Draft capsules for AFC South teams:
5. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (5-11)
LAST SEASON: Finished with losing record for seventh time in past eight years, and latest one dropped coach Gus Bradley’s record to 12-36 in three seasons. Jaguars offered glimmer of hope that better days are ahead by showing some offensive prowess for first time since 2007. QB Blake Bortles and dynamic WRs Allen Hurns and Allen Robinson emerged as solid core of playmakers. But defense was team’s downfall, prompting Bradley to fire coordinator Bob Babich after season.
THEY NEED: LB, DE, S, CB, OL.
THEY DON’T NEED: QB, WR, RB, TE, DT.
POSSIBLE FIRST PICK: CB/S Jalen Ramsey, Florida State; LB Myles Jack, UCLA; DE Joey Bosa, Ohio State; DE DeForest Buckner, Oregon.
OUTLOOK: General manager Dave Caldwell has made it priority to upgrade defense. He signed DT Malik Jackson, S Tashaun Gipson and CB Prince Amukamara in free agency, adding to last year’s class that included DE Jared Odrick, CB Davon House and LB Dan Skuta, but still needs more talent, depth and competition on that side of ball. It wouldn’t be shocking to see Jags use six or more of their eight draft picks on defenders.
15. TENNESSEE TITANS (3-13)
LAST SEASON: Not even Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota could save Ken Whisenhunt’s job, and he was fired after 1-6 start by owner determined to see better protection for rookie quarterback. Mike Mularkey made enough changes to earn job in January, even if he didn’t win many more games. Winning just five times combined over past two years cost general manager Ruston Webster his job, too.
THEY NEED: OT, WR, CB, DL, S, LB.
THEY DON’T NEED: QB, RB.
POSSIBLE FIRST PICK: OT Ronnie Stanley, Notre Dame; OT Jack Conklin, Michigan State; WR Josh Doctson, TCU; CB Vernon Hargreaves, Florida.
OUTLOOK: New GM Jon Robinson made one of biggest trades in NFL history two weeks before draft, swapping No. 1 overall pick to Rams and picking up three more picks in this draft. Robinson now has nine selections, including six in first 76 picks. He says he now can be as flexible; he wants to move back up from No. 15 or move around draft to keep rebuilding roster. Protecting last year’s No. 2 pick overall, Mariota, by drafting another offensive tackle would help; QB missed four games to injury as rookie. Mariota needs more people to throw to, and defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau always can use more players.
18. INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (8-8)
LAST SEASON: Colts discovered what life without Andrew Luck is like — no playoffs. Luck regressed in Year 4, throwing 15 TD passes and 12 interceptions while missing nine games with injuries. Backup Matt Hasselbeck provided initial spark but retired in February. Indy’s biggest problem was offensive line that allowed way too many hits. Defensively, Colts never found consistent pass rush and struggled to stop run. Result: .500 record in season Indy was projected to be Super Bowl contender.
THEY NEED: OL, DL, LB, CB.
THEY DON’T NEED: WR, QB.
POSSIBLE FIRST PICK: OT Taylor Decker, Ohio State; OT Jack Conklin, Michigan State; LB Leonard Floyd, Georgia; DE Shaq Lawson, Clemson; C Ryan Kelly, Alabama.
OUTLOOK: GM Ryan Grigson provided offseason blueprint in February — fixing offensive line and pass rush. But salary-cap constraints didn’t allow Colts to do much in free agency, so Grigson must find help in draft. Indy has significant needs on offensive line, especially guard and center, which could prompt Grigson to trade down and still find help. If Grigson stands pat, he could take right tackle or look for pass-rushing defensive lineman or linebacker. Another option would be finding cornerback to start opposite Pro Bowler Vontae Davis.
22. HOUSTON TEXANS (9-8)
LAST SEASON: Returned to playoffs after two-year absence despite revolving door at quarterback. But shaky quarterback situation doomed them in postseason as Brian Hoyer had fumble and career-high four interceptions in 30-0 loss to Chiefs in wild-card round. J.J. Watt had another stellar season to pick up his third Defensive Player of Year award, but his work wasn’t enough for Texans to overcome problems on offense, which included another injury-plagued season by Arian Foster.
THEY NEED: WR, OT, TE, DE.
THEY DON’T NEED: QB, CB, RB.
POSSIBLE FIRST PICK: WR Will Fuller, Notre Dame; WR Corey Coleman, Baylor.
OUTLOOK: Texans made perhaps biggest move of free agency by luring Peyton Manning’s presumed replacement, QB Brock Osweiler, away from Broncos with $72 million contract. They’re hoping he’ll be piece they need to finally contend for NFL title, but he’s unproven commodity after starting just seven games in four-year career. Houston also filled hole left by releasing Foster by adding RB Lamar Miller in free agency. Those two additions upgraded offense, but they still need to add receiver to take pressure off star DeAndre Hopkins for Osweiler to be successful. Watt returns to anchor unit that started off rocky last year, but improved steadily throughout season. They’ll need to find replacement for DE Jared Crick, who started 31 games opposite Watt in past two seasons, but signed with Denver. Another key to improvement on defense is 2014 top overall pick OLB Jadeveon Clowney. Can he finally become difference maker in third season after struggling with injuries.
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