2024 NFL roster rankings: Strengths, weaknesses and X factors for every starting lineup

The 2024 NFL Draft is well behind us, and rosters are generally set ahead of training camp. Here, we’ll provide a ranking of all 32 NFL rosters along with comprehensive breakdowns of their strengths, weaknesses, X-factors and rookies to watch.

  • * = 2023 college grade
  • ** = 2022 NFL grade
  • *** = 2022 college grade


ARZ | ATL | BLT | BUF | CAR | CIN | CHI | CLE | DEN | DAL | DET | GB | HOU | IND | JAX | KC | LVR | LAC | LAR | MIA | MIN | NE | NO | NYG | NYJ | PHI | PIT | SF | SEA | TB | TEN | WSH

1. San Francisco 49ers

Biggest strength in 2023: Offensive Playmakers

San Francisco had three players who ranked inside the top two of their position in overall grade last season — Christian McCaffrey, Brandon Aiyuk and George Kittle. They also had Deebo Samuel, who finished 12th among wide receivers in receiving grade. Simply put, the 49ers are still stacked with offensive weaponry.

Biggest weakness in 2023: Pass Protection

The 49ers struggled to pass protect last season, culminating with Brock Purdy being pressured on nearly half of his dropbacks in the team’s Super Bowl loss. Their 57.2 team pass-blocking grade ranked 24th in the NFL and was the only facet where they ranked outside the top 12. They need to improve their pass protection in true dropback situations in order to get themselves over the hump and win a championship.

X-factor for 2024: S Talanoa Hufanga

Hufanga suffered a season-ending injury in Week 11 last year, and the 49ers’ defense wasn’t quite the same thereafter. Through Week 11, they led the league in team defense grade. From Week 12 onward, they ranked 14th. Hufanga brings versatility and ball skills at safety and his recovery, along with Ji’Ayir Brown’s development, will be welcomed at the position.

Click here to see Talanoa Hufanga's PFF Premium Stats profile.
Rookie to watch: OL Dominick Puni

Third-round pick Dominick Puni is a versatile lineman who was a fine pass protector at guard and tackle for Kansas over the last two seasons. Puni finished 2023 with an elite 90.4 pass-blocking grade. He certainly won’t play left tackle with Trent Williams still in tow, but he could help elsewhere early in his career.

Over/Under 11.5 win total: Over

Despite their Super Bowl loss, the 49ers are arguably the most talented team in the NFL. They are loaded with playmakers on offense who provide the perfect environment for Brock Purdy to succeed. They consistently boast a top-five defense. Patrick Mahomes has twice been the primary obstacle in their quest for a Lombardi Trophy. There are no such hurdles, however, in their consistent regular season success. Twelve wins is the expectation for this team.

Projected starting lineup for 2024
QB Brock Purdy (87.4) DI Javon Hargrave (74.9)
RB Christian McCaffrey (90.3) DI Maliek Collins (60.9)
RB Elijah Mitchell (70.2) Edge Nick Bosa (92.2)
WR Deebo Samuel (85.4) Edge Drake Jackson (62.6)
WR Brandon Aiyuk (91.5) Edge Leonard Floyd (58.7)
WR Ricky Pearsall (77.2*) LB Fred Warner (90.0)
TE George Kittle (87.7) LB Dre Greenlaw (73.1)
LT Trent Williams (92.5) CB Charvarius Ward (84.7)
LG Aaron Banks (52.8) CB Deommodore Lenoir (75.8)
C Jake Brendel (66.3) CB Renardo Green (83.2*)
RG Spencer Burford (50.3) S Talanoa Hufanga (70.5)
RT Colton McKivitz (65.2) S Ji’Ayir Brown (73.4)

2. Kansas City Chiefs

Biggest strength in 2023: Patrick Mahomes

Patrick Mahomes is the great equalizer for this team. Not only did Chiefs receivers have a lot of problems, but his offensive tackles were shaky as well, as neither Donovan Smith nor Jawaan Taylor managed a PFF grade of 60. Yet it didn’t matter, as the Chiefs won the Super Bowl for the second consecutive season and the third time in five years. As long as Mahomes is under center, the Chiefs should always be considered among the favorites in the AFC.

Biggest weakness in 2023: Offensive Tackle

The Chiefs added two new tackles last offseason to try and shore up their offensive line, and neither paid major dividends. Donovan Smith manned the left side to the tune of a career-low 57.8 grade while Jawaan Taylor was even worse on the right side with a 49.8 grade that was 72nd out of 81 qualifying tackles. Taylor was also the most heavily penalized player in the league last season with 23. The next closest player on either side of the ball had 18 flags thrown against him.

Smith is currently a free agent, and Taylor projects to continue to man the right side of Kansas City's line. While the Chiefs didn’t address tackle in free agency, they did select BYU’s Kingsley Suamataia with their second-round selection to compete with Wanya Morris and Lucas Niang for the left tackle spot.

X-Factor for 2024: WR Rashee Rice

Rice is more of an X-factor for off-the-field reasons than on. As a rookie second-rounder in 2023, Rice was a revelation for the Chiefs down the stretch, as he caught 79 passes for 938 yards and seven scores with an 85.0 PFF grade. However, Rice has had a tumultuous offseason with various legal troubles that could land him a suspension and set this offense back. Whether that suspension occurs in 2024 or has to be delayed until 2025 due to the legal process, the Chiefs losing Rice for any period of time could be detrimental to this offense’s effectiveness. If Rice can avoid suspension in 2024, though, with the moves the team made at wide receiver in the offseason this has the potential to be the most talented group of pass catchers that Mahomes has ever had to work with.

Rookie to watch: WR Xavier Worthy

Regardless of Rice’s legal situation, the Chiefs’ receiver room still needed a boost heading into the draft. They signed Marquise Brown away from the Cardinals and selected Texas speedster Xavier Worthy with their first-round pick. Worthy made history at the NFL combine by running a 4.21-second 40-yard dash, the fastest recorded time at the event ever. Worthy isn’t just a speed demon, though, as he had a very productive career at Texas, catching at least 50 passes for over 600 yards and five scores in all three of his collegiate seasons. The Chiefs haven’t had a speedster with high-end receiving ability since trading Tyreek Hill to the Dolphins two years ago and with Worthy, that element should be firmly reestablished in this offense.

Over/Under 11.5 win total: Over

Despite all the troubles plaguing the Chiefs last season, they still won the Super Bowl behind another stellar performance from Patrick Mahomes. The team remains largely intact from last season, as L’Jarius Sneed is the only major piece not returning after a trade with the Titans. On paper, this team should cruise to an AFC West division title, especially considering the other three teams look much weaker heading into the season. A third consecutive Super Bowl win is certainly on the table.

Projected starting lineup for 2024
QB Patrick Mahomes (90.5) DI Chris Jones (88.1)
RB Isiah Pacheco (79.9) DI Tershawn Wharton (58.1)
RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire (65.5) Edge George Karlaftis (65.4)
WR Rashee Rice (84.9) Edge Mike Danna (62.3)
WR Marquise Brown (67.1) Edge Felix Anudike-Uzomah (53.4)
WR Xavier Worthy (68.9*) LB Nick Bolton (59.4)
TE Travis Kelce (82.6) LB Leo Chenal (84.0)
LT Kingsley Suamataia (67.5*) CB Trent McDuffie (84.8)
LG Joe Thuney (74.9) CB Joshua Williams (74.4)
C Creed Humphrey (81.4) CB Jaylen Watson (68.5)
RG Trey Smith (74.6) S Justin Reid (57.7)
RT Jawaan Taylor (49.8) S Bryan Cook (65.2)

3. Philadelphia Eagles

Biggest strength in 2023: Offensive Line

Once again, Philadelphia’s offensive line was an elite unit in 2023. Led by Jason Kelce and Jordan Mailata (among others), the unit led the league in overall grade and pass-blocking grade. The Eagles lose Kelce to retirement this season but retain the other four starters, so they should still be a very viable group in 2024.

Biggest weakness in 2023: Coverage

The Eagles ranked 28th in coverage grade last season. While there were offensive struggles late in the season, the coverage unit consistently struggled with safety Reed Blankenship being the lone exception. They drafted two talented cornerbacks, Quinyon Mitchell and Cooper DeJean, and reunited with safety C.J. Gardner-Johnson with the hope that they will alleviate their biggest weakness heading into 2024.

X-factor for 2024: C Cam Jurgens

Four of the Eagles’ five offensive line starters return, but one will be switching positions. Cam Jurgens has long been thought of as the heir to Jason Kelce at center, and after a year in which he started at right guard, he will return to his natural position. A smooth transition for Jurgens would ensure that the Eagles continue to carry an elite unit up front.

Rookie to watch: CB Cooper DeJean

DeJean surprisingly fell to the second round of this year’s draft, but he could immediately start in the slot for a team that ranked dead last in slot coverage grade last season. DeJean is a fundamentally sound coverage player who is also an excellent tackler. He’s also an excellent fit in Vic Fangio’s zone-heavy defense.

Over/Under 10.5 win total: Over

Despite their immense struggles on defense last season, the Eagles are still the most talented team in the NFC East heading into 2024. Their revamped secondary should improve their team as a whole. They added Saquon Barkley to an already dynamic offense. The biggest variables are their new coordinators on each side of the ball, but they should be the favorites to win their division.

Projected starting lineup for 2024
QB Jalen Hurts (86.7) DI Jordan Davis (70.9)
RB Saquon Barkley (70.2) DI Jalen Carter (87.4)
RB Kenneth Gainwell (55.3) Edge Bryce Huff (79.7)
WR A.J. Brown (90.0) Edge Brandon Graham (84.0)
WR DeVonta Smith (75.4) Edge Josh Sweat (67.2)
WR Parris Campbell (51.4) LB Nakobe Dean (61.7)
TE Dallas Goedert (71.0) LB Devin White (47.4)
LT Jordan Mailata (84.8) CB James Bradberry (54.4)
LG Landon Dickerson (69.4) CB Darius Slay (66.0)
C Cam Jurgens (61.4) CB Quinyon Mitchell (91.5*)
RG Tyler Steen (53.2) S Reed Blankenship (73.4)
RT Lane Johnson (80.1) S C.J. Gardner-Johnson (61.7)

4. New York Jets

Biggest strength in 2023: Pass Defense

The Jets ranked first in the NFL in coverage grade and sixth in pass-rush grade last season. They boast elite players in both units, including Sauce Gardner, C.J. Mosley and Quinnen Williams. All of the foundational pieces return and their defense is absolutely lethal when they are ahead late in games.

Biggest weakness in 2023: Offensive Line

Offensively, the Jets struggled to block people in 2023. Their offensive line suffered a rash of injuries and finished the season with the second-worst overall grade in the league. They enter this year with hopes of significant improvement after adding Tyron Smith, Morgan Moses, John Simpson and first-round pick Olu Fashanu.

X-factor for 2024: QB Aaron Rodgers

Assuming the team’s offensive line is fixed, Aaron Rodgers is the key for New York to return to the playoffs for the first time since 2010. Rodgers played just four snaps last season before suffering a torn Achilles. If he is recovered and plays like a top-10 quarterback, the Jets become another dangerous team in a loaded AFC.

Rookie to watch: WR Malachi Corley

If all goes according to plan, first-round pick Olu Fashanu will sit on the bench for the majority of the season. That leaves Malachi Corley as the most likely rookie to earn a starting role. He’s an after-the-catch specialist who should immediately improve an offense that ranked dead last in slot receiving grade last year.

Over/Under 9.5 win total: Over

If the offensive line improves and Aaron Rodgers is healthy, the Jets are an extremely talented team. The additions of Corley and ex-Charger Mike Williams should complement Breece Hall and Garrett Wilson quite well. They don’t need their offense to be elite. They need it to be functional. They already have arguably the best defense in the NFL. As was the case last year, any scenario where they miss the postseason is a disappointment.

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Projected starting lineup for 2024
QB Aaron Rodgers (39.4) DI Quinnen Williams (90.6)
RB Breece Hall (82.4) DI Javon Kinlaw (53.8)
RB Israel Abanikanda (59.0) Edge Jermaine Johnson (83.0)
WR Garrett Wilson (72.9) Edge Haason Reddick (73.0)
WR Mike Williams (74.6) Edge Micheal Clemons (65.9)
WR Malachi Corley (82.6*) LB C.J. Mosley (82.9)
TE Tyler Conklin (65.6) LB Quincy Williams (81.1)
LT Tyron Smith (83.7) CB Sauce Gardner (88.6)
LG John Simpson (56.3) CB D.J. Reed Jr. (77.9)
C Joe Tippmann (61.0) CB Michael Carter II (80.4)
RG Alijah Vera-Tucker (71.7) S Tony Adams (68.0)
RT Morgan Moses (80.3) S Chuck Clark (66.1**)

5. Baltimore Ravens

Biggest strength in 2023: Ground Game

The Ravens' ground attack was scary enough when defenses had to deal with Lamar Jackson and any slew of middle-of-the-pack running backs Baltimore decided to feature. Now, they have to account for Derrick Henry as well. While Henry is getting up there in age, (he will be 30 years old when the season starts), he showed last season he still has something left in the tank, as his 90.1 PFF grade was the second-highest mark of his career. Jackson, on the other hand, continued to prove he’s the most exciting player in the league, as his 90.8 rushing grade and 975 rushing yards helped lead him to his second MVP award in 2023.

