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Ranking Colts Position Groups in the AFC South: Pre-Season

Throughout this year-long series I will rank the position groups in the AFCS week after week.

Indianapolis Colts Training Camp Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

Quarterbacks:

  1. Houston Texans
  2. Tennessee Titans
  3. Indianapolis Colts
  4. Jacksonville Jaguars

There is no disputing Deshaun Watson is the best quarterback in the division, and perhaps even the most important player overall. The Titans come in at second after Tannehill’s breakout season, but whether he can keep up the stellar work remains to be seen. Indy added veteran Philip Rivers, and he is undoubtedly an improvement over Jacoby Brissett. The Jaguars come in at last with Gardner Minshew, who is not bad by any means but just is not better than the rest.


Running Backs:

  1. Colts
  2. Titans
  3. Jaguars
  4. Texans

Let me start off by clarifying that Derrick Henry is the best running back in the division, but the Colts have considerably more depth than the Titans at the position. Indy has two 3-down backs in Mack and Taylor, along with a legitimate receiving threat in Nyheim Hines and an underrated back in Jordan Wilkins. I’m not convinced Leonard Fournette is a solid NFL back just yet, and the Texans lost Lamar Miller.


Wide Receivers:

  1. Texans
  2. Titans
  3. Colts
  4. Jaguars

Even though they just lost one of the best receivers in the game in DeAndre Hopkins, the Texans still have the most stacked receiving room in the AFCS. The Titans have sophomore AJ Brown and former top 5 pick Corey Davis, who form a nice receiving tandem with plenty of room to grow. Indy falls behind because of the uncertainty regarding the group. If T.Y can get healthy again and Pittman performs, then this group can climb in the rankings, but so far it would make no sense to place them above the Titans or the Texans. My apologies to the Jaguars, but the truth is they have no receiver worth noting other than D.J Chark.


Tight Ends:

  1. Colts
  2. Titans
  3. Texans
  4. Jaguars

This is perhaps the worst position group in the entire division. Jack Doyle is the best tight end as of right now, and that is saying something. Jonnu Smith has plenty of potential, but his performance will depend heavily on whether Tannehill’s season was not a fluke.


Offensive Line:

  1. Colts
  2. Titans
  3. Jaguars
  4. Texans

Colts at #1 here is not even a debate, I would even argue that Indy has the best offensive line in the entire NFL, but that is another debate for a different day. The Titans actually ranked dead last in pass protection, but they are elite in the running game and have the potential to turn it around this season. The Jags offensive line is average at best, and the Texans offensive line situation is an injury away from being a full-on disaster.


Defensive Line

  1. Colts
  2. Jaguars
  3. Texans
  4. Titans

The Colts now have the most stacked defensive line in the division. Indy added All-Pro defensive tackle DeForest Buckner, signed rotational piece Sheldon Day and will be getting back promising edge rusher Kemoko Turay. The Jaguars are currently second because they still have Yannick Ngakoue, but after an absurd 6 of their linemen being out for Week 1 they are close to moving down. The Texans have future HOFer J.J Watt, but his body has not been the same and he has struggled with injuries. They also lost starting nose-tackle D.J Reader in free-agency. The Titans shipped away longtime franchise player Jurrell Casey trying to save cap space.


Linebackers

  1. Colts
  2. Titans
  3. Jaguars
  4. Texans

Some excellent drafting from Chris Ballard has resulted in the Colts having one of the best linebacker groups in the NFL. Darius Leonard is a top 5 player at the position while Anthony Walker is the perfect complement. Sophomore Bobby Okereke has plenty of potential and was really solid in limited play last season. The Titans have Jayon Brown, who proved last season that he is an above-average linebacker, while the Jaguars added Joe Schobert in free-agency to play along Myles Jack. Houston’s linebackers are not bad by any means but they don’t have a top player like the other teams in the division.


Secondary

  1. Titans
  2. Texans
  3. Colts
  4. Jaguars

The AFCS does not stand out because of the talent in the secondaries, but there are some underrated players in here. The difference between 1 and 4 is not as big as in other positions, as no team has an elite secondary. The best players in this group are Adoree Jackson (Titans), Kenny Moore II (Colts), Bradley Roby (Texans) and Kevin Byard (Titans).


Special Teams

  1. Jaguars
  2. Texans
  3. Colts
  4. Titans

This group can be divided in two. On one hand, the Jaguars and Texans enjoyed really solid seasons from their respective kickers and special teams, while the Colts and Titans struggled mightily to kick the ball through the uprights. The Colts kicking unit was a mess as a whole, costing the team games against the Dolphins and the Steelers, while the Titans kicking situation was so bad that they actually used 4 different kickers in the past season.