Jaguars draft: AFC South is a new division after Round 1 of the 2023 NFL Draft
By Beau Adams
Well, the first round of the 2023 NFL draft has come and gone and many things happened, there was a lot of action. One common theme that jumped out was that the AFC South is a whole new division. The Jacksonville Jaguars had a memorable season last year and won the South with a 9-8 record. However, those days appear to be over, with a division-changing draft by rivals; Tennessee Titans, Indianapolis Colts, and most dramatically, the Houston Texans.
One clear takeaway from tonight's draft, it's going to take the Jaguars a lot more wins than nine to be the AFC champions in the next decade. The new AFC South will be one of the toughest divisions in the NFL in the upcoming years. Let's look deeper at what happened in tonight's draft and the impact it will have on the AFC South.
The Tennessee Titans fortified the trenches in Round 1 of the draft
Tennessee Titans used the 11th pick on Northwestern monster left tackle Peter Skoronski. It's an excellent pick for the Titans, with three-time pro bowl left tackle Taylor Lewan being cut from the roster in February. Skoronski can step in immediately and fill those shoes.
Skoronski ranked No. 1 on the NFL's prospect list of offensive tackles. He compares pretty closely with Lewan. Lewan was taller at 6'7, but Skoronski has a much more refined technique.
Both became the 11th selection overall in their respective drafts. Skoronski will be an offensive line anchor for a long time in Nashville. He has excellent pull on the line, and scouts love his attack-first proactive hands. Lewan benched 29 reps at the combine, and the new Titans’ tackle topped that with 30. Look at his raw strength and pull in this clip here.
This Titans' pick is a blow to the Jaguars' defensive line. Skoronski is a gift to the aging Derek Henry, and he gives King Henry a few more years of punishing the Jaguars' run defense. However, the Titans only maintain their roster with Skor to replace Lewan, but don't improve it. So it is a wash as far as their draft pick impacting the AFC South.