Biggest weakness in 2023: Wide Receiver

Aside from second-year receiver Zay Flowers, the Ravens have zero playmakers at the wide receiver position. Rashod Bateman hasn’t developed the way the team hoped, and Deonte Harty is more of a return specialist than an actual receiving threat. While the Ravens will likely continue to rely on the ground game, having a receiver who can keep opposing defenses honest will make things run much more smoothly. Don’t rule out the team adding at the position before the season, though, as they added Odell Beckham Jr. late in the process last offseason.

X-factor for 2024: G Andrew Vorhees

Andrew Vorhees is an interesting story, as despite tearing his ACL during the NFL combine, he still elected to do the bench press anyway and put up 38 reps, the most among offensive linemen in attendance. Despite being projected to go as early as Day 2, Vorhees fell to the seventh round (231st overall) thanks to the injury. His misfortune may be Baltimore’s gain, though, as the Ravens were able to stash him away while he recovered, and he now appears set to take over the starting left guard job. Vorhees’ recovery is critical, as outside of Ronnie Stanley and Tyler Linderbaum, the Ravens are pretty thin on the offensive line and will be relying on some unproven commodities in other spots.

Rookie to watch: WR Devontez Walker

Due to how thin the Ravens’ receiving room is, there is ample opportunity for someone to step up and steal a starting role and Devontez Walker seems most primed to make that leap. At one point considered a first-round prospect, Walker fell to the fourth round after an inconsistent 2023 that saw him miss time due to NCAA eligibility issues. Walker ran a 4.36-second 40-yard dash so he has the speed to take the top off defenses and make plays for this Ravens offense.

Over/Under 11.5 win total: Under

Just about everything went right for the Ravens last season up until the AFC Championship Game despite playing in a very difficult AFC North. While they should be expected once again to be one of the top teams in the AFC, their concerns at wide receiver and offensive line make them less of the sure thing they were in 2023. Couple that with the improvements the other three teams made in the division during the offseason, and the Ravens could be a candidate to regress in 2024.

Projected starting lineup for 2024
QB Lamar Jackson (90.4) DI Justin Madubuike (77.4)
RB Derrick Henry (90.1) DI Michael Pierce (80.1)
RB Justice Hill (70.3) Edge Odafe Oweh (77.5)
WR Zay Flowers (76.3) Edge Kyle Van Noy (75)
WR Rashod Bateman (61) Edge Tavius Robinson (55.9)
WR Deonte Harty (68.9) LB Roquan Smith (77.9)
TE Mark Andrews (78.8) LB Malik Harrison (74.3)
LT Ronnie Stanley (68.1) CB Marlon Humphrey (65.3)
LG Andrew Vorhees (81.9***) CB Nate Wiggins (82.5*)
C Tyler Linderbaum (78.5) CB Brandon Stephens (67.4)
RG Ben Cleveland (65.8) S Kyle Hamilton (86.4)
RT Patrick Mekari (71.0) S Marcus Williams (73.8)

6. Detroit Lions

Biggest strength in 2023: Offense

Offensive coordinator Ben Johnson has worked magic these last two seasons running Detroit’s offense, and the results have led to perhaps the best run the Lions have had in the Super Bowl era. The newly-paid Jared Goff has been excellent, putting up an 84.3 passing grade while throwing for 4,574 yards and 30 touchdowns during the regular season. His top pass catchers were Amon-Ra St. Brown and rookie sensation Sam LaPorta. St. Brown was one of the best receivers in the NFL last season, as his 91.3 receiving grade last season trailed only Tyreek Hill and Brandon Aiyuk.

As for LaPorta, his 81.8 receiving grade trailed only Travis Kelce, George Kittle and T.J. Hockenson among tight ends. Then you have arguably the most dynamic running back duo in David Montgomery and Jahmyr Gibbs, both of whom had rushing grades of at least 80 while rushing for at least 900 yards and ten touchdowns apiece. The offensive line is also a major strength, as all five projected starters heading into the 2024 season had a PFF grade of at least 70 last season, led by Penei Sewell’s league-leading 92.8 mark.

Biggest weakness in 2023: Outside cornerback

While the Lions had one of the most productive offenses in the NFL last season, it often came as a result of having to keep pace with their opponents, as the Lions’ 48.3 team coverage grade last season was the third-worst in the NFL. The Lions recognized this and made it a priority in the offseason, as not only did they spend their top two draft picks on cornerbacks, but they also traded for Carlton Davis III from the Buccaneers. While, on paper, this team is certainly improved at the corner spot, they will be relying a lot on young talent to step up to try and take the next step in reaching the franchise’s first-ever Super Bowl.

X-factor for 2024: WR Jameson Williams

Outside of Amon-Ra St. Brown, the Lions are very thin at the wide receiver position, especially after Josh Reynolds‘ departure. Their first-round pick from 2022 Jameson Williams has shown flashes of being able to be a playmaker in the league, but he hasn’t been able to put it all together for extended periods of time. He’s entering Year 3, so time is running out for him to become the impact player the Lions thought he would be when they traded up for him. However, if he reaches his potential, this already potent Lions offense could become unstoppable.

Rookie to watch: CBs Terrion Arnold/Ennis Rakestraw Jr.

As previously mentioned, corner was such a massive hole for the Lions that they used each of their top two picks on the position in Terrion Arnold and Ennis Rakestraw Jr. Both guys should get opportunities to play from day one, as Rakestraw was a first-round talent that fell to the second due to core and groin injuries while Arnold was the top corner on a lot of teams’ boards that the Lions were able to take at Pick 24. Both corners offer positional flexibility as they can each play either outside or nickel, which would allow Brian Branch to play safety full-time.

Over/Under 10.5 win total: Over

The Lions came so close to reaching the franchise’s first Super Bowl last season before a late-game collapse doomed them against the 49ers. This year they’re making a real run for it, as on paper this might be the best Lions team of the Super Bowl era. With the rise of Jordan Love, the Bears’ youth movement and the Vikings’ potentially high-flying offense, the NFC North is going to be much tougher than it was in 2023. However, the Lions appear to have the firepower to hold them off as they search for back-to-back division titles for the first time in franchise history.

Projected starting lineup for 2024
QB Jared Goff (85.7) DI Alim McNeill (86.8)
RB David Montgomery (79.6) DI DJ Reader (82.2)
RB Jahmyr Gibbs (76.3) Edge Aidan Hutchinson (91)
WR Amon-Ra St. Brown (91.2) Edge Marcus Davenport (55.4)
WR Jameson Williams (62.9) Edge Josh Paschal (59.1)
WR Kalif Raymond (75.4) LB Jack Campbell (52.1)
TE Sam LaPorta (77) LB Alex Anzalone (69.8)
LT Taylor Decker (81.1) CB Carlton Davis III (63.1)
LG Graham Glasgow (74.9) CB Terrion Arnold (88.4*)
C Frank Ragnow (88.8) CB Brian Branch (78.9)
RG Kevin Zeitler (71.6) S Ifeatu Melifonwu (82.1)
RT Penei Sewell (92.8) S Kerby Joseph (56.5)

7. Houston Texans

Biggest strength in 2023: Wide Receiver

There’s surrounding a young quarterback with talent and then there’s what the Houston Texans have provided C.J. Stroud with in 2024. Nico Collins had a breakout 2023 with a 91.2 receiving grade while third-round selection Tank Dell was putting together a strong rookie season with an 83.3 receiving grade before going down with a leg injury. Even Noah Brown had the best year of his six-year career with a 73.6 receiving grade. Then, the Texans went and traded for Stefon Diggs. With Robert Woods, Ben Skowronek and John Metchie III also in the receiving room, Stroud is going to have no shortage of options to throw to.

Biggest weakness in 2023: Offensive Line

Outside of Laremy Tunsil and Shaq Mason, both of whom will be at least 30 years old when the season starts, the Texans have a lot of question marks on the offensive line. Former first-round pick Kenyon Green missed all of last season due to a shoulder injury, yet as a rookie, he ranked dead last out of 77 qualifying guards in PFF grade at 37.7. The former 15th overall selection will look for a clean bill of health and a bounceback year, though the team also signed Kendrick Green away from the Steelers should he not pan out. Tytus Howard is another question mark. He primarily played guard last season with very underwhelming results, as he had a 46.7 PFF grade and never registered a PFF grade of 60 in any of the seven games he played last season. He is expected to kick back out to his natural position of right tackle, where he saw much more success in 2022 with a 70.5 PFF grade on 997 snaps.

X-factor for 2024: CB Derek Stingley Jr.

After having a rough rookie campaign that saw him record a 49.1 PFF grade, ranking 111th out of 118 qualifying corners, Stingley rebounded in 2023 with an 82.1 grade (ninth out of 127 corners) thanks in large part to a sharp increase in coverage grade at 85.3. Stingley will be called upon to continue his breakout performance in 2024, as the rest of the cornerback room for the Texans isn’t very deep. Playing opposite Stingley is fellow former third overall pick Jeff Okudah, who has become a journeyman just four years after the Lions made him the first corner selected in the 2020 draft. Also featured at cornerback is Myles Bryant, who has frustrated Patriots fans due to his inconsistent play over the last few years, and C.J. Henderson, whose career path is similar to Okudah’s. Second-round rookie Kamari Lassiter also has an opportunity to break into this lineup. Stingley’s going to have to shoulder much of the workload in this group and will likely be tasked with taking on the opposing offenses’ top receivers every week.

Rookie to watch: OT Blake Fisher

Due to how thin the Texans are along the offensive line, Fisher could see playing time sooner rather than later. The second of Houston’s two second-round picks, Fisher primarily played right tackle opposite Joe Alt at Notre Dame, where he was reliable both as a pass and run blocker, finishing with 70.0-plus grades in both last season. Should any lineman underwhelm or suffer injury, Fisher should be ready to step right in and take over at one of the tackle spots.

Over/Under 9.5 win total: Over

With all the firepower on this Houston offense and with offensive coordinator and former PFFer Bobby Slowik calling the plays, the Texans should put up a lot of points as long as the offensive line holds up. Defensively, there are some holes in the secondary, but with head coach DeMeco Ryans and defensive coordinator Matt Burke running the show, the Texans should be able to overcome most perceived deficiencies. On paper, this Texans team has enough talent to win a Super Bowl just two years after having the second-worst record in football. The future is as bright as it’s ever been in Houston.

Projected starting lineup for 2024
QB C.J. Stroud (83.1) DI Folorunso Fatukasi (61.0)
RB Joe Mixon (71.1) DI Denico Autry (61.7)
RB Dameon Pierce (65.9) Edge Will Anderson Jr. (81.6)
WR Stefon Diggs (79.1) Edge Danielle Hunter (78.0)
WR Nico Collins (91.4) Edge Derek Barnett (82.4)
WR Tank Dell (83.4) LB Christian Harris (64.9)
TE Dalton Schultz (71.5) LB Azeez Al-Shaair (64.7)
LT Laremy Tunsil (75.5) CB Derek Stingley Jr. (82.1)
LG Kenyon Green (37.7**) CB Jeff Okudah (50.5)
C Jarrett Patterson (60.4) CB Myles Bryant (66.6)
RG Shaq Mason (65.6) S Jimmie Ward (68.4)
RT Tytus Howard (46.8) S Jalen Pitre (61.8)

8. Cincinnati Bengals

Biggest strength in 2023: Passing Game

Joe Burrow is expected to be back fully healthy for 2024 after an injury-plagued 2023 season that was cut short in Week 11. Despite rumors to the contrary, Tee Higgins was not traded during the offseason, though his availability for 2024 is up in the air because he’s the only franchise-tagged player left who hasn’t signed, been moved or received a new deal. If Higgins returns to the Bengals, he and Ja’Marr Chase should once again form one of the most dangerous wide receiver duos in the game. While Tyler Boyd left in free agency, the Bengals have plenty of options to replace him, including rookie Jermaine Burton in addition to last year’s draftees Charlie Jones and Andrei Iosivas. Burrow will have no shortage of options to throw to this season.

Biggest weakness in 2023: Running Back

The Bengals traded Joe Mixon to the Texans early in the free agency process and that left what was already a thin running back room practically barren. They signed Zack Moss in the offseason; however, he only has one season of sustained production while the other options include Chase Brown, Trayveon Williams and Chris Evans, who all combined to play just 273 snaps last season.

X-factor for 2024: RB Zack Moss

As mentioned above, Moss is expected to be the Bengals' feature back, his first time really holding that role at any point in his four-year career. Moss is coming off his most productive season in Indianapolis last season, though, as he played a career-high 531 snaps and rushed for a career-best 793 yards and five scores without losing a single fumble. Due to how thin the Bengals’ running back room is, expect Moss to carry the bulk of the workload as he looks to build on the progress he made last season.

