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Row12.com - A Community of Sports Writers and Fans!                                               ***Attention Writers***
 
AFC South Offseason Forecast
By Matt Horkman

Andre Johnson

Houston Texans

Team Needs: After failing to address the position last year, it’s seems likely the Texans will bring in a quarterback this season. The team could also target a receiver to replace Andre Johnson, who may have played his last snap in Houston. Fresh blood is coming to the secondary, as three of the teams starters are heading to free agency.

Free Agency: A recent report suggests that general manager Rick Smith is on the hot seat. If the report is true, then Smith may turn to free agency to put his team over the playoff hump. An inside player like Terrance Knighton would make a lot of difference up front, especially if Ryan Pickett doesn’t return.

Big Picture: The Texans would be in an immensely better position had they selected Derek Carr at the top of round two in last year’s draft. No matter how good their defense is, the team won’t make a deep playoff run without a franchise quarterback. Veterans Sam Bradford, Jay Cutler and Nick Foles could all be available via trade this off-season. Is either really going to turn this franchise around, though? If they like what they see from UCLA's Brett Hundley in the pre-draft process, then he could be the guy.

Indianapolis Colts

Team Needs: For the second straight year, New England eliminated Indianapolis in the postseason. The Colts were unable to run the ball or stop the run in either game. Look for them to attempt to rectify these issues this off-season.

Free Agency: Detroit’s Ndamukong Suh is the prize of free agency, and the Colts have the money to make him an offer. Suh is talented enough to play in just about any scheme, and would be a major addition to a defense that lacks a stud up front. Knighton and Dan Williams could be options if they stay out of Suh’s bidding war.

Big Picture: Trent Richardson is obviously not the solution at running back. It took the Colts a year longer than most to realize this, leaving them with no real in-house solution currently on the roster. Will their aggressive approach in acquiring Richardson make them more passive when looking to fix the position in 2015? Let’s hope not for their sake. Wisconsin's Melvin Gordon or Georgia's Todd Gurley will be good draft day fits, and the Colts have the money to make a play for DeMarco Murray if the want. Either way, Indy threw the ball more than any other team did in 2015. Adding a running back is crucial if they want usurp New England from their throne.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Team Needs: The 71 sacks allowed by the offensive line last season were the most by an NFL team since 2006. The Jaguars are still waiting for Luke Joeckel to develop, but they don’t need to wait at the other positions. Look for them to bring in outside help. Running back Denard Robinson played well at times last season, but the team might prefer him in a complimentary role. The Jaguars won’t pass up a chance to get their bell cow. Jacksonville will replace tight end Marcedes Lewis, who is unlikely to be back with an $8.3 million salary in 2015. The team is in position to add a major defensive piece with the No. 3 overall pick. USC’s Leonard Williams is the early favorite. 

Free Agency: The Jaguars have more money to spend than any other franchise, and they have needs all over their roster. They will be among the most active organizations in this year’s free agency.

Big Picture: How long are the Jaguars willing to give Gus Bradley? The Jaguars coach has won five games in two years, but you can hardly judge his record given Jacksonville’s woeful talent. Owners demand results, though. Assuming the Jaguars struggle again in 2015, ownership is going to have to make a decision. Let things play out with Bradley or make yet another change.

Tennessee Titans

Team Needs: Quarterback tops the list. There’s no valid excuse for the Titans to pass on one with the No. 2 overall pick. The team also parted ways with free-agent bust Michael Oher, opening up a hole at right tackle. The defensive front also needs work, as last season’s transition to a 3-4 was awkward. 

Free Agency: The Titans could choose to pursue an edge rusher in free agency, with Brian Orakpo, Jason Worilds, and Jerry Hughes being obvious candidates.

Big Picture: It’s hard to call either Marcus Mariota or Jameis Winston a leftover, but that’s what the Titans will be getting with the No. 2 overall pick. Tennessee shouldn’t hesitate to select either one. Both Mariota and Winston would benefit greatly from working with Ken Whisenhunt, who once mentored a young Ben Roethlisberger. Winston, in particularly, would be an intriguing fit as the Florida State quarterback resembles the former two-time Super Bowl winner.

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