The 2020 NFL Draft is now completed, with some teams feeling better than others going into next season. For the AFC South, there are undoubtedly going to be some changes that take place stemming from the results of the draft.
Just this past season, the Houston Texans sat atop the division with a 10-6 record, but failed to advance beyond the AFC Divisional Round. Behind the Texans, the Tennessee Titans finished No. 2 in the division with a 9-7 record. Despite their record, the Titans were just one game short of making it to the Super Bowl.
On the other hand, the Jacksonville Jaguars and Indianapolis Colts both finished with records under .500. Unlike the Texans and the Titans, the Jaguars and Colts both failed to secure a spot in the playoffs.
Nonetheless, the entire division could see a seismic shift following this year’s draft. In light of that, here are three early predictions for the AFC South after the 2020 NFL Draft.
The Jaguars will have a much-improved defense
Entering the draft, the Jaguars had glaring needs at multiple positions, especially on defense. Provided that, they began the 2020 NFL Draft by selecting C.J. Henderson with the No. 9 pick in the first round.
Then, with the No. 20 pick in the draft, Jacksonville was able to land K’Lavon Chaisson out of LSU. With Henderson and Chaisson, the Jaguars were able to shore up two crucial voids on their defense at cornerback and edge rusher.
Just a season ago, the Jaguars finished with the No. 24 ranked defense in the entire NFL. Seeing that they added a bevy of talent on defense, Jacksonville should have a much-improved defense in 2020.
The Texans fail to make the playoffs
Over the past two seasons, the Texans have been the No. 1 team in the AFC South. However, it’s currently tough to envision them repeating as division champions for the third consecutive season in 2020.
In the draft, Houston was able to add Ross Blacklock and Jonathan Greenard in the second and third rounds. While they added some contributors on defense, they didn’t do nearly enough to better the offense.
Of course, earlier this offseason, the Texans traded DeAndre Hopkins to the Arizona Cardinals. As good as Deshaun Watson is, it’s going to be tough for him to overcome the front office’s deficiencies in the draft and free agency to win the division again.
The Colts emerge as AFC South champions
Even though the Colts failed to reach the playoffs in 2019, there was still reason for optimism for the future. With a young and thriving roster, Indianapolis added some proven veterans this offseason in Philip Rivers and DeForest Buckner.
Then, in the draft, the Colts strengthened their offensive unit by drafting Michael Pittman Jr. and Jonathan Taylor. On the other hand, Indianapolis improved the secondary by selecting Julian Blackmon.
Seeing that they have a franchise quarterback and added weapons through the draft, the Colts appear to be the AFC South champions — on paper. If Rivers can perform better than he did with the Los Angeles Chargers last season, Indianapolis could have a deep push into the postseason in 2020.