Expectations for the Colts, Texans post-NFL Draft

Jay Croucher, Drew Dinsick and PFF's Brad Spielberger break down the post-draft outlooks for the AFC South, discussing the Colts' upside with Anthony Richardson, realistic expectations for the Texans and more.

Video Transcript

JAY CROUCHER: Texans, Colts, Titans, they all draft quarterbacks. The Jags, obviously, already have their quarterback. Now, this division, largely, seems like a mess like it always is. The team that's most interesting to me, though, is the Colts, who I always come back to the fact that 12 months ago, the Colts were minus 130 to win the AFC South, and they closed that price when the season started. Obviously, they have the season from hell, doesn't work out with Matt Ryan. Now they have Anthony Richardson.

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There's still talent on that team. I mean, what do you think of the Colts heading into this season? Do you think they have upside, or are they a team that's just going to be a 6 or 7 win team?

BRAD SPIELBERGER: I think they do definitely have upside. The weird thing for them is one of their weakest position groups last year was that offensive line, which has talent. They just did not play well. The defense is solid. The secondary is a little bit scary. My bigger takeaway, we've talked about this before, if you want to bet them either direction, take alt line. There is no point in betting they're straight forward in a win total.

I think you could say, you know what? Richardson is going to be great as a rookie. Shane Steichen is going to scheme him up to do some easy things, or you say, look, I like Anthony Richardson long term, but I think he's going to struggle out of the gate. And I think they're alt under. I think that's-- if you want to play either direction, how you should do it.

DREW DINSICK: Yeah, I like Anthony Richardson long term, but I think he's going to struggle out of the gate. I mean, he's a rookie, and he's-- at that, he's a raw rookie. The idea that he's the game's not going to be moving too fast for him is tough for me to believe, and, oh, by the way, there's still a Gus Bradley defense on the other side of the football, which is not going to win you many games, in my opinion. All that said, biggest winners of the draft in the AFC besides the Baltimore Ravens was the Jacksonville Jaguars and it was by default because I really don't think any of these other three teams can really threaten them.


So that price only goes one way, in my opinion, but Colts kind of being in the Marvin Harrison Jr sweepstakes, I think is very realistic, and maybe in 2026 this is a team that's all of a sudden, toe to toe or even better than the Jaguars, we'll see. Do you-- can you give me some commentary on how you think the process failed for the Houston Texans?

BRAD SPIELBERGER: My word. Yeah, I certainly can. Everyone is lauding them for getting two good players. Also, this is the outset before the process. It doesn't change it really, but if Will Anderson was Myles Garrett or Nick Bosa, or whatever, maybe you slightly look at it differently, but he's not. We've heard he's not that level of prospect, but, secondly, yeah, I mean, giving a future first round pick to Arizona, which very well could be a top five pick in the class and a future third, which could be top 75, just horrible, horrible process.

I mean, it is. What we saw was the ownership forced the pick at two, and then the GM and the head coach, I don't know if you saw the video of Nick Caserio greeting the two guys. And he hugged Will Anderson like he was his first born son, and kind of just like said hello to CJ Stroud. So I think that showed up in the process. It's horrible process. And I think, yeah, Arizona could be into Marvin Harrison and Caleb Williams sweepstakes next year if they want to.

JAY CROUCHER: Yeah, I thought-- I mean, yeah, completely baffling trade, not just in the terms of the NFL, but in all of US sports. I think seven or eight years ago, the Sacramento Kings made some trade involving like Marco Belinelli where they gave up some first round picks for the right to sign Rajon Rondo, who was already washed up. Outside of that, I can't remember a worse trade, and this discourse that, like, oh, no, the trade was actually for Stroud at three. It's like, no, they already had CJ Stroud. They picked him two, and they traded up for Will Anderson.


If you want another defensive player in the draft, you should just wait until 12 and not give up the equity because the equity is just-- it's just completely mind boggling, overall. But in terms of on the field, what kind of team do you think the Texans are going to be next season? Their win total is 6 and 1/2, they have Stroud, who should have higher upside than Davis Mills. I think there is some modicum of talent on this team, perhaps not at the skill positions, but elsewhere.

I mean, do you think this is a team that will, again, be in the absolute cellar, or do they have upside to compete in a pretty weak division?

BRAD SPIELBERGER: There is some upside. You mentioned the receiving talent is still near the bottom of the league, but you do get a healthy John Metchie. Awesome story. He's back from battling cancer last year, and so there's some talent, but the bigger thing for me is Stroud's struggled against pressure, always been kind of his weakness in college, outside of randomly the Georgia game. And the Texans offensive line is pretty good, and they added some pieces in free agency. Obviously, drafted a-- traded up for a center as well just to continue their run of trade-ups.

But, yeah, so I think they could be not a cellar team, but I still-- 7 wins to me probably seems like a ceiling for them.


DREW DINSICK: Yeah, I could not have said it better, honestly. 8 and 9, they're throwing parties. But, oh, by the way, like, congratulations. You traded away your future to get a high floor defensive player to put yourself in purgatory. Nice job. Like, really, and all of the free agent swings, you bring in Robert Woods and Dalton Schultz.

I mean, talk about moving yourself from the bottom into-- like everything is just swirling in terms of, like, this is a team that's going to at best, kind of meet mediocrity for the next several years. So if that's what they want just to kind of get the fan base some W's on some random weeks, and they'll probably get an easy schedule from the league to start and like go 3 and 1 and all everybody is like, yeah, we told you it was a great-- no, it wasn't. It was a bad move.

This was bad process and, realistically, I don't think there's a bet to be made on the Texans, certainly, but 6 and 1/2 wins, which is their current over-under seems reasonable to me. I think without actually running the numbers, I'm going to come up with something in the ballpark of model six or seven wins for these guys.

So, yeah, Jacksonville minus 150, is it a bet, Jay?


JAY CROUCHER: It's not a very inspiring bet in the Jags.


JAY CROUCHER: I mean, the thing is, though, that would make you feel better about that bet is it just seems like the upside is so capped in terms of, like-- the chances of the Texans, the Colts getting to 10 wins just seems fairly unrealistic, and so then you're looking at the Titans, who have got their own problems. I mean, the Titans just perennially dismissed but incredibly well coached. I think Tannehill remains pretty underrated as well. So could they spring a surprise and win the division? Possibly, but their odds aren't super appetizing either.