AFC South Rankings- Quarterbacks
Matt Schaub, T.J. Yates, John Beck
The Texans are the easy choice for best quarterback group in the AFC South for 2012. Matt Schaub is a legitimate Pro Bowler who has spent five years in Gary Kubiak's system. Schaub was headed toward a career year in 2011 before a foot injury ended his season prematurely. If Schaub goes down again, T.J. Yates is capable of navigating the ship for a period of time as the former fifth-round pick already has a playoff victory on his resume.
Matt Hasselbeck, Jake Locker, Rusty Smith
The Titans will likely have a quarterback controversy entering training camp as veteran Matt Hasselbeck will try to hold off Jake Locker for the second straight year. Locker is clearly the quarterback of the future and the competition should be open in camp, with a slight edge toward the rookie (younger and cheaper).
Regardless of who wins the competition, the Titans likely have two very legitimate starters at the position. If Kenny Britt can come back healthy and rookie Kendall Wright plays up to potential, Locker or Hasselbeck should have a fair amount of success.
Andrew Luck, Drew Stanton It's rare that a projected rookie starter will be ranked ahead of....well, anyone with experience but that's the case with Andrew Luck and the Colts. Luck will most certainly have his rookie bumps and bruises but this is the best quarterback prospect in nearly 30 years and he will have some weapons with Reggie Wayne, Coby Fleener and Dwayne Allen.
If Luck goes down, backup Drew Stanton has some experience with four career starts.
Blaine Gabbert, Chad Henne
The Jaguars quarterback position comes in with the Number 4 ranking (last) as Blaine Gabbert, although talented, didn't show enough last season to make anyone believe that greatness (or even averageness) is on the horizon. Gabbert will be the starting quarterback barring injury as he was the guy the general manager traded up to get and benching him will be a major black eye. There's no reason Gabbert shouldn't be considerably better in 2012 as the team upgraded significantly at wide receiver, but even with all that taken into consideration, the former 10th-overall pick is not as good as his starting counterparts.
If Gabbert doesn't start for whatever reason, Chad Henne is the most serviceable backup in the division and may actually be better than the starter. Politics will play a role however and Henne only plays if Gabbert gets hurt or the season quickly gets away from the Jags.
Charlie Bernstein is the NFL Insider for ESPNFlorida.com and ESPN 1080 and 1040 in Orlando/Tampa and Editor-in-Chief of Sports Media Interactive, covering 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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