Tapping the NFL Draft: AFC/NFC South Team Needs

We examine each southern conference team's options in this Thursday's draft.

Josh Helmuthby Josh Helmuth

Listed below is each team with their roster needs, a breakdown of possible picks and how many picks each team has per round.
*Multiple picks in one round noted by number in parenthesis

AFC South
Houston Texans WR, OT, CB, ILB, G, OLB
The Texans are in the prime location to trade down if they don't like their options at #26 overall.  If they stay at that spot, their best option is to take a WR like Baylor's Kendall Wright or LSU's Reuben Randle to play opposite Andre Johnson.  Cornerback, Linebacker and offensive line need to be the focus in rounds 2-5, look for Houston to add more WR depth in the last few rounds.
Rounds selecting: 1, 2, 3, (2)4, 5, 6, 7

Indianapolis Colts QB, 3NT, CB, WR, TE, G, LB
The easiest selection the Colts have ever had to make is to take Stanford QB Andrew Luck with the #1 overall pick, though they only just made an official statement that Luck will be the pick.  In the Second round, the Colts could look at WR Reuben Randle, or one of the many cornerbacks available.  Personally, I would love to see Indianapolis take Luck's old teammate, Stanford TE Coby Fleener, which would help make Luck's transition to the NFL game a little bit easier.  If he's still available in the 3rd round, coach Chuck Pagano would love to have Washington DT Alameda Ta'Amu to be the future centerpiece of the defensive line.
Rounds selecting: 1, 2, 3, 4, (2)5, 6, (2)7

Jacksonville Jaguars WR, DE, CB, C, OLB, RT
Blaine Gabbert needs help, and lots of it.  There is a possibility that the Jaguars could take Notre Dame WR Michael Floyd with the #7 overall pick.  I think South Carolina DE Melvin Ingram would be a better pick because of the depth at the WR position.  North Carolina DE Quentin Coples and Iowa OT Riley Reiff are also good options at #7.  Whichever position isn't filled in the first round needs to be filled in the second. 
Rounds selecting: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

Tennessee Titans CB, LB, S, OT, DE, DT
The Titans need a cornerback with the #20 pick and run a zone scheme.  Alabama's Dre Kirkpatrick is the best zone cover corner in the draft, this is a no-brainer.  Second round would be a good spot to take North Carolina OLB Zach Brown.  Wide receiver and defensive line depth need to be addressed as well. 
Rounds selecting: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

NFC South
Atlanta Falcons G/T, DE, CB, FS, LB, WR
The Falcons traded their first round pick to the Cleveland Browns last year for the chance to take WR Julio Jones which turned out to be a great trade for Atlanta thus far.  Unfortunately that left them without a pick until the 55th pick in the draft.  Wisconsin G Kevin Zeitler or Troy T James Brown are good options there.  A linebacker in the 3rd round along with a TE, and RB in the later rounds would be smart selections.
Rounds selecting: 2, 3, 5, 6, (2)7

Carolina Panthers CB, OLB, WR, DT, OT, DE
The Panthers' #9 overall pick could be an interesting one.  Carolina had a bad run defense so they should shore up the middle with a good DT.  The question is, do they take Mississippi State's Fletcher Cox?  Or do they take a risk on boom-or-bust prospect Dontari Poe out of Memphis?  A wide receiver to play accross from Steve Smith, or a cornerback like Northern Alabama's Janoris Jenkins would be interesting options in the 2nd round.
Rounds selecting: 1, 2, 4, 5, (2)6, 7

New Orleans Saints CB, S, OLB, DE, DT, WR
The way the Saints offseason has been going, I wouldn't be surprised if they lost a few of their picks because of the eavesdropping case that just arose.  New Orleans traded their first pick to New England in order to take RB Mark Ingram last year and lost their 2nd rounder as a result of the bountygate scandal, luckily for them they don't have a ton of glaring needs, but they do need to add some depth. 
Rounds selecting: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB, CB, OLB, SS
The Buccaneers are the most vulnerable team in this draft, because their pick at #5 is determined completely by the choices of the Vikings and Browns.  Best case scenario is Alabama RB Trent Richardson and LSU CB Morris Claiborne are both available.  If only one of the two is available, that would be an easy pick for Tampa as well.  But if Minnesota takes Claiborne and Cleveland snags Richardson, I think it's more likely that they trade down than take T Matt Kalil or take Boston College ILB Luke Kuechly.  Whichever position they didn't choose, between RB and CB, is where they should go in round two.  Possibly Coastal Carolina CB Josh Norman or Boise State RB Doug Martin.  OLB needs to be addressed in round three or five.
Rounds selecting: 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7

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Keep logging on to CraveOnline.com for pick by pick projections and analysis leading up to the NFL draft on April 26th-28th.

J. Lance Moose is a contributor and lead football writer for CraveOnline Sports. You can follow him on Twitter @JLanceMoose, and subscribe on Facebook facebook.com/CraveOnlineSports