NFL Draft: AFC South Needs
With the NFL offseason in full swing, it’s time to take a look at what each team in the AFC South needs. It’s a division featuring a team in the Colts who had one of the biggest turnarounds last year out of any team in the NFL, the Texans who are an offensive line away from being a Super Bowl contender. The Titans who are a young team with a lot of talent, and the Jaguars who followed up their AFC runner-up season with a very disappointing 5-11 record. So, let’s take a look at what each still needs to address this offseason.
Needs: WR, CB, DL, EDGE, RB
After having a huge turnaround under new head coach Frank Reich, the Colts look like a team ready to make a run not only at the division title but potentially the AFC title. Something that could help the Colts get to this would be adding wide receiver opposite to T.Y. Hilton. The Colts haven’t had a quality receiver opposite of Hilton since Reggie Wayne retired back in 2014. It’s definitely their biggest need on the offensive side of the ball. A cornerback opposite Pierre Desir could also be a huge get for the Colts to help bolster their pass defense. After adding Justin Houston in free agency their pass rush isn’t as big of a need as once thought, but the edge defenders and defensive line in Indy lack any big-time talent. Another running back wouldn’t hurt either, as the more weapons quarterback Andrew Luck has, the better.
Needs: S, WR, OL, IDL, RB
The Jaguars had a horribly disappointing 2018 season after being one of the biggest surprises of 2017. The Jaguars fixed their biggest need after cutting Blake Bortles and signing former Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles to a four-year deal. The Jaguars could improve their safeties as Berry Church was rated as one of the worst starting safeties in the NFL by Pro Football Focus. A true number one receiver would also help the Jaguars who haven’t had a 1,000-yard receiver since Allen Robinson recorded 1,400 yards back in 2015. Jacksonville could also continue to build their offensive line, as they rely heavily on running the football. With the loss of Malik Jackson, and the little production of Marcell Dareus and last years first round pick Taven Bryant, an interior defensive lineman would also be a good addition to the Jags. Finally, with T.J. Yeldon gone in free agency a nice backup running back for Leonard Fournette should a priority for the Jaguars.
Needs: OL, RB, TE, CB, S
After finally having a season where most of the core pieces of the Houston Texans stayed healthy, they were rewarded with a Wild Card berth. However, the Texans are far from a finished product. The offensive line is still a huge problem as quarterback Deshaun Watson was sacked 62 times last season. A playmaker at running back could help the Texans a lot as Lamar Miller has never developed into the star that the Texans hoped for. The Texans could also benefit from a tight end that can help make some plays over the middle as they have not had a true weapon at that position in the passing game in a long time. After losing Kareem Jackson in free agency a cornerback or two would make a big difference for their defense. Finally, after losing Tyrann Mathieu to free agency a replacement to grow alongside Justin Reid is something that the Texans front office should consider.
Needs: WR, IOL, EDGE, LB, TE
The Titans nearly had consecutive playoff seasons as they went 9-7 last year. For the Titans adding another wide receiver to pair up with Corey Davis could be very beneficial for Marcus Mariota. Also, after losing starting guards Quinton Spain and Josh Klein the interior offensive line is certainly an area that must be addressed by this front office. After Brain Orakpo retired and second-round pick Harold Landry failed to produce much in his rookie season, edge defender could also be a place of need for the Titans to sure-up the defense. Continuing with the theme of defense, linebacker is also a place of need for the Titans. Wesley Woodyard will be 33 years old at the start of the season and first-round pick Rashaan Evans struggled in his rookie season, so linebacker should not be forgotten during the remainder of the offseason. Finally, with Delanie Walker turning 35 before the start of the season, Tennessee should look to add some youth to their tight end room.
Mitch Broder is a freshman majoring in journalism. To contact him, email him email@example.com.
About the Contributors
Junior / Digital/Print Journalism
Mitch currently a junior at Penn State University in the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications majoring in digital/print journalism. Mitch is currently a member of CommRadio, Penn State’s student-run radio station where he writes articles, hosts a radio talk show, beat writes/broadcasts live sporting events, contributes to Wednesday newscasts, and participates in podcasts about different sports. He’s also a contributor for the Buffalo Fanatics, which is a football blog focusing on the NFL and the Buffalo Bills in particular.