2014 Win/Loss Predictions for Every NFL Team Post-Draft

Ryan Riddle@@Ryan_RiddleCorrespondent IMay 12, 2014

2014 Win/Loss Predictions for Every NFL Team Post-Draft

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    Could this be Peyton Manning's last season?
    Could this be Peyton Manning's last season?Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Now that the 2014 NFL draft is over, the main ingredients for each team's roster are finally in place. With that being the case, it’s time to project the win-loss records of every NFL team for the coming season.

    Unfortunately, it was not an option to give every team a 10-6 record. This means the fans of those franchises with losing records are just going to have to accept the possibilityor even likelihoodthat their team may not be very good this year.

    So, without wasting any more time, let’s check out my predictions for each NFL team's 2014 record.

Buffalo Bills

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    Gregory Payan/Associated Press

    Key Free-Agent Arrivals: LB Brandon Spikes

    Key Departures: WR Stevie Johnson, S Jairus Byrd, DL Alex Carrington 

    Key Rookies: WR Sammy Watkins, OT Cyrus Kouandjio, OT Seantrel Henderson, OG Cyril Richardson, CB Ross Cockrell, LB Preston Brown

    2013 Record: 6-10

    2014 Projected Record: 7-9

    Buffalo continues to make strides in its effort to become a more competitive team overall. Sammy Watkins will provide this offense with the explosive playmaking it’s lacked over the past few years.

    EJ Manuel is one year removed from his shaky rookie campaign and will look to stay healthy while establishing himself as one of the best young quarterbacks in the league.

    Eventually, Manuel will guide these Bills to the playoffs, but for now the drought continues.

Miami Dolphins

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    Chris O'Meara/Associated Press

    Key Free-Agent Arrivals: OT Branden Albert, RB Knowshon Moreno, CB Cortland Finnegan, DT Earl Mitchell

    Key Departures: DT Paul Solial, S Chris Clemons, CB Nolan Carroll

    Key Rookies: OT Ja'Wuan James, WR Jarvis Landry, OT Billy Turner 

    2013 Record: 8-8

    2014 Projected Record: 8-8

    The Dolphins added help to a substandard offensive line in both free agency and the draft.

    Ryan Tannehill is a tough, athletic guy who seems to be the right one for the starting-quarterback job. But he’s also young, and the Dolphins will have to generate offense from some unlikely contributors to be successful this season.

    Miami has a tough schedule and will have to fight hard to finish the season with a .500 record. It's certainly capable, but improving much beyond 2013's record will have to wait for another year.

New England Patriots

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Key Free-Agent Arrivals: CB Brandon Browner, S Patrick Chung, CB Darrelle Revis, WR Brandon LaFell, DE Will Smith

    Key Departures: RB LeGarrette Blount, LB Brandon Spikes, CB Aqib Talib

    Key Rookies: DL Dominique Easley, QB Jimmy Garoppolo, OC Bryan Stork, RB James White

    2013 Record: 12-4

    2014 Projected Record: 14-2

    The Patriots have loaded up for a big-time run at the Super Bowl before their Hall of Fame quarterback’s career comes to an end.

    The injuries and inexperience they fought through last year shouldn’t be an issue in 2014, and they added perhaps the best cornerback in the NFL this offseason in Darrelle Revis. And with a healthy Rob Gronkowski on the offensive side of the ball, the Pats are certainly an organization that can go toe-to-toe with the Denver Broncos for AFC supremacy.  

    First-round pick Dominique Easley was my favorite defensive lineman to watch last year, but he is still rehabbing from knee surgery after tearing his ACL at the end of last September.

    The AFC East will be dominated by the Patriots yet again. This time, however, Tom Brady and Co. will be much more efficient while the defense continues to improve as a result of its new playmakers.

New York Jets

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    Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

    Key Free-Agent Arrivals: WR Eric Decker, RB Chris Johnson, QB Michael Vick

    Key Departures: CB Antonio Cromartie, OT Austin Howard, QB Mark Sanchez, OG Vladimir Ducasse

    Key Rookies: S Calvin Pryor, TE Jace Amaro, WR/KR Jalen Saunders 

    2013 Record: 8-8

    2014 Projected Record: 5-11

    Failure to add enough weapons on offense and the inability to find a quality pass-rusher on the edge are going to hurt the Jets in 2014. They also lost talent and depth in the secondary this offseason.

