Who rates as neediest?

On a sort of slow afternoon, I sought inspiration and as the NFL Blog Network prepares to do something revisiting team draft needs, here is what I found:

Who is neediest?

Without getting into depth, looking at the depth charts of all four AFC South team and factoring in departures and starting spots that need upgrades, who needs the most. We assume restricted free agents stay put and regard unrestricted as holes.

Again, starters only.

Here’s my rundown, which I hope might set off some debate:

Neediest to least needy: Jaguars, Titans, Texans/Colts. What a shock, huh, that it’s reverse of the 2009 order of finish?

A closer look:


The Jaguars have made it clear they aren’t going to address it, but I’m not convinced David Garrard solves quarterback and call it a need. Center Brad Meester is a wily veteran, but he’s started to fade and the Jaguars need to upgrade at center. They could also look for a change from Uche Nwaneri at right guard. Torry Holt is gone. While Kassim Osgood, Troy Williamson and Mike Thomas will all have a chance to fill the second starting receiver spot, a playmaking wideout would help, as usual.

Offense: Three

While Daryl Smith shined, a playmaking linebacker could displace restricted free agent Clint Ingram or his injury replacement, Russell Allen. Free safety, where Anthony Smith was starting ahead of Reggie Nelson at the end of 2009, is a major concern.

Defense: Two

Josh Scobee hit on 64 percent of his field goals, and the Jaguars just can’t live with a batting average like that.

Special teams: One

Total: Six


I don’t know that they will address it, but I think they need a starting-caliber, affordable quarterback in case Vince Young falls back to the things that got him demoted the first time.

Offense: One

While Jacob Ford and William Hayes are in line to start as the ends with Kyle Vanden Bosch gone, it would probably be better if Ford didn’t have to start. So end is a need. Jovan Haye was underwhelming as an interior starter beside Tony Brown, and while last year’s second-rounder, Sen'Derrick Marks, should be ready for that role, we’re calling defensive tackle a need. Who’s starting at corner opposite Cortland Finnegan? The Titans need better.

Defense: Three

Return games were a disaster in 209 and it’s a gigantic need.

Special teams: One

Total: Five


I expect newcomer Wade Smith and a healthy Mike Brisiel to be two of the three offensive linemen, and finding a third out of Antoine Caldwell, Kasey Studdard, Chris Myers and Chris White should be possible.

Offense: None

The Texans need to find more interior push than they got from defensive tackle Shaun Cody and Amobi Okoye, and I don’t see them giving up on Okoye yet. Ideally Cody would have a reduced role. Right cornerback Dunta Robinson left for Atlanta as a free agent, and while Jacques Reeves and Fred Bennett have starting experience, the Texans need better. Free safety has been a revolving door position for the better part of two years.

Defense: Three

Kicker Kris Brown killed the Texans in the clutch.

Special teams: One

Total: Four


Ryan Lilja was let go and the Colts are looking to upgrade and get bigger. Two additions so far, Adam Terry and Andy Alleman, are hardly guarantees. I see a need for one guard and one tackle to allow them flexibility with Lilja’s spot and perhaps left tackle.

Offense: Two

Provided tenders are signed, everyone from the starting lineup who finished the season will be back. They can still use a bigger defensive tackle, but I don’t think it's a necessity with 2009 second-round defensive tackle Fili Moala expected to be much better. Strongside linebacker can probably stand an upgrade from Philip Wheeler.

Defense: One

The return game remains an issue and the Colts need at least one viable guy for the punt and/or kick return jobs.

Special teams: One

Total: Four