A Look Around The AFC South: 6.1.17

Intro: Colts.com’s Andrew Walker offers a comprehensive look at the latest offseason action around the AFC South Division.

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INDIANAPOLIS — So free agency is pretty much wrapped up, the draft is over and OTAs are in their final phase.

For the most part, each NFL team's roster is set heading into training camp and the preseason.

This offseason was one of the busier ones in recent memory for the Indianapolis Colts, who hired a new general manager in Chris Ballard, utilized free agency more than they ever had and continued an obvious rebuilding of the defense into the NFL Draft, where six of the team's eight picks were utilized on that end of the ball.

So what's left?

Pro Football Focus' John Kosko recently wrote a piece in which he determined "The Biggest Remaining Need For Each AFC Team" heading into the summer months. For the Colts, he selected inside linebacker; Kosko writes:

"New GM Chris Ballard has been very busy this offseason transforming the roster to his liking but since Rome wasn't built in a day, the Colts still have holes in a roster that has been deteriorating the past several years. Most of the pieces on defense will look very different in 2017 and there are still many concerns about how they will mesh together but inside linebacker is probably the most concerning. Sean Spence has bounced around the league but played well enough in 2016 with the Titans and looks to start at one ILB position with an open competition opposite. Edwin Jackson (61.6) is the early favorite and will compete with rookie Anthony Walker Jr. and Antonio Morrison. With such massive turnover on the defense, having both ILB spots solidified would help for communication and leadership."

But what about the rest of the AFC South Division, which is expected to be a dogfight, once again, in 2017?

Let's go around the division and see what pieces Kosko believes they are currently needing after a full offseason of roster building.Houston Texans: right tackle

"Once Derek Newton tore both patellar tendons in a Monday night game against the Denver Broncos last year, the Texans had a big void at the RT position. Chris Clark graded as one of the worst OTs in the NFL at 37.0 and as much having Newton return would help solidify the OL, relying on him to return from such a devastating injury is unwise. In a draft with a lack of quality offensive lineman, the Texans added just Julie'n Davenport out of Bucknell in the fourth round. While some fourth-round players can make an immediate impact, Davenport doing so out of Bucknell is unlikely and he assuredly needs time to adjust to the NFL."Jacksonville Jaguars: tight end

"The Jaguars have plenty of holes on their roster, especially concerning their offensive line, we're settling at tight end as the biggest need for the team. Jacksonville added Mychal Rivera this offseason via free agency, but his grades the past three seasons aren't very inspiring — he has struggled in all facets as a blocker and receiver. Marcedes Lewis is a shell of his former self, as he hasn't graded above-average since 2013. With the team not addressing the position in the draft, they are hoping for bounceback seasons from both but neither has shown high-level play in several seasons."Tennessee Titans: nose tackle

"Titans GM Jon Robinson has done a marvelous job putting together a roster that is poised for playoff contention in 2017. While inside linebacker could be improved as could their tight end depth, the weakest position heading into the season is nose tackle. It's not the worst thing in the world to have a player that will see typically just 40 percent of the team's defensive snaps as a team weakness, but having a run-stuffing NT helps the team beyond the plays he's on the field (see Damon Harrison's impact for the Giants). Sylvester Williams is slated to start and has a reputation because of playing on a generationally great Denver Broncos defense, but his play didn't elevate the players around him; it was the players around him that made him perform better."

The analysis from those producing content on Colts.com does not necessarily represent the thoughts of the Indianapolis Colts organization. Any conjecture, analysis or opinions formed by Colts.com content creators is not based on inside knowledge gained from team officials, players or staff.

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