    Quarterback Geno Smith was a turnover machine as a rookie last season. However, he had quite possibly the worst supporting cast in the league surrounding him.

    Former Titans running back Chris Johnson will help out with explosive plays, but wide receiver is still a major area of need, even after the signing of Eric Decker.

    Whether Mike Vick will start this year remains to be seen, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the team figures out how to get him on the field somehow.

    Head coach Rex Ryan still knows defense, but this will likely be his last year coaching the Jets.

Dallas Cowboys

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    Evan Vucci/Associated Press

    Key Free-Agent Arrivals: DT Henry Melton, QB Brandon Weeden

    Key Departures: OC Phil Costa, DT Jason Hatcher, DE DeMarcus Ware, WR Miles Austin 

    Key Rookies: OT/OG Zack Martin, DE Demarcus Lawrence DE, WR Devin Street, S Ahmad Dixon 

    2013 Record: 8-8

    2014 Projected Record: 5-11

    Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was right when he expressed concerns about the fact that his team’s window is closing—and that was two years ago.

    Zack Martin will be a solid pickup for the team as it continues to add big bodies up front.

    I understand that this record is the last thing Cowboys fans want to see right now, but the team did nothing this offseason to get better after finishing with an 8-8 record.

    The narrative this year will be whether head coach Jason Garrett makes it through the season without being fired. Either way, the drama in big D would be pretty chaotic should this type of season really unfold.

New York Giants

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    Matt Rourke/Associated Press

    Key Free-Agent Arrivals: DE Robert Ayers, QB Josh Freeman, WR/KR Trindon Holliday, RB Rashad Jennings, WR Mario Manningham, LB Jameel McClain, CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, OG Geoff Schwartz, CB Walter Thurmond

    Key Departures: OG Kevin Boothe, RB Andre Brown, DT Linval Joseph, S Ryan Mundy, TE Brandon Myers, WR Hakeem Nicks, DE Justin Tuck

    Key Rookies: WR Odell Beckham, OC Weston Richburgh, RB Andre Williams

    2013 Record: 7-9

    2014 Projected Record: 4-12

    Losing Hakeem Nicks, Justin Tuck and Andre Brown won’t help this team fight back from a 7-9 season, but we can certainly expect Eli Manning to step his game up after a horrifying 2013 campaign.

    Rookie receiver Odell Beckham and rookie running back Andre Williams, who rushed for over 2,000 yards at Boston College last season, will help keep this team competitive, but glaring holes throughout this roster will ultimately be too much to overcome.

Philadelphia Eagles

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    Michael Perez/Associated Press

    Key Free-Agent Arrivals: CB Nolan Carroll, S Malcolm Jenkins, QB Mark Sanchez

    Key Departures: QB Mike Vick, WR DeSean Jackson, S Patrick Chung, WR Jason Avant 

    Key Rookies: LB Marcus Smith, WR Jordan Matthews, WR Josh Huff, CB Jaylen Watkins

    2013 Record: 10-6

    2014 Projected Record: 9-7

    Nick Foles will fall back down to earth somewhat in 2014, especially with the departure of star wideout DeSean Jackson. In a weak division, though, Philly will end up taking first place, earning the right to host a postseason playoff game.

    LeSean McCoy is still the team's most deadly offensive weapon, and he remains a defensive coordinator’s worst nightmare.

    A full season of experience in Chip Kelly’s offense will help players with their confidence and split-second decision making this time around, but the talent on this team has been reduced to some degree.

Washington Redskins

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    Evan Vucci/Associated Press

    Key Free-Agent Arrivals: S Ryan Clark, DT Jason Hatcher, WR DeSean Jackson, WR Andre Roberts, CB Tracy Porter

    Key Departures: WR Josh Morgan, CB Josh Wilson 

    Key Rookies: DE/LB Trent Murphy, OT Morgan Moses, CB Bashaud Breeland, RB Lache Seastrunk 

    2013 Record: 3-13

    2014 Projected Record: 7-9

    For many diehard Redskins fans, it’s probably hard to accept the idea that a 7-9 season is something to feel good about. You have to consider the possibility that the system change on offense could cause a setback in Robert Griffin’s development.

