NFL Offseason 2019: Ranking the 5 most improved AFC teams

(Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
(Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /
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Which five teams in the AFC improved the most in the 2019 NFL offseason to possibly make a run into the playoffs? Let’s find out.

Unsurprisingly, the New England Patriots came out of the AFC and made the Super Bowl for the third straight time. They defeated the Los Angeles Rams in a stingy defensive game on both ends. Some team would have to take down the Patriots eventually had they kept playing but Super Bowl teams don’t just appear out of thin air. They are created and made in the NFL offseason with key coaching decisions, good draft picks and signing the right players in free agency.

But the draft and free agency aren’t just about signing players and drafting players. Drafting is about taking the right player that fits your scheme while not reaching on players and not drafting because of need, but rather draft based on the value of players.

Free agency also is a bit more nuanced then it seems. It isn’t about throwing money at players to fill positions; free agency is about paying players the money they are worth — occasionally a little more — and also about making sure you have enough money to re-sign your current players. All of this seems very simple, but some organizations seem to miss the mark.

Let’s now see which AFC teams hit the mark this year and changed their teams for the better.

5. Baltimore Ravens

This spot was very tight between the Baltimore Ravens and the Los Angeles Chargers. I ultimately went with the Ravens because of the little that the Chargers did in free agency by comparison.

The Ravens in free agency made nice pickups in the forms of Mark Ingram, Justin Bethel and Seth Roberts, but their best free-agent addition was safety Earl Thomas. There are some questions looming over Thomas coming into the 2019 NFL season.

The major question surrounding Thomas is the leg injury he suffered last year, which resulted in him missing all but four games. However, if Thomas can come back and at least be near what he used to be, he can continue the Ravens’ everlasting supply of elite safeties.

Baltimore also did a good job in the draft as well. The Ravens picked up a solid edge rusher out of Louisiana Tech in the form of Jaylon Ferguson. The best thing the Ravens did in the draft, though, was giving their not-so-accurate quarterback, Lamar Jackson, some good weapons.

They gave him a solid receiver out of Notre Dame in Miles Boykin in addition to adding an absolute speed demon with Marquise Brown. Brown took the top off defenses with an incredible 1,318 receiving yards last year with the Oklahoma Sooners and should do the same at the pro level.

The Ravens could be a playoff team once again this year. With an improved roster and hopefully an improved Lamar Jackson, the Ravens could do some serious damage in the postseason.