Post-draft needs: AFC South
Biggest remaining needs for the Texans, Colts, Jaguars and Titans
This is the third part of an eight-part series in which Football Outsiders looks at the biggest holes remaining on each team after the NFL draft. Usually, that means the biggest holes remaining after the draft and free agency, but obviously 2011 is a little different. So some of these holes may not actually be holes if teams re-sign their own players, and other holes will be filled during free agency and won't necessarily last into training camp.
Houston Texans: Defensive back
The Texans used the 2011 draft to aggressively attack their most obvious pressing need for the coming season, namely a lack of defensive players that fit new coach Wade Phillips' 3-4 scheme. Defensive lineman J.J. Watt and outside linebacker Brooks Reed may not both start immediately, but both should contribute heavily in 2011 and add to the pass rush.
That added pass rush will be particularly important to Houston, as spending its first two picks on front-seven players meant those picks couldn't be used on upgrading the secondary, where the Texans needed at least two new starters. The need was particularly acute at safety, where 2010 starters Bernard Pollard and Eugene Wilson both played poorly and aren't expected to return.
To read the rest of Football Outsiders' analysis of the Houston Texans, plus the biggest post-draft needs for every other team in the AFC South, you must be an ESPN Insider.
The NFL on ESPN.com
WEEK 1 PICKS
MORE NFL COVERAGE
2011 NFL PREVIEW
JOHN CLAYTON QB RANKINGS
- Paul Gutierrez retweeted