Rookie to watch: WR Jermaine Burton

A first-round talent who fell to the third round over attitude concerns, Burton has the potential to be the steal of the draft if he can make it work in Cincinnati. Due to Tyler Boyd‘s departure, Burton will be competing with the likes of Charlie Jones and Andrei Iosivas to be the Bengals’ third receiver, a job he should be able to win. Burton was an impact player while at Georgia and put up even bigger numbers at Alabama, culminating in a 2023 season that saw him catch 39 passes for 798 yards and eight touchdowns while dropping zero passes.

Over/Under 10.5 win total: Over

The Bengals won nine games last season despite Jake Browning playing a significant number of snaps due to Joe Burrow’s injury woes. If Burrow can keep a clean bill of health, this Bengals team should once again be one of the favorites to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl despite playing in one of the toughest divisions in football.

Projected starting lineup for 2024
QB Joe Burrow (77.9) DI B.J. Hill (67.7)
RB Zack Moss (66.9) DI Sheldon Rankins (62.7)
RB Chase Brown (63.9) Edge Trey Hendrickson (82.3)
WR Ja’Marr Chase (85.3) Edge Sam Hubbard (61.9)
WR Tee Higgins (72.1) Edge Myles Murphy (56.2)
WR Jermaine Burton (79.7*) LB Germaine Pratt (63.3)
TE Mike Gesicki (55.7) LB Logan Wilson (62.6)
LT Orlando Brown Jr. (66.1) CB Mike Hilton (77.4)
LG Cordell Volson (58.3) CB Cam Taylor-Britt (64.5)
C Ted Karras (67.4) CB DJ Turner II (51.5)
RG Alex Cappa (64.9) S Jordan Battle (82.5)
RT Trent Brown (80.2) S Geno Stone (72.2)

9. Dallas Cowboys

Biggest strength in 2023: Pass Rush

A pass rush led by Micah Parsons and DeMarcus Lawrence is likely among the best of the league, which was the case in 2023. For the second consecutive season, Dallas ranked second in the NFL in pass-rush grade. Parsons, Lawrence and other contributors such as Osa Odighizuwa and Sam Williams made Dallas’s defense one of the league’s most feared units.

Biggest weakness in 2023: Run Defense

The Cowboys’ primary weakness over the last couple of years has been their run defense. Though they ranked seventh in run-defense grade last season, that ranking is heavily weighted by standout performances against teams like the Jets and Chargers. When tasked with stopping better rushing offenses like the 49ers or Eagles, they tend to come up short more often than not.

X-factor for 2024: DI Mazi Smith

Mazi Smith was selected in the first round of the 2023 draft to improve his team’s run defense. He struggled to find his footing in his rookie year, posting a meager 31.8 run-defense grade. Dallas lost multiple pieces in its front seven, which puts a greater onus on Smith to perform on early downs in the run game.

Click here to see Mazi Smith's PFF Premium Stats profile.
Rookie to watch: OT Tyler Guyton

Guyton may be the biggest gamble of any player selected in the first round of this year’s draft. The former defensive end is athletically talented but needs refinement in pass protection in order to succeed at the NFL level. He could start at left tackle, filling a huge void left by Tyron Smith‘s departure. Dallas’ offense has been explosive in recent years, but it can’t afford a significant dip in pass protection after ranking 11th in pass-blocking grade last season.

Over/Under 10.5 win total: Under

The Cowboys have won 12 games in three straight regular seasons. Their stars are as good as any team in the league, but their salary cap situation has eroded their depth, especially in the trenches. They’ll likely still have a good season, but holes at running back and in the middle of their defense could cause headaches against the more physical teams on their schedule.

Projected starting lineup for 2024
QB Dak Prescott (90.0) DI Osa Odighizuwa (77.0)
RB Ezekiel Elliott (67.6) DI Mazi Smith (47.2)
RB Rico Dowdle (66.6) Edge Micah Parsons (92.4)
WR CeeDee Lamb (90.9) Edge Demarcus Lawrence (91.0)
WR Brandin Cooks (68.8) Edge Marshawn Kneeland (89.7*)
WR Jalen Tolbert (56.5) LB Eric Kendricks (72.3)
TE Jake Ferguson (74.5) LB Damone Clark (62.7)
LT Tyler Guyton (63.7*) CB Trevon Diggs (80.7)
LG Tyler Smith (74.4) CB Jourdan Lewis (50.1)
C Brock Hoffman (53.7) CB DaRon Bland (89.5)
RG Zack Martin (68.0) S Malik Hooker (77.2)
RT Terence Steele (52.3) S Donovan Wilson (66.2)

10. Buffalo Bills

Biggest strength in 2023: Cornerback

Cornerback being one of the Bills' strengths may come as a surprise to many, as long-time standout Tre’Davious White was one of many cap casualties this offseason. However, the Bills were quietly very deep at the position already and could afford to move on from White. Christian Benford, Rasul Douglas and Taron Johnson generated an 81.0-plus coverage grade and finished among the top 20 PFF-graded cornerbacks. The Jets were the only other team with three top-20 corners in 2023.

Biggest weakness in 2023: Wide Receiver

Perhaps no position was hit harder by the Bills’ need to become cap compliant than their wide receiver room, as not only did they let Gabe Davis walk in free agency, but they also traded star receiver Stefon Diggs to the Texans for a minimal return. The veterans in the receiver room currently feature Curtis Samuel, Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Khalil Shakir, the latter of which came on late last season as a reliable slot option. The former two, however, are offseason additions entering their first year in offensive coordinator Joe Brady’s system and have never been more than complimentary pieces throughout their respective careers.

X-factor for 2024: WR Keon Coleman

With the lack of playmakers at wide receiver, one candidate to take charge over the No. 1 receiver role is rookie second-rounder Keon Coleman out of Florida State. Coleman was the biggest enigma of the draft process, as not only was his game tape inconsistent, but also his testing numbers were as well. Nowhere was this more clear than the discrepancies between his 40-yard dash time and his on-field sprint speed, as his 40 time was the slowest amongst wide receivers at 4.61 seconds yet he was the fastest player on the field during drills according to Next Gen Stats. Coleman seems about as boom or bust as any rookie in this year’s class but if he hits, the 6-foot-4, 215-pounder has a chance to be the focal point of this Bills offense.

Rookie to watch: C Sedrick Van Pran-Granger

It’s not often that a rookie fifth-rounder has the opportunity to start right away, but that’s the case with former Georgia Bulldogs center Sedrick Van Pran-Granger. As a three-year starter at Georgia, Van Pran-Granger was a model of consistency, never playing fewer than 850 snaps in a season nor posting a PFF grade below 71.0. This past year was his best work, as his 81.5 pass-blocking grade and 76.9 run-blocking grade culminated in a 79.7 PFF grade. While Will Clapp is currently penciled in as the starter at center, don’t be surprised to see Van Pran-Granger on the field before long.

Over/Under 10.5 win total: Under

As long as Josh Allen is under center for this team, they will always be amongst the class of the AFC. However, no team’s roster took a bigger hit this offseason due to cap casualties than the Bills. Stefon Diggs, Gabe Davis, Tre’Davious White, Jordan Poyer and Micah Hyde were all shown the door so that the team could become cap-compliant. With the Dolphins nipping at their heels and the Jets on the rebound due to Aaron Rodgers‘s return, the Bills' stranglehold on the AFC East over the last four seasons is in jeopardy.

Projected starting lineup for 2024
QB Josh Allen (92.1) DI Ed Oliver (65.6)
RB James Cook (71.7) DI DaQuan Jones (82.9)
RB Ray Davis (87.5*) Edge Von Miller (53.3)
WR Keon Coleman (70.3*) Edge Greg Rousseau (87.1)
WR Curtis Samuel (69.7) Edge A.J. Epenesa (75.8)
WR Khalil Shakir (76.7) LB Matt Milano (70.9)
TE Dalton Kincaid (68.8) LB Terrel Bernard (65.9)
LT Dion Dawkins (74.9) CB Christian Benford (83.0)
LG David Edwards (90.2) CB Rasul Douglas (81.0)
C Will Clapp (56.7) CB Taron Johnson (77.5)
RG O’Cyrus Torrence (54.9) S Mike Edwards (56.9)
RT Spencer Brown (70.1) S Taylor Rapp (56.4)

11. Miami Dolphins

Biggest strength in 2023: High-Speed Offense

Speed is the name of the game with this Dolphins offense, as it has burners practically everywhere you look. With Tyreek Hill, Jaylen Waddle, Raheem Mostert, De’Von Achane and rookie Jaylen Wright, Dolphins games should turn into track meets very quickly. Delivering the ball to these weapons is Tua Tagovailoa, who had a career year in 2023, throwing for 4679 yards and 29 touchdowns to go along with an elite 90.2 passing grade during the regular season. The Dolphins also added some size to their offense, bringing in Odell Beckham Jr. to add an extra element to this offense. Beckham showed he still had something left in the tank last season, catching 35 passes for 565 yards and a receiving grade of 78 in Baltimore.

Biggest weakness in 2023: Trenches

The offensive line has been a mess for the Dolphins over the last few seasons and matters were made worse when Robert Hunt left for Carolina this offseason while Connor Williams suffered an ACL injury that has his career up in the air. Because of their cap situation, the Dolphins were unable to sign any impact free agents to shore up the offensive line, and they hardly addressed the position in the draft, as Houston tackle Patrick Paul was the only offensive lineman the team selected. On the defensive side of the ball, the team suffered a major loss when defensive tackle Christian Wilkins signed with the Raiders. While Zach Sieler is a good player who should make up for some of Wilkins' lost production, the rest of that position group leaves a lot to be desired.

X-factor for 2024: OT Terron Armstead

The Dolphins’ offensive line has been an issue for the last few years, and part of that has been due to Terron Armstead’s inability to stay healthy for a full season since signing a lucrative contract with Miami ahead of the 2022 season. Armstead has been excellent when he’s been on the field, as he hasn’t had a PFF grade below 75.0 since his rookie season, so keeping him healthy can go a long way toward helping this Dolphins offense reach the full potential it hasn’t quite been able to achieve.

Rookie to watch: EDGE Chop Robinson

The injury bug ravaged the Dolphins’ pass-rushers late last season, as both Bradley Chubb and Jaelan Phillips went down to season-ending injuries. Phillips tore his Achilles in Week 12, though he is expected to return at some point during the 2024 season. The same may not be able to be said for Chubb, who tore his ACL in Week 17 and may miss most, if not all, of 2024. On top of that, breakout edge rusher Andrew Van Ginkel left for Minnesota in the offseason, making it easy to see why the Dolphins made Penn State’s Chop Robinson their top draft pick. Robinson is a freaky athlete with a lot of production but inconsistent technique. Given the injuries running rampant in his position group, he will have plenty of opportunities to be its top pass-rusher.

Over/Under 9.5 win total: Over

The Dolphins were an inconsistent team in 2023, as they struggled mightily against tougher competition while beating up lesser foes. They have some glaring issues on their offensive and defensive lines; however, on paper, this is as good a team as any in the AFC, especially considering the Bills look as vulnerable as they’ve been in five years. Barring any further serious injuries to major contributors, expect the Dolphins to compete for the top seed in the AFC as they seek their first division title since 2008.

Projected starting lineup for 2024
QB Tua Tagovailoa (86.9) DI Zach Sieler (68.3)
RB Raheem Mostert (84.7) DI Neville Gallimore (59.5)
RB De’Von Achane (92.1) Edge Jaelan Phillips (79.8)
WR Tyreek Hill (93.4) Edge Shaquil Barrett (73.1)
WR Jaylen Waddle (90.3) Edge Chop Robinson (90.9*)
WR Odell Beckham Jr. (75.4) LB David Long Jr. (62.5)
TE Durham Smythe (53.7) LB Jordyn Brooks (57.3)
LT Terron Armstead (79.3) CB Jalen Ramsey (65.6)
LG Liam Eichenberg (45.2) CB Kendall Fuller (83.1)
C Aaron Brewer (71.6) CB Kader Kohou (64.8)
RG Robert Jones (57.6) S Jevon Holland (90.4)
RT Austin Jackson (66.9) S Jordan Poyer (67.2)

12. Cleveland Browns

Biggest strength in 2023: Defense

There isn’t a weak spot to be found across this defense. Along the defensive line, reigning Defensive Player of the Year Myles Garrett leads the charge with his 15 sacks and 93.9 PFF grade. Lining up across from him is the ageless Za’Darius Smith, who despite being 31 last season still managed to record an 83.1 PFF grade, 16th best among 112 qualifying edge defenders.

Backing them up is Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, who showed that he belongs in the discussion amongst the top linebackers in football last season, recording 61 stops (tackles resulting in two yards or fewer that didn’t convert first downs), tying for fourth at his position. The secondary is as deep as they come, featuring three cornerbacks who could be No. 1 options on several teams in Denzel Ward, Greg Newsome II and Martin Emerson.

Not only did this defense rank first in expected points added allowed per play (-.167) last season, but the unit returns every key member as well as defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz. Expect Cleveland’s defense to dominate once again in 2024.

Biggest weakness in 2023: Receiver Depth

Aside from Amari Cooper, who will be 30 years old when the 2024 season starts, this Browns team lacks any major contributors at wide receiver. They traded for and extended Jerry Jeudy in the offseason, but Jeudy has been a disappointment after being a first-round pick in 2021, dealing with injuries and inconsistency in his three seasons in Denver.

