These 8 teams improved the most in their divisions this offseason

The Eagles, led by their selection of QB Carson Wentz, are among the teams that improved the most within their divisions.

| 5 months ago
(Jon Durr, Getty Images)

(Jon Durr, Getty Images)

These 8 teams improved the most in their divisions this offseason


An 11-win season in the NFL would be considered a success by most teams, and could very well lead to a playoff berth. However, the only guaranteed way for an NFL team to make the playoffs is to win their division outright. The value of divisional wins cannot be overstated.

While every NFL team finds ways to improve in the offseason, a team can only gain ground in their division if they improve more than their divisional rivals. These eight teams improved the most in each of their respective divisions through the draft and free agency this offseason:

(Note: Check out each team’s free-agency grade here, and draft grade here.)

AFC East: Miami Dolphins

Free agency grade: C-

Key additions: CB Byron Maxwell, DE Mario Williams, LB Kiko Alonso, OT Jermon Bushrod, S Isa Abdul-Quddus, DE Andre Branch

Key losses: DE Olivier Vernon, CB Brent Grimes, RB Lamar Miller, DE Derrick Shelby, CB Brice McCain, WR Rishard Matthews, DE Quinton Coples

Draft grade: A-

Key additions: OT Laremy Tunsil, CB Xavien Howard, RB Kenyan Drake, WR Leonte Carroo, WR Jakeem Grant, S Jordan Lucas, QB Brandon Doughty, WR Thomas Duarte

After adding several defensive players through trade and free agency, the Dolphins clearly went into the draft looking to address their offense, as six of their eight selections were offensive players. Due to off-field concerns, the Dolphins were able to draft Laremy Tunsil, arguably the best player in the draft, at 13th overall. Tunsil will instantly make the Dolphins’ offensive line more athletic and effective in protecting quarterback Ryan Tannehill.

The Dolphins also placed several new weapons around Tannehill in pass-catching running back Kenyan Drake, very underrated and highly productive wide receiver Leonte Carroo, a flex tight end in Thomas Duarte, and the speedy Jakeem Grant. Tannehill ranked just No. 25 in our quarterback grades in 2015, and needs to have a better 2016 if the Dolphins are going to make a playoff push. The Dolphins also added a potential backup quarterback in Brandon Doughty, who was highly accurate and highly productive in college, finishing as our No. 3-graded quarterback in the draft class.

While the Patriots are still the elite team in the AFC East, the Dolphins gained more ground on the Patriots than the Jets or Bills did during free agency and the draft.

NFC East: Philadelphia Eagles

Free agency grade: A-

Key additions: S Rodney McLeod, G Brandon Brooks, QB Chase Daniel, CB Leodis McKelvin, WR Chris Givens

Key losses: QB Mark Sanchez, CB Byron Maxwell, LB Kiko Alonso, RB DeMarco Murray, S Walter Thurmond (see the Eagles free agency grade

Draft grade: B

Key additions: QB Carson Wentz, C Isaac Seumalo, RB Wendell Smallwood, OT Halapoulivaati Vaitai, CB Blake Countess, S Jalen Mills, DE Alex McCalister, ILB Joe Walker

The NFC East is an interesting case, as it can be argued that in the short-term the Cowboys improved the most within the division with the tactical addition of Ezekiel Elliott. Elliott is an incredibly well-rounded running back who gained 1,000 yards after contact, caught 92.9 percent of his pass targets, and had a pass-blocking efficiency rating of 99.0 last season. Elliott will help the Cowboys maximize their time left with QB Tony Romo as the starter, and as a result the Cowboys should be the NFC East team with the largest increase in wins next season.

From a long-term standpoint the Eagles will have improved the most within the division if Carson Wentz emerges as the franchise quarterback they need in a year or two. In theory, Wentz would still be on the frontside of his career as the Eagles’ starting quarterback while the Cowboys and Giants will be in the unfortunate position of trying to find replacements for long-term starting quarterbacks who retired (Romo and Eli Manning, respectively).

AFC North: Cleveland Browns

Free agency grade: D+

Key additions: QB Robert Griffin III, S Rahim Moore, LB Demario Davis, OT Alvin Bailey

Key losses: WR Travis Benjamin, RT Mitchell Schwartz, C Alex Mack, CB/S Tashaun Gipson, DT Randy Starks, LB Karlos Dansby, WR Dwayne Bowe

Draft grade: A

Key additions: WR Corey Coleman, DE Emmanuel Ogbah, DE Carl Nassib, OT Shon Coleman, QB Cody Kessler, OLB Joe Schobert, WR Ricardo Louis, S Derrick Kindred, WR/TE Seth Devalve, WR Jordan Payton, OT Spencer Drango, WR Rashard Higgins, CB Trey Caldwell, ILB Scooby Wright III. 2017 first-round selection (from Philadelphia Eagles), 2017 second-round selection (from Tennessee Titans), 2018 second-round selection (from Philadelphia Eagles)

In the short-term the Ravens were the AFC North team that improved the most in the offseason, and should be the AFC North team with the largest increase in wins next season. However, the Browns should see the most long-term gains within the AFC North from this offseason due to the sheer amount of picks, players and production they added. As an example, in drafting Nassib, Ogbah and Schobert, the Browns added three of the most productive pass-rushers in the draft class, with a combined 37 sacks, 41 hits and 105 hurries in 2015.

Next year the Browns will have the extra draft picks to maneuver up in the draft to take a QB if they so choose, such as Clemson’s DeShaun Watson (who went to the Browns No. 1 overall in Steve Palazzolo’s 2017 mock draft). The process in place in Cleveland will take a few years to be at full speed, but if it does succeed, this offseason will be the one that began the turnaround. 

NFC North: Chicago Bears

Free agency grade: A-

Key additions: ILB Jerrell Freeman, ILB Danny Trevathan, DE Akiem Hicks, RT Bobby Massie

Key losses: HB Matt Forte, TE Martellus Bennett, DE Jarvis Jenkins, ILB Shea McClellin

Draft grade: A-

Key additions: OLB Leonard Floyd, G Cody Whitehair, DE Jonathan Bullard, ILB Nick Kwiatkoski, S Deon Bush, CB Deiondre’ Hall, RB Jordan Howard, S DeAndre Houston-Carson, WR Daniel Braverman

The Bears got tremendous value early in the draft by adding three of PFF’s top 27 prospects in the class: Leonard Floyd (19), Cody Whitehair (17) and Jonathan Bullard (27). Floyd brings speed, athleticism and pass-rush ability to the Bears’ defense. Both sides of the line of scrimmage were also upgraded, as Cody Whitehair was the top-graded tackle in the draft class (he’ll likely play guard for Chicago), and Bullard was the highest-graded run defender in the country (+51.5). The Bears defense will look very different, as they added six new players to their front seven. The additions of Jerrell Freeman (90.6 overall grade in 2015) and Danny Trevathan (87.5) gave the Bears the two best linebackers in free agency and upgraded the second level of their defense considerably.

