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2023 NFL Draft Grade: AFC South

2023 NFL Draft
The 2023 NFL Draft grades for the AFC South are here. Which team won and which team totally failed? Read to find out here! (Jeff Roberson/Associated Press)

2023 NFL Draft Grade: AFC South

The AFC South feels like the most wide open division in the Conference. The Jaguars are ascending but this draft could prove vital to see who comes out on top at the end of the year. After hitting the AFC East and AFC North, let’s get to those AFC South draft grades!

Houston Texans: B

Round 1: No. 2: CJ Stroud, QB, Ohio State
Round 1: No. 3 (from Cardinals): Will Anderson Jr, LB, Alabama
Round 2: No. 62 (from Eagles): Juice Scruggs, C, Penn State
Round 3: No. 69 — Tank Dell, WR, Houston
Round 4: No. 109 (from Raiders) — Dylan Horton, DE, TCU
Round 5: No. 167 (from Rams) — Henry To’oTo’o, ILB, Alabama
Round 6: No. 201 (from Vikings) — Jarrett Patterson, C, Notre Dame
Round 6: No. 205 (from Bills) — Xavier Hutchinson, WR, Iowa State

I don’t have a strong feeling about this draft class one way or another. Normally when you get your franchise quarterback and generational pass rusher, it should automatically be viewed as an A+. Except in this instance, it’s really not that simple.

In order to trade back up for Will Anderson, the Texans gave up a flurry of picks including their first rounder next year. Houston could very easily suck next year. I’m not sure I would have given up that pick under any circumstance but I understand why they did.

I have come around to being a CJ Stroud believer but I don’t love this landing spot. Had it been Bryce Young who is more ready to play right away, I would have felt better about it. No strong play caller here either.

The rest of the draft wasn’t great. I like Juice Scruggs but trading up in the second round? Gross. Tank Dell is tiny. No chance I’m going third round there. If he’s not at the University of Houston, do they even pick him? Dylan Horton wasn’t someone I was high on either.

Henry was a good gamble. So was the center out of Notre Dame (who might be better than the first center they took. Still, it’s a nice draft for Houston but there are A LOT of question marks after.

Indianapolis Colts: B

Round 1: No. 4 overall: Anthony Richardson, QB, Florida
Round 2: No. 44 (from Falcons): Julius Brents, CB, Kansas State
Round 3: No. 79 (from Commanders) — Josh Downs, WR, North Carolina
Round 4: No. 106 — Blake Freeland, OT, BYU
Round 4: No. 110 (from Falcons via Titans) — Adetomiwa Adebawore, DE, Northwestern
Round 5: No. 138 — Darius Rush, CB, South Carolina
Round 5: No. 158 (from Vikings) — Daniel Scott, S, California
Round 5: No. 162 (from Bills) — Will Mallory, TE, Miami
Round 5: No. 176 (from Cowboys) — Evan Hull, RB, Northwestern
Round 7: No. 211 (through Vikings) — Titus Leo, ILB, Wagner
Round 7: No. 221 — Jaylon Jones, CB, Texas A&M
Round 7: 236 (from Bucs): Jake Witt, OT, Northern Michigan University

It’s Chris Ballard’s best draft in years. That is the caveat that Anthony Richardson pans out. I wouldn’t be able to sleep turning the card in for him but I’m not sure Ballard had a choice given the spot he was in. There are also 12 players in this class. I think they blew it on some but did well on others.

They shouldn’t play Richardson a snap this year but they will and he will struggle. It’s a matter of if they help him develop years down the line. I wouldn’t count on it but the guy is so talented that you can’t rule out the possibility that this works.

To save some time, let’s stay positive. Josh Downs at pick 79 is fantastic. He’s going to be everything they hoped Parris Campbell was. Way more of a refined receiver and gets open. He’s going to play for them and make an impact. I thought the value the Blake Freeland, Adetomiwa Adebawore, and Daniel Rush picks got them the B grade.

Jacksonville Jaguars: F

Round 1: No. 27 overall (from Bills): Anton Harrison, OT, Oklahoma
Round 2: No. 61 (from 49ers through Bears): Brenton Strange, TE, Penn State
Round 3: No. 88 — Tank Bigsby, RB, Auburn
Round 4: No. 121 (from Bucs) — Ventrell Miller, ILB, Florida—
Round 4: No. 130 (from Bills) — Tyler Lacy, DE, Oklahoma State
Round 5: No. 136 (from Bears) — Yasir Abdullah, OLB, Louisville
Round 5: No. 160 (from Giants) — Antonio Johnson, S, Texas A&M
Round 6: No. 185 (from Jets) — Parker Washington, WR, Penn State
Round 6: No. 202 — Christian Braswell, CB, Rutgers
Round 6: No. 208 (from Eagles) — Erick Hallett II, S, Pittsburgh
Round 7: No. 226 (from Panthers) — Cooper Hodges, G, Appalachian State
Round 7: No. 227 (from Saints) — Raymond Vohasek, DT, North Carolina
Round 7: No. 240 (from Giants via Ravens) — Derek Parish, FB, Houston

Awful. Just straight awful. I don’t hate Anton Harrison but this was a total panic move. The tackles started flying off the board and Cam Robinson got suspended. I get why they wanted to address the positon and they at least traded down. Still, Harrison was not a first round player for me. Not sure he’s better than Jaelyn Duncan who went in the 6th round.

This draft is terrible. Credit to them for getting below average depth but that’s a requirement for any draft. I was even kinda high on Brenton Strange but second round? That’s totally insane.

My favorite pick they had is Tank Bigsby. I think he’s awesome. But when your best pick is a rotational running back, you failed. Failed big time.

2023 NFL Draft grades for the AFC North ^^^

Tennessee Titans: C

Round 1: No. 11: Peter Skoronski, OT, Northwestern
Round 2: No. 33 (from Cardinals): Will Levis, QB, Kentucky
Round 3: No. 81 (from Cardinals) — Tyjae Spears, RB, Tulane
Round 5: No. 147 — Josh Whyle, TE, Cincinnati
Round 6: No. 186 (from Falcons) — Jaelyn Duncan, OT, Maryland
Round 7: No. 228 — Colton Dowell, WR, UT Martin

It’s an average draft. Also, remember the Titans gave up a third round pick swap and 2024 third rounder to move up for Will Levis. The Will Levis pick also completely invalidates the Malik Willis pick a year ago. Something everybody with a brain knew at the time.

Peter Skoronski is a guard. If picking a good guard at pick 11 knocks your socks off, so be it. I like Tyjae Spears but is that really what you needed with limited picks? Jaelyn Duncan is a great pick but there is no real volume from this class either.

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