The NFL is a league that's very familiar with the quick turnaround. In fact, in each of the past dozen years, at least one team picking in the top 10 has gone on to make the playoffs that season.
Let's take a quick look at the teams that picked in the top 10 of last week's 2015 NFL Draft, with the selection listed parenthetically:
1) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State)
2) Tennessee Titans (Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon)
3) Jacksonville Jaguars (Dante Fowler Jr., DE/OLB, Florida)
4) Oakland Raiders (Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama)
5) Washington Redskins (Brandon Scherff, OL, Iowa)
6) New York Jets (Leonard Williams, DL, USC)
7) Chicago Bears (Kevin White, WR, West Virginia)
8) Atlanta Falcons (Vic Beasley, DE/OLB, Clemson)
9) New York Giants (Ereck Flowers, OT, Miami)
10) St. Louis Rams (Todd Gurley, RB, Georgia)
So, taking everything into account from this offseason (draft, free agency, coaching changes, etc.), which one of those 10 teams has the best chance to make the playoffs in 2015?
On defense, the Giants improved in two critical areas by adding safety Landon Collins and DE Owamagbe Odighizuwa. Both of these players will help the defense. Collins fills a big void in the back end, and Odighizuwa will give New York's pass rush a boost.
Look for the NYG to win the NFC East.
A new coaching staff should be able to change the team's collective mindset and improve the defense; it's not going to be anything close to a dominant D, but it should be markedly better. Coleman should provide a boost to the rushing attack and relieve some of the pressure on Ryan. The biggest positive for the
Falcons is that no team in the NFC South truly scares anybody.
In a division with no clear-cut favorite, the
Giants have a fair shot at the playoffs.
With a little bit of luck in a tough division, it's not hard to see this squad winding up as a wild-card team by following the blueprint of the
Seahawks: run the football and play good defense.