AFCS status report.
Longtime contributor to Frowns, multiple playoff maker in Cheddar, fellow offensive line connoisseur: ActoveginArmstrong makes his posting debut here with the AFC South. You won’t not enjoy.
I am very happy to have been awarded the right to comment on the greatest, most exciting division in the NFL!!
The AFC South is all about Sex, Drugs, Rock ’n’ Roll and most importantly, FRANCHISE QUARTERBACKS!!
They tried to stop Rock ’n’ Roll, Reality TV and the AFC South, but they all rocketed to the top!
- Reverend Charles Boykin of Tallahassee, Florida, conducts his own survey of 1,000 unwed mothers and determines that 984 became pregnant while listening to Rock music. The rest apparently were having sex.
- Frank Zappa’s album, “Jazz from Hell” has an “explicit lyrics” warning sticker put on it by Meyer Music Markets, even though the album is entirely instrumental.1
- It started at home, 1956: “Rock ‘n’ Roll fans in Cleveland, Ohio who were under 18, were banned from dancing in public, unless accompanied by an adult, after Ohio Police start enforcing a law dating back to 1931.”
- The Kingsman’s version of “Louie, Louie” is the subject of much controversy and was banned from sales and airplay in Indiana because of its indecipherable lyrics, which were rumored to contain some naughty words. The Kingsmen have always maintained they sang nothing lewd, despite an off-mic shout after a mistake at the end of the instrumental, where Jack Ely started to sing the last verse one bar too soon. (Perhaps the first song to say that word nation wide. It was not Free’s, “Let’s Move Before They Raise the THAT WORD Rent”, or The Who’s, way too obvious “Who the THAT WORD Are You”.)
This division boils down to the most important position and the most important player at that position. A Rock Star Quarterback to be named later….
Re-signed: DE Fili Moala, CB Vontae Davis, RB Ahmad Bradshaw, S Sergio Brown.
Veteran additions: FS Colt Anderson, LB D’Qwell Jackson, DE Arthur Jones, WR Hakeem Nicks.
Draft picks: 2-Jack Mewhort (OT), 3-Donte Moncrief (WR), 5-Jonathan Newsome (DE), 6-Andrew Jackson (ILB), 7-Ulrick John (OT).
Veteran subtractions: LB Pat Angerer, FS Antoine Bethea, WR Deion Branch, RB Donald Brown, RB Tashard Choice, LB Kavell Conner, NT Aubrayo Franklin, WR Darrius Heyward-Bey, G Jeffrey Linkenbach, LB Scott Lutrus, DE Ricardo Mathews, C Mike McGlynn, C Samson Satele, DE Lawrence Sidbury, CB Cassius Vaughn.
Acto’s draft grade: C.
Acto’s offseason grade: D for Dum.
Last year Andrew Luck won the division single handedly. However he is a brilliant, hard working, phenomenal athlete. His tremendous talent, intelligence and work ethic is ridiculous overkill that will never help a team win. Especially a team that “Sucked For Luck,” then passed on RGINJURY. Smart moves like that shall always come back to haunt the Colts and the trade for TRich, the running back who sidesteps and backs up more than David Carr on a bad day is only the beginning of their sentence in the prison bowels of mid-pack hell.
There is however a photo of their owner all over the magical interweb in full “throw up on myself” party mode, so they have that going for them. (A little help please with the photo if you can find it jk.)
Chud was also a nice addition to the Colt’s staff, but they will need more talented players as well and they appear to be moving backwards in roster development. Going against them is that they traded twice with the Browns suffering one huge loss and the other was a little victory for the Browns as well.
Off season pick ups: They made one fairly good move, they picked up D’Qwell Jackson, but they spent at least as much as he is worth. No big win there.
Their draft is not exactly a thing of beauty. Draft picks:
2-Jack Mewhort O-line, probably more likely a guard than an NFL tackle. Much maligned as being taken too high and a real reach by the Colts, but I like this guy, he is strong, smart, has great lateral movement and he can play any position in the trenches on the wrong side of the ball, however I do agree that Mewhort is still a bit of a question mark as such a lofty draft pick.
3-Donte Moncrief WR. I like this choice too, he is a good pick up in a receiver rich draft. I also like that they picked him even though he does not play a need position. I think Luck should throw to my guy T. Y. Hilton on every play.
5-Jonathan Newsome D-line, or more likely OLB. Newsome has terrific talent and “upside” for a 5th round pick, he could perform at a pro-bowl level or his life threatening illness, (too much Biki Lettuce has made him impotent), could keep him out of the NFL. Trying to help replace Robert Mathis with another guy on the “Most Likely to Get Suspended List” is not a really smart move.
