Indianapolis Colts: Taylor Lewan

The Colts will make the playoffs this season because of their talent and their division. The AFC South is the weakest division in the NFL. It's all about getting one of the top two seeds in the AFC playoffs, which means having an extra week off. The Colts' toughest stretch of the schedule starts Oct. 9, when they have go from playing Baltimore Oct. 5 to facing Houston on the road four days later. The Colts then play three of their next four games against teams expected to compete for playoff spots: Cincinnati, Pittsburgh and New England. That string of games will likely determine whether the Colts can get one of the top two seeds in the AFC.

Complete Colts season preview.
INDIANAPOLIS -- It turns out Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck will have to keep his head on a swivel during his team's two meetings against the Houston Texans next season.

Defensive end Jadeveon Clowney told Yahoo! Sports that's what Luck will have to do if he was selected by Houston with the No. 1 overall pick.

The Texans picked Clowney to team with fellow defensive end J.J. Watt to torment quarterbacks for years to come.

The Colts were the only team in the AFC South not to have a first-round pick Thursday.

Jacksonville, which had the No. 3 pick, didn't follow Houston's footsteps by selecting a defensive player to help them against the Colts. The Jaguars were on the offensive by selecting a quarterback. It wasn't Johnny Manziel, though. They surprised many by selecting quarterback Blake Bortles. Bortles will have a chance to compete for the starting quarterback spot next season with Chad Henne. The Jaguars hope Bortles turns out better than Blaine Gabbert, the 10th pick in 2011.

The Tennessee Titans stayed on the offensive side of the ball, too, by selecting offensive tackle Taylor Lewan out of Michigan to help protect quarterback Jack Locker.
INDIANAPOLIS -- The Indianapolis Colts, as you've known for months, do not have a first-round pick in May's draft. That's not to say general manager Ryan Grigson won't be wearing his fingers out texting and calling other NFL front office folks.

While the biggest challenge for the Colts -- if things remain the same -- is finding a few special players starting with their pick in the second round, the other teams in the AFC South have tough decisions to make when it comes to selecting in the first round.

That's what happens when you played in the worst division in the league last season.

Houston Texans (No. 1) -- Do the Texans, the biggest disappointment in the league last season, take hot shot Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel with the first pick? Manziel thinks they should. He also thinks the Texans will regret it if they pass up on him.

"It would be the worst decision they've ever made," he said smiling to the Houston Chronicle and Fort Worth Star Telegram last week. "I'd be in the same division playing against them twice a year. Sorry, but you just turned that chip on my shoulder from a Frito into a Dorito."

Jacksonville Jaguars (No. 3) -- Manziel may not get past the Jaguars at No.3 if the Texans pass on him. Or Jacksonville may not even take a quarterback with that pick. They could also go with pass-rusher Jadeveon Clowney.

"In today's day and age, if you can't get Peyton Manning or Matt Ryan, and they might not be available for the next 10 or 15 years, then you have to adapt and build the roster and do what's best for the organization," Jaguars general manager David Caldwell told CBSSports.com. "And if a quarterback presents itself later in the draft, you take and develop him. Having a franchise guy makes the world a lot easier, though. It can erase a lot of mistakes you make. But if you force it, you can screw it up. I don't know if we're going to find that guy, but I hope we do."

Tennessee Titans (No. 11) -- The Titans aren't interested in a quarterback. They're sticking with Jake Locker for the time being. The scouting combine is the first time new coach Ken Whisenhunt will have live interaction with draft prospects. The Titans are intrigued by defensive players who can play in the 3-4 scheme. Mel Kiper Jr. had the Titans taking offensive tackle Taylor Lewan from Michigan with their pick.

The goal for all three teams is to try to pass the Colts as the best team in the division.

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Insider