The Bears added players to help protect QB Jay Cutler (Whitehair and Bobby Massie), gave Cutler a new slot weapon in Daniel Braverman (a potential seventh-round sleeper), and upgraded their defense with speed and athleticism.

AFC South: Jacksonville Jaguars

Free agency grade: B+

Key additions: DT Malik Jackson, RB Chris Ivory, CB Prince Amukamara, S Tashaun Gipson, OT Kelvin Beachum

Key losses: C Stefan Wisniewski

Draft grade: A

Key additions: CB/S Jalen Ramsey, ILB Myles Jack, DE Yannick Ngakoue, DT Sheldon Day, DE Tyrone Holmes, QB Brandon Allen, DE Jonathan Woodard

Clearly the Jaguars’ plan this offseason was to invest in their defense to try and make the same type of leap forward that their offense made last season. Their plan has worked on paper, as no unit in the NFL was upgraded more this offseason than the Jaguars’ defense. The addition of Malik Jackson in free agency and Sheldon Day (our highest-graded DT in the class) in the draft, gave the Jaguars two players who can rush from DT or DE. The Jaguars should also see increased edge-rush production this season with the return of Dante Fowler Jr. (last year’s No. 3 overall pick who missed all of his rookie year due to a knee injury), in addition to their draft haul of Yannick Ngakoue, Tyrone Holmes, and Jonathan Woodard.

The biggest story of the Jaguars’ offseason and the true coup of the draft is that the Jaguars were able to get two of the top-5 players in this draft class in Jalen Ramsey (our highest-graded CB in the draft class) and Myles Jack (owner of the highest coverage grade among all FBS linebackers in 2014). Those two will instantly bring elite athleticism and coverage ability to the Jaguars defense, and potentially help turn it into the best defense in the AFC South.

NFC South: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Free agency grade: B-

Key additions: ED Robert Ayers, G J.R. Sweezy, LB Daryl Smith, CB Brent Grimes, CB Josh Robinson

Key losses: G Logan Mankins (retired), LB Bruce Carter, LB Danny Lansanah

Draft grade: B-

Key additions: CB Vernon Hargreaves, DE Noah Spence, K Roberto Aguayo, CB Ryan Smith, OT Caleb Benenoch, OLB Devante Bond, FB Dan Vitale

Over the last two drafts, the Buccaneers had been largely ignoring their defense. This year they drafted four defensive players and added key defensive free agents. Robert Ayers and Noah Spence will seriously increase the Buccaneers’ edge-rush production. The Buccaneers also upgraded their pass coverage with two free-agent cornerbacks (Brent Grimes and Josh Robinson) and two cornerbacks in the draft (Vernon Hargreaves III and Ryan Smith). Hargreaves was one of the top coverage cornerbacks in the draft, only allowing a passer rating of 82.3 when targeted, and will instantly make the Buccaneers’ secondary better.

Although trading up to draft a kicker in the second round is a decision that was heavily scrutinized, Roberto Aguayo’s intermediate accuracy should turn extra points into less of an adventure for the Buccaneers, and could lead to a scoring increase next season. The Buccaneers improved their pass rush, their secondary and their special teams to take the largest step this offseason in the NFC South.

AFC West: Oakland Raiders

Free agency grade: B

Key additions: CB Sean Smith, G Kelechi Osemele, LB Bruce Irvin

Key losses: LB Curtis Lofton (cut), ED Justin Tuck (retired), S Charles Woodson (retired), G J’Marcus Webb

Draft grade: B

Key ddditions: S Karl Joseph, DE Jihad Ward, DE Shilique Calhoun, QB Connor Cook, RB Deandre Washington, OLB Cory James, G Vadal Alexander

The addition of Kelechi Osemele brings the fifth-best run-blocking guard in the NFL to Oakland, and helps to form arguably the best offensive line in the NFL. The Raiders hope the offensive line will serve as a key part in the continued improvement of Derek Carr. While the secondary will no doubt miss the legendary Charles Woodson, the additions of Sean Smith and the instinctive rookie safety Karl Joseph will help ease the loss. By retaining Aldon Smith, signing Bruce Irvin and drafting Shilique Calhoun, the Raiders are hoping to platoon edge rushers in much the same way the Broncos did last season, helping keep superstar edge rusher Khalil Mack fresh.

Rookie QB Connor Cook could potentially develop into a valuable trade commodity in a few years, or he can be an insurance policy in the event that Carr does take a step back. If Carr can continue his significant improvement from his rookie season (when he ranked second-to-last in QB grades at No. 38) to his 2015 sophomore campaign (when he ranked No. 11), then the Raiders should become division contenders for years to come.

NFC West: Los Angeles Rams

Free agency grade: C+

Key additions: DE Quinton Coples, CB Coty Sensabaugh

Key losses: S Rodney McLeod, DT Nick Fairley, CB Janoris Jenkins, DE Chris Long

Draft grade: A-

Key additions: QB Jared Goff, TE Tyler Higbee, WR Pharoh Cooper, TE Temarrick Hemingway, ILB Josh Forrest, WR Michael Thomas

The Rams made the biggest improvement in the division at the game’s most important position by aggressively trading up to draft Cal QB Jared Goff. Goff has shown that he has the tools to play right away in the NFL, as he was the top-rated quarterback in the draft class against pressure, against the blitz, and on third downs. The Rams decided to help Goff out immediately by drafting two tight ends, including Tyler Higbee, the third-graded tight end in the class, and two wide receivers, including the underrated Michael Thomas (who was the No. 38 overall player on the PFF draft board who went in the seventh round).

The Rams now get to play in a much larger market in L.A., with a new stadium on the horizon, and with a new quarterback and face of the franchise. In drafting Goff, in addition to other offseason moves, the Rams have put themselves in contention for the NFC West title for years to come. The future is bright in Los Angeles.

