AFC South power rankings: Texans primed for era of dominance

Could the Texans dominate the AFC South for years to come?
Houston Texans
Houston Texans / Rob Carr/GettyImages

After what we saw in the 2023 NFL season, it's hard to imagine anyone but the Houston Texans running the AFC South in 2024. This is a division that might look average on paper based on each team's record last year, but there's a ton of young talent all over the place and each of these four teams could legitimately contend for a postseason spot in 2024 if things all go according to plan.

None of these rosters appear to be rebuilding. Although there has been some reloading for each, these teams all have options as their QB of the future, and all of them have recently reset in the head coach department.

After the 2024 NFL Draft and free agency, how do each of these teams in the AFC South stack up?

AFC South power rankings after 2024 NFL Draft

4. Tennessee Titans

There is so much to like about the Tennessee Titans right now. I'm on board for the Brian Callahan hiring, and although they might have been even more exciting in 2019, I like the trio of receivers the Titans have assembled with DeAndre Hopkins, Calvin Ridley, and Tyler Boyd. On top of that, you've got Tony Pollard coming in to add a dynamic presence at the running back position, and a lot of new help defensively.

Specifically, L'Jarius Sneed coming in as this team's new top cornerback, and a player like T'Vondre Sweat coming and playing next to Jeffrey Simmons.

The fate of this team obviously hinges on the progression of Will Levis, who certainly has the talent to be able to bring this Titans team out of the gutter.

3. Jacksonville Jaguars

What in the world happened to the Jaguars last season? Trevor Lawrence not being healthy late in the season didn't help anything, but this team was in shambles defensively as well. The addition of Ryan Nielson as the team's defensive coordinator alone should boost this team considerably, but how quickly will the Jaguars get back to prominence after their hot streak at the end of 2022/beginning of 2023.

The addition of Nielson along with the arrival of players like Arik Armstead, Maason Smith (2nd-round pick), and Darnell Savage should be enough to get this Jags defense back to legitimacy, but they are now playing in an extremely tough division and will need a healthy, bounce-back season from Trevor Lawrence.

2. Indianapolis Colts

This may come across as a hot take to some, but I don't know how far off the Indianapolis Colts actually are from the Houston Texans. The development of Anthony Richardson is going to be key in this team's overall competitiveness this year, but they just won nine games with Gardner Minshew at the quarterback position.

With all due respect to Minshew, the ceiling for this team is much higher with Richardson at QB, and how much lower is the floor, in all honesty? This Colts roster is well-coached, they are fast, and they are extremely tough defensively.

I don't think 10 wins is out of the question in 2024.

1. Houston Texans

The Texans are undoubtedly primed for a bit of a reign over the rest of the AFC South. The job that's been done by Nick Caserio is a work of art, and the way the Texans have dug themselves out of the Deshaun Watson hole so quickly is nothing short of miraculous.

Of course, hitting on a draft pick like CJ Stroud doesn't hurt at all.

The selection of Stroud is what turned this franchise around, but the timing of DeMeco Ryans taking over as head coach couldn't have been more of a gift from the football gods. Houston has added Danielle Hunter to its pass rush, which was already featured by Will Anderson Jr. They have added Stefon Diggs to a receiver room that previously included Nico Collins and Tank Dell. They added Joe Mixon to the backfield.

This team is going to run away with this division in 2024.