    It’s hard to project what type of production they will get out of the running game with Alfred Morris. Hopefully, Griffin will not play as reckless with his body as he has in years past. After all, the quarterback position is about longevity and availability.

    DeSean Jackson brings an element of excitement to the team, but will it be enough to reclaim the division?

Baltimore Ravens

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    Nick Wass/Associated Press

    Key Free-Agent Arrivals: TE Owen Daniels, WR Steve Smith

    Key Departures: TE Ed Dickson, CB Corey Graham, S James Ihedigbo, DE Arthur Jones, LB Jameel McClain, OT Michael Oher 

    Key Rookies: LB C.J. Mosley, DT Timmy Jernigan, S Terrence Brooks, TE Crockett Gillmore 

    2013 Record: 8-8

    2014 Projected Record: 9-7

    Ozzie Newsome is continuing to reload a roster that has seen a lot of changes since its Super Bowl victory two years ago. Free agency continues to chip away at a roster that was once capable of a winning a championship.

    Adding former Alabama linebacker C.J. Mosley to the mix is a vast improvement over last year’s investment, Arthur Brown.

    In all, quarterback Joe Flacco is overrated and overpaid, Ray Rice is coming off a down year and the offensive line is still a huge question mark.

Cincinnati Bengals

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    Al Behrman/Associated Press

    Key Free-Agent Arrivals: S Danieal Manning, QB Jason Campbell, OT Marshall Newhouse 

    Key Departures: OT Anthony Collins, WR Andrew Hawkins, DE Michael Johnson

    Key Rookies: CB Darqueze Dennard, RB Jeremy Hill, QB AJ McCarron 

    2013 Record: 11-5

    2014 Projected Record: 7-9

    Andy Dalton could be the one guy holding this team back from being a true Super Bowl contender. Don’t get me wrong, he’s a serviceable quarterback who can get hot for several weeks at a time, but he can also go terribly cold. His physical tools are limited, but he seems to have that winning attitude you look for in a quarterback.

    Don’t be surprised to see a bit of a drop-off on defense with the departure of defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer, who is now the head coach of the Minnesota Vikings. Despite the talent the team still possesses on defense, he was the glue that kept those guys playing inspired and as a unit.

    Rookie running back Jeremy Hill out of LSU could be a steal in the second round. He had better tape than Gio Bernard coming out of college, and a combination of the two could provide a deadly one-two punch in the backfield for years to come.

Cleveland Browns

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    Frank Franklin II/Associated Press

    Key Free-Agent Arrivals: WR Nate Burleson, LB Karlos Dansby, WR Andrew Hawkins, RB Ben Tate, S Donte Whitner

    Key Departures: QB Jason Campbell, LB D'Qwell Jackson, S T.J. Ward, QB Brandon Weeden 

    Key Rookies: CB Justin Gilbert, QB Johnny Manziel, OT/OG Joel Bitonio, RB Terrance West, CB Pierre Desir

    2013 Record: 4-12

    2014 Projected Record: 9-7

    Never has a town been so excited, yet so cautious, about the arrival of a single athlete, as Johnny Manziel is officially a member of the Cleveland Browns.

    However, his good news may come with a grey cloud looming just above. The league’s leading receiver from last year, Josh Gordon, is facing a yearlong suspension after failing another drug test.

    Gordon’s loss could be a huge blow to this team.

    One of the more underrated aspects of the Browns this year will be their defense. There are a lot of young and talented players who are looking to make that next leap and take a step forward.

Pittsburgh Steelers

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    Matt Ludtke/Associated Press

    Key Free-Agent Arrivals: RB LeGarrette Blount, WR Darrius Heyward-Bey, WR Lance Moore

    Key Departures: S Ryan Clark, WR Jerricho Cotchery, RB Jonathan Dwyer, WR Emmanuel Sanders, LB LaMarr Woodley, DE Ziggy Hood

    Key Rookies: LB Ryan Shazier, DL Stephon Tuitt, RB/WR/KR Dri Archer, WR Martavis Bryant, LB Jordan Zumwalt, DT Daniel McCullers, TE Rob Blanchflower 

    2013 Record: 8-8

    2014 Projected Record: 10-6

    It looks like Pittsburgh brought in some nice, young talent on defense this offseason.