  • http://pickinbolts.blogspot.com/ SoCalPete

    Really surprised to not find Chargers here. You didn’t mention coaches above but reuniting Whisenhunt & Rivers will be helpful. Adding Bosa & Mebane to the DL will help the run-defense game…Weddle’s departure isn’t good, but the 2011 version will never be seen again. Replacing the 2016 version won’t be as difficult. If the Chargers can be healthier on the OL this team is poised to make a dramatic win-total jump this season.

    • Howie Roseman Supporter!

      chargers line is still terrible , healthy or not , any line with King Dunlap starting is garbage

      • Joe

        Incorrect

        • Howie Roseman Supporter!

          PFF had them ranked worst in the league last year

          • cbuqqa

            Almost entirely due to injury. If all five starters are healthy, SD’s line is pretty good on paper.

          • Richard Head

            Only if that paper is in the hands of Tom Telesco. Everybody else knows that its a ‘turrible’ line.

          • Austin frm socal

            Really? Because the other four spots are all stacked. Everyone was hurt. Dunlap played 2 games. Slausen at C now. Fluker healthy at g. Franklin is good and consistent. Barksdales good too. I can’t wait for the hater nation to return to being our freebie wins like every recent year prior to last year’s fluke.

          • James

            Yep, Charmin!

          • crosseyedlemon

            It’s usually never a good sign when the local zoo is a bigger attraction than your pro sports teams.

          • James Schroeder

            At the end of the day we are all just animals in one big zoo. Lol!

            Man how am I just not showing up to this thread. This is great watching the Raiders fans go back-and-forth with charger fans.

            We just gotta let them know. Doesn’t matter what happened in the past but the fact is the Raiders will dominate the charges for years to come. As long as they have their cry baby quarterback and Dennis Allen’s best friend as their head coach they ain’t going to climb their way out of the last place spot for a while.

      • Patrick

        I agree. Dunlap is not a long-term solution at LT. Was really surprised to see Tunsil fall and the Chargers not pursue one of the top draft OLineman.

      • Wilson Zheng

        I don’t think the offensive line would be terrible if they were healthy. They would be OK. Problem is, team has such a issue with injuries.

    • Raider nation

      Even when the Chargers were good the Raiders still had there number so dramatic turn around in there health and play or not it wont matter until they get rid of McCoy and get a legit coach

      • Fromunda Myballz

        I guess you forgot that 6 year run between 2003-2009 where the Raiders were winless against the Chargers….

        • John Rettberg

          You can have your 6 years and we’ll take our three super bowls. Come back when you guys actually win a championship.

          • Richard Vaux

            lat time oakland won a superbowl were you even born…..it was 1983…..christ disco was popular

        • Steven M. Holliday

          Didn’t know you wanted to go back in time….1960-2015 Chargers are 50-61-2 against Raiders and are easily the by far only team in division with a losing record 432-437 Oakland is 469-415 and 3 World Championships…Chargers has as many Lombardy trophies as my High School does…0

          • crosseyedlemon

            I like the Raiders but the fact is that they probably would’ve never amounted to anything had Al Davis decided he wanted to stay with the Chargers organization. To add insult to injury the Raiders later went on to screw the Chargers with the infamous “Holy Roller” play.

          • Steven M. Holliday

            Yea, Chargers screwed the Raiders back several years ago on 4th and 6 and Chargers went for it, completed pass to Jackson, and hadn’t been touched down,so he spun the ball on the ground and the refs got it right, fumble, Raiders Ball…then decided to change it to an illegal foward pass and let the Chargers keep the ball and a 1st down, which they kicked a FG and won…Refs fought on both of those. And to think Raiders wouldn’t amounted to anything if wouldn’t for Davis, shows how stupid you are…How could you predict that? I guess if Davis had stayed there, Chargers would have won 10 Super Bowls..huh, another goofy speculation.

          • Rich

            Raiders are still the Raiders. Y’all make a couple key additions and predict a damn Super Bowl. Get to the playoffs first then talk. You fans are pathetic. I’m gonna laugh at all of y’all if you don’t make playoffs. Y’all can add a bunch of FA but its about chemistry above all.

          • Steven M. Holliday

            Chargers won’t never win a Super Bowl….NEVER

          • Inso

            It’s ever you moron.

          • Steven M. Holliday

            Ever or Never you Dumbass

          • Donavon Howard

            It’s more than just a few additions bro. The reason Oakland is good is because they have drafted well while the Chargers haven’t had a good draft for the last 6 years

          • Richard Vaux

            ai davis created a powerful team in oakland but that may have been before you were born……they were the chargers bitches during lt career with the chargers….remember winslow 5 touchdowns aganst the raiders in the oakland colusim……dating back to 2000 chargers are more succesful then the raiders by far……cheer up though raiders have started to build maybe a playoff team……biggest problem is beleiving that

          • Steven M. Holliday

            How was your christmas eve last year? Since your team sucks…guess that ruint your christmas…And no, I’ve been born a long time…I was the one laughing like hell during the holy roller….Why do ya want to pick a spot and go back in time to it like 2000,.Go to the present which is all that counts, or go back to 1960 and count it all. Raiders are on the way back, Your team overall is the worst team in the division.When Chargers finish 4th this year in AFC West, they will have 2 times in two years, and Oakland will be in last place two times in past Ten years. How many Super Bowls has your team won? 0-ZERO-0 , Mine has won 3 since I have been a Raider fan. Be deciding who ya can get for a QB with the first pick next year, because January 1,2017…The San Diego Chargers are now on the Clock….LOLOLOLOLOL

          • Austin frm socal

            You had 1 good year since ’03. It was last year. Congratulations. I’d savor it if I were you. Starting September you will back to being house gimp of the afc west. But I get it, get the smack talk in before your hopes are put back in a drawer for another decade or more. Enjoy your baseball diamond.

          • Richard Vaux

            oaklands last postseasons appearance was in 2002 in the superbowl and lost to tampa bay coached by jon gfuden…..been 13 years since then stephen…..get excited about your team……nickname should be exodus

          • Steven M. Holliday

            Been to the Super Bowl one time in the 50 years and lost it 59-13 to the 49ers and want to run your mouth….Write me back when they do something like win one. Cool, I want be hearing from you no more…LOSER

          • Austin frm socal

            Loser..? are you referring to al davis’ draft choices? Or 90% of his head coaching choices?

