This week I’m going to continue with my analysis and projections for each NFL division. This time it’s the AFC North. One of the toughest and most competitive divisions in the league, but I do not want to begin without wishing a very happy birthday to my beautiful little Princess Sofia, who is turning two years old and she already has learned to say “Touchdown Raiders” as it should be, lol… so, let’s now continue to our subject.

BALTIMORE RAVENS

Key Departures

WR Michael Crabtree, RB Alex Collins, S Eric Weddle, EDGE Terrell Suggs, LB C.J. Mosley, EDGE Za’Darius Smith, WR John Brown, QB Joe Flacco

Key Arrivals

RB Mark Ingram, S Earl Thomas

Best Draft Picks

WR Marquise Brown, Oklahoma (Rd 1)

EDGE  Jaylon Ferguson, LA Tech (Rd 3)

WR Miles Boykin, Notre Dame (Rd 3)

RB Justice Hill, Oklahoma State (Rd 4)

Analysis

The Ravens have lost very important pieces in their defense. Their two DE and their best LB are gone, and there is a total renewal on the offense that will feature Lamar Jackson at the helm, so I do not see them with real possibilities to reach the Playoffs. I think that as always they will be a very tough opponent at home and they will have a lot of close games, but it will be a learning season for their offense and reconstruction for their defense, and in the NFL learning and reconstruction results in losing games.

*2019 Projection: 8-8

CINCINNATI BENGALS

Key Departures

TE Tyler Kroft, LB Vontaze Burfict

Key Arrivals

OT Bobby Hart, CB B.W. Webb, OG John Miller

Best Draft Picks

OT Jonah Williams, Alabama (Rd 1)

TE Drew Sample, Washington (Rd 2)

LB Germaine Pratt, N.C. State (Rd 3)

DL Renell Wren, Arizona State (Rd 4)

OL Michael Jordan, Ohio State (Rd 4)

Analysis

The Bengals have changed Head Coach after 16 long years. Their new Coach is a rookie and without experience, as HC or even as a coordinator they have been very quiet in free agency, and besides of a couple of journey offensive linemen and his draft picks they have not been reinforced at any level. I think they will suffer a lot this season since they will depend totally on what Andy Dalton and his offense can achieve, and the truth is that to depend on Dalton is not very encouraging for them.

*2019 Projection: 4-12

CLEVELAND BROWNS

Key Departures

WR Daniel Williams, LB Jamie Collins, TE Darren Fells, CB Briean Bobby-Calhoun, OG Kevin Zeitler, S Jabrill Peppers Key Arrivals

Key Arrivals

EDGE Olivier Vernon, WR Odell Beckham Jr., RB Kareem Hunt, DL Sheldon Richardson, OG Eric Kush

Best Draft Picks

CB Greedy Williams, LSU (Rd 2)

LB Sione Takitaki, BYU (Rd 3)

S Sheldrick Redwine, Miami (Rd 4)

LB Mack Wilson, Alabama (Rd 5)

Analysis

The Cleveland Browns have become the team of the moment for their free agency moves and are the favorites to win their division. Which they have not won since 1989, but nobody has won any games by winning the Free Agency. Now comes the tough part winning in the field, man by man they have a great group of players. Now it’s on the coaches to join them and create a great team. Another key to their success will be that second-year QB Baker Mayfield can repeat his great performance of last season and maintain his game at a high level all year. I think if they will reach the playoffs, but I do not dare to say they are going to win their AFC North division just yet.

*2019 Projection: 10-6

PITTSBURGH STEELERS

Key Departures

TE Jesse James, RB Le’Veon Bell, LB L.J. Fort, WR Antonio Brown, OT Marcus Gilbert

Key Arrivals

CB Steven Nelson , WR Donte Moncrief, LB Mark Barron

Best Draft Picks

LB Devin Bush Jr, Michigan (Rd 1)

WR Diontae Johnson, Toledo (Rd 3)

CB Justin Layne, Michigan State (Rd 3)

RB Benny Snell, Kentucky (Rd 4)

TE Zach Gentry, Michigan (Rd 5)

LB Sutton Smith, Northern Illinois (Rd 6)

DL Isaiah Buggs, Alabama (Rd 6)

Analysis

The last season was a season of ups and downs for the Pittsburg Steelers full of locker room problems in and off-field distractions. This season their distractions are gone (Bell and Brown) and HC Mike Tomlin along with his QB Ben Roethlisberger are expected retake the control and leadership of the team. Their new offensive figures are RB James Conner and WR JuJu Smith-Shuster who played very well last season, and now they will have to endorse their status as main figures and increase their level If they want their team to be in the Playoffs. I do not rule out the Steelers, in fact, I think they will be fighting their AFC North division with Cleveland until the end.

*2019 Projection: 10-6

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