AFC South Mock Draft: Titans land top LT, Colts add CB, Jaguars get Lawrence another weapon

AFC South teams upgrade in key positions.

Tennessee Titans Offensive line
Tennessee Titans Offensive line / Cooper Neill/GettyImages

The AFC South is suddenly morphing into one of the more competitive divisions in the NFL.  With young quarterbacks such as C.J. Stroud, Trevor Lawrence, Anthony Richardson and Will Levis, teams in the division will be looking to add to the core around those QBs both on both sides of the ball in the 2024 NFL Draft.

With no pick in the first round, the Texans made the biggest splash in free agency by upgrading their pass rush with the signing of Danielle Hunter.  Now the other teams in the division will be prioritizing their draft needs to compete with the defending AFC South champs.

2024 NFL Mock Draft: AFC South teams add intriguing talents on Day 1 of the NFL Draft

With the Texans trading out of the first round by sending the No. 23 overall pick to the Minnesota Vikings, all eyes will be on the Texans, Colts and Jaguars in the early-to-mid round of the 2024 NFL Draft.  Here are the projections.

35. NFL Combine. . Joe Alt. 7. Joe Alt. . player. OT, Notre Dame. Joe Alt

The Titans get major offensive line help with the selection of Notre Dame’s Joe Alt with the No. 7 overall selection in the 2024 NFL Draft.

With the addition of Calvin Ridley in free agency, the Titans addressed one of their bigger needs at the wide receiver position.  That enables new head coach Brian Callahan to shift the focus on offense to addressing the offensive line in a big way in drafting Alt, who is the top ranked OT entering the draft.

At 6-foot-9, 321 pounds, the Notre Dame star offensive lineman is as good as they come as a quarterback protector.  The Titans will need someone to protect the blindside of Will Levis and adding Alt to the offensive line along with Peter Skoronski gives Tennessee some nice building blocks along an offensive line that needed a major overhaul entering the offseason.

With a blend of size, power and balance, Alt will be a Day 1 starter in Tennessee. 

CB, Alabama. Terrion Arnold. 15. . Terrion Arnold. player. Terrion Arnold. NFL Combine. . 46

With all the offensive firepower in the AFC South, the Colts address one of their biggest needs by selecting Alabama cornerback Terrion Arnold with the No. 15 pick in the NFL Draft.

NFL Mock Draft: Terrion Arnold selected by the Colts
Alabama CB Terrion Arnold / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages

A First-team All-SEC cornerback in 2023, Arnold started all 14 games in his final season at Alabama with 5 INTS.  With his aggressive style of play, speed and ballhawk ability, Arnold would give the Colts another young defensive back in a core led by Kenny Moore II.

Now, the Colts could go afford to go in another direction at No. 15.  They could add another receiver, but with the depth at receiver, along with the fact that they have locked up Michael Pittman Jr. long term allows for Chris Ballas and the Colts to secure a CB duo of Moore and Arnold in a division that now features rising quarterback stars like Lawrence and Stroud.

Scouting Report. player. . WR, LSU. Brian Thomas Jr. . Brian Thomas Jr. 17. 52. Brian Thomas Jr

After losing Calvin Ridley Jr. in free agency, the Jaguars get Lawrence another playmaker in the name of Brian Thomas Jr. 

At 6-foot-3, 209 pounds, the LSU wide receiver doesn’t get the hype of former teammate Malik Nabers in this draft, but he can be a WR1 or WR 2 in the NFL give his size and ability.  What Lawrence will like about Thomas is he is a shifty receiver in the intermediate game which makes him a reliable target in the red zone.  Last season at LSU, Thomas led the nation with 17 receiving touchdowns.  You better believe the Jags offense would embrace that production.

Although Thomas will need to work on his route running on the next level, this is a great pick for the Jaguars who will add another playmaker to a wide receiver group that now features Christian Kirk, Gabe Davis and Zay Jones.