This past week, Dave Dameshek of NFL.com put together his All-AFC South team. In fact, he's putting these teams together for all the divisions in the NFL. I can't help but quarrel with a few of his selections. Here's his "team" if you missed it.
Quarterback - Andrew Luck, Colts - Duh.
Running back - Arian Foster, Texans - Without question the best back in the division and it's not even close, even with Frank Gore now in Indianapolis.
(Quick note, he went with three receivers here)
Wide receiver - T.Y. Hilton, Colts - The Texans killer. A few more dominating games vs. the Texans and he'll join the likes of Albert Pujols, in particular, as Houston sports teams' kryptonite. Valid selection.
Wide receiver - Andre Johnson, Colts - Boy, that was hard to type.
Wide receiver - DeAndre Hopkins, Texans - That was easier.
Tight end - Julius Thomas, Jaguars - Hard to argue with this selection, although Coby Fleener or Dwayne Allen or even the real Delanie Walker might have some quibble with this one. But, Thomas is the best weapon of the TE group in the division.
Tackle - Duane Brown, Texans - Yep.
Tackle - Anthony Castonzo, Colts - Uh, not who I'd pick. Taylor Lewan from Tennessee will be the best tackle in the division before long, but the second-best tackle is the guy on the opposite side of Brown - Derek Newton. It's close, but I can see why Castonzo gets the nod and of course I'm biased. But, I watched Castonzo last year in a number of games and I can't make a definitive case that I'd take him over Derek.
Guards - Chance Warmack, Titans and Brandon Linder, Jaguars - Um, nope. The best guard in this division and it's not even close is Brandon Brooks. The former Miami Redhawk is a stud and the fact that Dameshek omitted him in lieu of these two is a bit maddening. Look, I know how tough this is, but I saw these teams play all season long. Dameshek was right, Linder is going to be a key piece in the future, but there's no way he's on par with Brooks. Warmack is going to get better, and combined with Lewan on the Titans' left side, it's going to get nasty very soon. But, Brooks is above both right now and could be on into the future.
Center - Stefan Wisniewski, Jaguars - He has to win the job first. Texan Ben Jones is a first-year starter at center. Titan Brian Schwenke will compete for his job. Colts center Jonotthan Harrison was an undrafted college free agent, but he was adequate as a rookie. I'd have put him, I suppose, but Wisniewski is the biggest name.
So, the Texans had three players on his offense, yet the Texans defense could be a top-five defense in the league. He only put two Texans on his defense. The Titans? The team that I thought was as talent deficient as any in the league last year? Four. Now, two are recently-signed free agents, but still. In the end, though, he probably got it right. Mostly.
Defensive end - J.J. Watt, Texans - Yeah, we'll agree on that one.
Defensive tackle - Jurell Casey, Titans and Sen'Derrick Marks, Jaguars - I can't argue with this crew at all. I thought Marks was one of the most underappreciated players in the league in 2014.
Outside linebacker - Derrick Morgan, Titans and Brian Orakpo, Titans - I hate to say it but this is probably the right call. Morgan is not a 3-4 OLB at all, but he's shoehorned into that spot out of necessity. Orakpo, if healthy, can run roughshod. Colts OLB Trent Cole could be an option here but I think he's about out of gas.
The 2015 Texans draft class visited the Pro Football Hall of Fame and a Play 60 event as part of the NFL Rookie Symposium in Ohio.
Inside linebacker - D'Qwell Jackson, Colts - A healthy Brian Cushing would overtake Jackson in a New York minute, but this division isn't loaded with options on the inside.
Cornerbacks - Vontae Davis, Colts and Johnathan Joseph, Texans - Yep and Yep.
Safeties - Mike Adams, Colts and Da'Norris Searcy, Titans - Adams was brilliant last year so I'll give you that one, but Searcy over Rahim Moore? Nah. Not buying that one. Searcy had a solid campaign last year, but Moore can be a game changer in the middle of the field and he's going to prove it in 2015. I'd go Adams, Moore and Searcy as my third safety. Not to mention, Moore will play better behind a stout front seven, which includes a guy named Watt.
All in all, Dameshek did a pretty solid job with a couple of exceptions. I'm just upset he beat me to the punch. This is my sort of thing! Oh well, maybe next time.