The Bills and the Browns are Not THAT Bad; The Bucs aren’t THAT Good
The Browns have slowly but surely built a pretty decent roster. Even last year they showed some promise at times and were a frightening opponent because nobody wanted to have a let-down game and be the team they finally beat. The Browns have improved their offensive line immensely and added tools all over the field. If DeShone Kizer were a little more refined, I would have even more confidence in this team. While the Bills seem to be scraping their team for parts, they haven’t let everyone go. Zay Jones could be the best all-around receiver in this year’s draft and LeSean McCoy will keep that offense moving. While the addition of skill players like DeSean Jackson and O. J. Howard should help their offense as Jameis Winston continues to improve, the Buccaneers’ regulars didn’t look very good in the preseason. In what is expected to be an extremely competitive NFC South, the Bucs will fall to the bottom of the pack.
Despite losing Julian Edelman, the Patriots are still poised to have historic production on offense. While Gronk is the only big time star, Brady has too many talented players around him for any defense to handle and five returning offensive linemen protecting him. Expect unprecedented numbers in New England.
The Saints have added some talented young players on defense. The Saints will be much improved in this area in 2017. Could this youth movement work similarly to the same in Atlanta a year ago and propel them to a Super Bowl run? Only time will tell.
Alex Smith has had critics throughout his career and this year with a dynamic first round pick waiting in the shadows, the heat is really on. At some point Smith will have a bad patch and when he does the city will turn on him. Don’t expect Smith to give up without a fight. This one could get ugly in a hurry.
Expect Dak Prescott’s meteoric rise to level off a bit in 2017. He will be a top level quarterback in the league, but this year I don’t expect to see much more out of him than we already have. Carson Wentz, on the other hand, already had his leveling off period from about week five on last year. Expect Wentz to take a big step forward, particularly with the additions of Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith. Jared Goff however I don’t see taking a step forward. In fact, I believe his struggles will continue in 2017.
Deshaun Watson is more ready to make an impact in the NFL than any other quarterback in the 2017 rookie class. Expect him to be a solid performer in Houston who provides them with an added spark when needed.
Rookie Kenny Golladay will emerge as the top receiver in Detroit by the end of the season. Jordy Nelson now in his second year back an ACL tear will be the top receiver in the NFL.
Washington will get big time performances from second year player Josh Doctson and free agent acquisition Terrelle Pryor. The duo will make Redskins fans forget all about the departure of Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson.
As high as I am on Golladay, Corey Davis, and Christian McCaffrey in my book the leading candidate for Rookie of the Year is in Minnesota. Dalvin Cook will add an extra dimension to the Vikings’ offense that will help them make a playoff run in 2017.