The free agency and drafting period of the 2017 off season has been over for a good while now, and teams are now reporting for training camp. This ranking will be based off season moves such as draft picks, free agency signings, and free agency losses. Each team’s win-loss record will have an effect on their ranking, but it will be minimal compared to how each team looks on paper. Now that we have most of the off season in our rear view, we can take a look how each team fares heading into the 2017 season.
32. New York Jets
Significant / Notable Losses: Brandon Marshall(Cut), Darrelle Revis(Cut), Nick Mangold(Cut), Eric Decker (Cut) Significant / Notable Additions: Jamal Adams(Draft)
The New York Jets cut and released many players this past off season, most of them veterans. This has lead to speculation of the team purposely tanking for the top over all draft pick and starting a total rebuild. The quarterback situation looks pitiful as the position is filled with the likes of Christian Hackenberg, Bryce Petty, and Josh McCown. The draft might have been the brightest spot for the Jets, as the drafted arguably the most NFL ready player of the draft class in Jamal Adams. Overall, on paper, the Jets look egregious and that is why they are at the bottom of the rankings heading into training camp.
31. San Francisco 49ers
Significant/Notable Losses: None Significant/Notable Additions: Pierre Garcon(FA), Brian Hoyer(FA), Solomon Thomas(Draft), Reuben Foster(Draft)
The San Francisco 49ers were dead last against last year with a defense full of holes. Not only that, but the offense ranked only 26th overall with a very questionable quarterback situation heading into this coming season. Even though the defensive line was leaky and was probably the weakest link of the entire team, the 49ers drafted Solomon Thomas out of Stanford to bolster the pass rush and my even add a little run defense. Even with that draft pickup, the team as a whole is filled with holes. The quarterback situation looks only slightly better than last year with Brian Hoyer being the likely starter week 1. There were multiple weapon pickups through out free agency with the likes of Pierre Garcon, Marquise Goodwin, and even Kyle Juszcyzk to fit Kyle Shanahan’s quick paced, high powered offense style. Even though the team had multiple pick ups in the draft and through free agency, the team still has way too many holes, which leaves them at the low end of the ranking.
30. Los Angeles Rams
Significant/Notable Losses: T.J McDonald(FA), Kenny Britt(FA) Significant/Notable Additions: Andrew Whitworth(FA)
The Los Angeles Rams were dead last on offense last year in both yards per game and points per game. After a 2016 off season filled with hope for Rams fans, in which the Rams drafted Jared Goff to pair with break out rookie running back Todd Gurley, the whole team went down hill. Todd Gurley regressed drastically, and Jared Goff did not start until week eleven, performing historically bad for a rookie quarterback behind an offensive line that was regarded as one of the worst. Over the off season the Rams lost safety T.J. McDonald and talented but underachieving wide receiver Kenny Britt. To fortify the offensive line, the Rams brought in Andrew Whitworth, who is a proven tackle that plays at an elite level on a consistent basis. Outside of that free agency signing, the Rams did not have many significant additions. They did not have a first round draft pick after trading it to the Titans in the 2016 NFL draft. Due to the lack of additions to a team with a terrible offense, the Rams rank 30th on this list.
29. Cleveland Browns
Significant/Notable Losses: Terrelle Pryor(FA) Significant/Notable Additions: Kevin Zeitler(FA), Kenny Britt(FA), Myles Garrett(Draft), Jabrill Peppers(Draft), David Njoku(Draft)
After an abysmal 2016 season in which the Browns went 1-15, they drafted three players in the first round of the 2017 draft. Even though they lost Terrelle Pryor in free agency, they signed Kenny Britt to make up the targets. The Browns also drafted two defensive players in the first round. They drafted Myles Garrett out of Texas A&M with the first overall pick, which fortified a defensive line that was one of the only strengths of the team. They also drafted Jabrill Peppers, a versatile safety, who can play multiple positions. Even with the strong drafting, too many holes remain, especially at the quarterback position. This uncertainty leads the Browns to the 29th slot.
28. Chicago Bears
Significant/Notable Losses: Alshon Jeffrey(FA) Significant/Notable Gains: Mike Glennon(FA), Mitchell Trubisky(Draft), Quintin Demps(FA)
The Chicago Bears went a rather confusing route during the off season after finishing the season 3-13. They first paid Mike Glennon 45 million dollars over 3 years, even though he played as a back up quarterback most of his career. Then they drafted Mitchell Trubisky with the second overall pick, even though he was not very high on many analysts’ big boards. They did bolster the safety position with a solid but old player in Quintin Demps. The wide receiver position looks less than solid after letting Alshon Jeffrey walk in free agency, leaving the Bears with a multitude of No. 2 and 3 receivers as the top options. Overall, the Bears did not solidly fill the holes left on the roster and are left with a leaky offense, leaving them rather low in the rankings.
27. Cincinnati Bengals
Significant/Notable Losses: Kevin Zeitler(FA), Andrew Whitworth(FA) Significant/Notable Additions: John Ross(Draft), Joe Mixon(Draft)
The Bengals had an egregious off season, losing two of the best offensive lineman in football. After finishing a rather pedestrian 6-9-1, the Bengals lost more than they gained. Even with draft additions John Ross and Joe Mixon, the Bengals did not bring in any major free agent signings. The line will most likely be very leaky, and the Bengals did not improve over the off season after an under average season. Due to those circumstances, the Bengals are slotted in a low rank.
26. Buffalo Bills
Significant/Notable Losses: Stephon Gilmore(FA), Robert Woods(FA) Significant/Notable Additions: Tre’davious White(Draft), Micah Hyde(FA)
The Buffalo Bills were quite possibly the most mediocre team last season, finishing 7-9. The team lost STephon Gilmore in free agency, but plugged the hole left by drafting Tre’davious White out of LSU. Other than that acquisition, the team failed to be active during free agency, with the only notable signing being Micah Hyde. Even with an at least average quarterback situation and consistently great play from LeSean McCoy, the team still struggles at the wide receiver position and in the secondary. With little to no free agency activity over the off season after a mediocre record, the team falls to the lowly 26th slot in the rankings.
25. Jacksonville Jaguars
Significant/Notable Losses: Jonathan Cyprien(FA) Significant/Notable Additions: Leonard Fournette(Draft), Calais Campbell(FA), A.J. Bouye(FA), Barry Church(FA)
Unlike some people, I am not falling for the Jaguars hype train. This team “won” the off season, signing 6’8″ monster defensive lineman Calais Campbell and A.J. Bouye. The team also drafted Leonard Fournette out of LSU with the 4th over all pick. Even with all the hype surrounding Fournette and the defense, the quarterback situation is very questionable with Blake Bortles at the helm. Even though the Jaguars look monstrous on paper defensively and even offensively, the team will only go as far as Blake Bortles goes, and we have seen the struggles. With the quarterback concern in mind, the Jaguars land in the 25th spot.