Statistically getting to know newcomers

Notes from the fine folks at ESPN Stats & Info on the four newest members of the AFC South…

Quarterback Andrew Luck of the Colts

  • A QB has been selected with the first overall pick 12 times in the last 15 drafts (1998-2012).

  • The Colts have drafted an offensive player with five of their last six first-round picks.

  • Luck is the fourth Stanford QB to be picked 1st overall in the history of the NFL draft, joining John Elway (1983), Jim Plunkett (1971) and Bobby Garrett (1954). Stanford is the first school to have four quarterbacks drafted first overall and the first school to have four No. 1 picks at any single position.

  • The Colts had the lowest Total QBR (11.9) inside of the red zone of any team in 2011. Luck has excelled in the red zone throughout his career, throwing 52 touchdowns and just three interceptions in 183 pass attempts. Since the start of 2010, no player in FBS had a higher touchdown to interception differential than Luck’s +45.

Wide receiver Justin Blackmon of the Jaguars

  • Blackmon ranked third in FBS in receptions last season, fourth in receiving yards and second in receiving touchdowns.

  • Blackmon replaced Dez Bryant in 2010 and caught 111 passes for 1,782 yards -- breaking Larry Fitzgerald's FBS record for sophomores -- and 20 TD

  • He set an NCAA record with at least 100 yards and one touchdown in all 12 games in a season

  • The Jaguars seek a first-round home run at receiver for the first time. Matt Jones (2005), Reggie Williams (2004) and R. Jay Soward (2000) were busts.

Wide receiver Kendall Wright of the Titans

  • Wright is the fourth time the Titans-Oilers franchise has drafted a receiver in the first round and first since Kenny Britt in 2009.

  • Wright and No. 2 pick Robert Griffin III were one of two QB-WR combinations selected in the first round. Oklahoma State’s Brandon Weeden and Justin Blackmon were also first-rounders. Only three times before in the common draft era have a quarterback and receiver from the same school.

  • Want big plays? Wright was targeted on throw of 20 yards or more. He caught 14 of them, producing eight touchdowns and 14 plays of 30 yards or more.

Outside linebacker Whitney Mercilus of the Texans

  • Mercilus led the FBS with 16 sacks and nine forced fumbles, and had 22.5 tackles for a loss.

  • Texans first round picks in their rookie season under Gary Kubiak have started 94 of a possible 96 games. Mercilus could break that trend, as he should be the team’s third outside linebacker in their base personnel, coming in to offer some relief to Connor Barwin and Brooks Reed and as part of a nickel package.