The National Football League never sleeps. Check out five teams that I believe have so far done the best before the 2018 NFL Draft!
NFL: These Teams Have Gotten Their Offseason Right
The Browns own the first pick and the fourth pick in Round 1 in this year's NFL Draft. Based on what they've done so far in free agency, no team has as much firepower heading into the NFL Draft as the Cleveland Browns. The Browns have already gotten better.
Via Trades: CB Demarious Randall, QB Tyrod Taylor, WR Jarvis Landry
Via Free Agency: RB Carlos Hyde, CB Terrance Mitchell, CB T.J. Carrie, TE Darren Fells, OL Chris Hubbard, OL Donald Stephenson
How much better did the Browns get? Let's put it this way, if Cleveland doesn't win 6 to 8 games in 2018, it should be a disappointment. And, that's before the Browns hit the 2018 NFL Draft. That's awesome for a squad that went 0 and 16 last season, right?
The two biggest moves were trading for Bills' starting QB Tyrod Taylor and Miami's best wide receiver, Jarvis Landry. Landry has some of the best hands in the NFL. He's an incredible possession receiver that will take pressure off young, talented, third-year pro Corey Coleman. If Coleman can stay healthy, he should have the best season of his career because Landry has the ability to beat double-teams, catch the ball for 5-yards, and gain another 10 to 15 yards. Coleman can beat pretty much any cornerback in the NFL one on one.
The fact that Cleveland added a pair of starting cornerbacks, a starting, great pass-catching running back,in Carlos Hyde, and a starting offensive lineman in Chris Hubbard means that Cleveland's already on its way to contending in the NFC North. Again, the Browns have done all of this before the NFL Draft.
That's scary if you're the Pittsburgh Steelers, Cincinnati Bengals, or Baltimore Ravens.
Los Angeles Rams
Via Trades: CB Aqib Talib, CB Marcus Peters
Via Free Agency: CB Sam Shields
Via Resigning: CB Nickell Robey-Coleman
Hey, I get it. The Rams have only signed 2 players in NFL Free Agency so far this season. That doesn't bother me in the least. The reason is because the Rams pretty much overhauled their entire secondary. That's going to help a run defense that ranked 28th in the NFL.
Three of the four cornerbacks that the Rams acquired already this off-season can play man-to-man. Talib and Peters are shutdown cornerbacks. That means when the Rams face opponents with two legit WR1s this season, the Rams can simply step back and play for the run, or rush the QB. Robey-Coleman is one of the best slot cover corners in the NFL. He'll take away that Julian Edelman wide receiver. Shields adds excellent depth.
The Rams have set themselves up for a Super Bowl run. Make no mistake. L.A. got significantly better by acquiring Talib, Peters, Shields, and resigning Robey-Coleman.
New York Giants
Via Trades: ILB Alec Ogletree
Via Free Agency: RB Jonathan Stewart, OLB Kareem Martin, OL Nate Solder
Offensive lineman Nate Solder is the biggest prize of the 2018 NFL Free Agency. Solder was counted on to protect Tom Brady. He's one of the very best left tackles in the NFL. By signing Solder, the New York Giants can try Ereck Flowers at right tackle. Will that help? It should.
Sometimes a left-tackle prospect out of college doesn't work out on the left side of the line. The Saints moved Andrus Peat to right side tackle after drafting him as their left tackle. He's become a great back-up at left tackle and a decent starter at right tackle. Solder immediately upgrades the Giants' offensive line.
RB Jonathan Stewart still has some ball left to play. He's best when used as an every down back. That never happened for him in Carolina. When he was a younger player, the Panthers had DeAngelo Williams. Last season, he split carries with Christian McCaffrey. Stewart is a good running back. The Giants have a decent RB in Orleans Darkwa. So, Stewart might end up playing second-fiddle again. Still, I think it was a good idea to get an experienced RB in camp.
OLB Kareem Martin adds depth. He could start in a 4-3. He could also start in a 3-4 although it's likely he spells Olivier Vernon and Jason Pierre-Paul in the 3-4. Martin's versatility means the Giants could change up the defense depending on whom they play. Martin's also only 26-years-old. His best football days should be ahead of him.
Trading for ILB Alec Ogletree was huge. The Rams allowed the captain of their defense to leave. That might be because Ogletree only recorded 2 sacks last season. I'm not sure it matters. Ogletree's job is to call the defense, make sure everybody is on the same page, stuff the run, and guard opposing running backs, or the tight-end in the passing game. He was good at doing that last season.
New Orleans Saints
Via Free Agency: OL Jermon Bushrod, QB Tom Savage, LB Demario Davis, CB Patrick Robinson
Via Resigning: QB Drew Brees
The only thing the Saints had to do during the NFL offseason is resign QB Drew Brees. That's it. The Saints pretty much didn't have to do anything else except that. Drew Brees turned down $60 million guaranteed to sign with New Orleans for around $50 million for 2-years. It was a brilliant move on both the Saints' part and Brees' part.
The reason is because although $60 million guaranteed is $10 million more, Brees would have had to go to the Minnesota Vikings, Arizona Cardinals, or New York Jets. It's difficult to believe it was the Vikings who wanted Brees for $60 million guaranteed. Minnesota had their eyes set on Kirk Cousins from Day 1. That means Brees would have had to go to either Arizona or the Jets.
For Brees, who has dedicated himself to the Big Easy as one of its civic leaders, the extra dollars weren't worth it. Brees wants to win another Super Bowl. His best chance of doing that is with the New Orleans Saints.
The Saints added unbelievable depth by signing Bushrod, Savage, Davis, and Robinson. Robinson went back to the Big Easy after his best ever season as a Philadelphia Eagle. He plays with one of the best secondaries in the NFL: cornerbacks Ken Crawley and Marshon Lattimore, strong safety Von Bell and free sefety Marcus Williams.
Savage should give Taysom Hill competition for the back-up QB spot. Hill might be the back-up while Payton might keep Savage as the back-up and find a roster spot for Hill like he did last season when Hill played special teams.
The Saints might have overpaid for Davis. Then again, you can never have enough run stopping inside linebackers. This is especially true because the Saints' secondary is so stout. The Bushrod signing is fantastic. Bushrod adds depth to both right tackle and left tackle. Because Zach Streif retired, the Saints needed depth along the offensive line.
Let's see what happens this week in the NFL!