AFC North 2022 offseason wants: Bengals should handle O-line, secondary to repeat; Ravens want pass-rush assist


“If we will win this division, we will win all of it.” Joe Burrow made the proclamation following the Bengals‘ 41-17 rout of the Ravens in Week 7 of the 2021 season. Cincinnati’s younger quarterback was proper, because the Bengals claimed the AFC North division with a 10-7 report. The Bengals completed simply forward of the 9-7-1 Steelers, who clinched the AFC’s ultimate wild card berth. The Browns, who have been a area purpose away from being the division’s high crew in Week 15, completed with an 8-9 report. The Ravens stumbled to an 8-9 end after an 8-3 begin and completed in final.  

Pittsburgh was shortly ousted by the Chiefs within the wild card spherical. The Bengals, in the meantime, defeated Las Vegas, Tennessee and Kansas Metropolis to succeed in Tremendous Bowl LVI. Towards the Rams, Cincinnati held a 20-16 lead within the ultimate minutes, earlier than falling sufferer to the Matthew Stafford-Cooper Kupp connection and the Rams’ relentless cross rush. 

The Bengals are the proverbial king of the jungle, however they’re going to need to make some upgrades this offseason with the intention to keep there. The division’s different three groups may also look to improve their rosters with the intention to preserve tempo with the defending AFC champions. Here is a take a look at every AFC North’s largest crew wants with free company kicking off subsequent month. 

Baltimore Ravens 

Group wants: OT, LB, EDGE, DT

Baltimore’s lack of ability to guard their quarterback and apply strain on others have been two of their largest points in 2021. The Ravens’ O-line, which performed all however one sport with out Ronnie Stanley, completed twenty first in Professional Soccer Focus’ end-of-season rating. Former Professional Bowler Alejandro Villanueva struggled in his first and certain solely season in Baltimore. Patrick Mekari was strong at proper sort out, however the Ravens will certainly add to this place throughout free company and throughout the draft. 

The Ravens could also be making ready for an overhaul on their defensive position, as Brandon Williams and Calais Campbell are coming into free company. Baltimore will certainly be out there for a pass-rush specialist when free company begins. A number of choices in free company might embrace Von Miller, Chandler Jones, Dante Fowler Jr., Jerry Hughes, Mario Addison, Jadeveon Clowney, and Emmanuel Ogbah, amongst others. 

Cincinnati Bengals 

Group wants: CB, C, OG, OT, LB

Anybody who watched the Tremendous Bowl noticed the Bengals’ two largest weaknesses. Count on the Bengals to handle their offensive line in each free company in addition to throughout the NFL Draft. Talking of the draft, our 4 CBS Sports activities NFL Draft consultants have Cincinnati choosing both a lineman or a cornerback with the thirty first general choose. Upcoming free brokers on the offensive line embrace Brandon Scherff, Nate Solder, Cam Robinson and Andrew Norwell, amongst others. Cornerbacks anticipating to succeed in free company embrace Stephon Gilmore, Joe Haden, Kyle Fuller, Chris Harris, Jimmy Smith, Charvarius Ward and J.C. Jackson.  

Line of defense is one other space Bengals followers must be keeping track of. Larry Ogunjobi, who sustained a season-ending damage towards Las Vegas within the wild card spherical, is coming into free company. So is BJ Hill, who performed exceptionally effectively rather than Ogunjobi. In an ideal world, the Bengals would ink each gamers to new offers, and whereas that might actually occur, the Bengals ought to attempt to no less than signal certainly one of their free brokers on a D-line that completed second within the NFL towards the run final season. 

Cleveland Browns 

Group wants: WR, DT, LB, C, EDGE

With Jarvis Landry’s future unsure, the Browns must be proactive because it pertains to including to their receiving corps. Receivers who’re slated to hit the market embrace Allen Robinson, Chris Godwin, Will Fuller, Jamison Crowder, T.Y. Hilton, JuJu Smith-Schuster, DJ Chark, Michael Gallup, Demarcus Robinson, and Richie James. Do not be shocked if the Browns spent the thirteenth general choose on a receiver, as all 4 of our draft consultants at the moment have Cleveland choosing Arkansas wideout Treylon Burks with the choose. 

Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah was a stud in his rookie season, however the Browns want to produce him with a formidable ally at linebacker. Anthony Hitchens, Dont’a Hightower, Jarrad Davis, Jayon Brown, A.J. Johnson and Christian Kirksey are a number of free agent choices at inside linebacker. 

Pittsburgh Steelers 

Group wants: QB, OT, OG, CB, DT

We lately wrote a deep dive on the Steelers’ present sport plan because it pertains to their quarterback scenario. No matter who the Steelers’ quarterback is, they should apply him with a powerful offensive line and a formidable receiving corps. DJ Chark could be a pleasant complement to Diontae Johnson and Chase Claypool. Pittsburgh will possible draft a receiver in addition to a number of offensive linemen. The Steelers will possible additionally use free company so as to add to their offensive line. 

Larry Ogunjobi is certainly one of a number of free brokers the Steelers might pursue to assist bolster a defensive position that completed final within the NFL towards the run in 2021. Pittsburgh may also be out there for a cornerback and a powerful security if Joe Haden and Terrell Edmunds signal with new groups in free company. J.C. Jackson could be a strong addition within the occasion that Haden indicators elsewhere. If Edmunds is just not retained, Quandre Diggs and Kareem Jackson are the highest robust safeties anticipated to hit free company. 



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