Top-10 NFL Newcomers: AFC South

RyanCorrespondent IJune 27, 2008

My division-by-division look at the top-10 newcomers moves on to the AFC South, one of the strongest divisions in the league.

1. Derrick Harvey/Quentin Groves—Jacksonville Jaguars

I grouped defensive ends Harvey and Groves together here because they were acquired for the sole purpose of beating Peyton Manning and Tom Brady. As the Super Bowl painfully showed us, games are won in the trenches, and with Harvey and Groves, to go along with the Jaguars' other linemen Paul Spicer and Reggie Hayward, the Jags are poised to take the next step.

2. Alge Crumpler—Tennessee Titans

The top-three receivers for the Titans last year were Justin Gage, Roydell Williams, and Bo Scaife—that's not going to be good enough if they want to win the division and compete for a championship. Crumpler comes in and gives VY a legitimate weapon, which should help him become a more complete passer.

3. Jake Scott—Tennessee Titans

Scott garners the third spot here not only because he is a solid, versatile offensive lineman, but also because the Titans were able to pry him away from division rival Indianapolis. Scott also helps fill the void left by departed lineman Jacob Bell.

4. Chris Brown/Steve Slaton—Houston Texans

Another tandem here at No. 4 in running backs Chris Brown and Steve Slaton. With Ahman Green past his prime and looking like it, Brown and Slaton can add experience and explosiveness to a running game that hasn't been dangerous since the early days of Dominick Davis...or was it Williams?

5. Duane Brown—Houston Texans

Along with Brown and Slaton, head coach Gary Kubiak drafted Duane Brown in the first round in order to find someone who can not only protect Matt Schaub's blind-side, but also give Houston a more dynamic running game. While Brown was a bit of a reach in the draft, he fills a big hole on this up-and-coming team.

6. Jacques Reeves—Houston Texans

Another Texan here, and one who could prove extremely valuable. With starting corner Dunta Robinson probably headed to the PUP list, Reeves can step in alongside last year's surprise Fred Bennett and give Houston some much-needed secondary help.

7. Jerry Porter—Jacksonville Jaguars

Where do receivers go to die? If you said Oakland, you'd be right. And as Randy Moss showed last year, former Raider receivers can have huge impacts just one year after looking over the hill.

Now, I don't think that Porter is going to come anywhere near Moss' 2007 season numbers, because he's simply not as talented. I do, however, believe he can give the Jags a viable option at wide out that will take some pressure off of their running game.

8. Drayton Florence—Jacksonville Jaguars

Florence, a big contributor last year in San Diego, gives Jack Del Rio another option in that up-and-coming Jacksonville secondary. He will more than likely start alongside Pro Bowler Rashean Mathis, and thus allow Brian Williams to move over and fill the void at free safety.

9. Rosevelt Colvin—Houston Texans

This was not a big signing with a lot of press, but I think Colvin could be huge for the Texans. If he stays healthy, he will split time at strong-side linebacker along with Kevin Bentley, and he adds depth, experience, and Super Bowl rings to that young, fast Texan D.

10. Chris Johnson—Tennessee Titans

With this last spot, I could have gone in several different directions: Kearse in Tennessee, Troy Williamson in Jacksonville, or I could have thrown a bone to the Colts and had Dominic Rhodes in the ten spot, but I went with speedster Chris Johnson.

Johnson wasn't drafted in the first round to sit on the bench behind LenDale White and Chris Henry, and with his 4.24 speed, he gives Jeff Fisher a formidable one-two punch along with White.

I realize there were no Colts on the list, and I'm not playing favorites, but they didn't add anyone of note in an offseason marred by the Marvin Harrison's shooting fiasco...sorry Indy, couldn't resist.

NFC South up next!