    Ryan Shazier is one of the most physically gifted prospects in this draft and will instantly make the unit faster. Stephon Tuitt was the best defensive end for a 3-4 defense available in this draft, and he provided great value when the teams selected him in the second round.

    Any team with Ben Roethlisberger at the helm is a club that has a chance to win on any given Sunday.

    Free-agent pickup LeGarrette Blount should pair nicely with Le'Veon Bell in the backfield, as they each have the ability to wear down a defense with physicality.

    The secondary will be a big concern in Pittsburgh, though, and it may ultimately keep the team from advancing in the postseason.

Chicago Bears

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    Matt Rourke/Associated Press

    Key Free-Agent Arrivals: DE Jared Allen, OC Brian De La Puente, WR Domenik Hixon, DE Lamarr Houston, DE Israel Idonije, WR Josh Morgan, S Ryan Mundy, DE Willie Young

    Key Departures: WR/KR Devin Hester, QB Josh McCown, DT Henry Melton, DE Julius Peppers, DT Corey Wootton, S Major Wright  

    Key Rookies: CB Kyle Fuller, DT Ego Ferguson, DT Will Sutton, RB Ka'Deem Carey, S Brock Vereen, QB David Fales  

    2013 Record: 8-8

    2014 Projected Record: 7-9

    Marc Trestman and Co. have fans excited for the future. The team's weaponry on offense is pretty scary with the combination of big men on the outside and Matt Forte on the ground. Also, quarterback Jay Cutler should be sitting pretty with his new contract extension and a head coach that he can trust.

    Defensively, however, the Bears are going to struggle. Their secondary is old, and the team's pass rush is going to be heavily dependent upon free-agent acquisition Jared Allen.

    Ultimately, the Bears will be a competitive team in 2014, but too many holes on the defensive side of the ball will have them disappointed at season's end.

Detroit Lions

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    Rick Osentoski/Associated Press

    Key Free-Agent Arrivals: S James Ihedigbo, WR Golden Tate

    Key Departures: WR Nate Burleson, S Louis Delmas, QB Shaun Hill, DE Israel Idonije, DE Willie Young  

    Key Rookies: TE Eric Ebron, LB Kyle Van Noy, OC Travis Swanson, WR TJ Jones

    2013 Record: 7-9

    2014 Projected Record: 10-6

    Adding free agent Golden Tate and drafting tight end Eric Ebron to complement an already stacked offense is almost unfair, as Calvin Johnson drives this organization as one of the league’s greatest talents.

    Keep an eye on rookie linebacker Kyle Van Noy. This kid has the potential to be something really special.

    The Lions will only go as far as quarterback Matthew Stafford and their defense will carry them. Ten wins in a tough division sounds about right.

Green Bay Packers

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    Nam Y. Huh/Associated Press

    Key Free-Agent Arrivals: DE Julius Peppers

    Key Departures: OC Evan Dietrich-Smith, WR James Jones, OT Marshall Newhouse

    Key Rookies: S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, WR Davante Adams

    2013 Record: 8-7-1

    2014 Projected Record: 11-5

    A healthy Aaron Rodgers and a roster loaded with young, emerging talent sets the backdrop for 2014. Can the Packers return to their Super Bowl form?

    Bringing in veteran free agent Julius Peppers and drafting safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix should pay dividends for Green Bay’s season.

    The division is the Packers' to lose. This will be the first time ever that Rodgers will enter a season with an established running attack, thanks in large part to an overachieving offensive line and a fantastic performance from Eddie Lacy last season.

    Look for Green Bay to be legitimate contenders in the playoffs this year.

