The Jacksonville Jaguars have a great chance to win the AFC South divisional title this season after an impressive draft performance added to their young roster, and they could even surprise a few by reaching the Conference Championship game on January 22.
Last season, the AFC South was regarded as the worst division, as the Houston Texans progressed into the playoffs with a near level 9-7-0 record while the Colts (8-8-0), Jaguars (5-11-0), and Titans (3-13-0) desperately battled to achieve a respectable season.
However, the 2016 NFL season looks to hold a different image as all four teams have significantly improved their depth charts in the off-season. It is the Jaguars, though, that have the best chance of dramatic improvement as they bolstered their locker-room with a group of talented young players via free-agency and the draft.
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Possibly the best decision that Gus Bradley, the Jaguars' head coach, made this year was to draft defensive players on April 28, and he successfully managed to draft two top-ten prospects in Jalen Ramsey and Myles Jack with the fifth and 36th pick, respectively.
Ramsey is a shutdown cornerback, with the ability to jump in front of routes and come up with key interceptions. He will likely start on game week one alongside recent acquisition, Prince Amukamara, who signed a one-year deal from the New York Giants during free agency.
Amukamara had started 45 games for the Giants over the last four seasons, with 213 tackles and six interceptions to his name.
With a brilliant pair of players covering the opposition's best receivers, the brilliantly talented slot corner, Aaron Colvin can move inside while another new signing, Tashaun Gipson. will come straight in at safety, suggesting that the future is bright for the Jacksonville secondary.
Couple that with Myles Jack, an injury-plagued but brilliant, young linebacker from UCLA drafted in the second-round, and defensive end who goes by the same initials, Malik Jackson, and you have an outstanding defence that has been upgraded immensely.
We all saw the offence last season with wide receivers Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns seemingly becoming wide-open on every snap, and if Blake Bortles can be more consistent with his long range passes, this young team could prove a force in the AFC South.
Rest of the division
The Texans will be looking to maintain their divisional crown after successfully gaining the services of Brock Osweiler, on a costly $72 million four-year deal with the Denver Broncos, and running back Lamar Miller's $26 million deal from the Dolphins.
But Jacksonville's draft class outweighs Houston's in terms of positions that needed fixing, and with fewer problems on defence, the Jaguars should come out on top.
The Colts will have Andrew Luck back in action and they'll be hoping for a better showing from their offensive line, and secondary.
The Titans' hopes rely on the chemistry between DeMarco Murray and Marcus Mariota, but they look severely short of players in crucial positions on both the offensive and defensive line.
Jacksonville has got the tied 23rd hardest schedule through the 2016 season, so if their young players can adapt to the new style of play and fast-paced action, they have a great chance of recording their first positive seasonal record since 2007, at least.
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