Predicting the AFC South just ahead of the June 1 cut day

Where do the Houston Texans fall among the AFC South's rivals?
Houston Texans v Indianapolis Colts
Houston Texans v Indianapolis Colts / Andy Lyons/GettyImages
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1. Houston Texans

By now we all know that the Houston Texans are expected to be the top team in the AFC South in 2024. They aren't only the reigning champions but also the team that, at least on paper, made the better improvements. Sure, they lost defensive end Jonathan Greenard and linebacker Blake Cashman. They also didn't retain running back Devin Singletary, while also missing out on Saquon Barkley. That doesn't mean they didn't amplify their presence.

They acquired sack-master Danielle Hunter in free agency while trading for Cincinnati Bengal's running back Joe Mixon. Then they made the surprise of the offseason by trading for Stepon Diggs. The receiver will give Offensive Rookie of the Year C.J. Stroud yet another big-time target to throw to. Now Stroud has four truly astounding players at the position for the 2024 season.

That's not all. They had a strong-looking draft, fortifying several positions of need. The rookie players they acquired may not be starters right now, but they could help fill the gaps during injury spells. As far as under-the-radar moves go, The Texans acquired several players who could help their defensive line improve in 2023. One includes Denico Autry, an 11.5-sack performer from the 2023 Titans. He's older, but his versatility will give the Texans a good pop defensively.

The additions aren't the only reasons to put the Texans at the top spot. They'll see several impact players return from injury, like Tank Dell. Couple that with the fact that most of the team's core talent is young, constantly improving players, and the Texans may not just be the team to be in 2024, but the team to beat for the 2020s as a decade.