Minnesota Vikings

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    Morry Gash/Associated Press

    Key Free-Agent Arrivals: LB Jasper Brinkley, S Kurt Coleman, CB Derek Cox, OG Vladimir Ducasse, DT Linval Joseph, CB Captain Munnerlyn, DE Corey Wootton 

    Key Departures: DE Jared Allen, QB Josh Freeman, RB Toby Gerhart

    Key Rookies: DE/LB Anthony Barr, QB Teddy Bridgewater, DE Scott Crichton, OG David Yankey, CB Antone Exum

    2013 Record: 5-10-1

    2014 Projected Record: 3-13

    The big question that will shape the Vikings' season is: When will Teddy Bridgewater take over the starting job?

    In the last two years, the Vikings have had a rare opportunity for five first-round draft picks. It could take time before these prospects fully develop, but their contributions during the 2014 season should be significant.

    The team's loss of its best defensive player and vocal leader, Jared Allen, could take time to rebound from.

    Running back Adrian Peterson will always keep this team competitive, but things aren’t looking too good for Mike Zimmer’s first year as head coach. The defensive side of the ball has several questions, while the offense will be relying on either Matt Cassel, Christian Ponder or Teddy Bridgewater at quarterback.

Houston Texans

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    Patric Schneider/Associated Press

    Key Free-Agent Arrivals: RB Andre Brown, QB Ryan Fitzpatrick

    Key Departures: TE Owen Daniels, LB Joe Mays, NT Earl Mitchell, DE Antonio Smith, RB Ben Tate 

    Key Rookies: DE Jadeveon Clowney, OG Xavier Su'a-Filo, TE C.J. Fiedorowicz, NT Louis Nix III, QB Tom Savage 

    2013 Record: 2-14

    2014 Projected Record: 10-6

    Houston is projected to make one of the biggest turnarounds in the league after finishing last season with a horrendous 2-14 record.

    Rookie Tom Savage could be the starting quarterback, or the job could fall to veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick.

    One of the scariest units in the NFL will quickly become the Texans’ defensive line, as it now consists of Jadeveon Clowney, J.J. Watt and Louis Nix III.

    Everyone knows the Texans are a talented football team, but they just need to bring it all together, starting with solid quarterback play.

Indianapolis Colts

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    Michael Dwyer/Associated Press

    Key Free-Agent Arrivals: LB D'Qwell Jackson, DE Arthur Jones, WR Hakeem Nicks

    Key Departures: S Antoine Bethea, RB Donald Brown, WR Darrius Heyward-Bey

    Key Rookies: OT Jack Mewhort, WR Donte Moncrief, LB Jonathan Newsome

    2013 Record: 11-5 

    2014 Projected Record: 12-4

    Andrew Luck is sure to be wreathing with healthy jealously that he was surpassed by Russell Wilson as the first quarterback of the 2012 draft class to win a Super Bowl.

    The talent surrounding Luck continues to improve, though, as recent additions like Hakeem Nicks could put this team over the edge. There’s a chance the Colts become the third powerhouse in the AFC in 2014.

    Twelves wins this upcoming season would mean the Colts are a team headed in the right direction.

Jacksonville Jaguars

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    Gregory Payan/Associated Press

    Key Free-Agent Arrivals: OG Zane Beadles, DL Red Bryant, DE Chris Clemons, RB Toby Gerhart, DE Ziggy Hood 

    Key Departures: RB Maurice Jones-Drew, QB Blaine Gabbert 

    Key Rookies: QB Blake Bortles, WR Marqise Lee, WR Allen Robinson, CB Aaron Colvin, LB Telvin Smith, RB Storm Johnson

    2013 Record: 4-12

    2014 Projected Record: 7-9

    Gus Bradley and the Jaguars are building something special in Jacksonville, and when it came to the 2014 NFL draft, the team with the worst offense in the league last season turned its attention toward selecting guys who can put points on the board.

    Drafting Blake Bortles was a good move for this organization. The Jaguars also went ahead and added two dynamic weapons on the outside in Marqise Lee and Allen Robinson, who should both see significant playing time as rookies.

    One thing we can count on for 2014 is that the Jaguars will not have the worst-ranked offense in the league.

