One thing the NFL Draft accomplished this weekend was make me very interested in the AFC South division this year. Being from Indiana almost everyone around me are Colts fans and have gotten used to the Colts being dominate in the division. We already saw them surrender the AFC South title last year to the Houston Texans, albeit it took Andrew Luck going down, but following the draft we could see a seriously competitive division with how well the Tennessee Titans and Jacksonville Jaguars drafts’ went.
I have been vouching for Jacksonville being on the rise for the last two years, just ask my fantasy opponents when I started Allen Hurns in Week 1 two years ago and he dropped 25 points. The offense has been on the rise, and add to that the defense heavy draft including Jalen Ramsey and Myles Jack who were two highly praised defensive prospects and you have got a great young team shaping up. I can see the Jaguars making a push at the division title, but falling just short this year. However, the future is looking bright for the Jaguars… yes, that sounds weird, but it is true.
As for the Titans, I think trading away the first pick helped them tremendously in this draft and will prove to be a step in the right direction. I was shocked they were able to land Derrick Henry with the 45th pick! Yeah there is stigma with the Alabama running backs, but as a Saints fan I have witnessed Mark Ingram at least be a productive back. If Henry is anywhere as productive as Ingram, that is highly beneficial to the Titans and could be considered a steal at the 45th pick. I can see the Titans being competitive this year, but not quite divisional title (or wildcard) ready. They are making strides and can no longer be considered a freebie in this division.
As for the Colts and Texans, I expect nothing less than a battle at the top. I honestly don’t feel confident in picking a team to win this division yet at this point. My fiancee may punch me if I say the Texans over the Colts, but I am not confident enough to put money on the Colts this year. At the same time I am not confident enough to put my money on any of these teams, I am way too risk averse. This will be one of the most, if not the most, competitive divisions this upcoming season and seasons to come.