AFC South power rankings: Who sits at the top ahead of Week 1?

AFC South, NFL Power Rankings -Houston Texans, Davis Mills - Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
AFC South, NFL Power Rankings -Houston Texans, Davis Mills - Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports /
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AFC South
Jacksonville Jaguars HC Doug Pederson and QB Trevor Lawrence (16) at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Pendleton-USA TODAY Sports /

No. 2 team in the AFC South ahead of Week 1: The Jacksonville Jaguars

2. team. 52. . . . Jacksonville Jaguars

This might be the most controversial pick in this power ranking but the truth is that the Jacksonville Jaguars pulled no punches in the offseason and made several moves that should give him a realistic shot at competing in the AFC South and potentially go from last to first in 2022.

Besides inking Pro Bowl guard Brandon Scherff, they revamped their wide receiver corps with the acquisition of Christian Kirk and Zay Jones. Also, Evan Engram, who signed a one-year deal, should become a key cog in Doug Pederson’s tight-end friendly offense. On defense, they signed cornerback Darious Williams, defensive tackle Folorunso Fatukasi, defensive end Arden Key and linebacker Foyesade Oluokun. All of them are slated to have starting or feature roles.

Taking care of most of their needs in free agency, allowed Jacksonville to take the best player available in this year’s draft. Although there were several worthy candidates, they chose outside linebacker Travon Walker, who could turn out to be a franchise building block… or a massive disappointment. Fortunately for the Jaguars, the former Georgia Bulldog has shown tremendous growth over the last few months.

But the biggest reason the Jaguars could have a legitimate shot at making the playoffs — yes, the playoffs — is the presence of Trevor Lawrence, who flashed as a rookie, and should make an immense leap under the tutelage of head coach Doug Pederson.

The Jaguars have become somewhat of a meme in recent years but they have enough pieces in place to compete in what might turn out to be a weak AFC South.