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5 Teams that improved through the NFL Draft

5 Teams that improved through the NFL Draft

5 Teams that improved through the NFL Draft
By Billy Coleman

Jacksonville - A team that was 31st in yards per game, and dead last at 32 in the league in scoring at 15.4 points, made strides in upgrading their offense. Taking Blake Bortles with the 3rd overall pick, they got a keeper there. Best news for Bortles is the Jags don't plan on throwing him to the wolves in his first season. Jacksonville plans to bring him along slowly, and give him a year to get comfortable with the system.The Jags also add an offensive lineman in Beadles, that they got from Denver. Still on the offensive side of the ball they pick up running back Gerhart from Minnesota. Besides Bortles,  Jacksonville got Marquis Lee in the 2nd round with the 39th overall pick. Give it a couple of years, and this may prove to be a real steal for the Jaguars. Jacksonville also picked up 7 players on defense via the draft and free agency. Look for them to be stronger on both sides of the ball this year.

Houston - Whenever you get a player the caliber of Jadeveon Clowney on one end, and you have J.J. Watt on the other side, you have quite the formidable combination. The Texans were actually 11th in the league in yardage, but ranked 31st in putting points on the board. Turnovers killed them last season as they were a minus 20 in that category. The Texans also picked up two safeties on defense in Clemens ( Miami ) and Lewis from Kansas City to support their secondary. Romeo Crennel (  who has always been a much better defensive coach then Head Coach) will have the opportunity to get the Texans on track on the defensive side of the ball.  If Ryan Fitzpatrick can some how limit the mistakes which equate into turnovers, then the Texans have a great chance for huge improvement. Their 2-14 record was very misleading last year, and a 9-7 / 8-8 season is very much within reach this time around

Tampa Bay - The Buccaneers took 3 skill players with their first 3 picks in the past the draft. Moving forward Tampa Bay also made their 4th, 5th and 6th picks from the offensive side of the ball. Do you see a pattern developing here? It looks as if the Buccaneers are tying to get McCown all the help they can get for the upcoming season to run the offense. On defense Tampa Bay shipped out 6 players who had at least 7 starts or more for them last year, but on the flip side picked some players with tons of playing experience. They picked up 4 guys who had 15 or more starts last season. Some of this was made possible by getting rid of Darelle Revis who was more of a hassle then he was worth. Tampa's strong suit when things are going well is their defense. They are really looking forward on trying to improve on what was the 21st ranked defense in the NFL last season.

Atlanta- The Falcons missed the playoffs for the first time in 4 years, as they were hit with the injury bug through out the season. As a result, Atlanta was terrible on defense, and could not stop anybody, especially against the run. The secondary losses two starters but they quickly replaced those two slots with the addition of Wilson from Washington, and the drafting of Woodward. After their first pick with Offensive lineman Matthews, the Falcons were pretty much all defense in the draft. They used 7 out of their next 8 selections to revamp the defensive side of the ball. With a stronger defense, this will give Matty Ice many more opportunities to get points on the board for Atlanta who was 20th in scoring offense last year. Look for Atlanta to be right in the thick of the playoff race this time around.

Cleveland - If your a Cleveland Brown fan, or you have been a fan since they resurfaced in 1999, what can I say? The Browns, and in many instances referred to the Clowns based on past decisions and results. Maybe, just maybe this will be the year that they can put some of those skeletons in the closet.  New ownership across the board, including a new head coach, and a pretty solid draft, and the Browns just might be on track. Of course nobody talks about their first overall pick in Justin Gilbert, all the hype surrounds their 2nd pick in the first round at # 22 , Johnny Football. This guy is getting more media attention then LeBron James was getting when he was in Cleveland. The media is on what time Manziel eats breakfast. If nothing else it has created a buzz in Cleveland, and has already helped the Browns sell more season tickets. There are probably other teams that did an overall better job in the draft, but with Johnny Football you have a real "Wild Card ". The Browns had a offensive that was in the middle of the pack as far as yardage, but that didn't translate into touchdowns. The Browns were 27th in scoring but hope to improve with the addition of Burelson, Austin and Tate.

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