AFC South Offseason Needs: Colts, Texans, Titans, Jaguars
No division in football needs to make more improvements this offseason than the AFC South, which is coming off a terrible 2013 season. Let’s take a look at the offseason needs for the four teams in the AFC South.
Houston Texans – The Texans are going to need a new quarterback next year, and they may use the first overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft to get one. However, a majority of their other needs are on the defensive side of the ball. Houston needs a complete makeover at linebacker, especially when it comes to pass rushers, which could be something they target in free agency, unless they use the first overall pick on Jadeveon Clowney instead of a quarterback. The Texans also need to make improvements in their secondary, which is an area they can’t ignore. Back on the offensive side of the ball, the Texans will also need to get better along the offensive line, which was a huge problem in 2013, unless they want their new quarterback running for his life.
Indianapolis Colts – Andrew Luck took the Colts to the second round of the playoffs, doing so almost single handedly, and now the team needs to give him more support so he doesn’t have to do everything himself. Indianapolis has a nice set of skill players, although they could use more depth at wide receiver, especially after Reggie Wayne’s injury. The offensive line is their biggest issue on that side of the ball, as they need to do a better job of protecting their franchise quarterback. On defense, the Colts may need to start from scratch in their secondary, although re-signing Vontae Davis would help their rebuilding effort. Elsewhere, the Colts need to find a middle linebacker that can be the leader of the defense. They should also try to add a pass rusher to work in tandem with Robert Mathis so that they can do a better job of getting pressure on the opposing quarterback.
Jacksonville Jaguars – Obviously, quarterback is at the top of Jacksonville’s list, as they can’t continue with Blaine Gabbert and Chad Henne, so the Jaguars are likely to use the third overall pick on a quarterback. However, that won’t solve all of the problems Jacksonville has on offense. Maurice Jones-Drew is on his way out of town, so Jacksonville needs to pick up a young running back that can step into the starting lineup right away. The Jaguars also have a few holes to fill on the offensive line, specifically at center after the retirement of Brad Meester. Of course, even though there’s a lot to fix on offense, the Jaguars can’t ignore their defense. Jacksonville needs some help at linebacker, as they need to bring in one or two guys that can play alongside Paul Posluszny to boost that unit. The Jags also need some more talent on the front line to help protect its secondary, which is young and continuing to get better, but remains vulnerable.
Tennessee Titans – There’s a new head coach in Nashville, but there’s not necessarily a lot of time for Ken Whisenhunt to turn things around, so changes have to be made to make the Titans a competitor in 2014. The most important thing the Titans were missing last year was a pass rush, and finding one or more players that can get after the quarterback will be their biggest priority, whether it happens through free agency or with their first round pick in the draft. If Tennessee can’t re-sign cornerback Alterraun Verner, they’ll have to fill that void in their secondary, but most of their other needs are on offense. Running back Chris Johnson is unlikely to be back next season, so the Titans will need to find a suitable replacement. The Titans will also want to continue building up their offensive line after drafting Chance Warmack and Brian Schwenke last year. With those two guys on board, Tennessee will want to focus on drafting or signing offensive tackles this offseason.