2017 Offseason Questions: Which AFC North Opponent Improved Most Prior To Draft?

The 2016 season is unfortunately over, and the Pittsburgh Steelers are now embarking upon their latest offseason journey, heading back to the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex, formerly known and still referred to as the ‘South Side’ facility of Heinz Field. While the postseason is now behind us, there is plenty left to discuss.

And there are plenty of questions left unanswered as well. The offseason is just really the beginning phase of the answer-seeking process, which is lasts all the way through the Super Bowl for teams fortunate enough to reach that far.

You can rest assured that we have the questions, and we will be monitoring the developments in the offseason as they develop, and beyond, looking for the answers as we look to evaluate the makeup of the Steelers as they try to navigate their way back to the Super Bowl, after reaching the AFC Championship game last season for the first time in more than half a decade.

Question: Which divisional opponent has done the most to improve their team prior to the draft?

If we’re being honest, I think we can reasonably eliminate the Bengals from this discussion after they let both of their two best offensive linemen leave in free agency. They are bringing back one of their former linemen and moving him to a different position to try to replace one of them. Let’s see how that works out. All they’ve really added proactively is Kevin Minter.

In the meantime, both the Ravens and the Browns have made significant upgrades to their team so far, though Baltimore had to make a lot of roster deletions in order to make everything work. The Browns have so much cap room that they’ve begun buying draft picks, on the other hand.

The Ravens re-signed nose tackle Brandon Williams while adding Brandon Carr and Tony Jefferson to their starting secondary, replacing Lardarius Webb and Shareece Wright. I didn’t have a problem with Webb as a safety but he was making too much for them. The team also signed Danny Woodhead at running back.

But they also lost Rick Wagner in free agency, traded their center, and still cut a lot of players that were former starters, or had them retire, with no options in place to replace them yet. They still lost a lot of significant players.

The Browns don’t have a lot of significant players to lose, but they did lose out on Terrelle Pryor, replacing him with Kenny Britt. They nabbed Kevin Zeitler from the Bengals and added T.C. Tretter as well, while extending Joel Bitonio. They also traded for a second-round pick—I’m sorry, I meant Brock Osweiler. They totally meant to do that.

Cleveland has actually been surprisingly quiet since the opening day of free agency, when all of this took place. They will certainly be anything but during the draft, but let’s see if they make that trade that’s been talked about for several months now…

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