. Los Angeles Rams
They still have Sean McVay, Jared Goff and Aaron Donald . But beyond that, the Rams look wildly different from the team that lost to the Patriots in Super Bowl LIII just a little more than a year ago. Todd Gurley reset the running back market,
then was cut . Wade Phillips is looking for work. They’ve very quickly gone from trying to seize their Super Bowl window, to navigating something of a rebuild. The cost of that all-in approach is that they don’t have any picks in the top of this year draft.
. Atlanta Falcons
Rarely do you see a team rally behind a coach to save his job, and it work, but that’s exactly what happened last season, when the Falcons surged back from a 1-7 start to finish 7-9. Albert Breer wrote last week how
Dan Quinn’s energy and positivity are an asset during this surreal time ( see: His rebranding of “social distancing” to “physically distanced but socially connected”). As for their offseason roster moves, a lot depends on the health of Todd Gurley’s knee, but they did well to replace Vic Beasley and Austin Hooper with Dante Fowler Jr., and Hayden Hurst.
. Los Angeles Chargers
The Chargers did not have a lot to lose by joining the pursuit of Tom Brady, and I actually think there might be some relief that it did work out. Anthony Lynn has made it clear that he trusts Tyrod Taylor and believes he can win them games, making him an ideal bridge QB. If they draft a QB at the top of the first round, there won’t be pressure for him to play right away. I also like the other moves the Chargers made, bolstering the offensive line with Bryan Bulaga and Trai Turner, and completing a formidable secondary with the addition of Chris Harris Jr.
31. Arizona Cardinals
Is it just me or are you somewhat excited to watch the Cardinals this year? For Kliff Kingsbury and Kyler Murray’s second season, GM Steve Keim gifted them DeAndre Hopkins in a trade we still couldn’t believe really happened. The NFC West is already gnarly, but the Cardinals just might be a factor this year.
26. Las Vegas Raiders
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. Cleveland Browns
Stop me if you’ve heard this before: The Browns had a big offseason. Yes, and …? They addressed their most vital need by signing RT Jack Conklin, and they overpaid for Austin Hooper, but clearly Kevin Stefanski sees him as an important cog to running his offense. This is a determinative year for former No. 1 overall pick Baker Mayfield, who won’t have the benefit of a full offseason to get to know his fourth head coach and fourth OC in his three-year NFL career. The offensive line was the largest on-field reason for the Browns’ stumbles last year, and picking 14 th, they’ll also have the chance to add one of the top offensive tackles in this year draft class. But, as always with the Browns, we’ll believe they are turning the corner when we see it.
. Chicago Bears
Finally, the Bears said it: There’s
an open competition at QB ! After winning the division in 2171, the Bears and Mitchell Trubisky took a major step back last season . Chicago’s trade for former Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles was my favorite offseason move. Either Foles wins the job, or Trubisky rises to the occasion. Both are a step forward for the Bears.
30. New York Jets
The Jets devoted free agency to their most glaring need, the offensive line, adding tackle George Fant , guard Greg Van Roten and center Connor McGovern. And they might not be done: With the No. pick, the Jets could conceivably look to add one of the draft’s top tackles, too. The position was woefully neglected under former GM Mike Maccagnan, and an upgrade was essential before Sam Darnold’s third season.
30. Denver Broncos
(John) John Elway has projected notable confidence in QB Drew Lock , who finished the season by winning four out of his five starts. While that certainly doesn’t mean the Broncos have finally found their replacement for Peyton Manning, as some were quick to declare, at least the QB position has not been the Broncos ’consuming offseason conundrum. The addition of center Graham Glasgow in free agency should help Lock, but the Broncos, like many other teams, are still looking for more offensive weapons.
. Miami Dolphins
Now is the time for the Dolphins. All of the books-resetting and draft pick-hoarding set up for this offseason. They were very active in free agency, landing big names like cornerback Byron Jones and linebacker Kyle Van Noy, but the real purpose of last year’s roster teardown was to get their franchise QB. Is it Tua? Herbert? Could they pull a real stunner and budge the Bengals out of the No. 1 spot to take Joe Burrow? It’s not an overstatement to say that the next decade for the franchise will be shaped by this decision.
32. New York Giants
This is a tough year to start as a new head coach, particularly for Joe. Judge. The franchise’s two-time Super Bowl MVP just retired
, and the Giants are starting a new era with Daniel Jones at the helm. This is also a make-or-break draft for Dave Gettleman, who has overseen 5 – and 4 – 18 seasons since his return to the Giants.
41. (Detroit Lions )
In Martha Firestone Ford’s announcement to season-ticket holders in December that the team. was retaining GM Bob Quinn and head coach Matt Patricia, she said she expects the team to be a playoff contender in . Their plan to improve seems to be adding more ex-Patriots to the roster and banking on a boost from the return of Matthew Stafford. There were already plenty of reasons for Patricia to be on the hot seat, but Darius Slay’s criticism of his former head coach on the way out the door only added fuel to that flame.
Trevor Ruszkowski- USA TODAY Sports
. Cincinnati Bengals
Joe Burrow made clear at his combine press conference that if the Bengals drafted him No. 1 overall, he would like to have A.J. Green on the roster. Well, the Bengals tagged Green. They also spent, uncharacteristically, in free agency, landing DT D.J. Reader and CB Trae Waynes, among other starters.
. Carolina Panthers
Matt Rhule’s seven-year contract allows for plenty of time for a rebuild, and there has certainly been a changing of the guard, as the team has lost franchise cornerstones Cam Newton, Luke Kuechly and Greg Olsen within the last three months.
Ron Rivera is facing the awkward situation of starting over in Washington with a QB, Dwayne Haskins, he did not pick. Rivera said one of the reasons he traded for Kyle Allen, who started in place of an injured Cam Newton in Carolina last year, is that Allen would be ready to go in the case of a shortened offseason. But he also sees Allen as competition for Haskins, which indicates the head coach may not be entirely sold on last year’s first-rounder. There’s a lot of work to be done in Washington, including resolving the messy Trent Williams stand-off.
. Jacksonville Jaguars
It’s hard to believe the Jaguars were in the AFC championship game just two years ago. Trading DE Calais Campbell, CB A.J. Bouye and QB Nick Foles completed the restart, but head coach Doug Marrone and GM David Caldwell remain in place, for now.
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