The team is also still waiting for Elijah Moore to become the slot option they expected him to be when they traded for him ahead of last season. While Cedric Tillman showed promise as a rookie in the preseason last year, the regular season wasn’t so kind, as his 55.5 PFF grade ranked 106th out of 128 qualifying receivers. The Browns will need at least one of these guys to pick up the slack and become a complement to Cooper if the team hopes to take the next step.

X-factor for 2024: QB Deshaun Watson

The Deshaun Watson experiment has been shaky, to say the least. Since being acquired from the Texans in 2022, Watson has played in just 12 games due to injury and suspension, passing for 2,278 yards with 14 touchdowns and nine interceptions during that span. What’s worse is he just has eight big-time throws and 14 turnover-worthy plays, getting outplayed by the likes of Jacoby Brissett and Joe Flacco. Six of those 12 games also resulted in his earning a sub-60.0 passing grade.

If the Browns hope to take that next step and challenge the Chiefs, Ravens and other AFC juggernauts, Watson needs to bounce back to the way he played in Houston, where he earned a 91.1 passing grade in his final season.

Rookie to watch: WR Jamari Thrash

Thanks to the Deshaun Watson trade, the Browns once again did not have a first-round pick in 2024, and their draft capital in general was very lacking. They made only six selections, and four of them came on Day 3. One Day 3 pick that could be intriguing is fifth-round wide receiver Jamari Thrash.

The 2024 receiver class was rich with receiver talent, leaving Thrash still available when the Browns took him 156th overall. Thrash was very reliable for Louisville last season, catching at least three passes in all but one game. He finished the 2023 campaign with 62 catches for 848 yards and six scores to go along with a 78.4 receiving grade. Drops were an issue for Thrash, as he had eight of them last season for an 11.4% drop rate, but if he can improve his hands, this receiver room is thin enough that he could be an impact player sooner rather than later.

Over/Under 8.5 win total: Over

The Browns won 11 games last season in a very difficult AFC North despite starting five different quarterbacks and losing running back Nick Chubb for the year in Week 2. Even if Deshaun Watson can’t return to the form that made him one of the best young quarterbacks in the league, the defense should be good enough that they’ll stay in games.

If Watson does bounce back and plays like he did in 2020, this team is good enough on paper to compete for the franchise’s first Super Bowl. The 8.5 win total appears insultingly low.

Projected starting lineup for 2024
QB Deshaun Watson (67.3) DI Maurice Hurst (81.0)
RB Nick Chubb (81.6) DI Shelby Harris (70.8)
RB Jerome Ford (68.3) Edge Myles Garrett (93.9)
WR Amari Cooper (79.9) Edge Za’Darius Smith (83.1)
WR Jerry Jeudy (67.8) Edge Ogbo Okoronkwo (65.3)
WR Elijah Moore (58.9) LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah (76.8)
TE David Njoku (68.2) LB Jordan Hicks (74.6)
LT Jedrick Wills Jr. (54.0) CB Denzel Ward (69.4)
LG Joel Bitonio (67.9) CB Greg Newsome II (66.0)
C Ethan Pocic (70.8) CB Martin Emerson Jr. (63.2)
RG Wyatt Teller (72.7) S Grant Delpit (70.0)
RT Jack Conklin (74.5) S Juan Thornhill (66.5)

13. Green Bay Packers

Biggest strength in 2023: Passing Game

The emergence of Jordan Love and the Packers’ cascade of young weapons was one of the biggest stories in the NFL last season. From Week 9 onward, Green Bay ranked third in the NFL in offensive grade and Love led the league with a 90.7 passing grade. If the Packers perform that well offensively for an entire season, they could find themselves in Super Bowl contention.

Biggest weakness in 2023: Middle of the Defense

While the Packers excelled offensively last season, the same can’t be said for their defense. New defensive coordinator Jeff Hafley will be looking for improvement at linebacker and safety, in particular. Those groups ranked 31st and 24th, respectively, in overall grade last season. Several new additions to both units will be key to the Packers’ success.

X-factor for 2024: S Xavier McKinney

Green Bay’s biggest free-agent acquisition was safety Xavier McKinney. The former Giant led all safeties with a 91.2 coverage grade last season. His prowess in a single-high alignment is an ideal match for Jeff Hafley’s defense. McKinney’s presence should improve a secondary that has struggled to cover the middle of the field.

Rookie to watch: LB Edgerrin Cooper

De’Vondre Campbell departed for San Francisco this offseason, leaving a void next to Quay Walker at linebacker. Second-round pick Edgerrin Cooper is the most likely man to fill that spot. Cooper is an athletic presence who led all FBS linebackers with a 90.8 overall grade last season.

Over/Under 9.5 win total: Over

The Packers were scorching hot down the stretch last season. They gave the NFC champion 49ers everything they had in the postseason after easily disposing of Dallas in their opening game. If Jordan Love continues last year’s late-season performance, double-digit wins will once again become the standard in Green Bay.

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Projected starting lineup for 2024
QB Jordan Love (83.6) DI Kenny Clark (70.4)
RB Josh Jacobs (65.0) DI Devonte Wyatt (59.6)
RB A.J. Dillon (75.7) Edge Rashan Gary (79.0)
WR Christian Watson (68.2) Edge Preston Smith (70.5
WR Romeo Doubs (73.6) Edge Lukas Van Ness (62.3)
WR Jayden Reed (73.3) LB Edgerrin Cooper (90.8*)
TE Luke Musgrave (68.1) LB Quay Walker (58.5)
LT Jordan Morgan (83.4*) CB Jaire Alexander (75.9)
LG Elgton Jenkins (63.8) CB Eric Stokes (51.5)
C Zach Tom (79.7) CB Keisean Nixon (60.0)
RG Josh Myers (54.7) S Xavier McKinney (87.5)
RT Rasheed Walker (66.3) S Javon Bullard (82.8*)

14. Los Angeles Rams

Biggest strength in 2023: Offensive Balance

The Rams ranked inside the top 10 in every aspect of offensive grading except pass protection last season. Matthew Stafford had a big bounce-back year. Kyren Williams proved himself to be a workhorse. Puka Nacua set the rookie receiving record. With an improved offensive line heading into 2024, the Rams’ offense will be dangerous as long as Stafford continues to produce at a high level.

Biggest weakness in 2023: Coverage

Los Angeles ranked dead last in team coverage grade last season (46.2). They were extremely young and did not have a single defensive back finish with at least a 70.0 coverage grade. They’ve done significant work this offseason to improve their secondary, though, and if that work pays off, they could be a dark-horse NFC contender.

X-factor for 2024: DI Kobie Turner

Aaron Donald’s retirement forces Kobie Turner into a marquee role on the Rams’ defensive line. Turner finished his rookie season with an excellent 83.2 overall grade and led the team with 12 sacks. Obviously, he won’t be asked to fill the void left by Donald by himself, but he will need to continue his excellent play to mitigate the loss.

Rookie to watch: EDGE Jared Verse

Another player tasked with replacing Aaron Donald’s production is first-round pick Jared Verse. He had a spectacular two-year run at Florida State and produced a 90.8 pass-rush grade in 2023. Meanwhile, the Rams’ edge group finished 30th in the NFL in overall grade last season. Verse will have every opportunity to star for this defense.

Over/Under 8.5 win total: Over

Aaron Donald is a huge loss for the Rams, but a team with Matthew Stafford, Kyren Williams, Cooper Kupp and Puka Nacua should still have a winning season. Their postseason success will be dictated by their defensive development. As long as Stafford continues to produce, the Rams will at least be in the playoff mix.

Projected starting lineup for 2024
QB Matthew Stafford (88.2) DI Kobie Turner (83.2)
RB Blake Corum (84.0*) DI Braden Fiske (73.9*)
RB Kyren Williams (80.4) Edge Michael Hoecht (58.2)
WR Cooper Kupp (71.5) Edge Jared Verse (84.4*)
WR Puka Nacua (90.2) Edge Byron Young (64.1)
WR Demarcus Robinson (70.0) LB Ernest Jones (78.8)
TE Tyler Higbee (57.6) LB Christian Rozeboom (47.9)
LT Alaric Jackson (66.6) CB Darious Williams (79.5)
LG Jonah Jackson (61.0) CB Tre’Davious White (68.0)
C Steve Avila (60.5) CB Quentin Lake (70.0)
RG Kevin Dotson (84.4) S Kamren Curl (66.6)
RT Rob Havenstein (79.8) S Russ Yeast (57.0)

15. Atlanta Falcons

Biggest strength in 2023: Run Defense

The additions of Jessie Bates III, Calais Campbell and Kaden Elliss gave the Falcons an elite run-defense unit in 2023. They finished second behind Miami in team run-defense grade while ranking ninth in yards allowed per attempt. They added even more run defenders in the draft, so this should continue to be the strength of their defense moving forward.

Biggest weakness in 2023: Quarterbacks

The Falcons’ struggles at quarterback have been well-documented. They finished last in the NFL in passing grade last season, as the combination of Desmond Ridder and Taylor Heinicke struggled to find consistency. The overhaul of their quarterback room is completely warranted.

X-factor for 2024: QB Kirk Cousins

The high-priced part of Atlanta’s renovation at quarterback, of course, is Kirk Cousins. The veteran was on track for a career year before tearing his Achilles against Green Bay last season. Through eight games, he posted an 85.1 passing grade with 18 touchdowns. He thrives in play action, which should fit perfectly with running back Bijan Robinson and the team’s offensive line.

Rookie to watch: EDGE Bralen Trice

The FBS leader in pressures in 2023 landed in Atlanta in the third round of this year’s draft. Trice is a high-motor edge rusher who was easily the best defensive player for the national runner-up Washington Huskies. He should at least get rotational work for a unit that finished 27th in pass-rush grade last season.

Over/Under 9.5 win total: Over

The Falcons won seven games last year with arguably the worst quarterback situation in the league. They have a top-three offensive line, playmakers at running back and wide receiver, and an improving defense. Kirk Cousins, when healthy, is a top-t10 quarterback. The Falcons should fully expect to win the NFC South with Cousins at the helm.

Projected starting lineup for 2024
QB Kirk Cousins (86.1) DI Grady Jarrett (70.1)
RB Bijan Robinson (69.1) DI David Onyemata (83.3)
RB Tyler Allgeier (82.9) Edge Lorenzo Carter (67.0)
WR Drake London (78.9) Edge Arnold Ebiketie (61.4)
WR Darnell Mooney (55.2) Edge Bralen Trice (88.1*)
WR Rondale Moore (53.6) LB Kaden Elliss (75.4)
TE Kyle Pitts (68.1) LB Troy Andersen (50.6)
LT Jake Matthews (71.2) CB A.J. Terrell (74.6)
LG Matthew Bergeron (59.1) CB Clark Phillips III (59.0)
C Drew Dalman (82.3) CB Dee Alford (70.0)
RG Chris Lindstrom (87.6) S Jessie Bates III (90.6)
RT Kaleb McGary (75.5) S DeMarcco Hellams (65.2)

16. Pittsburgh Steelers

Biggest strength in 2023: Pass Rush

There is perhaps no better pass-rushing duo in football than T.J. Watt and Alex Highsmith. While Watt is a former Defensive Player of the Year who consistently racks up high pressure totals, Highsmith went more under the radar until a breakout 2023 season during which he totaled eight sacks, 72 pressures and a 90.0 PFF grade.

The Steelers are not without depth, either. While he didn’t see a ton of snaps in 2023, Nick Herbig made the most of his opportunities, recording 10 pressures on just 81 pass-rushing reps for an 81.6 pass-rush grade. Interior defenders Cameron Heyward and Keeanu Benton chipped in with at least 20 pressures apiece, too.

The Steelers can come after opposing quarterbacks in a variety of ways and should give offensive lines headaches all season.

Biggest weakness in 2023: Offensive Line

The Steelers struggled to protect Kenny Pickett all last season, and the result was him getting knocked out for the year in Week 13. The highest-graded pass blocker from last season’s unit was Isaac Seumalo at just 66.4. Starting left tackle Dan Moore allowed a whopping 56 pressures last season, eight of which were converted into sacks, resulting in a 42.1 pass-blocking grade, making the offensive line the Steelers’ top priority in the draft.

Pittsburgh wasted no time in rebuilding their line from the ground up, drafting three linemen within the first four rounds. The team’s top two picks, tackle Troy Fautanu and center Zach Frazier, should both be starting by Week 1, while fourth-rounder Mason McCormick could see more playing time as the season goes along.

The Steelers heavily invested in their line in the draft and will be counting on a lot of youth to keep their quarterback upright, which could lead to some early-season struggles.

X-factor for 2024: Whoever Wins the QB Battle

Perhaps the one true training camp quarterback battle this offseason will take place in Pittsburgh, as the Steelers acquired Russell Wilson and Justin Fields to compete for their starting quarterback job. Both players are looking for fresh starts after lackluster tenures at their previous organizations.

