AFC South: Will DeAndre Hopkins, Allen Robinson bounce back in 2017?

Marcus Mariota has been impressive in his first two seasons, and now has much better weapons to work with. Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire

It might be tough to believe today, but at this time a year ago the AFC South boasted two of the top-six wide receivers in ESPN average live drafts, and few thought the notion was ridiculous. Houston Texans star DeAndre Hopkins was coming off a fantastic 2015 season with 111 receptions for 1,521 yards and 11 touchdowns, and while there were concerns about incoming quarterback Brock Osweiler, well, how bad could he be? As for the Jacksonville Jaguars, quarterback Blake Bortles and wide receiver Allen Robinson were breakout stars in their second NFL seasons, and the future looked bright.

A year later, after neither Hopkins nor Robinson came remotely close to providing value (each finished outside the top-20 wide receiver scorers), fantasy owners must decide which of the past two seasons accurately reflects the future, and it’s not an easy question to answer. After all, while most believe Hopkins and Robinson remain stellar athletes and capable of big things, the Texans still lack a sure thing at quarterback and Bortles remains somewhat of an enigma, especially when attempting to find Robinson downfield. While the latter two mystifyingly couldn’t connect in 2016, Bortles still squeaked into the top-10 scorers at quarterback last season.

The plight of these star wide receivers (and many others) will be analyzed as we continue our summer divisional series with the intriguing AFC South. The NFC East, NFC North, NFC South, NFC West, AFC East and AFC North have already been covered, so check ‘em out!