6-Andrew Jackson ILB and President. This guy is a real money pick, but I was not happy with the IRA of 1830. I am certain Frownie could inform us all about that at another time. (Love you Frownie!)
7-Ulrick John O-line, or unemployment-line. While it is always wise to draft Tackles and Centers, this gentleman, was not the best available at either of those positions.
Did anyone notice that a pick was missing? Did we all hear it on draft day?
“With the 26th pick in the first round of the 2014 NFL draft the Indianapolis Colts take….” take leave of their damn senses and trade for a sissy running back with happy feet.
The pick is 9.5 games and from what I have been told all of the smart kids are taking the under, some say they may win 12. I am a dum kid, I say they finish 8-8. They have two guys I really like, Mr. Luck and T. Y. Hilton. Fleener and Vinatieri can play some ball too, but it goes rapidly downhill from there. I think I nailed this one, but I may have missed wide right.
Re-signed: C Chris Spencer, RB Leon Washington, DL Antonio Johnson, DL Ropati Pitoitua, WRMarc Mariani, RB Jackie Battle, S Bernard Pollard.
Veteran additions: WR Dexter McCluster, OT Michael Oher, G Eric Olsen, LB Shaun Phillips, QB Charlie Whitehurst, NT Al Woods, LB Wesley Woodyard, WR Brian Robiskie.
Veteran subtractions: WR Kenny Britt, C Kevin Matthews, OT Michael Otto, QB Rusty Smith, C Robert Turner, CB Alterraun Verner, WR Kevin Walter, WR Damian Williams, OT David Stewart, QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, RB Chris Johnson, K Rob Bironas.
Draft picks: 1-Taylor Lewan (OT), 2-Bishop Sankey (RB), 4a-DaQuan Jones (DT), 4b-Marqueston Huff (CB), 5-Avery Williamson (ILB), 6-Zach Mettenberger (QB).
Acto draft grade: C.
Acto’s offseason grade: C-.
They picked up a tackle to protect The Blind Side, plus a blind receiver on the Free Agent market and some intelligent late round picks saved their somewhat questionable draft.
A big positive about the Titans is that they have two QB’s with terrific potential, if Jake Locker had entered the draft a year earlier he would have been the first pick overall. I like the way Locker plays the game. This year as an insurance policy the Titans drafted his twin brother Zach. Draft picks:
1-Taylor Lewan OT. Picking a top ranked tackle is always a good idea, (I already miss Jake Matthews), however this talented tackle Taylor has thrown up more red flags than the email I just received from my long lost uncle in Zaire who wants me to help him get his millions into the USA by putting cash in all of my bank accounts. I would never have drafted Lewan, but perhaps he can lay low and mask his identity in public to protect himself from all of this misinformation, one might say that he shall need to travel incognito.
2-Bishop Sankey RB. Draft rule # 1, NEVER draft a running back in the first three rounds. Maybe if he could pass block like Joe Thomas and catch like Fred Biletnikoff, but even though Sankey catches better than most RB’s, he certainly threw his share of “lookout blocks”. For the uninitiated, that is when a running back misses a hard charging linebacker, then turns around and yells “lookout”.
4a-DaQuan Jones Somewhere on defense. `I like him and he has plenty of upside for a 4th round pick, but the Titans plan to play a 3-4. He is not fast enough to play Defensive End and he carries his weight up too high on his body to be a fire plug type Nose Tackle. He needs more leg strength and a Nose Tackle rotation to hide his lack of stamina.
4b-Marqueston Huff DB. Huff is a very good Corner and Safety. I do not see any real negatives with this guy, he was a steal that late in the draft. Did he fall down during his 40 at the combine? Did he try to set a Hula-Hoop record at his pro day? I think the only real question mark is his first name.
5-Avery Williamson LB. This guy is the type of pick I like in the late rounds, he has good character, worth ethic and he should be able to play a little in the middle of a 3-4, but his draft stock fell a round or two because of a “bad combine result”. Reportedly his thumbs are 1/16” too short for him to be the prototypical NFL inside linebacker. He should be a solid backup and good special teams player at the very least.
6-Zach Mettenberger (QB). Well worth taking a risk on this guy with a 6th round pick. A back injury “red flag” is the only reason he fell this far in the draft. (It is not a big deal, further proof that a good team doctor is a rare and valuable asset.) He reminds me of Jake Locker and he is a great backup for him. In a few years if Locker stays healthy, and Mettenberger does as well, this is the kind of guy who could be traded for a high draft choice. Mettenberger was a steal in the 6th round.
