1. Indianapolis Colts
The class of the division by far with the possibility of getting a first round bye.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars
Having them finish this high isn’t out of the question. It doesn’t mean they are playoff contenders though.
3. Houston Texans
Getting back to basics is what they need and a new coaching staff will do just that.
4. Tennessee Titans
It’s a transition year with a new coach, new defense and no CJ2k.
Head Coach: Chuck Pagano
Key Position: Wide Receiver – When you have one of the best young quarterbacks in Andrew Luck, you need some good receivers around him. With the injuries to WR Reggie Wayne and TE Dwayne Allen last year that left a void for the Colts passing attack. With the emergence of WR T.Y. Hilton and TE Coby Fleener last year that helped Indy get through it relatively unscathed. This year to protect themselves they signed former Giants WR Hakeem Nicks to protect themselves from any kind of unforeseen problem during the season.
Key Acquisitions: LB D’Qwell Jackson (Cleveland Browns), DL Arthur Jones (Baltimore Ravens), WR Hakeem Nicks (New York Giants)
Key Rookies: G Jack Mewhort, WR Donte Moncrief
Head Coach: Gus Bradley
Key Position: Quarterback – All things considered last year with Jacksonville they have a decent veteran in Chad Henne who threw for 3,241 yards last year. He will be the guy to start the season unless the rookie Bortles takes the job outright in training camp. Either way the Jaguars should be fine with Henne playing most of the season and Bortles being given time to see how things are from a distance. Jacksonville doesn’t have the greatest offensive line and putting Bortles out there early might hurt him long term i.e, Blaine Gabbert.
Key Acquisitions: G Zane Beadles (Denver Broncos), DE Red Bryant (Seattle Seahawks), DE Chris Clemons (Seattle Seahawks), RB Toby Gerhart (Minnesota Vikings), DT Ziggy Hood (Pittsburgh Steelers)
Key Rookies: QB Blake Bortles, WR Marqise Lee, WR Allen Robinson, G Brandon Linder
Head Coach: Bill O’Brien (Penn State)
Key Position: Pass Rush – This was the Texans claim to fame before the 2013 season began. They were ranked 29th in the league in sacks last year and it was a no brainer the direction they had to go in the 2014 NFL Draft. Taking Clowney immediately helps Houston get back some credibility in rushing the passer. That means not as many double teams on J.J. Watt inside with Clowney lined up on the outside along with a healthy Brian Cushing patrolling the middle.
Key Acquisitions: T Tyson Clabo (Miami Dolphins), S Chris Clemons (Miami Dolphins), QB Ryan Fitzpatrick (Tennessee Titans), S Kendrick Lewis (Kansas City Chiefs)
Key Rookies: DE/LB Jadeveon Clowney, G Xavier Su’a-Filo, DT Louis Nix III
Head Coach: Ken Whisenhunt (San Diego Chargers)
Key Position: Running Back – The position looks a bit murky now with the departure of Chris Johnson. Having Sankey as a replacement isn’t a bad start. Shonn Greene is still on the roster so there won’t be tremendous pressure on the rookie Sankey to do all the work. Also signing Dexter McCluster was a sneaky good move to not just help the running game, but on kickoffs, punts and in the passing game. The loss of Johnson won’t be the worst thing, but it will be strange not seeing him in a Titans uniform.
Key Acquisitions: RB Dexter McCluster (Kansas City Chiefs), T Michael Oher (Baltimore Ravens), LB Shaun Phillips (Denver Broncos), QB Charlie Whitehurst (San Diego Chargers), LB Wesley Woodyard (Denver Broncos),
Key Rookies: T Taylor Lewan, RB Bishop Sankey