Can A.J. Hawk fit a team in the AFC South?
One scout just told me he fits every team in the AFC South.
“It’s a poor linebacker draft, so he will have interest for sure,” the scout said. “Good size, good speed, versatile, can play in nickel, good instincts, average coverage and physical play.”
Hawk would be an inside guy for Houston as the Texans shift to a 3-4, which is what he played in Green Bay. Currently the Texans plan on playing DeMeco Ryans and Brian Cushing inside, but Ryans is coming off a severe Achilles injury and Cushing could wind up outside.
Hawk could play inside or out for the Colts, but providing Gary Brackett is healthy Hawk would play outside. Indianapolis is the least likely of the four teams to chase an outsider, but could lose weakside linebacker Clint Session to free agency.
In Green Bay, Hawk was due $10 million in 2011. The Packers would like him back at a lesser cost.
UPDATE: Matt Williamson of Scouts Inc. offered this assessment of Hawks and the AFC South:
"Well, we have to remember that when Hawk was coming out of Ohio State and Green Bay used a very high pick on him, he was considered the prototypical weakside linebacker for a 4-3. Now, he isn't quite the specimen that he was then after years of wear and tear -- and of course he hasn't lived up to such expectations. But his game is still suited best for a 4-3 where he doesn't have to take on a lot of blocks.
"So, in that regard, he fits in quite well with Indy, Jacksonville and Tennessee -- especially considering what they are all playing with now. I guess the same is true for Houston, expect Hawk would more or less play the same position as Ryans in their new 3-4. But Hawk wasn't a terrible player (just an expensive one) this season and could help an ailing Texans' D as well."
UPDATE 2, Thursday: Hawk struck a new deal with the Packers.