Number 17: San Diego Chargers
The Chargers we’re able to surprise a lot of people last year by making the playoffs. What was even more surprising was their ability to advance to the second round. I absolutely love what this team did this offseason to improve their defense. San Diego is going to have to play very well down the stretch if they want to make the playoffs, however. In order, they must face St. Louis, Baltimore, New England, Denver, San Francisco and Kansas City.
Number 18: Baltimore Ravens
I think the Ravens made it clear in the draft that their main priority this offseason is to rebuild their defense with youth. Drafting C.J. Mosley to replace Ray Lewis and pairing Matt Elam with Terrence Brooks in the secondary will go a long way in helping them accomplish their goals.
Number 19: Atlanta Falcons
Two year’s ago, the Falcons we’re just one game away from a Super Bowl. Last season, they were just two games away from the first pick. Even with the Falcons having such a poor season last year, this team still has the talent to turn it around quickly. Matt Ryan was constantly under pressure last season, so drafting Jake Matthews will do wonders for him. If this team can pull it together and start off on the right foot, they can definitely make some noise in the NFC South.
Number 20: Miami Dolphins
My Miami Dolphins never fail to disappoint me. While drafting a right tackle was the most sensical thing for them to do, they could have traded down, acquired more picks and still get the guy they wanted. Oh well, at least Dennis Hickey is filling out the right holes. That, I will applaud him for. Still, even with an addition of a right tackle, I still see this team falling behind New England and New York in the AFC East.
Number 21: Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys actually made a football decision in this year’s draft by taking Zack Martin. Drafting Martin was the most logical pick as he was the best player available, however, he is not the savior for the Dallas Cowboys. Again, this team is looking at a 7-9 or 8-8 record. Hey, at least they’re consistent.
Number 22: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Drafting Mike Evans will be a huge pick for Tampa (literally, Mike Evans is huge). Match Evans with Vincent Jackson and they have one of the biggest receiving groups in the NFL. What I like most about Tampa this offseason was the fact that they completely transformed their coaching staff with experienced, proven coaches. On paper, everything is looking up for Tampa. Good for them.
Number 23: Houston Texans
Coming off a disappointing season 2013 campaign, the Houston Texans revamped their coaching staff and their roster. Despite finishing with just two wins last year, nine of their losses were decided by just seven points or fewer. They’re not going to be able to knock off the Colts without a franchise quarterback, however, they still have enough talent on this team to fight for a wild card spot.
Number 24: Minnesota Vikings
The Minnesota Vikings had an excellent draft. Not only were they able to get their hands on a high ceiling defensive end/line backer in Anthony Barr, but they were also able to trade back into the first round and draft Teddy Bridgewater. They have the running back, the offensive line and a pretty good group of receivers. They also were able to get younger on defense which always helps.
Number 25: Washington Redskins
With Robert Griffin coming back to full health and the addition of DeSean Jackson, the Redskins are poised to have one of the fastest offenses in the NFC. The only problem Robert Griffin must stay healthy, which seems like an impossible task for him.
Number 26: Detroit Lions
With the additions of Golden Tate and Eric Ebron to this offense, the Lions will be on pace to score nearly fifty points per game. Sadly, their defense will always be on pace to allow more than double that. This team did absolutely nothing to fix their awful defense and with the uncertainty of Fairly and Suh, the Lions could have some serious problems this year. Oh, and Jim Caldwell? Really?
Number 27: Buffalo Bills
The Buffalo Bills made a splash by trading up to draft Sammy Watkins, however, they had to give up their first and fourth round pick in next year’s draft to do so. I view that move more as filling out the missing piece. I don’t know if giving up two picks is the best thing for a rebuilding team to do.
Number 28: New York Giants
Drafting Odell Beckham Jr. at twelve might have been a little high for New York, but at least it will give Eli Manning another target. The pairing of Victor Cruz, Beckham Jr. and Rueben Randle gives Eli a good amount of weapons. However, Eli must be protected in order for this to work out.
Number 29: Tennessee Titans
I might have them at 29 right now, but Ken Whisenhunt is their new head coach, and boy, does he know how to win. Let’s see if this changes once the season starts.. My guess is yes.
Number 30: Cleveland Browns
Everything was looking good for Cleveland this offseason. They filled out their needs in free agency by bringing in Karlos Dansby, Donte Whitner and Ben Tate and they also had a very strong draft. The only problem is they are potentially losing their best player for an entire season. Josh Gordon really dropped the ball on that one.
Number 31: Oakland Raiders
The Oakland Raiders certainly made the proper moves this offseason to boost their defense. The additions of Justin Tuck, LaMarr Woodley, Antonio Smith and Khalil Mack will definitely improve their inferior pass rush.
Number 32: Jacksonville Jaguars
The Jaguars went heavy on the offensive side of the football in this year’s draft, as four of their first picks came on the offensive side. Hopefully Blake Bortles works out better than Blaine Gabbert did.