AFC South: Who Will They Sign?

What are the top position needs of the AFC South teams ... and why? And who are they likely to turn to in the draft if they can't fill those positions through free agency? Find out inside...

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HOUSTON TEXANS
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TEAM NEEDS:

1. Wide receiver: The Texans have released Eric Moulds, but have not made a move to add to their depth. At this point, Kevin Walter will start opposite of Andre Johnson. Defenses took Johnson away last season, and the Texans need someone who can provide a strong enough threat to prevent that in 2007.

2. Defensive end: Houston needs a true pass-rushing defensive end to help make the team's pass rush more effective. The addition would mean Anthony Weaver could move inside to guard. The Texans hope a healthy Mario Williams will help with the pressure on the left side next season.

3. Quarterback: The Texans still have every intention of trading David Carr and must find a quarterback that could come in, watch for a year and then be the quarterback of the future.

DRAFT SCOUT SKINNY

The Texans have really addressed key needs early in free agency, like running back and left tackle. That allows them to enter the draft without being desperate in the first round. They enter with the ability to take the highest rated player on the draft board.

Despite the addition of Ahman Green, it is likely the Texans would still take Adrian Peterson if he falls to No. 8. Brady Quinn is also another possibility, as the Texans look in the first day of the draft for a long-term replacement for David Carr. Kevin Kolb would also be a strong possibility if he is still available in the second or third round.

The biggest glaring need the team still has at this point is for a playmaking wide receiver to start opposite of Andre Johnson. With the draft rich in wideouts, the Texans will likely snag one early.

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INDIANAPOLIS COLTS
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TEAM NEEDS:

Colts LB Rob Morris (Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
1. Linebacker: LB Rob Morris turned in a yeoman's performance as he filled in at strong-side linebacker over the final three regular season games and through the playoffs, but that's not his natural position. With Morris re-signing a three-year deal as an unrestricted free agent, the Colts will still likely need to fill their weakside LB spot since Cato June, an unrestricted free agent, is expected to get a big offer from another team with more money than Indy can match.

2. Defensive line: With the future of DTs Montae Reagor and Corey Simon in doubt, the Colts will need additional help along the defensive line. Reagor has had his contract terminated but he might be back at a later date. The possibility of Simon returning from what has been termed as an "undisclosed illness" remains questionable at best.

3. Running back: With the departure of RB Dominic Rhodes to Oakland through free agency, the Colts will be in need of a running back to team with 2006 first-round draft pick Joseph Addai. Indianapolis wants to continue using the two-back system that was successful last season. The Colts may look in the middle rounds for help.

DRAFT SCOUT SKINNY

When it comes to Colts team president Bill Polian, it's always hard to really pinpoint just what players and positions that Indianapolis are actually aiming at in the draft.  Polian prefers to play his cards very close to the vest when it comes to areas he wants to improve and upgrade, or to show what players he is interested in.

That being said, it would appear as if the Colts will need to find upgrades for a defensive unit that was largely inconsistent throughout much of the 2006 regular season.

Improved play at linebacker and along the defensive line is almost considered a must. Among the players that may draw Indianapolis' interest are Penn State linebacker Paul Posluszny, Miami (Florida) linebacker Jon Beason, Florida State linebacker Buster Davis, Tennessee defensive tackle Justin Harrell, Oklahoma linebacker Rufus Alexander, and Ohio State defensive tackle Quinn Pitcock.

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JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS
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TEAM NEEDS:

1. Free safety: Deon Grant started all 48 games the past three seasons but the unrestricted free agent got the big contract he was looking for in signing with Seattle for $30 million over six years. Backup David Richardson has played in just 13 games in three years and doesn't appear ready to start.

2. Defensive end: Paul Spicer is dependable but will be 32 next fall and has lost a step. The other starter, Bobby McCray, was a 7th round draft pick three years ago and after two mediocre years, finished with a team-high 10 sacks last year. The return of a healthy Reggie Hayward will be a big boost, but there's little depth after that.