Wilson brings more experience and a track record of past success, although the past couple of seasons have not been kind to him. It has been three seasons since Wilson last earned a PFF grade of at least 80.0. Fields, on the other hand, is young and a much more explosive athlete at this stage of his career, and he offers more long-term potential than Wilson. However, his flaws as a passer were exposed often while in Chicago and he will need a special type of offensive system to work towards his strengths.

Mike Tomlin’s decision on whom to go with this season will be huge toward the Steelers’ chances of making a postseason return.

Rookie to watch: LB Payton Wilson

Payton Wilson was the 30th-ranked player on the PFF big board heading into the draft yet fell all the way to No. 98, in large part because one of his knees does not have an ACL. That being said, he hasn’t missed significant time due to injury since 2021 and his game tape over the past two seasons has been of high quality, particularly in 2023 when he proved himself to be one of the most well-rounded linebackers in the country.

Wilson’s 83.5 run-defense grade, 90.6 tackling grade and 90.4 coverage grade culminated in an 89.8 PFF overall grade. A lack of an ACL didn’t seem to bother him this past season, and given his performance, there’s little reason to think he can’t be an impact player on this Steelers defense.

Over/Under 7.5 win total: Over

The Steelers earned a wild-card spot in the NFL’s toughest division last season despite dealing with issues at quarterback and offensive line throughout the season.

While the AFC North didn’t get any easier, the Steelers should be improved on offense, regardless of who wins the starting quarterback job. Even if the offense doesn’t improve as the team hopes, the defense should be good enough to win them some games that they probably shouldn’t.

Projected starting lineup for 2024
QB Russell Wilson (77.5) DI Cameron Heyward (73.1)
RB Najee Harris (76.2) DI Keeanu Benton (76.9)
RB Jaylen Warren (78.5) Edge T.J. Watt (91.9)
WR George Pickens (74.1) Edge Alex Highsmith (90.0)
WR Van Jefferson (50.1) Edge Nick Herbig (81.0)
WR Roman Wilson (81.5*) LB Patrick Queen (73.0)
TE Pat Freiermuth (65.8) LB Elandon Roberts (72.2)
LT Troy Fautanu (75.5*) CB Joey Porter Jr. (64.3)
LG Isaac Seumalo (73.9) CB Donte Jackson (64.3)
C Zach Frazier (77.1*) CB Darius Rush (54.4)
RG James Daniels (61.1) S Minkah Fitzpatrick (73.3)
RT Broderick Jones (57.3) S DeShon Elliott (68.6)

17. Seattle Seahawks

Biggest strength in 2023: Cornerbacks

Rookie cornerback Devon Witherspoon was outstanding last season, whether he played outside or in the slot. His production along with that of Tariq Woolen, Michael Jackson and Tre Brown gave the Seahawks one of the NFL’s deepest cornerback units. Combined, the team’s cornerback group posted the sixth-best overall grade in the league.

Biggest weakness in 2023: Pass Protection

Geno Smith had another solid season in 2023, but the Seahawks couldn’t protect him often enough. They finished 28th in pass-blocking grade while dealing with a rash of injuries up front. Only one of their starters, left tackle Charles Cross, earned a 65.0-plus grade in pass protection.

X-factor for 2024: OT Abraham Lucas

One reason Seattle’s offensive line struggled was the fact that four different players took significant snaps at right tackle. Abraham Lucas would normally reside in that spot, but he played just six games and struggled to a 44.4 pass-blocking grade, a far cry from his solid 2022 rookie season. Lucas needs to provide stability at that position to give the Seahawks what was once a promising pair of young tackles.

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Rookie to watch: G Christian Haynes

Sticking with the offensive line, third-round pick Christian Haynes should start immediately for Seattle at right guard. The UConn product posted an 87.9 overall grade over the past two seasons, ranking third in the FBS. His athleticism should bring value in the pass and run games in Ryan Grubb’s new offense.

Over/Under 7.5 win total: Under

Seattle’s new coaching staff, led by Mike Macdonald, is arguably the biggest variable in the NFC West. The team is very young in the trenches on both sides of the ball, so there could be some growing pains forthcoming. They have little room for error, though, in a division with the perennially contending 49ers, a solid Rams team and an improving group in Arizona.

Projected starting lineup for 2024
QB Geno Smith (82.9) DI Leonard Williams (76.9)
RB Kenneth Walker III (83.5) DI Byron Murphy II (91.1*)
RB Zach Charbonnet (69.7) Edge Uchenna Nwosu (68.5)
WR D.K. Metcalf (80.0) Edge Darrell Taylor (50.9)
WR Tyler Lockett (78.1) Edge Boye Mafe (73.9)
WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba (63.3) LB Tyrel Dodson (90.2)
TE Noah Fant (62.9) LB Jerome Baker (66.6)
LT Charles Cross (67.6) CB Tariq Woolen (67.1)
LG Laken Tomlinson (55.0) CB Devon Witherspoon (84.1)
C Olu Oluwatimi (53.1) CB Michael Jackson (77.0)
RG Christian Haynes (80.2*) S Rayshawn Jenkins (60.9)
RT Abraham Lucas (53.1) S Julian Love (72.8)

18. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Biggest strength in 2023: Secondary

The Buccaneers struggled in coverage through their first 10 games in 2023 but turned things around down the stretch. From Week 12 through the end of the season, Tampa Bay earned the third-best coverage grade in the NFL. Antoine Winfield Jr. Is the headliner, but they also got nice contributions from young players like Zyon McCollum and Christian Izien.

Biggest weakness in 2023: Rushing Offense

Tampa Bay was mostly one-dimensional last season, struggling to run the ball. They finished the year ranked 30th in rushing grade and 29th in run-blocking grade. One area where they could improve is their interior offensive line, where their guards and centers combined for the league’s lowest run-blocking grade.

X-factor for 2024: QB Baker Mayfield

Baker Mayfield didn’t win Comeback Player of the Year last season, but he certainly deserved to. His excellent play late in the year was a huge reason the Buccaneers won their division. Now, he has to prove that he can produce for a second consecutive season after the departure of offensive coordinator Dave Canales. Mayfield’s risky habits will be under the microscope, as only Sam Howell finished 2023 with more turnover-worthy plays.

Rookie to watch: OL Graham Barton

First-round selection Graham Barton mostly played left tackle in college but has experience at center and is likely to start there in Year 1. His presence could alleviate the aforementioned struggles from the interior offensive line. His athleticism should be an asset for new offensive coordinator Liam Coen in the run game.

Over/Under 7.5 win total: Over

There are some key variables in projecting the Buccaneers’ 2024 performance, the biggest being Baker Mayfield’s performance under a new offensive coordinator. They do have some constants in stars Mike Evans, Tristan Wirfs and Antoine Winfield Jr.. If they get production from their young players, including an underrated rookie class, they will stay in NFC South contention.

Projected starting lineup for 2024
QB Baker Mayfield (77.2) DI Vita Vea (80.0)
RB Rachaad White (67.5) DI Calijah Kancey (49.7)
RB Bucky Irving (88.2*) Edge Yaya Diaby (60.8)
WR Mike Evans (81.5) Edge Joe Tryon-Shoyinka (63.0
WR Chris Godwin (77.5) Edge Anthony Nelson (59.4)
WR Trey Palmer (53.3) LB K.J. Britt (70.5)
TE Cade Otton (56.8) LB Lavonte David (72.3)
LT Tristan Wirfs (83.5) CB Jamel Dean (74.3)
LG Ben Bredeson (42.1) CB Zyon McCollum (50.4)
C Graham Barton (75.9*) CB Tykee Smith (84.0*)
RG Cody Mauch (43.9) S Antoine Winfield Jr. (90.7)
RT Luke Goedeke (73.4) S Jordan Whitehead (68.1)

19. Jacksonville Jaguars

Biggest strength in 2023: Deep Passing Game

Despite losing Calvin Ridley to the division-rival Titans, the Jaguars still have a plethora of receivers who can make big plays downfield. First-round rookie Brian Thomas Jr. was among the best deep receivers in college football last season, ranking in the top 10 in this year’s draft class in receptions, yards and receiving grade on balls thrown at least 20 yards downfield. The team also signed free agent Gabe Davis, whose 93.5 receiving grade on deep balls tied Tank Dell for 12th best in the NFL. Getting the ball to those deep threats will be Trevor Lawrence, whose 96.6 deep passing grade in 2023 ranked fifth among quarterbacks with at least 10 such attempts.

Biggest weakness in 2023: Pass Rush

Extending Josh Allen to a five-year, $150 million deal was crucial for the Jaguars because, aside from him, there is very little to fear on the Jaguars’ defensive line. While the team did sign veteran Arik Armstead, Jacksonville still lacks other players who can consistently get after the quarterback. Former first-overall pick Travon Walker hasn’t panned out through two seasons.

X-factor for 2024: EDGE Travon Walker

Travon Walker has underwhelmed since becoming the first pick of the 2022 NFL Draft. Walker has yet to earn a PFF grade above 60.0 for an entire season, and his 53.9 number in 2023 ranked 99th out of 112 qualifying edge defenders. Walker was considered a raw prospect coming out of Georgia, so this isn’t much of a shocker, but if he doesn’t develop and become a force opposite Josh Allen in Year 3, the Jaguars will struggle to get any pressure on the quarterback and his future with the franchise may be up in the air.

Rookie to watch: WR Brian Thomas Jr.

After the Jaguars lost Calvin Ridley in free agency, Thomas should be expected to step right in and fill his shoes. As Malik Nabers’ running mate at LSU, Thomas put up huge numbers in the Tigers’ explosive offense, catching 68 passes for 1,177 yards and a whopping 17 touchdowns. Thomas should see plenty of targets from Trevor Lawrence right out of the gate.

Over/Under 8.5 win total: Under

The Jaguars collapsed mightily down the stretch last season, losing five of their last six games (their one win being against the lowly Panthers), costing them their AFC South lead and missing the playoffs altogether. While this losing streak coincides with Trevor Lawrence trying to play through a high ankle sprain, he should be at full health ahead of 2024. However, this defense is very flawed, particularly up front. And with quarterbacks like C.J. Stroud, Anthony Richardson and Will Levis potentially on the rise, this could lead to the team playing a lot of catch-up.

If the Jaguars aren’t careful, they could find themselves at the bottom of a division they were expected to dominate for the next half-decade.

Projected starting lineup for 2024
QB Trevor Lawrence (79.7) DI Arik Armstead (78.4)
RB Travis Etienne Jr. (77.0) DI Roy Robertson-Harris (62.3)
RB Tank Bigsby (52.3) Edge Josh Allen (89.5)
WR Christian Kirk (71.1) Edge Travon Walker (53.9)
WR Gabe Davis (67.9) Edge Trevis Gipson (89.6)
WR Brian Thomas Jr. (74.2*) LB Devin Lloyd (78.1)
TE Evan Engram (71.6) LB Foyesade Oluokun (75.2)
LT Cam Robinson (65.4) CB Tyson Campbell (61.5)
LG Ezra Cleveland (59.5) CB Ronald Darby (70.8)
C Mitch Morse (63.9) CB Montaric Brown (51.3)
RG Brandon Scherff (67.3) S Darnell Savage (75.5)
RT Anton Harrison (53.0) S Andre Cisco (68.9)

20. Chicago Bears

Biggest strength in 2023: Coverage

Led by breakout star cornerback Jaylon Johnson, Chicago played very good defense down the stretch last season. Of particular importance was their improvement in coverage late in the year. Over the final seven weeks of the regular season, the Bears ranked fifth in coverage grade and first in interceptions.

Biggest weakness in 2023: Defensive Line

The midseason addition of Montez Sweat was much needed, but the Bears’ defensive line still ranked last in the NFL in pass-rush grade in 2023. Given the dynamic offenses in the NFC North, that unit will need to find greater production, especially with the low-blitz tendencies in Matt Eberflus’ defense.

X-factor for 2024: OT Darnell Wright

Chicago’s offensive line also struggled last season, finishing 28th in the NFL in overall grade. 2023 first-rounder Darnell Wright was the most durable player within that unit. He had a decent rookie season, but a leap to stardom would be a huge boon for a team breaking in a new offensive coordinator and a new quarterback.

Rookie to watch: QB Caleb Williams

Caleb Williams may be the most talented passer ever to wear a Bears uniform. Expectations will be high for him as he joins a potentially dynamic aerial attack with D.J. Moore, Keenan Allen and Rome Odunze. The question for Williams will be his ball security under pressure. In 2023, he was the best passer in the country from a clean pocket, but he posted a 38.9 passing grade with 16 turnover-worthy plays under pressure.

Over/Under 8.5 win total: Under

On one hand, the Bears are a team with an ascending defense and a loaded receiving corps. On the other, they are a team with a rookie gunslinger, a new offensive coordinator and bottom-five trench units on both sides of the ball. Expectations are high, but patience will likely be needed as the Bears try to build a sustainable future.

