Joe Flacco and the Ravens are in need of some key draft additions in order to build on last season's Super Bowl run.
Next Thursday, NFL teams will begin to rebuild their team through the draft. Teams like the Baltimore Ravens and Cincinnati Bengals will look to boost their already strong rosters that helped lead them to the post season in 2012. Meanwhile, teams like the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cleveland Browns hope to add key components to get their team into the playoffs after last season's shortcomings.
Each of these teams have made moves in free agency that have both helped and possibly hurt their franchises. With the draft quickly approaching, where does each team in the AFC North stand heading into draft day?
Linebacker Ray Lewis retired from the Ravens following their 2013 Super Bowl victory.
Pre-draft grade: B
The Baltimore Ravens will have some serious work to do in the draft in order to make another run at the Super Bowl. Baltimore saw several key pieces to their roster leave after the 2012-2013 season by way of retirement, trade or free agency.
Baltimore left some fans thinking that the team may have been cashing in their chips on the 2013 season, but Baltimore went out and signed some key free agents to fill their losses.
The Ravens first bolstered their defensive line this offseason, signing defensive tackle Chris Canty and defensive end Marcus Spears. Not long after signing Canty and Spears, Baltimore landed star linebacker/defensive end Elvis Dumervil after his accidental release from the Broncos.
On offense, the Ravens will continue to look to Joe Flacco and Ray Rice to provide a steady balance of running and passing. Torrey Smith will be expected to be the top wide receiver for Baltimore heading into this season, while tight end Dennis Pitta could evolve into Flacco's new favorite target.
The Ravens have done a nice job in filling several key losses to their roster, and did so at a fairly reasonable price. While it remains to be seen how the newly transformed defense will perform this season, there is no reason to think Baltimore can't be successful in 2013.
Wide receiver A.J. Green heads a group of talented players in Cincinnati.
Pre-draft grade: B+
The Cincinnati Bengals will head into the 2013 NFL Draft with possibly the most complete roster of any team in the division. The Bengals finished 10-6 last season and nearly unseated Baltimore for the division crown.
At the moment, Cincinnati's only key loss appears to be right tackle Andre Smith, who still remains a free agent. While the Bengals and Smith don't appear close to a deal right now, a slim market could lead Smith back to the Bengals in 2013.
The Bengals offense is anchored by quarterback Andy Dalton and star wide receiver A.J. Green. Having been drafted the same year, Dalton and Green should see their production continue to grow as they get more playing time together.
On defense the Bengals are lead by linebackers Vontaze Burfict and Rey Maualuga. Burfict turned out to be a diamond in the rough for the Bengals after they signed the undrafted rookie free agent last season.
Burfict saw his draft stock plummet last season after once being considered a draft favorite. As the Bengals have done in past years, they took a shot on a questionable player and saw it pay off. Burfict led the Bengals in tackles his rookie season, and made no news headlines for any off-the-field behavior.
With their core roster from last season mostly intact, the Bengals could head into the 2013 season as division favorites with a strong draft.
Quarterback Brandon Weeden looks to rebound after a tough rookie season for the Cleveland Browns.
Pre-draft grade: C-
The Cleveland Browns are the only team in the AFC North heading into the 2013 season with a new head coach. After a 5-11 season the Browns fired coach Pat Shurmur and brought in coach Rob Chudzinski to lead the Browns in 2013.
The Browns were winners of the Paul Kruger sweepstakes this offseason, signing the rising linebacker to a five-year, $41 million deal. They also attempted to boost their offensive production through free agency, signing quarterback Jason Campbell, tight end Kellen Davis and wide receiver David Nelson.
The problem for the Browns with their signings on the offensive side of the ball is none of these players appear to be difference-makers for the team. Jason Campbell appears to be the newly signed free agent who is most likely to make an impact for the Browns.
The Browns hope to see improved performances out of running back Trent Richardson and quarterback Brandon Weeden. Both players are heading into their second year in the league and were a part of a struggling offense in 2012.
On defense the Browns hope to get back to their 2011 form, a year in which they finished second in the league in passing yards allowed.
Cleveland still has cornerback Joe Haden, who has been an impact player for them since arriving to the team in 2010. Another bright spot for the Browns last season was the emergence of rookie wide receiver Josh Gordon.
Gordon led the Browns in receiving yards (805) and touchdown catches (five) last season, and appears to be the top receiver in a fairly weak corps. His continued emergence would be an encouraging sign for the Browns offense if he can build on a successful rookie season.
With the sixth overall selection in the 2013 NFL Draft, the Browns will have a variety of options to go with when their name is called on draft day. Hopefully the Browns will find enough contributors this April to help improve on their five-win season last year.
After a disappointing 2012, Ben Roethlisberger hopes to lead the Steelers back into the playoffs.
Pre-draft grade: B-
The Pittsburgh Steelers appear to be the biggest question mark heading into the 2013 season. The Steelers made little noise during the free agency period, signing cornerback William Gay to a three-year deal, and bringing back several members of last year's team. The Steelers also released linebacker James Harrison and offensive lineman Willie Colon.
The biggest loss for the Steelers this offseason was wide receiver Mike Wallace, who signed a five-year, $60 million deal with the Miami Dolphins.
Roethlisberger turned in a strong season for the Steelers last season, throwing for 3,265 yards, with 26 touchdowns and eight interceptions. With the loss of Wallace, Roethlisberger will look to receivers Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders to help lead the offense in 2013.
On defense, the Steelers hope that safety Troy Polamalu can turn in a healthy season after playing in only seven games last year. With the exception of losing Harrison, Pittsburgh's linebacker corps appears to be well intact with Larry Foote and Lawrence Timmons. Pittsburgh could still benefit with the acquisition of a leading pass-rusher, after Timmons registered a mere six sacks last season, which led the team.
The Steelers tend to turn in a strong team one year after another, so last season's struggles may have come as a bit of a surprise. Pittsburgh needs to limit their fumbles in 2013 after putting the ball on the ground 33 times a year ago, good for second most in the league.
If the Steelers can improve their ball-carrying skills and Roethlisberger continues to limit his interceptions, the Steelers could be in line for a turnaround season in 2013.