With the 2016 NFL Draft on tap at the end of this month, Bucky Brooks is breaking down the biggest areas of need for every team in the NFL, division by division. Below is his look at the AFC South.
Houston Texans (7 total picks)
Biggest needs: wide receiver, tight end, center.
Despite adding a few impressive pieces to the offensive lineup during free agency (see: Brock Osweiler and Lamar Miller), the Texans still have a lot of work to do to upgrade a unit that disappeared at times during the 2015 regular season. The team needs to add a WR2 to complement DeAndre Hopkins on the perimeter, which is why a speedy pass catcher like Notre Dame's Will Fuller or Baylor's Corey Coleman could be in the mix at No. 22. If the Texans elect to wait until Day 2 on the position, TCU's Kolby Listenbee or Clemson's Charone Peake could be the choice. The Texans also need to find an impact pass catcher between the hashes. Arkansas' Hunter Henry, Stanford's Austin Hooper and Ohio State's Nick Vannett are TE possibilities on Day 2, but the team could also take a flier on an ultra-athletic playmaker like South Carolina's Jerell Adams or UCLA's Thomas Duarte to add some pizzazz to the lineup. The Texans need to address the pivot position to solidify the front line. Notre Dame's Nick Martin, Michigan State's Jack Allen and USC's Max Tuerk could be targeted on Day 2.
Indianapolis Colts (6 total picks)
» Round 1: Pick 18 overall
» Round 2: Pick 48
» Round 3: Pick 82
» Round 4: Pick 116
» Round 5: Pick 155
» Round 7: Pick 239
Biggest needs: offensive tackle, outside linebacker, cornerback.
After a season when Andrew Luck only logged seven games, the Colts must make it a priority to keep their franchise quarterback upright and protected going forward. Thus, the Colts have to be looking at Michigan State's Jack Conklin and Ohio State's Taylor Decker, but those guys could be gone by the time Indy gets on the clock. On Day 2, Indiana's Jason Spriggs, Texas A&M's Germain Ifedi and Auburn's Shon Coleman could get a look. On defense, the Colts need to find a young pass rusher to groom, with Trent Cole and Robert Mathis nearing the end of their respective careers. Georgia's Leonard Floyd and Eastern Kentucky's Noah Spence are both ideal fits as athletic pass rushers, but the team could also turn to an underrated guy like Boise State's Kamalei Correa or Oklahoma State's Emmanuel Ogbah. Finding a solid cover corner to play opposite Vontae Davis could be in the Colts' draft plans. Miami's Artie Burns, Clemson's Mackensie Alexander, Baylor's Xavien Howard and Virginia Tech's Kendall Fuller could fit the bill as bump-and-run corners with aggressive playing styles.
Jacksonville Jaguars (8 total picks)
» Round 1: Pick 5 overall
» Round 2: Pick 38
» Round 3: Pick 69
» Round 4: Pick 103
» Round 5: Pick 146
» Round 6: Picks 181 and 201 (from Steelers)
» Round 7: Pick 226
Biggest needs: cornerback, linebacker, defensive tackle.
The Jaguars must upgrade the talent on the defensive side of the ball to make a serious run at the AFC South. The team needs more playmakers at every level, but the back seven definitely needs a few difference makers to play the attack-style defense that Gus Bradley prefers. Thus, the team could go a number of directions on draft day to acquire a marquee player who could make an immediate impact as a rookie. UCLA's Myles Jack certainly has the athleticism, versatility and instincts to emerge as a Pro Bowl-caliber player in the system, but health concerns could lead the Jaguars to bypass him at No. 5. Georgia's Leonard Floyd, LSU's Deion Jones and USC's Su'a Cravens could garner some interest later in the draft, based on their run-and-chase potential. At cornerback, the Jaguars could consider Florida State's Jalen Ramsey and Florida's Vernon Hargreaves as potential CB1s -- or look at Baylor's Xavien Howard, Mississippi State's Will Redmond, Miami's Artie Burns and Alabama's Cyrus Jones as CB2 options on Day 2. The Jaguars could also look at the defensive tackle position to see if they can find a disruptive interior defender. Louisiana Tech's Vernon Butler, UCLA's Kenny Clark and Baylor's Andrew Billings could be in the mix at the top of Day 2. Don't sleep on the Jaguars taking an extended look at South Carolina State's Javon Hargrave as a potential surprise pick.
Tennessee Titans (9 total picks)
Biggest needs: offensive tackle, safety, pass rusher.
With six selections within the first 76 picks, the Titans can fill all of their biggest needs with quality players. On offense, the team needs to find a solid offensive tackle to pair with Taylor Lewan. Michigan State's Jack Conklin and Ohio State's Taylor Decker could get strong consideration on Day 1. If the team waits until Day 2, Texas A&M's Germain Ifedi, Indiana's Jason Spriggs and Auburn's Shon Coleman should get a look as intriguing prospects. On defense, the Titans need to find a few blue-chip players to help Dick LeBeau implement his zone-pressure system. At safety, Ohio State's Vonn Bell, Florida's Keanu Neal and West Virginia's Karl Joseph could be in play early on Day 2, or the team could find value in a down-the-line prospect like William & Mary's DeAndre Houston-Carson, Boston College's Justin Simmons or Clemson's T.J. Green. At outside linebacker, the Titans could pinpoint Georgia's Leonard Floyd, Boise State's Kamalei Correa or Utah State's Kyler Fackrell as potential impact players. If the Titans want a mid-to-late-round sleeper off the edge, Virginia Tech's Dadi Nicolas or Montana's Tyrone Holmes could get the call.