Projected starting lineup for 2024
QB Caleb Williams (90.3*) DI Andrew Billings (76.4)
RB Khalil Herbert (77.9) DI Gervon Dexter Sr. (50.9)
RB D’Andre Swift (66.5) Edge DeMarcus Walker (72.8)
WR D.J. Moore (89.3) Edge Montez Sweat (74.8)
WR Keenan Allen (86.3) Edge Dominique Robinson (35.3)
WR Rome Odunze (89.8*) LB Tremaine Edmunds (56.6)
TE Cole Kmet (73.7) LB T.J. Edwards (79.6)
LT Braxton Jones (68.8) CB Jaylon Johnson (90.8)
LG Teven Jenkins (72.6) CB Tyrique Stevenson (60.2)
C Ryan Bates (78.7) CB Kyler Gordon (65.6)
RG Nate Davis (52.9) S Jaquan Brisker (66.7)
RT Darnell Wright (62.4) S Kevin Byard (72.8)

21. Minnesota Vikings

Biggest strength in 2023: Offensive Line

Minnesota’s offensive line, led by the excellent tackle duo of Christian Darrisaw and Brian O’Neill, is a quietly solid unit. That unit finished fourth in the NFL in pass-blocking grade last season. That group, along with Kevin O’Connell’s brilliant play calling, gave the Vikings a chance to win every week, no matter who was playing quarterback.

Biggest weakness in 2023: Pass Rush

Defensive coordinator Brian Flores causes offenses headaches with his blitz packages, but the Vikings lacked individual pass-rush production outside of Danielle Hunter last season. As a team, they ranked 31st in pass-rush grade and did not finish a single game with a 70.0-plus pass-rush grade all year.

X-factor for 2024: RB Aaron Jones

There should be a renewed emphasis on the running game for Minnesota in 2024. Aaron Jones proved last season that, when healthy, he can carry a full workload in every aspect. The Vikings finished 24th in rushing grade last season despite carrying a top-10 run-blocking unit. Jones and Ty Chandler should complement a developing passing attack well.

Click here to see Aaron Jones' PFF Premium Stats profile.
Rookie to watch: EDGE Dallas Turner

Turner, a freakishly athletic standup edge rusher, is an ideal fit in Minnesota’s defense. He joins Jonathan Greenard and Andrew Van Ginkel in a revamped edge group that should be significantly better than the one Flores worked with last season. Turner was one of just eight FBS edges last season who posted 80.0-plus grades in pass rush and coverage.

Over/Under 6.5 win total: Over

The Vikings won seven games last season despite starting four different quarterbacks. Their defense is improving, and their run game should be better with Aaron Jones in the fold. As long as Sam Darnold or J.J. McCarthy are functional, they should be expected to at least match that total, albeit in an extremely competitive division.

Projected starting lineup for 2024
QB J.J. McCarthy (90.6*) DI Jerry Tillery (67.7)
RB Aaron Jones (80.9) DI Harrison Phillips (72.0)
RB Ty Chandler (76.3) Edge Jonathan Greenard (76.7)
WR Justin Jefferson (91.1) Edge Andrew Van Ginkel (91.1)
WR Jordan Addison (68.6) Edge Dallas Turner (81.6*)
WR Brandon Powell (61.7) LB Ivan Pace Jr. (77.1)
TE T.J. Hockenson (78.8) LB Blake Cashman (82.1)
LT Christian Darrisaw (82.4) CB Byron Murphy Jr. (58.0)
LG Blake Brandel (55.1) CB Andrew Booth Jr. (68.6)
C Garrett Bradbury (60.9) CB Mekhi Blackmon (71.8)
RG Ed Ingram (59.5) S Harrison Smith (68.9)
RT Brian O’Neill (74.5) S Camryn Bynum (73.2)

22. Indianapolis Colts

Biggest strength in 2023: Defensive Line

The Colts have spent a lot of draft capital on their defensive line over the years, and in 2024 it finally looks like it’s going to be a major strength of this team. DeForest Buckner has been one of the best interior linemen in the league since he was a first-round pick of the 49ers in 2016, as his 81.8 PFF grade at age 29 can attest to. Joining him up the middle is the vastly underrated Grover Stewart, who is more the run-stuffer of the two, having posted a 77.3 run-defense grade last season that ranked sixth at the position. The team also signed Raekwon Davis away from the Dolphins for some added depth.

Off the edge is where the Colts should really shine. Samson Ebukam was quietly one of the best edge rushers in the league last season, putting up a career-high 84.4 PFF grade and his first 10-sack season. Kwity Paye has steadily improved in each season since being a first-round pick in 2021, posting a career high in PFF grade (74.3) and sacks (eight) last season. The real intriguing member of this group is first-round rookie Laiatu Latu. The UCLA product was the best defensive player in college football last season, earning a 96.3 PFF grade while registering 15 sacks in 12 games.

Biggest weakness in 2023: Secondary

After losing Isaiah Rodgers to a season-long gambling suspension, which resulted in his release from the team, the Colts ran out several young and unproven players at cornerback last year. While defensive coordinator Gus Bradley got a lot out of them, as their 18th-ranked 69.6 team coverage grade can attest to, the front office didn’t add much to the unit in the offseason.

The hope is that 2023 second-round pick JuJu Brents takes the next step in becoming a shutdown cornerback while 30-year-old Kenny Moore II continues to hold down the slot corner position. Dallis Flowers, Jaylon Jones and Darrell Baker Jr. should all see time, as well, though only Flowers earned a 60.0-plus coverage grade (70.6).

X-factor for 2024: QB Anthony Richardson

Richardson started right out of the gate for the Colts despite being considered an extremely raw prospect. He was lost for the season after Week 5 due to a shoulder injury after posting a 56.5 passing grade on just 107 snaps, and despite having been a prolific runner in college, he recorded only a 45.3 PFF rushing grade on 18 attempts.

If Richardson can have a breakout year as both a passer and a runner, the Colts will have one of the most dynamic offenses in football.

Rookie to watch: WR Adonai Mitchell

Despite being one of the most talented players in this year’s draft class, Adonai Mitchell was the 11th receiver off the board, at Pick No. 52. The numbers don’t lie, as Mitchell dropped just one pass on 103 targets over the past two years. He should form a dynamic duo with Michael Pittman Jr.

Over/Under 8.5 win total: Under

The Colts managed to win nine games last season with Gardner Minshew starting most of the season, narrowly missing the playoffs. Yet, with Minshew now in Las Vegas, the team’s fate rests on the shoulders of Anthony Richardson. If he takes a Year 2 leap, the Colts will be in the AFC South title hunt and will potentially even have a shot at the AFC championship. However, if he falters, this team could come crumbling down and find itself drafting in the top five in 2025.

Projected starting lineup for 2024
QB Anthony Richardson (52.2) DI DeForest Buckner (81.8)
RB Jonathan Taylor (74.9) DI Grover Stewart (76.2)
RB Tyler Goodson (57.3) Edge Samson Ebukam (84.4)
WR Michael Pittman Jr. (77.7) Edge Kwity Paye (74.3)
WR Adonai Mitchell (71.9*) Edge Laiatu Latu (96.3*)
WR Josh Downs (70.3) LB Zaire Franklin (60.9)
TE Mo Alie-Cox (61.4) LB E.J. Speed (65.0)
LT Bernhard Raimann (82.7) CB JuJu Brents (63.2)
LG Quenton Nelson (70.8) CB Dallis Flowers (66.4)
C Ryan Kelly (77.2) CB Kenny Moore II (77.4)
RG Will Fries (61.2) S Julian Blackmon (68.3)
RT Braden Smith (83.3) S Nick Cross (71.8)

23. Las Vegas Raiders

Biggest strength in 2023: Defensive Line

Maxx Crosby finally has help along the defensive line. Not only did Malcolm Koonce quietly have a strong third season in the league, but the team signed Christian Wilkins away from the Dolphins in the offseason to bolster the defensive front.

Also featuring on the interior defensive line are John Jenkins and Adam Butler, who both bring plenty of veteran experience. A potential wild card along this defensive line is 2023 first-round pick Tyree Wilson. Wilson had a rough go his rookie year, but if he can have the breakout second season this team is hoping for, then this defensive line could be among the most dangerous in the league.

Biggest weakness in 2023: Offensive Line

Outside of Kolton Miller, the Raiders’ offensive line leaves a lot to be desired. The team signed Cody Whitehair and Andrus Peat in the offseason, but Whitehair is coming off by far the worst season of his career (45.0 PFF grade) and Peat is projected to kick out to right tackle, a position he hasn’t taken a snap at since 2018. Andre James and Dylan Parham have been solid on the interior, although there are a lot of questions surrounding the recent additions that could complicate things for this Raiders offense.

X-factor for 2024: QB Aidan O’Connell

Aidan O’Connell was thrown into the fire a little sooner than the rookie fourth-rounder probably expected, with mixed results. His 65.9 PFF grade ranked 28th out of 38 quarterbacks, though there were some solid performances mixed in, particularly in his first game against the Chiefs, where he completed 23-of-33 passes for 248 yards and a score. He also made two big-time throws and zero turnover-worthy plays, forming an 83.7 passing grade.

With all the big-name quarterbacks gone by the time the Raiders picked at No. 13 in the 2024 NFL Draft, this quarterback job will be O’Connell’s to lose. And if he does underperform, the Raiders have probably the most competent backup quarterback in the league in Gardner Minshew.

Rookie to watch: TE Brock Bowers

Considering they used a high draft pick on Michael Mayer in the previous draft, it was a surprise that the Raiders selected Georgia’s Brock Bowers in the first round in 2024. Bowers’ talent is undeniable, as he’s arguably the best tight end prospect in recent memory. His flexibility will likely result in the Raiders being able to get more creative with their offensive personnel groupings, which could lead to some interesting play calls in which both he and Mayer will feature.

Over/Under 6.5 win total: Over

Aidan O’Connell is a big question mark for this team. If he plays at even an average level, the Raiders could surprise this upcoming season. The defensive line looks to be very imposing, and O’Connell isn’t going to lack weapons on offense, as the team returns Davante Adams and Jakobi Meyers while featuring a two-headed monster at tight end.

The AFC West looks relatively thin outside of the defending champion Chiefs, so don’t be too surprised if the Raiders can take advantage.

Projected starting lineup for 2024
QB Aidan O’Connell (65.9) DI Christian Wilkins (71.8)
RB Alexander Mattison (61.8) DI John Jenkins (61.2)
RB Zamir White (71.7) Edge Maxx Crosby (92.1)
WR Davante Adams (79.1) Edge Malcolm Koonce (81.3)
WR Michael Gallup (63.4) Edge Tyree Wilson (47.1)
WR Jakobi Meyers (69.9) LB Robert Spillane (77)
TE Brock Bowers (84.4*) LB Divine Deablo (60.6)
LT Kolton Miller (80.2) CB Jack Jones (71.6)
LG Cody Whitehair (45.0) CB Nate Hobbs (69.0)
C Andre James (74.6) CB Jakorian Bennett (42.4)
RG Dylan Parham (60.4) S Tre’von Moehrig (70.2)
RT Andrus Peat (60.2) S Marcus Epps (65.4)

24. New Orleans Saints

Biggest strength in 2023: Coverage

New Orleans possessed one of the league’s best secondaries in 2023. A stellar group that includes Marshon Lattimore, Paulson Adebo and Tyrann Mathieu produced the NFL’s fifth-best team coverage grade. Most of that group returns, and they drafted Alabama’s Kool-Aid McKinstry, as well.

Biggest weakness in 2023: Offensive Line

Offensive line struggles plagued the Saints in 2023 as they posted bottom-eight marks in pass-blocking and run-blocking grades. Only one of their starting offensive lineman, Ryan Ramczyk, graded at or below 61.0 in pass protection, and his 2024 status is in doubt due to injury. The Saints need significant improvements up front this season if they are to return to the postseason.

X-factor for 2024: OL Trevor Penning

Penning, a former first-rounder from Northern Iowa, struggled to a 53.6 overall grade last season. He may be in line to start at right tackle if Ryan Ramczyk misses time with injury. Regardless of what position he plays, the Saints desperately need Penning to improve in 2024. If he doesn’t, life will remain difficult for Derek Carr, who doesn’t have the improvisational skills to consistently beat pressure.

Rookie to watch: OT Taliese Fuaga

Also of great importance for the Saints’ offense is their 2024 first-round pick, Taliese Fuaga. He was the highest-graded run-blocking tackle in college football last season and also performed well in pass protection. Although Fuaga played every snap of his college career at right tackle, it appears New Orleans will give him an opportunity to win the left tackle job. A smooth transition could be crucial to the Saints’ success.

Over/Under 7.5 win total: Under

New Orleans’ struggles in the trenches make it very difficult to project a high ceiling for the team. While they are talented at the skill positions, especially in the secondary, their lack of pass rush and pass protection could create the same inconsistency that hurt them last season. They won nine games in 2023, yet it’s difficult to find areas where they have improved heading into 2024.