3. Wide receiver. Acquiring Dennis Northcutt should help as he brings speed to a group of receivers that have had trouble separating from defensive backs. But skeptics look at Northcutt's 22 receptions for the Browns last year and wonder if he's the answer. The team has shown patience with Reggie Williams, Ernest Wilford and Matt Jones but Williams' 52 grabs last year was the first time someone topped the 50-catch total in a season.

DRAFT SCOUT SKINNY

Florida's Reggie Nelson (Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Like any other NFL team, the Jaguars wish they had an earlier selection than No. 17 in the draft. While it's just about in the middle of the pack, it leaves the team fearful that the player they most covet, Florida safety Reggie Nelson, will be gone by the time their pick comes. In their 12-year history, the club has never moved up or down from its assigned first round selection. The team could entertain thoughts of moving up this year if it guaranteed them landing Nelson, but it wouldn't likely happen before the draft. A trade with a team on the clock, possibly to include one of the team's wide receivers and/or backup quarterbacks David Garrard or Quinn Gray, might be enough to get the Jaguars the player they want.

If Nelson is gone, the Jaguars could turn to Louisiana State safety LaRon Landry who at 6-0, 213 is similar in size to current strong safety Donovin Darius (6-1, 225). They like the physical style of Landry and the fact that his older brother, Dawan Landry who was the Baltimore Ravens' fifth-round pick a year ago, won a starting job in training camp and finished with five interceptions in his rookie season.

Should both Nelson and Landry be gone when the Jaguars pick, they'll likely opt for a defensive end. That pick could come from a group they've followed, including Jamaal Anderson of Arkansas, Adam Carriker of Nebraska, Charles Johnson of Georgia or Nelson's teammate at Florida, Jarvis Moss. Anderson, Johnson and Moss are appealing in that all are young, all forgoing their senior season in college to enter this year's draft.

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TENNESSEE TITANS
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TEAM NEEDS:

1. Wide receiver: The Titans were bad at the position last year. Now they are minus their top two pass catchers from 2006 with Drew Bennett jumping to St. Louis as a free agent and Bobby Wade moving on to Minnesota. Brandon Jones is very promising, but David Givens is unlikely to be ready for the start of the 2007 season after major knee surgery following a November injury.

2. Defensive end: Kyle Vanden Bosch's play didn't drop off as his sacks might indicate -- he had 12.5 in 2005 and 6.5 in 2006. Teams could focus on slowing him way too much because the other end was unthreatening. Travis LaBoy is best with a limited role and Antwan Odom hasn't been able to stay healthy. Another effective pass rusher is a must to get the defense back on track.

3. Cornerback: The Titans are always looking for corners and are sure to draft at least one even if they sign a veteran. They'd like to have an upgrade option over second starter Reynaldo Hill and Pacman Jones' future is in doubt because of his off-field troubles, in which case they need more than two no matter how much they like Hill and Cortland Finnegan, who was a solid nickel back as a rookie.

DRAFT SCOUT SKINNY

Reinfeldt is in his first year of his first general manager job and has no draft record to be used as a predictor. Under Floyd Reese the team concentrated on defensive linemen and cornerbacks early in the draft, typically waiting on wide receivers until later. The Titans pick at No. 19 will probably be largely dependent on who's gone. Has there been a run on wide receivers? Defensive ends? Cornerbacks?

If wide receivers are hot early, they would likely look elsewhere in the first round, instead grabbing the third or fourth defensive end, perhaps a Jarvis Moss, Adam Carriker or Charles Johnson. If the defensive ends have gone and they really like Dwayne Bowe or Robert Meachem, they could go receiver in the first round for the first time since 1998, when they passed on Randy Moss for Kevin Dyson.

If nobody has touched the cornerbacks they could tab one of a group rated as likely first-rounders -- Darrelle Revis, Leon Hall, Aaron Ross or Chris Houston.

Depending on what they do in free agency, California running back Marshawn Lynch might be tempting at 19, though they'd be hard pressed to use the pick on a running back after spending a second-rounder on LenDale White last year.


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