Tennessee Titans

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    Craig Ruttle/Associated Press

    Key Free-Agent Arrivals: WR Dexter McCluster, OT Michael Oher, LB Shaun Phillips, NT Al Woods 

    Key Departures: WR Kenny Britt, QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, RB Chris Johnson, CB Alterraun Verner

    Key Rookies: OT Taylor Lewan, RB Bishop Sankey, DT DaQuan Jones, QB Zach Mettenberger 

    2013 Record: 7-9

    2014 Projected Record: 4-12

    New head coach Ken Whisenhunt is turning the Titans defense into a 3-4 front. This transition should take some time, though, as players learn the nuances of the technique differences. He will also need to bring in the proper personnel to make that defense work.

    Unless Zach Mettenberger surprises everyone and becomes the starter at quarterback, it seems as though this team will ride with Jake Locker. With Locker's injury history and the new look defensively, this team will take a step back in 2014.

Atlanta Falcons

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    Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

    Key Free-Agent Arrivals: CB Javier Arenas, OG Jon Asamoah, WR/KR Devin Hester, DE Tyson Jackson, DT Paul Soliai, CB Josh Wilson 

    Key Departures: S Thomas DeCoud, WR Brian Robiskie, TE Tony Gonzalez 

    Key Rookies: OT Jake Matthews, DL Ra'Shede Hageman, LB Prince Shembo  

    2013 Record: 4-12

    2014 Projected Record: 5-11

    This season, the Falcons will get Julio Jones back from injury, but they will lose Tony Gonzalez. I'm not sure if that even pans out to be an advantage. Overpriced running back Steven Jackson is another year older, and this defense still doesn't have a formidable pass rush. 

    Despite being just a few years removed from nearly making a Super Bowl appearance, the Falcons seem to be running in place while teams around them are ascending.

Carolina Panthers

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    Chuck Burton/Associated Press

    Key Free-Agent Arrivals: WR Jason Avant, CB Antoine Cason, WR Jerricho Cotchery, S Thomas DeCoud, TE Ed Dickson, S Roman Harper 

    Key Departures: WR Steve Smith, WR Ted Ginn, WR Domenik Hixon, WR Brandon LaFell, S Mike Mitchell, CB Captain Munnerlyn 

    Key Rookies: WR Kelvin Benjamin, DE Kony Ealy, OG Trai Turner, S Tre Boston

    2013 Record: 12-4

    2014 Projected Record: 10-6

    Cam Newton finally has a big-bodied target he can trust in rookie receiver Kelvin Benjamin. This could do wonders for his confidence and help push his game to the next level.

    The Panthers have one of the strongest front sevens in the NFL, and the addition of guard Trai Turner will turn out to be one of the biggest value picks in this draft.

    Although I expect them to win fewer games than they did last year, the Panthers should continue to get better as a team overall.

New Orleans Saints

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    Steven Senne/Associated Press

    Key Free-Agent Arrivals: CB Champ Bailey, S Jairus Byrd

    Key Departures: OT Charles Brown, OC Brian De La Puente, S Roman Harper, S Malcolm Jenkins, WR Lance Moore, RB Darren Sproles, DE Will Smith  

    Key Rookies: WR Brandin Cooks, CB Stanley Jean-Baptiste

    2013 Record: 11-5

    2014 Projected Record: 10-6

    Quarterback Drew Brees and head coach Sean Payton are one of the league’s deadliest tandems. These two are masters at finding the favorable matchup on offense.

    Meanwhile, defensive coordinator Rob Ryan and his staff are putting in the work to try and catch up to such a high-powered offense. The free-agent acquisition of Jairus Byrd was big for them. They also added leadership and a veteran presence at cornerback in Champ Bailey.

    The Saints should win the division unless their overachieving defense suffers any setbacks.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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    Chris O'Meara/Associated Press

    Key Free-Agent Arrivals: OT Anthony Collins, OC Evan Dietrich-Smith, WR Lavelle Hawkins, DE Michael Johnson, QB Josh McCown, DT Clinton McDonald, CB Alterraun Verner, S Major Wright

    Key Departures: OG Ted Larsen, CB Darrelle Revis

    Key Rookies: WR Mike Evans, TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, RB Charles Sims

    2013 Record: 4-12 

    2014 Projected Record: 6-10

    The Bucs have switched gears from former head coach Greg Schiano and decided to go with a proven veteran in Lovie Smith.

