This is a tough division to rank, and may just be the most promising group of young quarterbacks in the NFL. You have the Franchise, The Gun Slinger, The Unknown Champion, and The Prince who was Promised. I see a lot of great football from these teams, which is contrary to how they have been playing recently. But with all teams having their "franchise" guy, we get to see draft classes like the one in Jacksonville this offseason. Crazy stuff.
1. Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts
Is there much room for questioning here? Bortles has a case, but the 2014 season for Luck is hard to top. A rough injury riddled 2015 kept him sidelined for 9 games, but the offseason addition of center Ryan Kelly shows that the Colts recognize the problem and are addressing it. Out of all the teams in the AFC South, I am concerned for the Colts the most. There are just so many holes, and only so much Luck can do. No attempt to address the impending RB vacancy, no attempt to add a target to replace Coby Fleener's production. The Colts are only getting older and weaker. Luck needs to have an explosive year this season if the Colts want a chance to reclaim the AFC South.
Stat Prediction: 4,400 yards 34 TDs 16 INTs and a bunch of "my bad guys"
2. Blake Bortles, Jacksonville Jaguars
Blake exploded in his second year. 4,428 yards 35 TDs 18 Ints and two receivers eclipsing the 1k yard mark. This offense is young, talented, and healthy which is scary signs for the AFC. I expect another great year from Blake, but with a focus on limiting turnovers and winning games. Its great to have lots of yards, but they have to be yards that count. Garbage time stats mean very little in the non fantasy world. I want to see Blake leading scoring drives early and putting up as many points as possible. Reason being, this Jags defense may have a great year as well. Adding two playmakers in Jalen Ramsey and Myles Jack, the Jags also see the return of pass rusher Dante Fowler who will debut this season in the NFL. Free agent signing to the defense brings in veteran talent to help ease the pressure on the rookies. Those Texans look good, but the Jaguars may be a dark horse AFC South champion.
Stat Prediction: 4,500 Yards 40TDs 17 INTs and a jump ball to Allen Robinson that of course he will catch.
3. Brock Osweiler, Houston Texans
Brock played extremely well last season for Denver. He was 5-3 as a starter and lost games that Denver really should have won. A Pittsburgh game where he put up 3 first half touchdowns and the OC ran the ball less than 5 times in the second half. Same case in Oakland a week before, 12-0 at half time and zero half time adjustments. It shows really how much the offense relied on Peyton's ability to analyze and dissect throughout the game. Cant really blame Brock for not being as good mentally as Peyton, but he showed us a ton. Great footwork for a big guy, week in and week out he improved the little things, and he beat New England, in OT, in the snow. Going to a Texans team surrounded by leadership, talent, and a coach well known for developing great quarterbacks, Osweiler has found the perfect fit for himself in Texas. As a Broncos fan it hurts to see him go but as the great George Strait said "all my exes live in Texas".
Stat Prediction: 3,800 28 TDs 12 INTs and at least 1 injury directly related to JJ Watt going ham in practice.
4. Marcus Mariota, Tennessee Titans
Marcus is last mainly because of his situation and the question marks surrounding the Titan's plans to help him out. Conklin is a solid addition to the line, and hopefully can do enough to protect Marcus. Tennessee's lead rusher last season had 520 yards, and the Titans grab Demarco Murray in a trade and draft Derrick Henry. I see the improvements and attempts to make this team flow better, but they are just a few years away. Marcus is an interesting prospect. His leadership and work ethic are second to none, and he really has the Titan's organization backing him. Look for Delanie and Doral Green-Beckham to be the main targets for Mariota, and a rise in his numbers. I'm predicting an Anti-Vince Young scenario where the quarterback get better, develops, and doesn't lose his mind over the course of the next season.
Stat Prediction:3,400 yards 25TDs 13 INTs and unfortunately no more NFL games in Hawaii for Marcus as the Pro Bowl decided to move to Florida for no reason at all, I mean who even wants to visit Florida anyways? There is no value in vacationing in Florida compared to Hawaii. Not only that the Super Bowl champion "IM GOING TO DISNEY" means nothing now because the rest of the league was at Disney a week ago. So yeah, Florida? really FLORIDA?*
*Opinions may be biased due to writer living in Hawaii.