The 2020 NFL Draft is a wrap, and 90-man rosters are close to settled for most teams. There are a few big names still to be signed, and there will be plenty of minor transactions over the summer, but the largest volume of maneuvering is complete. For the AFC North, the biggest most recent news saw Thursday’s release of quarterback Andy Dalton, who is being replaced by rookie Joe Burrow. This was expected, but it puts a notable name on the market.
Back in February, DraftKings Sportsbook released divisional odds, and the Baltimore Ravens were the AFC North favorites by a decent margin over the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Cleveland Browns followed and the Cincinnati Bengals were a distant fourth. The odds have since been updated to reflect roster changes over the past two months, and the Ravens are even bigger favorites following the draft and free agency. We’ll break down the changes along with noting key additions and departures. (*=rookie)
Baltimore Ravens (Feb: -177, post-draft: -200)
Notable additions: DE Calais Campbell, DE Derek Wolfe, LB Patrick Queen*, RB J.K. Dobbins*, WR Devin Duvernay*
Notable departures: TE Hayden Hurst, OLB Patrick Onwuasor
The Ravens have managed to improve after a strong 2019 season. The defense added significant depth, and Lamar Jackson and the offense have two young weapons to add to the mix. They needed receivers more than running backs, but Dobbins is a perfect fit for what the Ravens want to do. The improvement in their odds makes sense as they’re the clear front-runner in the division.
Pittsburgh Steelers (Feb: +275, post-draft: +350)
Notable additions: TE Eric Ebron, OG Stefen Wisniewski, WR Chase Claypool*
Notable departures: DT Javon Hargrave
The Steelers made some solid additions, but their biggest improvement will come with the return of Ben Roethlisberger from a nearly season-long injury, and extended absences for JuJu Smith-Schuster and James Conner. Eric Ebron and Chase Claypool are helpful additions to the offense, but that trio is critical to where this team will go — and really Big Ben is the most important part of it in 2020. We can’t put much into the little we saw of Roethlisberger in 2019 given the injury. He’s nearing the end of his career, but if he has a little something left in the tank, the Steelers are a playoff contender.
Cleveland Browns (Feb: +550, post-draft: +500)
Notable additions: TE Austin Hooper, OT Jack Conklin, DT Andrew Billins, S Karl Joseph, OT Jedrick Wills, Jr.*, S Grant Delpit*
Notable departures: OLB Christian Kirksey, ILB Joe Schobert, S Damarious Randall, CB T.J. Carrie
2019 was a huge disappointment in Cleveland, but they’ve put together a very solid offseason in hopes of bouncing back. They’ve rebuilt the edges of their offensive line, added another pass catcher in Austin Hooper, and built up some depth on the defensive side of the ball. If Baker Mayfield can take a step forward after last year’s letdown season, the Browns will push the Steelers as second best team in the division.
Cincinnati Bengals (Feb: +2000, post-draft: +2000)
Notable additions: QB Joe Burrow*, WR Tee Higgins* S Vonn Bell, CB Trae Waynes, DT D.J. Reader, CB Mackensie Alexander,
Notable departures: QB Andy Dalton, OLB Nick Vigil, OG John Miller, TE Tyler Eifert
The changing of the guard is complete: the Bengals officially released Dalton after drafting Burrow last week. This move has been expected all offseason, thus the lack of any change in the odds. The Bengals rebuild is officially underway for those that were not quite sure about it. Burrow is incredibly talented, but rookie starting quarterbacks more often than not take their lumps. At the same time, if he can flash some of that upside, the offense has enough quality weapons that it could actually be sneaky good.
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