Projected starting lineup for 2024
QB Derek Carr (77.2) DI Bryan Bresee (45.5)
RB Alvin Kamara (74.1) DI Nathan Shepherd (47.5)
RB Jamaal Williams (59.4) Edge Cameron Jordan (73.5)
WR Chris Olave (82.5) Edge Carl Granderson (74.1)
WR Rashid Shaheed (69.0) Edge Chase Young (74.7)
WR A.T. Perry (61.0) LB Demario Davis (89.6)
TE Juwan Johnson (58.8) LB Pete Werner (57.5)
LT Taliese Fuaga (88.2*) CB Marshon Lattimore (67.4)
LG Shane Lemieux (34.3) CB Paulson Adebo (78.6)
C Erik McCoy (79.4) CB Alontae Taylor (45.7)
RG Cesar Ruiz (51.2) S Tyrann Mathieu (81.3)
RT Ryan Ramczyk (73.5) S Jordan Howden (67.0)

25. Tennessee Titans

Biggest strength in 2023: Wide Receiver

The Titans seem to be doing everything they can to ensure Will Levis has the weapons he needs to take the next step as a passer and become their franchise quarterback. After signing DeAndre Hopkins last offseason, Tennessee made some noise this offseason by adding Calvin Ridley and Tyler Boyd to a group that also includes former first-round pick Treylon Burks, Kyle Phillips and Nick Westbrook-Ikhine. The team also selected Tulane’s Jha’Quan Jackson in the sixth round of the 2024 NFL Draft, a potential contributing factor down the road.

Biggest weakness in 2023: Front Seven

Outside of Jeffery Simmons, who had a down 2023 by his standards, there aren’t any players on the front seven that should give offensive lines cause for concern. Simmons’ 68.4 PFF grade, despite ranking 36th out of 130 interior defenders, was his lowest mark since his rookie year and a far cry from the top-10 81.1 number he put up in 2022.

Arden Key and Harold Landry have never really been more than average pass rushers. Landry has been consistent in his five-year career, never earning a season-long PFF grade higher than 65.4 or lower than 63.3.

Linebacker is thin for this team, as well, as Kenneth Murray Jr., whom the Chargers let walk in free agency after four underwhelming seasons, and Jack Gibbens, who didn’t see much playing time until last season, are the projected starters. After them, none of the linebackers on the roster played 100 snaps in the NFL last season. The Titans did spend two draft picks on the position in Cedric Gray and converted safety James Williams, but both were Day 3 selections and shouldn’t be expected to contribute right away.

X-factor for 2024: QB Will Levis

Like the Colts, the Titans’ fate lies squarely on the shoulders of their second-year quarterback. Will Levis showed some flashes last season, as he torched the Falcons for 238 yards and four touchdowns in his NFL debut. He also led a spirited comeback against the Dolphins in Week 14 that culminated in his highest-graded performance of the season (79.4). However, after his debut he had three straight games with a passing grade below 60.0, bottoming out in a Week 10 performance against the Buccaneers with a 45.1 passing grade, zero big-time throws and three turnover-worthy plays.

It was a mixed-bag rookie campaign for Levis, but with the weapons he’s been provided with this offseason, a big leap in production isn’t out of the question. The Titans could be back competing for the AFC South title sooner than expected.

Rookie to watch: DI T'Vondre Sweat

Despite conditioning questions and dealing with off-field issues just three weeks before the draft, T’Vondre Sweat was drafted with the 38th overall pick. Sweat is a mountain of a man who formed a dynamic duo with first-round teammate Byron Murphy II along the Texas Longhorns’ interior defensive line.

With how thin the Titans’ front seven looks on paper, having a space clogger like Sweat could make things a lot easier for the players around him as he eats up blockers.

Over/Under 6.5 win total: Over

Perhaps no player’s development is more important to a team’s success this season than Will Levis’ is for the Titans. The Titans have given him no shortage of weapons to succeed, and the offensive line looks better than it has in a long time. But with how thin Tennessee is at key defensive positions, Levis flopping could have disastrous consequences that could see this team looking for a quarterback early in the 2025 draft.

Projected starting lineup for 2024
QB Will Levis (63.7) DI Jeffery Simmons (68.4)
RB Tony Pollard (77.5) DI Sebastian Joseph-Day (60.0)
RB Tyjae Spears (76.8) Edge Arden Key (69.4)
WR DeAndre Hopkins (81.0) Edge Harold Landry III (64.6)
WR Calvin Ridley (71.4) Edge Rashad Weaver (50.7)
WR Tyler Boyd (59.5) LB Kenneth Murray Jr. (52.9)
TE Chigoziem Okonkwo (62.1) LB Jack Gibbens (71.2)
LT JC Latham (81.9*) CB L’Jarius Sneed (72.5)
LG Peter Skoronski (61.6) CB Chidobe Awuzie (62.6)
C Lloyd Cushenberry III (73.2) CB Roger McCreary (71.3)
RG Daniel Brunskill (67.1) S Amani Hooker (67.5)
RT Dillon Radunz (67.2) S Elijah Molden (55.9)

26. Los Angeles Chargers

Biggest strength in 2023: Edge Rusher

Khalil Mack drank from the fountain of youth in 2023, delivering his best season since 2020 despite being 32 years old. The former Defensive Player of the Year recorded a career-high 18 sacks last season, including six in one game against the Raiders, while also generating 88 pressures and a 91.8 PFF grade.

Joey Bosa battled injuries last year but was still very productive when on the field, registering seven sacks and 24 pressures in just nine games. Bosa will be 29 when the 2024 season begins and has never earned a PFF grade below 75.0. In Bosa’s absence, 2023 second-rounder Tuli Tuipulotu picked up a lot of the slack, converting eight of his 51 pressures into sacks while also being very stout against the run (88.4 run defense grade).

Biggest weakness in 2023: Wide Receiver

The Chargers had one of the worst cap situations in football this offseason, and the result was them having to jettison their top two receivers. Longtime standout Keenan Allen was traded to the Bears for a fourth-round pick, while Mike Williams signed with the Jets after being released.

Los Angeles spent a first-round pick on Quentin Johnston last year, and he had plenty of rookie struggles. The team drafted three receivers in 2024 to compete for playing time — Ladd McConkey, Brenden Rice and Cornelius Johnson. Despite these additions, the receiving room lacks any established playmakers for Justin Herbert to throw to.

X-factor for 2024: WR Quentin Johnston

To say Quentin Johnston struggled as a rookie first-rounder would be an understatement. While his drop issues were overblown (he only dropped two passes last season), he struggled to make any real impact. Aside from a 91-yard performance against the Broncos in Week 14, he didn’t have a single game with more than 52 receiving yards.

After the losses of Keenan Allen and Mike Williams this offseason, Johnston will be called upon to step into the No. 1 receiver role if this Chargers offense has any hope of having a strong passing attack.

Rookie to watch: RB Kimani Vidal

Despite having been taken in the sixth round of the draft, Vidal has the potential to take over the starting running back job sooner rather than later.

The Chargers signed Gus Edwards and J.K. Dobbins away from the Ravens this offseason, and while Edwards played well last year, setting career highs with 810 rushing yards and 13 scores, he is 29 years old at a position that ages rapidly. Dobbins, on the other hand, has dealt with many injuries throughout his career and can’t be counted on to stay healthy. The other back of note on the roster, Isaiah Spiller, hasn’t done much in his two seasons out of Texas A&M.

With a good training camp, Vidal could find himself high in the running back rotation right out of the gate.

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Over/Under 8.5 win total: Under

While Justin Herbert’s passing ability and the addition of Jim Harbaugh as head coach will cover up a lot of problems, this team is too thin at many key positions to be considered a serious threat in the AFC.

The Chargers do have one of the easiest schedules in terms of 2023 records, but they don’t appear to have the firepower to take full advantage of that.

Projected starting lineup for 2024
QB Justin Herbert (85.5) DI Morgan Fox (58.0)
RB Gus Edwards (73.7) DI Poona Ford (59.3)
RB J.K. Dobbins (53.5) Edge Joey Bosa (78.4)
WR Quentin Johnston (58.9) Edge Khalil Mack (91.8)
WR Joshua Palmer (67.6) Edge Tuli Tuipulotu (71.0)
WR Ladd McConkey (82.6*) LB Denzel Perryman (56.4)
TE Will Dissly (71.3) LB Nick Niemann (71.6)
LT Rashawn Slater (76.6) CB Asante Samuel Jr. (73.9)
LG Zion Johnson (57.6) CB Kristian Fulton (46.4)
C Bradley Bozeman (62.2) CB Ja’Sir Taylor (56.2)
RG Jamaree Salyer (54.2) S Derwin James (60.1)
RT Joe Alt (90.7*) S Alohi Gilman (86.1)

27. Washington Commanders

Biggest strength in 2023: Rushing Offense

The Commanders struggled across the board last season but ranked 15th in rushing grade. Capable ball-carriers like Brian Robinson and Chris Rodriguez Jr. led the way. The issue for the run game was a lack of designed carries due to the team being behind so often. The incumbent running backs, along with new quarterback Jayden Daniels, should give Washington a functional rushing attack in 2024 and beyond.

Biggest weakness in 2023: Run Defense

The Commanders allowed the most points in the NFL last season, and the primary culprit was a run-defense unit that finished 31st in run-defense grade last season. They’ve since added viable players at multiple levels, including linebackers Bobby Wagner and Frankie Luvu. Head coach Dan Quinn is making his new defense a priority.

X-factor for 2024: QB Jayden Daniels

Washington brought in several veterans and put together a huge draft class, but the team’s fate lies in the hands of second-overall pick Jayden Daniels. The 2023 Heisman winner was the best player in college football last season. His dual-threat ability should inject life into a team that has perpetually struggled to find a franchise quarterback.

Rookie to watch: DI Jer'Zhan Newton

Assuming Newton is healthy moving forward, Washington got an absolute steal in the second round. He was the most consistent interior defender in college football over the past two seasons while at Illinois. His talent and versatility should help a defensive line that finished 29th in overall grade last season.

Over/Under 6.5 win total: Under

While it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Commanders approach or even surpass this win total, they are still starting a rookie quarterback and need immense improvement on defense. This season is more about Daniels and the rest of the rookie class progressing than it is about any number of victories.

Projected starting lineup for 2024
QB Jayden Daniels (94.7*) DI Jonathan Allen (59.7)
RB Brian Robinson Jr. (75.3) DI Daron Payne (61.2)
RB Austin Ekeler (60.2) DI Jer'Zhan Newton (84.9*)
WR Terry McLaurin (75.1) Edge Dorance Armstrong (69.6)
WR Jahan Dotson (57.7) Edge Clelin Ferrell (60.7)
WR Luke McCaffrey (80.1*) LB Bobby Wagner (82.4)
TE Zach Ertz (50.2) LB Frankie Luvu (80.0)
LT Cornelius Lucas (62.8) CB Benjamin St-Juste (59.9)
LG Nick Allegretti (65.8) CB Emmanuel Forbes (50.9)
C Tyler Biadasz (69.2) CB Mike Sainristil (81.4*)
RG Samuel Cosmi (80.6) S Jeremy Chinn (57.7)
RT Andrew Wylie (69.2) S Darrick Forrest (67.0)

28. Arizona Cardinals

Biggest strength in 2023: Dynamic Rushing Threats

Arizona surprisingly led the NFL in rushing grade last year. James Conner, owner of an 88.4 rushing grade, was the primary reason. He finished the regular season with 817 yards after contact, the third most in the NFL — behind Derrick Henry and Christian McCaffrey. Conner, along with Kyler Murray and Trey Benson, should continue to make Arizona’s run game a true threat.

Biggest weakness in 2023: Defense

The Cardinals fielded the lowest-graded defense in the NFL in Jonathan Gannon’s first season as head coach. They equally struggled in the run and pass games and had only three defensive players finish with 68.0-plus overall grades. They selected six defensive players in this year’s draft in the hope of infusing talent into a porous unit.

X-factor for 2024: OT Paris Johnson Jr.

Paris Johnson Jr. had a decent rookie season overall but played much better in the second half of the year. From Weeks 10-18, Johnson posted a 70.7 overall grade, and he did not allow a sack or a hit in his final three games. The Cardinals’ offensive line improved along with Johnson, and further development from him would give Kyler Murray a chance to succeed in his first full season back from injury.

Rookie to watch: WR Marvin Harrison Jr.

The Cardinals needed a top-flight receiver, and they selected one in Marvin Harrison Jr. The Ohio State product led the nation with a 92.3 receiving grade over the past two seasons. His presence alongside Michael Wilson, Greg Dortch and Trey McBride gives the Cardinals a potentially dynamic arsenal of receiving threats.

Over/Under 6.5 win total: Over

Arizona boasted a much more viable offense once Kyler Murray returned to the field in Week 10 last year. From Weeks 10-18, the Cardinals boasted the 10th-highest-graded offense in the NFL. Now, they have Murray at the helm for a full season, as well as rookies Marvin Harrison Jr. and Trey Benson, to hang their hopes on. They still need plenty of work on the defensive side of the ball, but this is an underrated offense that will at least keep the team competitive in a lot of matchups.

