AFC Notes: Colts, Texans, Titans

     

Colts

Part of what drew the Colts to WR Michael Pittman at the top of the second round in a deep receiver class was how pro-ready the team thought he was. Pittman played four years at USC and his dad of the same name played several years as an NFL running back. The younger Pittman plays a different position but has some of his father’s trademark physicality. 

“First of all, you look at his physical stature, he’s got the size and strength, he’s got play speed that you look for,” Colts WR coach Mike Groh said via Andrew Walker of the team website. “I think he’s an instinctive player, he’s very intelligent. So in terms of his ability to grasp an NFL system, he played in multiple systems throughout his college career, different coordinators, so he’s had to adapt there, had the mental flexibility to be able to do that. I don’t think he’s a guy that you only have to play at one position. I think we’ll be able to move him around a little bit inside, outside to be able to utilize a skillset, great matchup advantages for him and for us.”

The Colts will be banking on another second-round pick, second-year WR Parris Campbell, to help improve their receiving corps in 2020. Indianapolis had similarly high hopes for Campbell as a rookie last year but a series of injuries essentially scuttled his rookie season. Even if they’re a year deferred, Groh says the Colts continue to be optimistic about Campbell.  

“Yeah, it’s unfortunate that he had the injury bug last year, but that doesn’t diminish his skillset,” he said. “Parris is somebody that I think is a threat on all levels. He’s somebody you can get the ball into their hands very quickly, he’s dynamic with the ball in his hands, can make people miss, break tackles. He’s got vision as a runner. I think he certainly has the ability and the skillset to be a very good route runner. So as an intermediate player, I think you’re going to see a lot of development there, just going into his second year and being able to dedicate himself to becoming a complete receiver. Then, he’s a threat deep. I mean, he’s got the speed that gets people’s attention. You’ve put on the tape, the DBs that lineup across from him know that he can run by them, so that backs people up and that helps the offense, that helps run game, it helps the other guys around him when you have a guy like that on the field that people have to pay attention to.”

Texans

  • NFL Media’s Charley Casserly writes Texans second-round DT Ross Blacklock should have an immediate role as a three-technique defensive tackle who takes over D.J. Reader‘s role on third-downs as a pass-rushing nose tackle. 
  • Casserly notes Houston’s biggest position battle is at edge rusher when DE J.J. Watt moves inside, with EDGEs Jacob Martin, Duke Ejiofor and third-round rookie Jonathan Greenard the candidates. 
  • Casserly says the biggest storyline for the Texans is how their remade receiving corps looks with Brandin Cooks and Randall Cobb coming in and DeAndre Hopkins going out. 
  • In particular, Casserly mentions Cooks needing to be a No. 1 receiver who draws extra attention for the Texans and Houston finding someone QB Deshaun Watson can turn to as his safety valve now that Hopkins is gone. 
  • ESPN’s Bill Barnwell writes that now that the Chiefs have locked up QB Patrick Mahomes, the Texans should be able to wrap up a deal for Watson fairly quickly. 
  • Barnwell says a three-year, $120 million extension for Watson would both give him more cashflow than Mahomes over that same time period and keep his average salary at $28 million per year given he still has two years on his rookie deal.  

Titans 

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