HOUSTON TEXANS 9--7
PRIMARY NEED: GUARD
IT'S A position that's unsexy but significant—especially for a team that must cover for its quarterback with a remedial passing game and a heavy emphasis on running the ball. Left guard Xavier Su'a-Filo, whom the Texans infamously selected at the top of the second round ahead of quarterback Derek Carr in 2014, hasn't worked out. The 6'4", 320-pound Su'a-Filo can get into his pull-blocks well (he stays tight to the other blockers as he moves behind them), but landing those blocks is a different story. He is neither nimble nor powerful, and he almost certainly won't be re-signed when his rookie deal expires after '17 because he's also erratic in pass protection. And so is right guard Jeff Allen.
INDIANAPOLIS COLTS 8--8
PRIMARY NEED: DEFENSIVE PLAYMAKER
FANS IN Indianapolis will scream from the mountaintops that their team should find new offensive linemen to better protect Andrew Luck. But the Colts have. Last year they took center Ryan Kelly in the first round, guard-tackle Le'Raven Clark in the third and Joe Haeg in the fifth. Now that trio, which started a combined 33 games in 2016, needs time to develop—just as any lineman that Indy picked this year would. The focus must instead go to a defense that has ranked 19th or worse in six of the last seven seasons and lacks pass rushers and ball hawks. Erik Walden led the team with 11 sacks, but his skill set is that of a No. 2 edge rusher. Finding a primary edge rusher, or a versatile safety, would be a great first step.
JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS 3--13
PRIMARY NEED: GUARD
THIS YOUNG, talented offense grossly underachieved in 2016, starting with quarterback Blake Bortles and trickling down from there. Rather than remake the whole lineup, management should try to help its players become more consistent. Shoring up the interior O-line fosters that. Luke Joeckel, the No. 2 pick in 2013, is coming off a severe left knee injury that cost him the final 12 games. Before that he had not played well enough to justify his starting job at left tackle or guard. His spot must be refilled. At right guard, A.J. Cann leveled off after making steady improvements as a third-round rookie in '15, and his skill set suggests he's already hit his ceiling. He can remain a starter, but competition here wouldn't hurt.
TENNESSEE TITANS 9--7
PRIMARY NEED: CORNERBACK
IT'S NEVER good in late November when you're releasing starters (Perrish Cox) and rotating new guys into the first string. That's precisely what went on at cornerback for Tennessee in 2016. Despite that, defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau, a long-time zone coverage advocate, continued to play man-to-man. Either LeBeau believes today's NFL demands more man coverage or he didn't trust his corners to meet the matchup responsibilities that come with his patented five-man zone blitzes. Either way, the Titans have immense needs at cornerback. If unaddressed, the situation will get worse before it gets better: Jason McCourty, the only reliable starter, is due for free agency in '18.