Vegas has them at 7.5 wins. I say that they will win more and I would certainly bet on it. They will finish 9-7 at the very least.
Re-signed: CB Will Blackmon, QB Chad Henne, DE Jason Babin.
Veteran additions: G Zane Beadles, DE Red Bryant, DE Chris Clemons, WR Tandon Doss, RBToby Gerhart, DE Ziggy Hood, LB Dekoda Watson, FB Bradie Ewing.
Veteran subtractions: DT Brandon Deaderick, RB Justin Forsett, QB Blaine Gabbert, RB Maurice Jones-Drew, DT Kyle Love, G Brad Meester, G Uche Nwaneri, WR Taylor Price, TE Allen Reisner, LBRussell Allen, WR Stephen Burton, TE Danny Noble, G Will Rackley, DT Drake Nevis, WRStephen Williams, WR Jeremy Ebert, RB Delone Carter.
Draft picks: 1-Blake Bortles (QB), 2a-Marqise Lee (WR), 2b-Allen Robinson (WR), 3-Brandon Linder (G), 4-Aaron Colvin (CB), 5a-Telvin Smith (OLB), 5b-Chris Smith (DE), 6-Luke Bowanko(C), 7-Storm Johnson (RB).
Acto’s draft grade D+.
Acto’s offseason grade C (Much better without Bortles with the 3rd pick).
If Jacksonville is going to have a great season Chad Henne (another one of those much maligned QB’s that could become another team’s great retread), will have to take on the talents of Doug Henning. This season for the Jags and the rest of this division in general shall be either “smoke and mirrors”, or very ugly.
Toby Gerhart was a good pick up, he is a smart player who may bring with him an intelligence tide that may help all boats rise. Ziggy Hood is not a world beater, but he was a good pick up as well and hopefully it will hurt the scuzz-ball Steelers to some degree.
It was also not that bad to lose MJD, running backs have a short shelf life, he is near the end of the typical drosophila-like career of an NFL RB.
Blaine Gabbert will probably go on to take over in SF and lead the Niners to another Superbowl. I love those retread quarterbacks.
I am very happy that they picked a couple of receivers to replace Blackmon, he appears to be well on his way to “Josh Gordon+” land, and he is also one of the many reasons to give the Jags a low grade. Draft picks:
1-Blake Bortles (QB). I like Bortles, but he was not worth the 3rd pick in the draft. He is a terrific athlete, deceptively quick, makes all the throws, great work ethic, a terrific competitor, et cetera. So What? Bortles is not playing in the American Conference any more, the game and every player in it just got faster. It is a fools game to ride your team upon the shoulders of a rookie quarterback who is not Andrew Luck and even that was a scary, high risk move. Bortles is not Andrew Luck, he may need to click his heels together three times and say “there is no place like home”.
2a-Marqise Lee (WR). Lee looked great in college and he was a nice pick up as far as he fell in the draft, it was a good draft for receivers. If Lee pays attention in camp and works with Bortles like they are in a chain gang they could win more games than I am predicting.
2b-Allen Robinson (WR). Not my favorite receiver in the draft. He really needs to develop a specific skill that is important at his position, Catch The Damn Ball. He needs to catch the ball with his hands, away from his body, all of the time. Even in his “highlight reel” he lets the ball come in to his body too much, and he acts like it is a bit of a hot potato at times. Robinson put up great numbers in college ball and I hope he is successful, but now in the NFL every corner he plays against will be considerably faster than he is. I hope he gets a fairly nice rookie contract, because soon he shall have to stop living off of his glory days in college.
3-Brandon Linder (G). Everyone and their sister has Linder pegged as their great sleeper O-line pick, the Jags even traded up to get him. However I shall have to buck that trend of Linder mania. I really liked Linder in college, but he may be another player too slow to adjust to the NFL. His biggest problem is his footwork during pass blocking. What could be a bigger liability in the NFL? He works hard and fires off to block for runs, makes great traps, but when he is pass blocking he looks like he is trying to Texas-Two-Step, at last call, with the only single woman in the bar, he wants to shuffle his feet and hold her close, but she is fleet footing it around him to the nearest taxi.