        • Steven M. Holliday

          03-09 is 7 years…. Oakland won 34-31 Sept 28th 2003 How about your Christmas eve last yr….Ruint huh? Mine was good watching us sweep the Chokers

          • Austin frm socal

            Listen, I understand it was nice to finally sweep us this millennium. I know this because every other year in the new era we have demolished the haters. 3 rings is a great accomplishment, back when gas was .80/gallon. I also get your team is rebuilding well. Your still the raiders and everyone hates you.

      • Patrick Donnelly

        Are you kidding me. LT buried the Raiders every year for 5+ years. Take another pill. You obviously don’t know football.

        • James

          True statement, Chargers should fire their GM and hire a witch doctor to bring LT 2005 back. Maybe you’ll have a shot to be competitive again.

          • Derek1966

            “Hire a Witch Doctor”…. Lmao….

          • Austin frm socal

            Hopefully the witchdoctor can also remove the tarnish of the raiders losing so many years over. And over. . And over. . Maybe that’s why you guys have the worst stadium and stadium fans of all, ask around. Lts old news sure. As are super bowls when John Madden was young.

        • Joshua Rogers

          Ok let’s quit talking about the past because both of these Franchise have had their runs of both good and bad years, as every NFL organization has, but the fact remains at this point in time the Raiders have 3 Lombardi Trophies to the Chargers 0, and a better, younger roster that is built to compete for the long haul. The Chargers should’ve drafted Tunsil cuz the AFC West is loaded with pass rushers, and Bosa is a prototypical 4-3 DE. Not a great fit. Even Ramsey would’ve been a better choice. Kind of a head scratcher. I guess their trying to bolster their pass rush also, just not sure Bosa is the right fit. AFC West is now completely loaded with pass rushers though.

          • Joshua Rogers

            If the Chargers wanted to revamp their pass rush they should’ve took Buckner becaus he is a way better fit in the Chargers scheme.

          • Austin frm socal

            While I agree that Buckner is the superior prospect, bosa is clearly the better pass rusher. Those claiming the scheme fit nonsense are just regurgitating half-assed early report’s that have been disproved. We spend +70% in nickel. Ergo he’s the better fit. Plus has the moves despite the fact he seems like a Jersey shore schmuck.

          • Donavon Howard

            The Chargers have to improve the trenches on both sides of the ball. Rivers is very good when he doesn’t have to throw on the run 15+ times per game. They have good run stoppers on defense but almost no pass rush. Considering that KC and Oakland both have good O lines and good D lines if I were the GM I would definately focused on those areas first. Doesn’t matter how good Rivers is if he is on his back

          • Austin frm socal

            Did you forget about the injuries? Our healthy starting five is awesome. And that was before Slausen came on board.

        • Donavon Howard

          Guess what, LT is the past. Oakland is going to sweep San Diego again for the next few seasons so get used to the feeling. Unless San Diego magically manages to have a good running game and an offensive line that can consistently protect Rivers it will be a long season. San Diego better find some great pass rushers because they aren’t going to even touch Derek Carr behind the Oakland O Line. San Diego is screwed unless they get a competent GM who can rebuild that team into a contender again

      • Wilson Zheng

        Ah and that has to do with this article… how? You sure are very touchy.

        • John Rettberg

          Yet another 5 star comment. Your football knowledge must be through the roof!

        • Austin frm socal

          Hard not to be when a crap team has two good drafts and a good season poking out of a dumpster fire and the perennially denial-stricken fans run to the boards to do the one thing they do well: talk shit. Still, I’d honestly be happy too if I were a raider fan, anything is better then the black hole of a win column over the last decade.

      • http://pickinbolts.blogspot.com/ SoCalPete

        Don’t get it confused…when SD was at it’s best (w/ LT, etc.) they beat Oakland 13 straight time. I know, it’s hard…facts can be so inconvenient.

      • Richard Vaux

        wtf is raider nation….guess its good your not called oakland raider nation your fucking team moves so often

      • Austin frm socal

        Typical of “raider nation” to ignore facts or not pay attention to the game.. this decade the chargers have eaten the raiders lunch. Until last year when our o-line literally died. You haven’t had our number since 03. We have u on speed dial.

    • Jesus Himself

      Still gonna finish last in the AFC West.. Shouldn’t be suprised you were left off.

      • Austin frm socal

        Debatable honestly. The afc west is pretty competitive. Broncos could even fall that far with butt fumble at the helm. Their defense was helped by manning’s brain (but not arm) last year. Chiefs did great but the conservative approach needs a championship defense and I think there just really good, plus Charles will get hurt again I think. Raiders and chargers have 2-3 good drafts going now. Pretty open imo

    • John Rettberg

      Still didn’t have a better off-season than the Raiders. That’s what the article was about. Read again then comment.

      • Wilson Zheng

        What? Pretty arrogant of you to claim he didn’t read the article when you have no evidence what-so-ever. You shouldn’t comment. Ever.

        • Michael O’Connell

          Easy keyboard warrior.

        • John Rettberg

          I didn’t claim he didn’t read the article. He obviously didn’t grasp the meaning. Wow I didn’t think I had to explain that one.

        • Matt

          He told him “read AGAIN” which would imply he READ it… when trying to be a hardo on a comment board fails. L O L

        • Candid One

          “Arrogant”? Look in the mirror.

      • Austin frm socal

        I disagree, adding Slausen /teurk (along w/ Vikings running oline coach & patriots passing oline coach) and a year to recover fixes the oline. Adding Mebane and bosa to liuget remake the dline. Perry and brown added to Perryman teo and Ingram completes lb core. Re-signing Keenan and nabbing Hunter, the best p, and Gordon’s college fb were all icing on top. Plus not a fan of the raiders going safety that early, recently dbs have overwhelmingly flopped in the top 50 or so picks..