Projected starting lineup for 2024
QB Kyler Murray (70.8) DI Darius Robinson (83.1*)
RB James Conner (89.2) DI Justin Jones (49.3)
RB Trey Benson (84.2*) Edge Zaven Collins (72.1)
WR Marvin Harrison Jr. (89.9*) Edge BJ Ojulari (64.8)
WR Michael Wilson (68.3) Edge Dennis Gardeck (67.6)
WR Greg Dortch (68.2) LB Krys Barnes (60.1)
TE Trey McBride (76.3) LB Kyzir White (67.2)
LT Jonah Williams (58.5) CB Sean Murphy-Bunting (57.6)
LG Elijah Wilkinson (46.2) CB Max Melton (73.5*)
C Hjalte Froholdt (64.1) CB Garrett Williams (56.7)
RG Will Hernandez (66.2) S Budda Baker (64.8)
RT Paris Johnson Jr. (60.1) S Jalen Thompson (71.3)

29. New England Patriots

Biggest strength in 2023: Defense

Although New England went 4-13 in 2023, the team’s defense ranked fifth in the NFL in expected points added allowed per play (-.077). This came without key defenders like Christian Gonzalez, Matthew Judon and Marcus Jones, each of whom was lost for the year early in the season due to injury.

While the Patriots did lose coaches Bill and Steve Belichick this offseason, the player personnel remains largely intact, and with the defensive-minded Jerod Mayo running the show, expect the defense to continue to be New England’s calling card in 2024.

Biggest weakness in 2023: Passing Game

While the Patriots’ defense excelled, the offense struggled mightily, recording the second-worst EPA per play figure (-.223), with only the Jets having a lower number.

The passing attack was the primary culprit. New England led only the Falcons in passing grade last season (50.3). Months later, Mac Jones has been traded to the Jaguars and Bailey Zappe’s job could be in trouble, as the Patriots added three new quarterbacks this offseason in Jacoby Brissett, Drake Maye and Joe Milton III. The receiving room wasn’t much better, as the Patriots ranked 28th in team receiving grade last season (66.7). The team made that a priority in the draft, adding Ja’Lynn Polk and Javon Baker to a mix that includes Kendrick Bourne, Demario Douglas and K.J. Osborn.

While this offense has a ways to go before it puts fear into the minds of opposing defensive coordinators, it should be a better product than what New England put out the past two seasons.

X-factor for 2024: QB Jacoby Brissett

While Brissett has largely been an NFL backup, he has had starting opportunities with varying degrees of success. His best performance came with the Browns in 2022 when he kept the team competitive while awaiting the end of Deshaun Watson’s suspension. Across 786 snaps that year, Brissett posted an 82.6 PFF grade, which included an elite 91.5 rushing grade as a runner.

There is perhaps no better bridge quarterback in football for Drake Maye to learn from than Brissett, and if he has the same type of success under offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt that he did in Cleveland, the Patriots could surprise some people.

Rookie to watch: OT Caedan Wallace

With Trent Brown now in Cincinnati, the Patriots have a massive hole at left tackle that went largely untouched this offseason. Mike Onwenu is expected to man the right side of the line, but Chukwuma Okorafor, Vederian Lowe, Calvin Anderson and rookie third-rounder Caedan Wallace are all right tackles.

As such, someone will need to switch sides.

Given the track record of the other three tackles, Wallace should have every opportunity to be that guy. He had some success lining up opposite his first-round teammate, Olumuyiwa Fashanu, putting up a 72.8 pass-blocking grade while allowing just 13 pressures and one sack last season. There may be some early growing pains, but Wallace has the potential to develop into a quality starting left tackle in New England.

Over/Under 5.5 win total: Under

Despite a stellar defense that is returning every member of consequence, the Patriots’ offense will be relying too heavily on unproven youth and underwhelming veterans to make a serious dent in the AFC. Couple that with a very difficult schedule and a division that features Josh Allen, Tua Tagovailoa and a returning Aaron Rodgers, and you’ve got the makings of a team that’s going to struggle to reach six or seven wins.

Projected starting lineup for 2024
QB Jacoby Brissett (84.6) DI Christian Barmore (83.8)
RB Rhamondre Stevenson (71.3) DI Deatrich Wise (54.3)
RB Antonio Gibson (66.6) Edge Matthew Judon (70.2)
WR Kendrick Bourne (67.2) Edge Josh Uche (57.1)
WR Demario Douglas (74.4) Edge Anfernee Jennings (63.2)
WR K.J. Osborn (53.9) LB Ja’Whaun Bentley (65.8)
TE Hunter Henry (69.3) LB Jahlani Tavai (86.6)
LT Caedan Wallace (68.8*) CB Christian Gonzalez (80.8)
LG Cole Strange (64.6) CB Jonathan Jones (76.5)
C David Andrews (71.2) CB Marcus Jones (64.2)
RG Sidy Sow (64.4) S Kyle Dugger (61.7)
RT Mike Onwenu (71.5) S Jabrill Peppers (87.3)

30. Carolina Panthers

Biggest strength in 2023: Defense

Despite Carolina’s nightmarish 2023 season on offense, their defense played reasonably well under Ejiro Evero. They ranked fourth in total yards allowed per game and 16th in defensive grade. The biggest flaw in their performance was that they had the fewest takeaways in the NFL, but they often kept their inept offense in games.

Biggest weakness in 2023: Offense

The Panthers ranked 30th in offensive grade last season and tied for the fewest points scored in the league. Wide receiver Adam Thielen was the only bright spot for their offense, as rookie Bryce Young struggled to find breathing room behind a porous offensive line. New head coach Dave Canales has a ton of work to do to overhaul this unit.

X-factor for 2024: G Robert Hunt

When your starting quarterback stands well under 6 feet tall, pass protection should be a top priority. Carolina’s interior offensive line finished 31st in pass-blocking grade last season, giving Bryce Young no chance to scan the field. The team now has ex-Dolphin Robert Hunt, who posted the seventh-best overall grade among guards and allowed just five pressures in 2023.

Rookie to watch: TE Ja'Tavion Sanders

Carolina began Day 3 of this year’s draft by selecting Ja’Tavion Sanders from Texas. An athletic and reliable receiving option, Sanders did not drop a single pass on 67 targets in 2023. The Panthers are thin at tight end, with Tommy Tremble currently projected to start. Sanders could very well make a run at the starting spot despite being a fourth-round selection.

Over/Under 4.5 win total: Over

Most of Carolina’s success will be tied to the level of improvement from Bryce Young. Fortunately for him, the team brought in a new play caller, Dave Canales, as well as several new offensive linemen and weapons. Any substantial improvement on offense should at least get this team to the five-win mark.

Projected starting lineup for 2024
QB Bryce Young (56.0) DI Derrick Brown (90.1)
RB Jonathon Brooks (91.5*) DI Shy Tuttle (52.9)
RB Chuba Hubbard (77.2) Edge D.J. Wonnum (62.3)
WR Xavier Legette (82.5*) Edge Jadeveon Clowney (82.9)
WR Adam Thielen (72.7) Edge K’Lavon Chaisson (54.7)
WR Diontae Johnson (77.9) LB Josey Jewell (67.2)
TE Tommy Tremble (55.6) LB Shaq Thompson (65.3)
LT Ikem Ekwonu (67.3) CB Jaycee Horn (84.1)
LG Damien Lewis (59.6) CB Dane Jackson (62.7)
C Austin Corbett (47.9) CB Troy Hill (61.3)
RG Robert Hunt (76.4) S Jordan Fuller (66.7)
RT Taylor Moton (74.6) S Xavier Woods (80.3)

31. New York Giants

Biggest strength in 2023: Coverage

Headlined by free safety Xavier McKinney and linebacker Bobby Okereke, the Giants’ coverage unit was respectable last season. They ranked 16th in team coverage grade, which kept the team in several games despite an enormous number of injuries on offense. The challenge this season will be the loss of McKinney to free agency, though New York did draft Tyler Nubin to replace him.

Biggest weakness in 2023: Offensive Line

The Giants’ offensive line was by far the NFL’s worst in PFF grade last season. The combination of injuries to veterans and struggles from young players led to immense struggles in the pass and run games. There is hope if Andrew Thomas returns to full health this season and veteran signings Jon Runyan and Jermaine Eluemunor can stabilize the production up front.

X-factor for 2024: OT Evan Neal

Evan Neal’s struggles are emblematic of the Giants’ offensive line struggles as a whole. He has posted just a 42.5 overall grade through his first two seasons. 2024 is a make-or-break year for Neal, and there could be pressure on him to perform early in the season, with Jermaine Eluemunor fully capable of starting at right tackle in his stead.

Rookie to watch: WR Malik Nabers

Nabers, a first-rounder out of LSU, is the Giants’ most talented receiver since Odell Beckham Jr. He led all FBS wide receivers in overall grade in 2023 and is dangerous outside or in the slot. He’s the perfect chess piece for Brian Daboll’s offense. The Giants just need to find out whether Daniel Jones or someone else will be throwing to Nabers long term.

Over/Under 6.5 win total: Under

The Giants will get their starting quarterback back from injury and added Brian Burns to fill out their defensive line, but their offensive line was in shambles last season and their secondary lost its best player. They also gained Malik Nabers but lost Saquon Barkley. There is a world where the Giants’ defense keeps the team in a lot of games, but their offense is reliant on a ton of young players and a quarterback who struggled last season before tearing his ACL.

Projected starting lineup for 2024
QB Daniel Jones (63.0) DI Dexter Lawrence (92.9)
RB Devin Singletary (75.1) DI Jordan Phillips (35.8)
RB Eric Gray (57.2) Edge Kayvon Thibodeaux (58.4)
WR Darius Slayton (67.5) Edge Azeez Ojulari (51.8)
WR Malik Nabers (92.9*) Edge Brian Burns (73.8)
WR Wan’Dale Robinson (65.5) LB Bobby Okereke (78.9)
TE Darren Waller (69.4) LB Micah McFadden (65.6)
LT Andrew Thomas (76.1) CB Nick McCloud (74.8)
LG Jon Runyan (56.5) CB Deonte Banks (51.4)
C John Michael Schmitz (41.4) CB Andru Phillips (71.7*)
RG Jermaine Eluemunor (68.7) S Tyler Nubin (89.2*)
RT Evan Neal (39.8) S Jason Pinnock (67.7)

32. Denver Broncos

Biggest strength in 2023: Offensive Line

Other than at center, which is up in the air after Lloyd Cushenberry III’s departure, the Broncos have a very well-rounded offensive line. Quinn Meinerz was a breakout star last season, posting an 83.7 grade that ranked third among all guards. Garett Bolles and Mike McGlinchey form one of the more solid tackle duos in the league, which will be huge for rookie quarterback Bo Nix.

Center is the biggest question mark, as the Broncos don’t feature anyone with significant NFL experience on the roster. The current expectation is that 2022 fifth-rounder Luke Wattenberg will take over that role, but he has only 129 career snaps to his name, and those came primarily at guard. Alex Forsyth, Sam Mustipher or Calvin Throckmorton could also be candidates to take over the role.

Biggest weakness in 2023: Defense

Outside of Patrick Surtain II, this defense lacks playmakers at every level. The unit was responsible for a 70-point debacle against the Dolphins in 2023 that made them the laughingstock of the league. Things improved dramatically throughout the season, as defensive coordinator Vance Joseph managed to do damage control and reorganize the defense in a more favorable manner, but there are still a lot of holes that weren’t fixed.

While the defense shouldn’t be as bad as it was last season, don’t expect any miracles in 2024.

X-factor for 2024: QB Bo Nix

The Broncos received some flak for selecting Bo Nix with the 12th overall selection, but there may not have been a better player-team draft fit. Sean Payton’s West Coast offense fits perfectly with Nix’s propensity for quick timing routes that Drew Brees used to work to perfection. As far as scheme goes, Nix is in as good a position to succeed early in his career as any of the class’ six first-round quarterbacks.

Rookie to watch: WR Troy Franklin

Another example of the Broncos working to make sure Bo Nix’s transition to the NFL is as smooth as possible, the team selected his top receiver at Oregon in Troy Franklin in the fourth round. Franklin and Nix were as good a one-two punch as there was in college football, and with how thin the Broncos’ receiving room looks after the Jerry Jeudy trade, Franklin should have an opportunity to compete early.

Over/Under 5.5 win total: Under

While Bo Nix seems to be set up nicely for success, Denver’s style of offense will struggle to keep up if the defense digs them into a hole. This offense isn’t built to play from behind. Unless several members across the defense step up in a big way, the team will struggle to make much noise in what is expected to once again be a strong AFC.

Projected starting lineup for 2024
QB Bo Nix (93.0*) DI Malcolm Roach (72.9)
RB Javonte Williams (63.3) DI Zach Allen (71.9)
RB Samaje Perine (71.3) Edge Baron Browning (74.5)
WR Courtland Sutton (75.6) Edge Jonathon Cooper (65.2)
WR Josh Reynolds (70.1) Edge Nik Bonitto (64.0)
WR Marvin Mims Jr. (63.1) LB Alex Singleton (61.2)
TE Adam Trautman (53.2) LB Cody Barton (53.9)
LT Garett Bolles (75.9) CB Pat Surtain II (69.0)
LG Ben Powers (61.5) CB Ja'Quan McMillian (68.4)
C Luke Wattenberg (57.9) CB Levi Wallace (57.9)
RG Quinn Meinerz (83.7) S Brandon Jones (75.4)
RT Mike McGlinchey (67.5) S P.J. Locke (64)

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