4-Aaron Colvin (CB). Colvin is a fantastic pick up in the 4th round, an ACL injury is the only reason he lasted. ACL injuries are not always that big of a deal. I have been completely missing my ACL in my right knee since I was a puppy, I have run marathons, dunked basketballs, won bicycle races, without ever having it fixed. (I cannot, however, do the drunken Texas-Two-Step at last call with even a modicum of success.) Colvin will be back and he will be a solid NFL DB. I will try to forget where he went to college and root for his success anyway. Colvin could have been a 1st round pick, “he coulda been a contenda”.
5a-Telvin Smith (OLB). Telvin Smith was an absolute robbery in the 5th round! He was one of my top 5 linebackers pre-draft. (Although I must admit that I did somehow, end up with eleven top five linebackers.) I do not give a flying fornication about the measurables, this is not Moneyball, the same principals do not apply in the NFL. Smith is a fast, heads-up linebacker who loves to play the game. What more does a team need in the 5th round?
5b-Chris Smith (DE). I like Chris Smith too. He is one of those guys who deserves to play with a chip on his shoulder. Among the cognoscenti, “He is a terrific potential OLB, but he is too short.” I wish I had the “That is ridiculous” sound drop to throw in here. Screw your measurables, this guy can play.
6-Luke Bowanko (C). I love this pick too, “draft tackles and centers”, a 6th round steal for sure. Even if he is not a starter, he can play three of the five o-line positions with equal aplomb and he “gets it.” Smart guys are always a better choice than dum guys with equal ability.
7-Storm Johnson (RB). Oh happy, happy, happy day! Johnson is a good runner who needs some work on holding it high and tight and pass blocking. He can be coached up. Most importantly, this is exactly where teams need to get their running backs, in the 6th or 7th round, or even better as an UDFA. Johnson also comes along well with Bortles, and they are from the largest college in the nation, there has to be some benefit in that. Perhaps Johnson is not a great pick, but he was picked in the correct place.
The line is 4.5 for the Jags, Chad Henne has been in the league too long to lose 12 games. 7-9 finish for the Jaguars. (Although they could be a blazing dumpster if they start Bortles too soon.)
Veteran additions: RB Andre Brown, SS Chris Clemons, DE Paul Hazel, FS Kendrick Lewis, DE Ricardo Mathews, DT Jerrell Powe, QB Ryan Fitzpatrick.
Re-signed: TE Garrett Graham, CB Elbert Mack, LB Ricky Sapp.
Veteran subtractions: LB Bryan Braman, TE Owen Daniels, OTAndrew Gardner, OT Ryan Harris, WR Lestar Jean, FB Greg Jones, RB Deji Karim, LB Joe Mays, CB Brice McCain, DT Terrell McClain, NT Earl Mitchell, LB Darryl Sharpton, DE Antonio Smith, G Wade Smith, RB Ben Tate, QB Matt Schaub, SS Danieal Manning.
Draft picks: 1-Jadeveon Clowney (DE), 2-Xavier Su’a-Filo (G), 3a-C.J. Fiedorowicz (TE), 3b-Louis Nix III (DT), 4-Tom Savage (QB), 6a-Jeoffrey Pagan (DE), 6b-Alfred Blue (RB), 6c-Jay Prosch (FB), 7a-Andre Hal (CB), 7b-Lonnie Ballentine (S)
Acto’s draft grade: D+.
Acto’s offseason grade: B.
(I was going to go for a C-, but Fitz, Nix and Xavi move it to a solid B, and it is not their fault that there was not a clear number one pick.)
They signed a retread QB, Ryan Fitz-Steveyoung-patrick, I really like that, but they also have 11 other QB’s; they may need some more footballs. They should at the very least let Fitz play the two games against his old team. Our esteemed lad from Hah-vahd is one of my favorite retreads, I was hoping that the Browns would pick him up, JFF could have had another intellectual as his mentor. (As a complete aside and just in case no one noticed, JFF is a brilliant guy.)
They lost Ben Tate and while I also like him, he is nearing that 500 NFL rushes mark. Some players perform far beyond this milestone with no regard to injury, but most of them played in the days of Marion Motley and the NFL iron men. I am concerned about Ben Tate’s durability and contract size, but that is for another jk contributor to ponder upon.