    • Steven M. Holliday

      Have to play the Raiders twice…that makes them 0-2 right there…I think they will go 6-10 this year…which is an improvement…They need to be looking soon for a new QB…

      • Steven M. Holliday

        Raiders hasn’t finished in last place in division but twice in past nine years…Chargers fixing to own that spot along with their Lombardy Trophies…Oh, Sorry, Just Cellar only then

        • PackMaster

          You mean a Lombardi…

          • Steven M. Holliday

            Right…Thank you

        • Richard Vaux

          the raiders havent been a playoff team in alot of years……nobody really cares until the team makes the playoffs…..plus find it strange the people of oakland dont feel betrayed by this unloyal team……where they will end of next is anybodys guess……it wont be oakland

      • http://pickinbolts.blogspot.com/ SoCalPete

        Hahahaha….ha.hahhaha…hahaha….
        thanks for that, I needed a laugh

        • Steven M. Holliday

          What part are you laughing at? The 7 times in the past 9 years the Raiders hasn’t finished last place…Thats a Fact!!!

          • Richard Vaux

            well thats the dumbest thing you have said so far……teams sucess is fated in post season play…….denver is the class of the division followed closely by the cheifs…….chargers should have reid when they had the chance…..can you imagine the cheifs with rivers has their quater back……let the raiders get into the playoffs…….why in hell are you comparing them to the chargers

          • Austin frm socal

            I’ll be sure to recall that fact when your team trades in your baseball diamond for slot machines and return to the norm off sub .500 seasons while retaining the ire of every other team. Raiders motto “if u ain’t cheatin, u ain’t tryin”.. another fact.

      • Richard Vaux

        how many playoffs wins does carr have

      • Austin frm socal

        Lofty dreams.. I mean pipe dreams. It took you over a decade of spankings, 11 ppl playing oline on our side along with a hurt wr1 and a rookie rb for you to pull that off. Good luck with that. The only way you ever sweep us again is if the flights get canceled.

    • Vlad

      So by far the dumbest thing the chargers did this year, is draft Bosa. The needed Tunsil so bad! Are you kidding me, playing Von Miller, Justin Houston, and Khalil Mack twice a year. Might as well put declining, nonclutch, overly emotional Philip Rivers on IR now. I truly think the Chargers will be on the bottom of this devision again this year, and go 0-2 against the Raiders AGAIN.

      • Richard Vaux

        alot of people in football disagree…..theres no sure pick in the draft…..alot of the overall number 1 picks didnt make it……the fucking teams that chose them had the pick of every college football player that year…….jarmacus russell comes to mind ask raider fans about him

      • Dkg

        Lol at least know what you’re talking about before you type. Everyone saying chargers needed tunsil obviously didn’t watch much chargers games. YES they need oline help but they needed oline help in the CENTER and guard positions. Why would the chargers draft tunsil when they just paid Dunlap? And I love the ‘humility’ raider fans have been showing. You guys have not gone above .500 in over a decade

        • Austin frm socal

          Thank you! With Slausen and eventually teurk at c, and injury fluke passed, everything else fixes itself. OUR OLINE IS GOOD DESPITE LAST YEAR! Tunsel would have been a waste.. Now Buckner I would have been happy about. But oh well at least we went dline..

    • ian allen

      I agree with you here, “most improved” by a long shot. Will the Raiders improve on last years record MORE than the Chargers on their record? Probably not. If the Chargers go 8-8 that’s still a 4 game swing and there’s less possibility the Raiders can pull that swing off

      • Austin frm socal

        How does one assess improvement if not via more wins?

  • Durham Lou

    i am still amazed about this draft. 6 weeks prior to the draft goff and wentz werent even in the conversation. it was tunsil and bosa… i feel for those two qb’s with the enormous amount of pressure on them to perform.

    • Howie Roseman Supporter!

      Adam Schefter has said since december that 2 QB’s would go top 3. Draft writers just dont know what theyre talking about.

      • Derek1966

        They know what they’re talking about concerning players based on stats and profiles… But aside from a trickle of inside info, they’re guessing at what teams will do just like everyone else…

    • Just Me

      Re: Goff and Wentz. I’m a bit surprised that both the Rams and Eagles are listed as “most improved,” largely because of their new QB’s. With last year as an obvious exception, any time 2 QB’s are selected #1 and #2, one of them is a huge bust. And when Goff or Wentz goes bust, that team will have nothing to show except a whole lot of picks in another team’s pocket.

      • Derek1966

        NO NFL player should be labeled a Bust after only a single season. Particularly at QB. The jump in defensive talent is overwhelming. Peyton Manning thru 28 picks against 26 TD’s and was sacked 22X. He only completed just over 56% of his passes. Was he a bust..? His experience was/is far from unique…..

      • crosseyedlemon

        Even without Goff it’s hard not to like what you see on the defensive side of the ball. I think that Rams defense can keep them close in a lot of games. If Goff performs as well as Winston and Mariota did last season then the Rams are well on their way to becoming a playoff team again.

  • Patrick

    Full disclosure I’m an Eagles fan. But I really don’t understand the Cleveland Browns draft love. And I don’t think they are improved much at all. The free agency losses were significant and the OLine is now a question mark. RB is still a question mark. QB remains a question mark. RG3 is a big risk. He could play like his rookie season, but I never saw the improvement in his other two seasons. And RG3 never appeared to understand how to make a play and protect himself from injury. Played hero ball like Vick.

    The addition of all of those WRs in the draft is questionable. I understand the grade being based on value via the draft board, but the likelihood that all of those WRs pans out is slim. Why not spend some value picks on other positions to the team? The Browns have *a lot* of holes. I love the Coleman pick though. Kessler when Cook was still on the board was a questionable pick to me as well. Ultimately I don’t think the Browns have made any guaranteed moves to shore up any of the original holes, in addition to the holes from free agency losses.

    I agree with the rest of the teams though. Loved the Jags, Bears, and Dolphins draft.

    • ViV

      The love for the Browns is long-term, not a prediction that they’re going to make a run at the division this year. They got a huge head start at filling out the roster with young talent this year, and will enter next year with 2 firsts and 2 seconds, and literally $80M in cap space to play with. If they’re terrible this year, then that’s all the better for them long-term, as they get to enter a stronger QB draft class with a high pick and a bunch of draft capital to select whomever they want.

      Not all of those WRs are going to pan out, but since when is that the benchmark for draft success? They completely rebooted an entire position group that needed a fresh start, while getting good talent at the top.

      I don’t love every single pick they made, and the more moves you make, the more room there is to criticize, but take your 7 favorite picks and call everything else icing on the cake, and you’ve got yourself a sweet draft class.

