2020 NFL Offseason Team Needs: AFC South

With free agency and the NFL Draft quickly approaching, it’s time to take a dive into each team’s biggest need heading into the 2020 offseason.

Our journey starts in the AFC South as this eight-part series will go division by division highlighting a top need for each and every NFL team.

The AFC South featured two teams that made the playoffs (Titans and Texans), one team that severally disappointed after a making a splash free-agent quarterback addition (Jaguars), and one team that lost its starting QB to a surprise retirement just before the start of the season (Colts).

It’s safe to say the AFC South has some solid pieces moving forward, but none of these teams are without flaws heading into 2020. Let’s take a look at some of these team’s biggest needs as we kick off the series.

Houston Texans
10-6, 1st place AFC South
Lost in Divisional Round
First pick in 2020 NFL Draft: Round 2, Pick 25

Biggest Need: Secondary

Just three teams finished worse than the Texans in 2019 in passing yards allowed per game. For a team with a young stud quarterback, along with one of the best wide receivers in the game, they need to do everything possible to tighten up this defense and try to compete while Deshaun Watson is still in his rookie contract. They could use bodies at both cornerback and safety, but unfortunately for Texans fans, the team doesn’t have a draft pick until the end of the second round after shipping their 2020 and 2021 first-round picks to Miami for Laremy Tunsil.

Top Free Agents: Byron Jones, James Bradberry, Chris Harris, Logan Ryan, Trae Waynes

Top NFL Draft Prospects: Jeff Okudah (Ohio St.), Kristian Fulton (LSU), Trevon Diggs (Alabama), CJ Henderson (Florida), A.J. Terrell (Clemson)

Image result for aj terrell clemson

Tennessee Titans
9-7, 2nd place AFC South
Lost in Conference Championship
First pick in 2020 NFL Draft: Round 1, Pick 29

Biggest Need: Edge Rusher

The Titans added a veteran presence to the edge last offseason by signing former Dolphins’ pass rusher, Cameron Wake. Wake proceeded to take AFC Defensive Player of the Week honors in Week 1, but unfortunately ended the season on IR and was unable to partake in any of the team’s success later in the season. This year’s free agent class of edge rushers is impressive, and an experienced rusher is definitely a higher commodity than a late first-round prospect, so I definitely expect the Titans to be players in free agency when it comes to adding a high-quality pass rusher.

Top Free Agents: Jadeveon Clowney, Arik Armstead, Yannick Ngakoue, Shaq Barrett, Dante Fowler

Top NFL Draft Prospects: Chase Young (Ohio St.), A.J. Epenesa (Iowa), K’Lavon Chaisson (LSU), Yetur Gross-Matos (Penn St.), Terrell Lewis (Alabama)

Image result for arik armstead

Indianapolis Colts
7-9, 3rd place AFC South
First pick in 2020 NFL Draft: Round 1, Pick 13

Biggest Need: Defensive Line

I was stuck between defensive line and wide receiver, but gave DL the slight edge here because I think you can find quality WR’s easier than you can find solid edge rushers or top-tier interior defensive lineman. The Colts’ defensive line doesn’t possess many pieces you’d consider building blocks at this point in time, and drafting at the No. 13 overall selection offers the opportunity to land an impact player that can start from day one. I wouldn’t fault the Colts for targeting a wide receiver like CeeDee Lamb if he happens to still be available here, but the idea of being able to plug in a player like Derrick Brown or Javon Kinlaw would be my preferred angle.

Top Free Agents: Chris Jones, Javon Hargrave, Michael Brockers, D.J. Reader, Leonard Williams

Top NFL Draft Prospects: Derrick Brown (Auburn), Javon Kinlaw (South Carolina), Neville Gallimore (Oklahoma), Ross Blacklock (TCU), Jordan Elliott (Missouri)

Image result for javon kinlaw

Jacksonville Jaguars
6-10, 4th place AFC South
First pick in 2020 NFL Draft: Round 1, Pick 9

Biggest Need: Cornerback

We watched the team deal Jalen Ramsey to the Rams during the 2019 season, so now it’s time to find a replacement. You’re very unlikely to find a player who’s the caliber of Ramsey, considering he’s one of the top CB’s in the league, but there are definitely some serviceable free agents if they opt to go that route. Additionally, the Jags have two first-round draft picks (both in the top 20) so they are setup perfectly if they want to nab one of the draft’s top CB’s this April.

Top Free Agents: Byron Jones, James Bradberry, Chris Harris, Logan Ryan, Trae Waynes

Top NFL Draft Prospects: Jeff Okudah (Ohio St.), Kristian Fulton (LSU), Trevon Diggs (Alabama), CJ Henderson (Florida), A.J. Terrell (Clemson)

Image result for kristian fulton

Check out the latest episode of the Loaded Box Podcast as we’re joined by Zach Patraw of The Dynasty Draft Room to discuss the top edge rushers in the 2020 NFL Draft!

Ben Morgan is a co-host and blogger for the Loaded Box Podcast. Check out his article archive and find more from the Loaded Box on Twitter & Facebook

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