AFC North Offseason Review

The Ravens biggest offseason addition was Elvis Dumervil, what will he bring to a new look Ravens D?

The Ravens biggest offseason addition was Elvis Dumervil, what will he bring to a new look Ravens D?

Baltimore Ravens

Last Season: 10-6, 1st in division, Won the Super Bowl

Biggest Offseason Additions: OLB Elvis Dumervil, DE Chris Canty, S Michael Huff, DE Marcus Spears.

Biggest Offseason Losses: ILB Ray Lewis, S Ed Reed, WR Anquan Boldin, OLB Paul Kruger, ILB Darnell Ellerbe, CB Cary Williams, S Bernard Pollard.

Draft Picks: S Matt Elam (Florida), ILB Arthur Brown (Kansas State), DT Brandon Williams (Missouri Souther State), OT Ricky Wagner (Wisconsin).

Offseason Review: Well everyone knew that Ray Lewis was going to be retiring after their Super Bowl victory over the 49ers, but they lost lots of other starters on the defensive side of the ball. Both safeties, Ed Reed and Bernard Pollard, left for other teams. Two linebackers, Paul Kruger and Darnell Ellerbe, also left. They also lose star wide-out Anquan Boldin. The Ravens did actually do a very good job of finding replacements for almost all of these players. They signed Elvis Dumervil, who is similar to Kruger in pressuring the QB, he may actually be a little better, especially being on the opposite side of Terrell Suggs. Chris Canty and Marcus Spears will join Haloti Ngata to make a very strong defensive line. Michael Huff does not hid like Pollard did, but he is a better coverage safety than Pollard was, and drafting Matt Elam, who has many characteristics similar to Ed Reed, should make an impact. The one loss that will hurt the most will probably be Anquan Boldin, as he was a stud for the Ravens, providing Joe Flacco with some sure hands. Only time will tell how well these new players on defense can play together.

Offseason Grade: B

Bengals took away James Harrison from the in-division rival Steelers.

Bengals took away James Harrison from the in-division rival Steelers.

Cincinnati Bengals

Last Season: 10-6, 2nd in division, lost in Divisional Round to Houston Texans

Biggest Offseason Additions: OLB James Harrison, QB John Skelton, OG Mike Pollack, FB Alex Smith

Biggest Offseason Losses: OLB Manny Lawson, QB Bruce Gradkowski, RB Brian Leonard, QB Josh Johnson, K Josh Brown, CB Nate Clements, S Chris Crocker.

Draft Picks: TE Tyler Eifert (Notre Dame), RB Giovani Bernard (North Carolina), DE Margus Hunt (SMU), SS Shawn Williams (Georgia), OLB Sean Porter (Texas A&M)

Offseason Review: Well the Bengals were a pretty quiet team this offseason, for a team that made the playoffs. They think that the team that they have in place is good enough to make another run to the playoffs. They did swap out Andy Dalton’s two backups (Gradkowski, Johnson), and added John Skelton. They did give Dalton a reliable red-zone threat by drafting Tyler Eifert. The combination of Eifert and A.J. Green should really help Dalton in the passing game. Adding Giovani Bernard as a RB, along with Green-Ellis makes for a solid 1-2 punch in the backfield. The defense did not change much, and thats a good sign as they were the 6th ranked defense overall.

Offseason Grade: B-

The Steelers are hoping that 1st round selection, Jarvis Jones can bring the same intesnsity that James Harrison had for so many years.

The Steelers are hoping that 1st round selection, Jarvis Jones can bring the same intesnsity that James Harrison had for so many years.

Pittsburgh Steelers

Last Season: 8-8, 3rd in division, missed the playoffs

Biggest Offseason Additions: TE Matt Spaeth, P Brian Moorman, RB LaRod Stephens-Howling, QB Bruce Gradkowski, CB William Gay

Biggest Offseason Losses: WR Mike Wallace, OLB James Harrison, CB Keenan Lewis, OG Willie Colon, S Will Allen, RB Rashard Mendenhall, S Ryan Mundy, DT Casey Hampton, QB Charlie Batch, OT Max Starks

Draft Picks: OLB Jarvis Jones (Georgia), RB LeVeon Bell (Michigan State), WR Markus Wheaton (Oregon State), SS Shamarko Thomas (Syracuse), QB Landry Jones (Oklahoma), CB Terry Hawthorne (Illinois)

Offseason Review: Well the Steelers lost 2 of the most key members to a defense that had been consistently near the top the past 5+ years. They lost their pick DT Casey Hampton, who helped anchor that defensive line, and they lost the hard hitting (sometimes dirty) James Harrison. WR Mike Wallace also left the team, taking away Big Ben’s number 1 man. RB Rashard Mendenhall also left, but should be replaced by either Stephens-Howling, or 2nd round pick LeVeon Bell. The Steelers will also be hoping that 1st round selection Jarvis Jones can step right in and fill the shoes of James Harrison. All-in-all I think the Steelers lost more than they gained, and being in a tough, physical division, they may fall back even farther next year. They will definitely be hoping that Roethlisberger can stay healthy this upcoming year.

Offseason Grade: C

The Browns added to their defense with the addition of Paul Kruger, from the Ravens.

The Browns added to their defense with the addition of Paul Kruger, from the Ravens.

Cleveland Browns

Last Season: 5-11, 4th in division, missed the playoffs

Biggest Offseason Additions: OLB Paul Kruger, DE Desmond Bryant, K Shayne Graham, CB Chris Owens, QB Jason Campbell, TE Kellen Davis, WR David Nelson, WR Davone Bess

Biggest Offseason Losses: TE Benjamin Watson, K Phil Dawson, WR Mohamed Massaquoi, S Usama Young, QB Colt McCoy, QB Josh Johnson, DE Frostee Rucker

Draft Picks: DE Barkevious Mingo (LSU), CB Leon McFadden (Dan Diego State), SS Jaromis Slaughter (Notre Dame)

Offseason Review: Well the Browns seem to be moving in the right direction. They have a new owner, head coach, and assistants. They added some real talent on the defense with Mingo, Kruger, and Bryant. All 3 should help out on the run defense, and should generate a good pass rush The Browns added two pretty good receivers in David Nelson and Davona Bess. QB Jason Campbell provides as a better back-up than Mccoy did, and puts more pressure on Brandon Weeden to perform well.

Offseason Grade: B

Matt Rea – Multi-Sport Contributor – TitleTown Sports Network

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