      • Matthew518

        The Browns always have money to spend. But they keep it since few want to play for them. In other words, it will be just another year. They lost too much in free agency to be considered an improved team.

      • Derek1966

        It’ll be fun when the Browns finally get it right…. Pulling for you Browns fans…

        • crosseyedlemon

          If history is any indication, the Browns luck will go something like this….they finally figure out how to get it right and the league decides to make the Buckeyes an NFL expansion team.

  • http://www.kickstartsearch.com/ Jessie Fadayel

    Did you guys forget about Reggie Nelson for the Raiders?

    • Jesus Himself

      Lol yea they’re just gonna forget the Safety that had the most INTs last season. Our FA should of been an A.

      • DragonFaith

        What… you Raider freaks have a mediocre at best season and ‘win’ free agency and think you can come on here and bash other people’s teams? Grow up. You guys have been the dumpster of your division for a good while and quite honestly, I hope the Chargers smoke you. Maybe curb that hyperbolic entusiasm a little bit. It’s much needed. Hearing what the Raiders are going to do this year is tired… Prove it first, then speak later.

        • John Rettberg

          Yeah another hater. Keep moving. If you can’t see that the Raiders are on the rise then you’re just blind. The article is about the most improved team in each division. The Raiders were by far the better team during the off-season out of the AFC West. Go hate somewhere else. As for the Chargers, they got smoked by the Raiders twice last year and the Raiders improved in the off-season. Do the math. Don’t worry it’s remedial. Not only that but the Raiders had two home games this year against the Chargers. 75% Raider fans 25% Charger fans in San Diego. Now that’s a beautiful thing. So don’t worry about the Raiders or it fans. Worry about your own team and stop trying to be a blog hero.

          • DragonFaith

            We’ll see how you do. Prove it first, talk smack later. That’s the game and that’s also the message this ‘blog hero’ was trying to convey. With such confidence in your team you can’t possibly lose to the Chargers right? Better hope not. As a non-Raiders, non-Chargers fan, I simply implore you all to prove it before you tear someone else’s team down. Should be quite the 2016 season.

          • John Rettberg

            We did last year. …twice

          • Diegoblue

            Last year is right .. At the end of season you were home just like us when the playoffs started .. You guys haven’t been in the playoffs since Bush was in office, 1st term … We’ll see this year

          • John Rettberg

            Still beat your sorry team

          • Diegoblue

            Lol

          • Austin frm socal

            Hope you return here in February to continue this discussion, and get perspective on how truly silly your arguments are. But I doubt you’ll be back after you go back to 3-13 and the most exciting thing going on for your franchise is leaving yet another city who took your crap team in.

          • DragonFaith

            Hmmm… Not my point at all. Win more than 8 and make the playoffs, then start the smack talking on inferior teams. It’s at least warranted then, albeit tasteless. Until then, have your enthusiasm but for god’s sake!!! Curb it a bit. That is my point and it has been consistent throughout.

          • Austin frm socal

            See what I meant by everyone dislikes you guys? It’s because of misplaced arrogance. Having a good year while being a Raiders fan is like being the smartest kid with downsyndrome. Raiders fans started the nonsense above, were just better at it and the bolts will prove it come September.

        • Matthew518

          Raider fans can’t have hope? Most fans have hopes of being playoff contenders, not super bowl contenders. If they’ve improved, which most would say they have, how is that not possible? I hate when Raider fans get bashed. At least we’re loyal, not the usual bandwagon fans.

          • Austin frm socal

            Please don’t misunderstand! Have hope! We’re not bashing that! Just towards the RAIDERS FANS above who started this. Enthusiasm is great and makes this game awesome! :) Especially for underdogs like BOTH our teams in this division. Fyi, raiders fans are king bashers.. you have no problem when they do it to everyone else?

        • James

          That’s correct, Raider Nation has spent the last 14 years out behind the woodshed. We had down years before the Gruden era as well. But the Chargers have firmly secured residence at the bottom of the dumpster. Denial aint just D-river. Enjoy the view from the bottom you powder blue pansies! Practice the lyrics to your Village People knock off theme song, and hum the tune as your boys head north to be LA’s jv squad.

          • Diegoblue

            We not going anywhere but you bums better get your quarters together for the slot machines in Vegas because that’s where your owner said he’s taking his team

          • crosseyedlemon

            A move is far from definite and owners always say they are going to relocate when they want to apply pressure to the local politicians to accede to their demands. In any event a proposed move has to be ratified and supported by 2/3rds of the other league owners.

          • John Rettberg

            Doesn’t matter where the Raiders play, they will still smoke the chargers.

          • Diegoblue

            Man please .. We’ve owned you bums the last 15yrs .. You finally have a decent squad and off season and you think this is the glory days with stabler. I don’t care what you bums did during the off season .. Ask Miami last year … We’ll see you twice

          • Austin frm socal

            These two are beyond circled on my calendar!! This shall be sweet.

          • Diegoblue

            Yeah it’s going to be fireworks.. Like the old days

      • Quadfather

        Stay in your lane Raider Fans. Win 6 games then try and talk. How soon you forget that your team has been a dumpster fire for years.

        • John Rettberg

          We won seven last year and improved during the off-season. So I would say I like our chances. And by the way, we don’t forget how bad we once were. That’s why we are happy to see this organization on the rise. As for you naysayers out there, you will see soon enough and then we’ll see who’s talking. The Raiders are a young team with only 5 guys on the roster ages 30 and up. The sky is the limit for these guys. So move on from the past because silver and black are back.

      • Derek1966

        Free agents are tricky. Nelson may dominate in the Raiders scheme.. He may regress. He’s a good player… But Ive yet to see a single free agent that was not affected by a switch in teams/schemes… Be that affect good or bad…

        • Austin frm socal

          Epic thread.

  • Joe Doe

    I find the Bears on these lists more years than not on various sites. Somehow they manage to play poorly enough to keep themselves on the list for the following year. I suppose it would be harder to make a case for any other team in the division…

    • David

      I’m not sure I buy your argument. Last year, yes, but that was Pace’s first year. Bears were always getting hit for poor drafts under Angelo and Emery’s were not much better. I’m not sure a good draft would have mattered with Smith’s (and his coaching staffs) inability to develop rookies and as for Trestman, meh. Same issue. Will be interesting to see how the Bears play this year.