    The first draft pick for Tampa Bay’s new-look organization was the giant receiver out of Texas A&M, Mike Evans. With Vincent Jackson already on the roster, this gives them two big receivers to throw at on the outside.

    Tampa also had one of the better free-agency periods, minus losing Darrelle Revis.

    As a result of all of the changes made this offseason, the team will get a little better on its way to becoming a playoff contender.

Denver Broncos

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    Julio Cortez/Associated Press

    Key Free-Agent Arrivals: WR Emmanuel Sanders, DT Marvin Austin, CB Aqib Talib, S T.J. Ward, DE/LB DeMarcus Ware

    Key Departures: DE Robert Ayers, CB Champ Bailey, OG Zane Beadles, WR Eric Decker, WR/KR Trindon Holliday, RB Knowshon Moreno

    Key Rookies: CB Bradley Roby, WR Cody Latimer, OT Michael Schofield 

    2013 Record: 13-3

    2014 Projected Record: 12-4

    Perhaps no team made as big of a splash this offseason as the Denver Broncos. With Peyton Manning 38 years old, the Broncos have set out to ensure as much success as they possibly can.

    Bringing in DeMarcus Ware, Emmanuel Sanders, T.J. Ward and Aqib Talib were bold moves. They may have sacrificed a bit of the future for the hope of winning now.

    Despite being a better team overall, they will lose one more game than they did last year, and Manning will limp into the playoffs beaten and battered from a violent season that took its toll on him.

    Manning was barely able to survive last season. Adding another year under his belt will be even more difficult.

Kansas City Chiefs

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    Ed Zurga/Associated Press

    Key Free-Agent Arrivals: OG Jeff Linkenbach, DT Vance Walker 

    Key Departures: OT Branden Albert, OG Jon Asamoah, DE Tyson Jackson, S Kendrick Lewis, WR Dexter McCluster, OG Geoff Schwartz 

    Key Rookies: DE/LB Dee Ford, CB Phillip Gaines, RB/WR/KR De'Anthony Thomas, QB Aaron Murray

    2013 Record: 11-5

    2014 Projected Record: 7-9

    The fun of dominating with defense and turnovers from last year has dried up. The Chiefs didn’t do much to improve over the offseason and have found that the luck they carried with them in the first half of the year was not able to repeat itself.

    Alex Smith begins to wear out his welcome in Kansas City, and the Chiefs could go looking for some new weapons on offense.

    Though they will finish with a 7-9 record, the Chiefs will show toughness and compete in nearly every game.

Oakland Raiders

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    Elsa/Getty Images

    Key Free-Agent Arrivals: CB Tarell Brown, OT Austin Howard, WR James Jones, RB Maurice Jones-Drew, CB Carlos Rogers, DE Antonio Smith, DE Justin Tuck, LB LaMarr Woodley

    Key Departures: DE Lamarr Houston, CB Mike Jenkins, RB Rashad Jennings, CB Tracy Porter, OT Jared Veldheer

    Key Rookies: LB Khalil Mack, QB Derek Carr, OG Gabe Jackson, CB Keith McGill 

    2013 Record: 4-12

    2014 Projected Record: 5-11

    With all the veteran additions to the squad this offseason, the Raiders quickly became a more mature and experienced team that is better equipped to handle pressure situations and adversity.

    Unfortunately for the Raiders, they have one of the toughest schedules in the NFL.

    Despite improving all around as a team, the schedule will prove to be too harsh for Raider Nation. General manager Reggie McKenzie and head coach Dennis Allen will be sent packing.

San Diego Chargers

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    Lenny Ignelzi/Associated Press

    Key Free-Agent Arrivals: RB Donald Brown

    Key Departures: CB Derek Cox, WR Lavelle Hawkins

    Key Rookies: CB Jason Verrett, LB Jeremiah Attaochu, OG Chris Watt, NT Ryan Carrethers, RB Marion Grice, WR Tevin Reese

    2013 Record: 9-7

    2014 Projected Record: 6-10

    Despite flying high last year, the Chargers are not having the same success they were a year ago. Philip Rivers put up great numbers last year, but he is not the elite performer we were surprised to see in 2013.

    San Diego’s running attack is barely effective, and the defense is average at best.