Overall, I am not very pleased with their draft, but it is their only hope. The Texans are all about the draft picks. Draft picks:
1-Jadeveon Clowney (DE). The Texans were stuck between a rock and a 12” thick memory foam premium mattress with this pick. The plethora of pundits demanded they pick Jadeveon Clowney, but he has some real world red flags to deal with and the Texans did not have an Andrew Luck type, clear number one pick. I have certainly made it known that I am not a big Clowney fan, he received more mileage from one particular play than the mileage I get when I shut my engine off and coast away down the dirt road, mountain pass from Crested Butte. (It saves gas, helps preserve our planet, but you do not want to be a passenger on this “white knuckle” slidefest. Please remember that brakes just slow you down.) Clowney is not a solid number 1 pick. This draft was difficult, it is not really easy, such as in the NBA where there was just a sure thing, number one, superstar, waiting to be picked like Anthony Bennett, head and shoulders above the rest.
2-Xavier Su’a-Filo (G). Breaking my rule to only draft Tackles and Centers, I really like Xavier. His only weakness is raw physical strength. That will soon be remedied when he gets into the NFL and on to new and improved versions of the magic muscle juice. He is ready to keep moving up, he just needs to remember that the little r stands for recombinant.
3a-C.J. Fiedorowicz (TE). Not the greatest tight end in the world and I am certain that he changed his name to Fiedorowicz to mask his less than stellar work ethic, but if he starts playing and acting like a Fiedorowicz he could be a dominant TE.
3b-Louis Nix III (DT). Nix was a steal with a mid 3rd round pick. The Browns should have kept this pick and put another angry Golden Domer on their roster. Nix needs to dive into some serious Acto Plyometrics and improve his burst off the ball with FT-A type muscle fiber. Then he will be a dominant force in the middle of mayhem.
4-Tom Savage (QB). I like Savage, he is a high quality 4th round pick. The game may be way too fast for him at first, but he has an arm like Derek Anderson, if not better. Savage could be coached up to a fantastic NFL QB, or he could never catch up to the speed of the game and work with me scraping gum off the tables at the mall food court.
6a-Jeoffrey Pagan (DE). Pagan fell into the “come to Alabama, everyone here makes it big in the NFL.” Pagan is big, and he may be “Big in Japan,” but he needs to show marked improvement to be a solid player in the NFL.
6b-Alfred Blue (RB). He was far down on the depth chart at LSU so there was not much to watch when it comes to Mr. Blue, but, this is exactly where to take a chance on a running back, the 6th round. He may be great in special teams, he may be the next “Muscle Hamster Martin” (he is not), or he may just be good at running errands for the veteran players (more likely). The good news is he was just one of 3, 6th round picks.
6c-Jay Prosch (FB). Prosch may be the best FB in the NFL. However, there is the simple problem that the Texans do not use a fullback. I know nothing about him, but I hope that he is a stellar special teams performer.
7a-Andre Hal (CB). I always like corners, but even his own highlight reel shows him getting beaten on a double move then lucking into an underthrown pass and Hal getting flagged for a very blatant hit to the head on a defenseless receiver. I hope that he can play special teams very well.
7b-Lonnie Ballentine (S). I am not certain he can play football, but…. He was a pro day wonder, great speed, height, leaping ability, and I think his arm length to cranium size fit the perfect ratio for a Safety, but only for Thursday night games. (Our own and much beloved Jim Kanicki must be wild about this guy.)2
Who played the practical joke on the Texans’ “war room”? Five picks in the last two rounds? Were they all still awake for this? It makes one wonder about the old draft, did the last guy who’s cigar was still lit get to pick that surfer kid from San Diego State in the 13th round back in 1972?
Last year was horrible for Houston, they started slowly and tapered off from there. This was a very rough draft for the Texans, any team that had J J Watt and still finished with only two wins has plenty of needs. The Texans may also get absolutely nothing out of 9 of their 10 picks, maybe even 10 of 10. Will Clowney become a dominant bookend to equal J J Watt? I seriously doubt it, unless Watt instills some of his “head down” fury and passion for the game into the kid. The Texans will however, win more games this year than last and they may be one of those teams that goes from last to first, albeit in a very questionable division.
The vegas braintrust has them at 7.5 wins and that seems a bit high to me for a team with a quarterback situation that is as clear as milk. I do like a couple of their QB’s but who knows which ones will get to take the field and where they shall go from there. I feel generous saying they will go 6-10.
Acto’s projected AFC South standings
1. Titans 9-7
2. Colts 8-8
3. Jags 7-9
4. Texans 6-10
No wild card.
- Found one report that muddies this: In 1990, the album DID get the sticker on it, however, it was NOT at the behest of the PMRC or any other organization. No, it was done purely on the retail side of the market, as The Meyer Music Markets (a record retail chain in the Pacific Northwest) decided on their own to put the sticker on the album. [back]
- Fast, 6’3″ free safeties in the back end of the seventh round? Sign me up. [back]