    • Derek1966

      From my own personal experience with my team. I’ve come to believe its better to either suck or be one and done playoff fodder the to be mediocre. Teams that consistently win 7-9 games every year are frustrating as hell to cheer for and try to gauge during the off season. These teams make up the bulk of the 32 franchises. Each one is looking for the right mix to either break out or get better by not picking in the 1st round teens every year. Mediocre is football hell.

      • crosseyedlemon

        Mediocrity might be hell for fans but for Roger Goodell and his minions a league that offers everyone an equal chance and produces a constant turnover of playoff contenders is a financial goldmine.

    • crosseyedlemon

      Haha! You make it sound as if the Bears meet in a dark alley each off season and hatch a conspiracy that allows them to stay on the list. The only problem with that theory, is that if they were smart enough to manage that, they would be smart enough to field a good team each year.

  • Europoljuice

    Its great when ur team $ucks so bad that it takes a weak draft to say they are improved. What a joke. They said that about LEAVE LAND …..every year. LOL

    • Derek1966

      I pulling for the Browns…. Great fans… They deserve better….

      • crosseyedlemon

        Not sure I would refer to Brown fans as great. A lot of emotions come into play when the name Art Modell is mentioned. He shouldn’t have abandoned Cleveland and ran off to Baltimore but the Browns refusal to acknowledge him when he passed away was also pretty classless.

  • Richard

    I guess Florida came off big this year!

    • Derek1966

      Florida teams FINNALLY woke up to the fact that a great deal of the NFL’s best talent is already in our state…. High School, NCAA…. I’d stack Florida against any state concerning the level of talent and the coaches who taught them.

      • crosseyedlemon

        Not sure why you seem to think Florida’s NFL clubs have shunned home grown talent in the past because that simply isn’t the case. Every team looks for an opportunity to draft a good home grown product but often other teams snatch that player before they get a chance. I believe Goff being a California product gave the Rams some added incentive to trade up.

  • Mike J.

    The Bucs played fairly well on run defense in 2015. Obviously, the pass was the Achilles’ heel. How much of that was poor coaching, we will never know. But the defensive eleven look strengthened, on paper at least.

    • Derek1966

      EVERYTHING….. Rests on Jameis Winston’s ability to duplicate success and become a franchise player. Year 2 will test that. But the Bucs compete in a winnable division…

      • Mike J.

        Oddly, the one guy no one in Tampa seems to worry about is Winston.

  • Big Boss Man

    How could you pick the Eagles over the Redskins??? Was any research or thought put into the writing of this article…I don’t think so.

    • Derek1966

      Cousins had a break out year….. Lets see if he can duplicate it in 2016 and beyond. If he can the Skins will compete well in the NFC East. Dallas didn’t address its most glaring weaknesses, Corner and DE. Their defense got smoked last year. Biggest issue (again) is that Romo is a china cup in a landfill. The G-men had a major shake up in coaching. Have to watch that. I’ve seen too many great coaches retire/move on and their teams regress until new coaching culture takes hold. And the Eagles will be starting a rookie under center who we know nothing about. The NFC East is up for grabs……… again.

      • GManPhil

        Cousins couldn’t even torch a trash Packer defense, washington got exposed in that game.

  • Nomaan Qureshi

    This is really terrible. The eagles did the least to improve. Bradford is still the starting QB, and Wentz is far from a sure thing. Not much else is changed with the Eagles other than a possible QB controversy and they have new head coach. Eagles wont do anything spectacular this year. Redskins by far had the best offseason. They improved the secondary adding Josh Norman, Sua Cravens, Kedall Fuller, Greg Toler, David Bruton. The D-line with Ioannidis, Kendall Reyes and Ziggy Hood. On offense Redskins added Josh Doctson, Vernon Davis, to pair with Reed, Jackson, Garcon, Crowder. A big beast in RB Matt Jones who is now entrenched as the starter. Speed and size in 4.29 40 RB weighing 220 lbs in Keith Marshall. Cousins will have weapons and may post 40 td’s to single digut turnovers

    • Derek1966

      Making predictions before getting out of training camp and remaining healthy through preseason is usually a waste of time… But I do agree about Wentz or any other rookie QB for that matter. You just never know what the step up in defensive talent will do to their game. Rookie QB’s, actually QB’s all the way into their 3rd years are unpredictable. Some improve some regress… Time, coaching and work ethic will sort Wentz out.

  • JimLeRoy

    Article lost all credibility at the Eagles who may be the worst team in the NFL. No RB, starting qb who doesn’t want to be there ..

    • Matthew518

      I was actually surprised about the Browns the most. They’ve lost a bunch of players. How are they improved again?

      • crosseyedlemon

        When the Browns organization boasts about making improvements they are usually talking about things like having hired new wardrobe consultants.

        • Austin frm socal

          ^ clap clap clap :)

    • crosseyedlemon

      It would be impossible for fans in Philadelphia to find the Eagles a bigger disappointment than the 76ers though.

  • Philtration

    I really like what the Bears are doing.
    A very good off season and they are going to be a much improved team this year.

    • KingOfSiam

      I agree. As a Vikings fan I think the Bears have taken a huge step forward addressing their issues and provide a greater threat then the Packers do.

      • TeddyMVP

        A greater threat than a team that was a dropped Shield’s interception away from their 2nd straight conference title game appearance?

        A team that was wiped out with injuries and still a game from winning the division again… They get their wideouts back healthy, their young guy looked like a beast in that Cardinals game. I think we’re completely overlooking and disrespecting the Packers this year.

        • crosseyedlemon

          Even if I wasn’t a Bears fan it would be easier to have respect for the Packers if Rodgers would stop saying God is a Packer fan. Maybe it’s not a coincidence their troubles last season started right after he made that silly statement.

    • James

      I agree, I tried coming up with something substantive, but that picture freaked me out of rational thought

      • crosseyedlemon

        I think you can get a similar freaked out experience by looking at the Steelers in their bumble bee costumes.

    • Derek1966

      Agree 100%… But gotta stay healthy… Just like any other team…. Cap issues due to top players and their high cap hits are making teams thin talent wise behind the starters….

  • James

    There might not be a bigger Chargers hater out there than me. But in all seriousness, Chargers offseason was a push at best. Defense got marginally better, but at least got younger. The big issue for them is the lack of consistent running game mixed Father Time catching up to Antonio Gates. He’s not the blue blanket for Rivers that he used to be. I love rivalries, and they are so much better when all involved are competitive. That being said, the Chargers are one or two seasons out from a complete rebuild. As a devout Raider fan, I know what this road looks like.

