The AFC North has long been one of the most competitive divisions in the NFL, with the Baltimore Ravens being the reigning champions. Following the 2020 NFL Draft, all four teams in the AFC North likely feel a bit better about their chances to secure the division crown in 2020.
Just last offseason, the Cleveland Browns were labeled as the assumed victors of the division after acquiring Odell Beckham Jr. via trade. Despite the expectations, the Browns fell short of reaching the playoffs.
Similar to the Browns, the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Cincinnati Bengals were teams that failed to advance to the postseason. Nevertheless, here are the power rankings for the AFC North following the 2020 NFL Draft.
1. Baltimore Ravens
As previously mentioned, the Ravens were able to secure the AFC North title in 2019. Even more impressively, they were able to secure the No. 1 seed in the entire AFC after finishing with a 14-2 record.
In the 2020 NFL Draft, Baltimore was able to add Patrick Queen, J.K. Dobbins, Justin Madubuike, and Devin Duvernay. Provided that, the Ravens seemingly got even better than they were just a year ago. With Lamar Jackson still under center, there’s no reason to believe Baltimore won’t win the AFC North again next season.
2. Pittsburgh Steelers
For the Steelers, the most important addition they’ve had this offseason is the return of Ben Roethlisberger. Roethlisberger missed 14 weeks of the 2019 season after suffering a season-ending elbow injury.
In addition, Pittsburgh surrounded Roethlisberger with more weapons in the draft, taking Chase Claypool and Anthony McFarland Jr. Still, it remains to be seen what Roethlisberger will look like following his injury. If Roethlisberger is the quarterback he once was, the Steelers could be in the mix for a playoff spot in 2020.
3. Cleveland Browns
Even when the Browns presumably have a contending roster, they continually find ways to disappoint. After landing Beckham in a trade last offseason, Cleveland was unable to live up to the heightened expectations.
With that being said, the Browns most notably selected Jedrick Wills and Grant Delpit in this year’s draft. Due to the addition of Wills, it’s apparent that Cleveland is finally making it a priority to give Baker Mayfield better protection. On the other hand, it’s still tough to envision the Browns becoming a contender next season.
4. Cincinnati Bengals
Lastly, the Bengals sat by their lonesome at the bottom of the AFC North last season. Of course, with the No. 1 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, Cincinnati drafted Joe Burrow in hopes he could help them return to the postseason.
Despite Burrow being an upgrade over what the Bengals had under center last season, they still have quite a ways to go before they can win the AFC North. At the least, Cincinnati should see vast improvements across their roster in the upcoming season, providing some hope for the future.