AFC South Quarterbacks (15 points)
1. Indianapolis Colts (Peyton Manning) - 8 points
2. Houston Texans (Matt Schaub)- 4 points
3. Tennessee Titans (Matt Hasselbeck/ Jake Locker)- 2 points
4. Jacksonville Jaguars (David Garrard/ Blaine Gabbert)- 1 point
I'll still take Peyton Manning with a sore neck over anyone else in the division and 32 GM's will agree with me. Matt Schaub is a 4,000 yard passer and Matt Hasselbeck is better than David Garrard or any rookie. If the Titans struggle early and go to Jake Locker, and the Jaguars roll with Blaine Gabbert, positions three and four could be flip-flopped.
AFC South Running Backs (10 points)
1. Jacksonville Jaguars- 4 points
2. Tennessee Titans- 3 points
3. Houston Texans- 2 points
4. Indianapolis Colts- 1 point
The Jaguars trio of Maurice Jones-Drew, Rashad Jennings and Deji Karim is as talented as any in the league. Assuming Chris Johnson reports and we are assuming he does, the Titans have the second best group with him along with Javon Ringer. No slight to the NFL's leading rusher from a season ago, Arian Foster, but he has to do it for two years before he can vault Jones-Drew or Johnson. We believe Joseph Addai and Donald Brown are solid backs, neither are on the same level as those players listed above.
AFC South Wide Receivers (10 points)
1. Indianapolis Colts- 4.5 points
2. Houston Texans- 3.5 points
3. Tennessee Titans- 1.25 points
4. Jacksonville Jaguars- .75 points
Although Houston has the best receiver in Andre Johnson, we like the trio of Reggie Wayne, Pierre Garcon and Austin Collie a little better. Tennessee and Jacksonville are a very distant third and fourth and the Titans get the slight edge if Kenny Britt can stay a free man.
AFC South Tight Ends (8 points)
1. Jacksonville Jaguars- 3 points
2. Indianapolis Colts- 2.5 points
3. Houston Texans- 2 points
4. Tennessee Titans-.5 points
We give the Jaguars Marcedes Lewis the slightest advantage over Indy's Dallas Clark, mainly because Clark is coming off injury and Lewis may be the finest two-way tight end in football. Owen Daniels of Houston is certainly not far behind, and lagging in last place is the Titans Jared Cook, who could have a breakout year.
AFC South Offensive Lines (10 points)
1. Tennessee Titans- 3.5 points
2. Indianapolis Colts- 3 points
3. Jacksonville Jaguars-2 points
4. Houston Texans-1.5 points
This is probably the closest position group from top to bottom as all four units have the opportunity to be very good, or very flawed. Tennessee takes the top spot thanks to Michael Roos and David Stewart, Indy is next thanks to Peyton Manning's quick release. Jacksonville has a rising star in Eugene Monroe and they're solid all the way across when healthy, and we are just not sold on Duane Brown of Houston, although they may have the most offensive line depth and are in the best position to overcome an injury.
1. Indianapolis Colts- 19 points
2. Houston Texans- 13 points
3. Jacksonville Jaguars- 10.75 points
4. Tennessee Titans- 10.25 points
Usually the best quarterbacks lead the best offenses regardless of what is around them. Our rankings display that Peyton Manning is clearly the best in the South and he has enough weapons around him to where the Colts should score plenty of points in 2011 assuming Manning is healthy. We will compare the defenses and special teams next and then tabulate a total of which team is the most talented in the AFC South.
Charlie Bernstein is the NFL Insider for ESPN 1080 and 1040 in Orlando/Tampa and the host of "The Sports Crunch" on the Aquarius 7 Broadcasting Network (national), and Editor-in-Chief of Sports Media Interactive, covering multiple teams in the National Football League, NCAA, and National Basketball Association. Charlie covers the Jacksonville Jaguars for FoxSports and has been featured on the NFL Network and Sirius NFL Radio. Charlie is also a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. You can follow Charlie on Twitter @nflcharlie
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