    • crosseyedlemon

      Antonio might be drinking more Ensure than Gatoraid these days but he’s a true warrior and should wind up in Canton after his playing days end.

    • Austin frm socal

      No love for Henry? And explain (Please) how you see our off-season as a push. Genuinely curious as aside from losing weddle i think we pretty clearly got better at almost every position.. -weddle +bosa mebane Hunter Slausen tbenjamin and watt (just starters)

  • Chad Boutchyard

    Eagles is a joke being there. I’m a redskins fan and would go with the Giants. good FA crop and decent draft. just because eagles gave up alot to move up and get a qb doesn’t make then 1st automatically. He won’t play for this year anyway.

    • Derek1966

      I bet Wentz does play. Doesn’t mean he’ll play great. I agree though, moving up i the draft to grab a QB should not be looked at as a huge improvement. Drafting a QB in the top 5 picks is one of the biggest gambles in the NFL. Gotta do it. But the rate of failure is ridiculous.

      • crosseyedlemon

        In the internet era GMs are under the microscope and expected to produce immediate results so they have little choice but to take some risks. Owners have a “what have you done for me lately” attitude so coaches have to play first round picks whether they are ready or not and hope the risks pay off.

  • gllmiaspr

    “Ryan Tannehill ranked just No. 25 in our quarterback grades in 2015″
    That is not what you are publishing in your Player Grades section. Tannehill is ranked 17th overall and 18th by Passing Grade only.
    Can someone clarify?

    • matt

      I second that

  • robo

    Good to see the Dolphins get some players that show confidence in themselves. Philbin got rid of all the alphas on the team, when he was here, I guess he was afraid of them. Looking forward to this season, Phins up!

  • crosseyedlemon

    Translating improvement into wins can be difficult and at least half the teams here could easily finish the season as cellar dwellers. The Eagles are in a wide open division so they probably have the best chance of moving up in the standings. I think the Raiders are probably better than the Eagles but they have much tougher opposition to overcome in their division.
    If the Bucs win their division we will probably see everyone draft a kicker in round 1 or 2 next year….lol.

  • Michael O’Connell

    Raiders have improved their personnel dramatically, this fall they have to turn that into a few more wins.

    • crosseyedlemon

      I think league fans are tired of the Patriots and ready for the Raiders to return as villains. It was definitely more fun when we heard
      “The autumn wind is a Raider
      Pillaging just for fun
      He’ll knock you round and upside down
      And laugh when he’s conquered and won”

  • Ray

    Raiders potentially can be in SB this yr

    • crosseyedlemon

      That’s a bit like saying Roseanne Barr could potentially be a great singer of the national anthem.

      • Ray

        If the panther’s can go,the raiders are right behind

        • crosseyedlemon

          Carr is improving nicely at QB but he ain’t no Cam Newton.

          • Ray

            Doesn’t need to be,They are more talented on both sides of the ball

          • John Rettberg

            You’re right, Carr is way more accurate with the same throwing power. Just not as mobile as Cam though but can still move when needed. Besides, Carr is second in NFL history for the most touchdown passes within the first two years. So I would say he is developing quite well considering he passed Peyton Manning and Russell Wilson on that list.

          • crosseyedlemon

            The NFL has evolved into a passer-centric league with all the rules now skewed in their favor….so that TD stat is pretty meaningless.

          • John Rettberg

            That stat has no meaning? Then why does the person at the top of that list come from a completely different era? Oh but wait, you will have some lame excuse for that only backed by opinion but no facts. All you have to do is watch Carr and know he is destined for greatness. The stats don’t lie and his leadership skills are through the roof. And again you’re right, Derek is no Cam Newton, Carr actually takes responsibility for his teams failures like a man.

          • Austin frm socal

            Dude, Carr is good. But you just said he’s on par with the best in the league (top 3) in his prime. You don’t see a problem there considering he’s not even the best from his own class? #bortlesisbetterfaceit

  • Fly Eagles Fly

    No Joseph Randle?? Although, they mention Givens. Go figure….

  • Mike Riley

    Lmao love how the comments section is Raider fan v Bolt fan. Kind of odd how there’s no mention of the Raiders picking up a top 10 safety according to PFF & league leader in ints in Reggie Nelson. That secondary is completely overhauled from the week 1 team last year assuming Joseph is a full go for the regular season. May take a few weeks to get fully acclimated to each other but hopefully the offense picks up the slack in the meantime.

    • Gio

      Lol Nelsons season is a direct productive of that fantastic system in cinci you dumb fuck

    • Austin frm socal

      First round dbs are as hit and miss as minesweeper. Nelson is good, not great. System and cast helped him before. But an improvement, sure.. Just not the second coming imo

  • Youngblood

    Here come the LA Rams!

  • Joe Wilson

    da Bears are Fast Becoming the Terror of the NFL. This Team is Dangerous in all Phases of Defense Offense and Special teams. Beware Football fans Monsters of Midway are Back

  • Richard Vaux

    lets start with raiders first…..last few seasons the raiders have improved alot…..but still no playoffs……your superbowl vistories were won when i was a young man…..your team became one of the worst in pro football……your fans are the worst behaved in the leauge……with that said i see the raiders vieing for the division this year……on the chargers side i have no convidence either in mccoy or the gm tom telasco…..when norm was fired i had great hope for mccoys ability i thought to utilise his roster…….instead hes shown a conservitive approach to his offense……charger football has before been the most entertaining in football……someone mentioned al davis…..he was a genius in evaluating talent……he signed lance alworth and was important in the merger of the two leauges……the chargers made a huge mistake letting him go to oakland……in his later life he became hated by alot of people in the nfl…….i read your comments and my advise is realise how less important this rivalry is now…..neither team has even come close to making the playoffs….my advice is to shut up and have either team produce on the field……of the two the raiders look to have a better chance……..in french the word potential means you havent done a fucking thing yet

    • Austin frm socal

      Can’t argue with that. Just wondering why the hate for Tolesco? Infinitely better than Smith in my mind.

  • Rolo Tomassi

    Ayyy fuuuny
    I no canna beeleev da Paksers havva alumum ah BEENCHEEZ inna Lambow afeld! ah haha No seet! BEENCHEEZ!