Derrick Harvey and Quentin Groves, because Jacksonville gave up a lot to get them. The Jaguars started the day with the No. 26 pick, but packaged it with two third-round picks and a fourth-round choice to jump up to No. 8 to grab Harvey, a University of Florida product.
The Jaguars didn't stop there. They swapped second-round picks with Tampa Bay and also parted with a fifth-round choice this year and a seventh-round pick in 2009. Both rookies probably will have to start immediately and the results better come quickly.
Then again, even if Harvey and Groves have some growing pains, they at least give the Jaguars more of a pass-rush threat than they've had the past couple of years.
Most surprising move
After using a second-round pick in each of the past two drafts to get running backs LenDale White and Chris Henry, the Titans, who had lots of needs elsewhere (mainly wide receiver), turned around and used a first-round pick on East Carolina running back Chris Johnson.
Henry hasn't shown much and this move is probably a sign the Titans don't think he's going to work out. But White was a 1,000-yard rusher last season and the Titans probably don't need a new starter. They probably didn't get one because Johnson is undersized and may be nothing more than a third-down back. Johnson is explosive and could provide a nice complement to White, but you don't draft complementary players in the first round.
File it away
A couple of months ago, an NFL scout was asked if West Virginia's Steve Slaton was too small to be an effective NFL running back.
"Yeah, and Warrick Dunn was too small, too," the scout said sarcastically.
Obviously, Dunn's career turned out pretty well in Tampa Bay and Atlanta. Maybe the comparison's a little premature, but the Texans obviously think Slaton has some potential after taking him in the third round. At 5-foot-9 and 198 pounds, Slaton is small, but he's also extremely quick. Give him a year or two as a third-down back as Ahman Green gets closer to the end of his career.
Maybe Slaton can bulk up a bit and the Texans, who used a first-round pick on Virginia Tech offensive tackle Duane Brown, will continue their perpetual crusade to improve their offensive line. One of these days, the Texans will have a decent offensive line. When that happens, it would be nice to have a home run threat like Slaton.
Pat Yasinskas covers the NFL for ESPN.com.
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2008 NFL DRAFT
The 2008 draft lasted 14 hours, 26 minutes. Michigan offensive tackle Jake Long (above), selected by Miami, was the No. 1 overall pick. This year's Mr. Irrelevant -- the last pick in the draft -- is David Vobora, a linebacker from Idaho selected by St. Louis with the 252nd pick.
Round-by-round, team-by-team picks• Round: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7
• AFC East: Buffalo | Miami | N. England | NY Jets
• AFC North: Baltimore | Cinc. | Cleve. | Pitt.
• AFC South: Houston | Indy | Jax | Tennessee
• AFC West: Denver | K.C. | Oakland | San Diego
• NFC East: Dallas | NYG | Philadephia | Wash.
• NFC North: Chicago | Detroit | G.B. | Minnesota
• NFC South: Atlanta | Carolina | N.O. | Tampa
• NFC West: Arizona | S.F. | St. Louis | Seattle
Inside Radio City Music Hall• Panoramic views
Commentary/Features• Wickersham: Bears, Ravens take opposite turns
• Williamson: Remembering Heath Benedict
• Yasinskas: Falcons should be patient with Ryan
• Clayton: Six draft trends
• Chadiha: 10 great marriages
• Walker: NFC East draft review
• Sando: NFC West draft review
• Willamson: NFC North draft review
• Yasinskas: NFC South draft review
• Sando: AFC East draft review
• Williamson: AFC West draft review
• Walker: AFC North draft review
• Yasinskas: AFC South draft review
• Clayton: Day 1 winners and losers
• Williamson: Davis couldn't resist McFadden
• Walker: Ravens had to work for Flacco
• Sando: Long addresses Rams' D-line needs
• Chadiha: AFC East hustle continues on draft day
• Yasinskas: Ryan gives Falcons hope, identity
Mel Kiper• Kiper's team-by-team draft grades
• Day 1 good, bad moves: Questionable Titans
News• 2008 breaks previous trade record
• Jets sign NCAA career rushing leader Woodhead
• Lions pick Smith with first pick of second day
• Miami, Long make it official | NFL Local
Video• Green: First-round pick instant analysis
• Complete draft analysis
• One-on-one with Jake Long
• One-on-one with Chris Long
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• Norv Turner interview
• Fantasy Spin
Audio• Jake Long | Chris Long | Matt Ryan
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• Lawrence Jackson
SportsNation• Vote: Best first-round pick? | Potential busts?
• Grades: How did your team fare?
Scouts Inc.• Analysis: Round 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7
Cheat Sheets: RB | DL | DB | LB | OL | REC | QB
• McShay: Seven-round mock draft
• Revisiting the 2005 draft | 2005 re-draft