    Jason Verrett is a great draft pick and could emerge as the best cornerback in this class, but the team's run defense and pass rush needs improvement.

    A tough schedule and no more magic will eventually lead to a losing season for the Chargers.

Arizona Cardinals

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    Rick Scuteri/Associated Press

    Key Free-Agent Arrivals: TE John Carlson, CB Antonio Cromartie, RB Jonathan Dwyer, WR Ted Ginn, OT Jared Veldheer

    Key Departures: LB Jasper Brinkley, CB Javier Arenas, LB Karlos Dansby, WR Andre Roberts 

    Key Rookies: S Deone Bucannon, TE Troy Niklas, DE Kareem Martin, WR John Brown, QB Logan Thomas

    2013 Record: 10-6

    2014 Projected Record: 7-9

    The Cardinals are putting together a nice team, but Carson Palmer is no longer viewed as an asset.

    The team passed on the opportunity to draft a potential replacement at the position (not including Logan Thomas, who is more of a long-term project) and will now be forced to live and die with the aging signal-caller who throws far too many interceptions.

    Defensively, the Cards are a solid group that will now be even better with the addition of rookie safety Deone Bucannon. He was one of the most physically gifted and productive prospects in the draft.

    In order to compete in the NFC West, the Cardinals will have to find another quarterback and a more reliable rushing attack.

St. Louis Rams

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    Craig Ruttle/Associated Press

    Key Free-Agent Arrivals: WR Kenny Britt, DL Alex Carrington, QB Shaun Hill, WR T.J. Moe

    Key Departures: QB Kellen Clemens, CB Cortland Finnegan

    Key Rookies: OT Greg Robinson, DT Aaron Donald, CB Lamarcus Joyner, RB Tre Mason, CB E.J. Gaines, DE/LB Michael Sam 

    2013 Record: 7-9

    2014 Projected Record: 9-7

    The Sam Bradford doubters will become somewhat less vocal after he puts together a very productive and efficient season in 2014.

    Benefiting from continuity in the offensive system and having a solid running game, the Rams will dominate on both defense and in terms of time of possession.

    Tavon Austin will end up coming to life as a dangerous offensive weapon, and the Rams will show off one of the most dominant defensive lines in football, led by Robert Quinn, Chris Long, Michael Brockers and Aaron Donald.

San Francisco 49ers

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    Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

    Key Free-Agent Arrivals: S Antoine Bethea, CB Chris Cook

    Key Departures: CB Tarell Brown, WR Mario Manningham, CB Carlos Rogers, S Donte Whitner 

    Key Rookies: S Jimmie Ward, RB Carlos Hyde, OC Marcus Martin, LB Chris Borland, WR Bruce Ellington 

    2013 Record: 12-4

    2014 Projected Record: 10-6

    This year, the 49ers will have to replace most of their starting secondary, and star linebacker NaVorro Bowman should miss half of the season due to an ACL injury that he suffered in the NFC Championship Game.

    Could the team be on its way down?

    Justin Smith’s age is really starting to show (34), and the once-intimidating defense is now being penetrated with alarming regularity.

    The 49ers are still a playoff-caliber team, and they will end up playing their best football as the season wears on.

Seattle Seahawks

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    Ted S. Warren/Associated Press

    Key Free-Agent Arrivals: CB Phillip Adams 

    Key Departures: CB Brandon Browner, DL Red Bryant, DE Chris Clemons, OT Breno Giacomini, DT Clinton McDonald, WR Golden Tate, WR Walter Thurmond 

    Key Rookies: WR Paul Richardson, OT Justin Britt, DE Cassius Marsh, WR Kevin Norwood, LB Kevin Pierre-Louis

    2013 Record: 13-3

    2014 Projected Record: 11-5

    Despite losing several key contributors from their championship run, the Seahawks are still a powerhouse to be reckoned with. Their record will not be as clean as it was last year, but they will look like a more balanced team after having Percy Harvin for an entire year.

    Seattle still remains one of the deepest squads in the league.

    Russell Wilson is playing smart football, but he will struggle to throw for more than 250 yards per game with consistency. 

    In a close race, the Seahawks will remain the champions of a very strong division.

    Ryan Riddle is a former football player and writes for Bleacher Report.

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